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Should Mass Media Continue To Promote A Thin Body?

1865 words - 7 pages

Every morning, when you turn on the TV to those early morning talk shows, it seems that the hosts on the show are talking about things that all revolve around one certain topic: weight. Whether it is the newest healthy Thanksgiving substitute meals or workouts that are proven to give you the abs you see in late night infomercials, it’s the news of the day, and it’s everywhere. Just when you think it’s over, a commercial comes on with a woman that has so much makeup on that she looks flawless with no blemishes, and perfect, straight, white teeth, and hair perfectly placed. The media is overloaded with things that not only display unrealistic beauty ideals (most of which are digitally altered), but promote them with tasteless meals and “miraculous” workouts. Because of this, eating disorders are more common and romanticized, the number of deaths caused by these eating disorders has gone up, and the age that girls and boys begin to develop low self-esteem has gone below twelve years old. These are the reasons why media should not be allowed to continue with the promotion of unrealistic beauty ideals.
In the realm of social media and body image, there are three kinds of people. There are those that say they believe everyone is beautiful, the people who say they don’t care, and there are the people who point out every single flaw. Blogs have been sprouting all over the internet within the past few years, promoting eating disorders. The owners of these blogs will post regular updates of how many calories they have eaten, how long they have worked out, and how much they weigh. They also post what they call “triggering” images, of abnormally thin people, or new ways to burn off a pound with one workout (which they would have to do thousands of times) (York). They have coined the term “thinspiration” in an effort to inspire others to become as emaciated as possible. While many social networking sites have disabled pages and posts with “thinspiration” tags, that doesn’t mean that they still are not easy to find (Fetters). When you go to Google and type “thinspiration” into the search bar, only two links on the first page are not eating disorder blogs. These blogs are the perfect places to make starving yourself seem beautiful with quotes such as, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” or pictures of gorgeous girls that are stick-thin, and have obviously been touched up in Photoshop. With a rise of these blogs, it’s almost obvious that there is also an alarming rise of eating disorders. The numbers have been rising since 1950, nine years before Barbie dolls were produced (NEDA; Bellis). The number of men and women diagnosed with eating disorders has increased 16% from last year (York). According to Susan Bordo, the gender, racial, and class gaps are closing when it comes to eating disorders as it no longer is a problem of how you live, but what you see, and we all see the same thing (Bordo 2). It isn’t surprising that eating disorders are on the rise...

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