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Social Stigma Leads To Health Issue

1013 words - 5 pages

“The ‘this is thin’ mentality that dominates the field of fashion design models is a major contributor to the Western cultural concept of very thin women as beautiful and desirable,” (Ciccarelli and White 550). This stigma so present in United States popular culture has not only created a widespread self-esteem crisis; it has also turned into the catalyst of an outbreak of a major health issue that country faces today: eating disorders. Though some believe that common modern eating habits are to blame as they result in people feeling unfit and unattractive, society's promotion of a thin body as the ideal image contributes to the issue of eating disorders. There are many theories behind this, mainly that this simple distortion body image leads to eating disorders. Other supportive theories consider such environmental influence to be triggering compulsion in some minds already genetically vulnerable to manifest as eating disorders. Nonetheless, in all cases one thing remains true, and that is the heavy impact societal influence causing eating disorders. Even though this has becomes a very tough issue to combat, there are many things that could have been done, and should be done to prevent it.
The problem is, media and fashion portray this message that what matters most is not the inside, but the outside, and that it’s all that counts. So many celebrities and models are selectively brought into the limelight by how thin they are. For some reason, with famous people it has come to this stigma that only the very thin are considered attractive and become so popular. Many of which are unnaturally and unhealthily thin, and this unreasonable thinness is not a good message to send out, as so much audience are those who are extremely impressionable, particularly young women (Hellmich). These viewers expectedly get a standard set in their mind that what’s attractive and desirable is something their bodies are not. What mainly troubles people is the fact they feel too fat, and that they have excessive weight that needs to be ridded of. This is where the eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia begin. When people feel they have to shed pounds in order to feel like they’re appealing, they will in some cases go to extreme measures to accomplish it. Those extreme measures are eating disorders, and many have taken to them.
In much research to unravel the psychology of eating disorders, it has been proposed that there are certain people in particular who are most susceptible to societal influence, and it’s in their genetics (Cresswell). What apparently means is that some number of people are born with, or may have developed early on, a heightened susceptibility to pressures from their environment. And in this case, it’s social pressure. With the media’s ever-increasing influence, it is likely that a great majority of those who have developed eating disorders succumbed to the pressure because that influence triggered the inherent liability. That...

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