Every generation has a set of values that they believe make a person beautiful. In the 1940’s and 50’s it was considered beautiful to be a voluptuous woman. A woman with a large chest and full hips was the ideal woman, such as Marylyn Monroe. The difference between then and now is, young women could escape this image if need be. Today it is impossible to ignore the stick thin super models on bill boards, TV, and in magazines. The influence of society on teenagers is so much that men actually expect a woman to be that stick thin model or they are considered “fat”, “tubby”, etc. The average fashion model is 5'9" to 6' tall. The average American woman is 5' 4" tall. The average fashion model weighs 110-118 pounds. The average American woman weighs 142 pounds. One study showed that 44% of middle school girls who frequently read articles about dieting were twice as likely to try fasting and dieting and were three times more likely to try self-induced vomiting than girls who didn't read the articles. (Recovery and Support Network, 2008) I believe it is these influences of society that are leading to more and more young girls being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
You may be saying to yourself, “I have heard of those, but what exactly are they?” Well the terms anorexia and bulimia are often confused with each other. Though they are both eating disorders, they are different, and if someone has one they do not necessarily have both. It is also a common misconception that if someone is extremely thin, they have one of these disorders, which is not necessarily true. To be able to see the signs of these disorders you must first understand them.
Anorexia Nervosa is when a person refuses to sustain a healthy body weight, they are frightened to gain any weight and they feel that their body image is distorted. People who have anorexia often deny that they have a dilemma. Symptoms of someone who has this disease include: feeling chubby even when people say that they are not, scared of gaining weight, if they lie about how much they eat or even hide things about their eating habits, if their family and friends are worried about how they look or how they eat. Also if they experience tremendous weight loss, if they diet, exercise, or purge when feeling bad about themselves. Anorexia is not a way to control your weight but a way to control your feelings or your life. People with anorexia think self-esteem is based on body weight and how thin you look compared to a person who does not have anorexia and has self-esteem based on more than just body weight and image. A healthy person who diets does it in a healthy way, but anorexic people do it in a way that is not healthy all they want is to be thinner, not healthier People can recover from anorexia with the proper treatment and support of others. You need to first gain back your health and then your self-confidence. (Melinda Smith)
People who have anorexia or another eating disorder and go...