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The Media And Its Ability To Control The Image Of Perfection

1824 words - 8 pages

In America, the media distributes perfectly sculpted and photoshopped bodies all over the covers of magazines and on television, so it is not hard to understand why a tan, toned, and lean body is an average ideal. Most people want to have the perfect and photoshopped body that everyone in magazines and on television has, because the media portrays it as desirable. It is not uncommon for famous actors and actresses to have “perfect” bodies, but it is nearly unheard of for the average person to have a “perfect” body because they do not have photoshop. Many people are unhappy with their bodies, but what is the ideal body based on? The media causes society to compare average and healthy bodies to the airbrushed, perfectly sculpted, and toned bodies presented on TV, music videos, and in magazines. It is commonly assumed that only girls have eating disorders, but DEBs (disordered eating behaviors) do not discriminate, they affect people of all nationalities and genders (Simon). Some want so badly to conform to the medias standard of beauty, that in order to do so they develop eating disorders and a lifelong yearning to feel accepted. DEBs do not just disappear, they stay with people for their entire lives (quoted. in Goodwin). Currently, there are no laws that can prevent the media from using extremely thin models to influence people. The government can only do so much, so it is in the hands of parents to limit the body centered media children view in order to prevent negative body image and unhealthy eating habits.
If media was the only factor that determined if one developed an eating disorder, everyone with a television, radio, or computer would have one. The media is not the only culprit, it goes hand in hand with genetics and existing biological conditions (Simon). It is proven DEBs are more prominent in people that have relatives with a disorder or a hormone imbalance (quoted. in Goodwin). However, not everyone with a hormone imbalance or a family member with an eating disorder will develop DEBs. Some people believe that eating disorders are caused by genetics or hormone imbalances alone, but if that were true then every person with a hormone imbalance or relative that has an eating disorder would have an eating disorder. Some will argue that media is not a factor because everyone is exposed to the same media, but not everyone has an eating disorder. There are people that are more susceptible to eating disorders than others, like those with already existing hormonal conditions and relatives with an eating disorder, which is why not everyone that has been exposed to media has an eating disorder. The media focuses on a thin female body as a basis for all comparisons, so women, both susceptible to eating disorders and not compare their bodies and do whatever they have to in order to look “perfect”,often resulting in a media driven eating disorder (Sohn, pg 20). It is incorrect to say that eating disorders are caused by genetics, hormonal...

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