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The Media Plays A Hand In Anorexia

1277 words - 5 pages

What causes anorexia nervosa, a terrible mental disease which leads victims to starve themselves, sometimes to death? The message to be thin is transmitted to adolescents at an early age. The media is a strong supporter of this image, the thought that thin is desirable is shown through the advertisements that consumers are exposed to everyday. People constantly hear that thin is desirable and are shown this very fact through advertisements and videos. The media may not be the sole cause of anorexia but the effect that the media has on children can not be over looked. There are multiple factors that can contribute to the desire to be thin; the media is one factor in the equation that can not be so easily overlooked.

Anorexia and Bulimia
Anorexia is a psychological disorder that usually deals with those of middle to upper class standing. Patients appear to be obviously thin for their own height. Those who suffer from anorexia attempt to maintain their thinness despite the fact that they are malnourished. Those suffering from this condition often do not lose their appetite, engage in physical activities in order to further their weight loss, and may partake in binge eating.
Bulimia and anorexia are often mistaken to be the same thing. “While anorexic patients feel justified in their weight loss efforts, bulimia patients feel extremely guilty and shameful of their abnormal behavior” (Harris, Robert T). “Self-deprecating thoughts and major depression are more common among bulimic adolescents than among anorexic adolescents” (Harris, Robert T.). Based on the information gathered over the years it has also been proven that children who suffer from bulimia are more prone to impulsive behavior.

Ideal Body Type Throughout History
The standard of beauty has constantly changed throughout history, this ideal image has often been unrealistic and extremely difficult to obtain. Women were, and still are willing, to sacrifice comfort and endure a large amount of pain in order to obtain this ideal image. During the 19th century women with tiny waist and large bustles became highly desired. In order to obtain this ideal image many women had a rib removed in order to decrease their waist size. By doing this there was an extreme chance that they could become sick, in many cases it could lead to a shortness of breath and lead to pneumonia.
The beginning of the 20th century sparked the trend of women cutting their hair short and taking up boyish actions. It was seen as fashionable to be angular, thin, and boyish looking (Derenne, Jennifer). This image quickly grew due to the constant advertisement of the flapper. The image of the flappers grew rapidly through the 1920’s.

Current Media Influence
Women are faced with unrealistic expectations almost every time they are presented with a form of advertisement. This idea is expressed through advertisements that feature a naked woman’s body tempting viewers to buy an electronic organizer, partially...

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