Anorexia Nervosa and Media Influence

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Anorexia Nervosa and Media Influence.

Girls are given the message at a very young age that in order to be beautiful they must be thin. Our society today places much value on being thin so it’s not surprising that eating disorders are on the increase. If you think about it, every time you walk into a store, you are surrounded by the images of thin models and celebrities that appear on the covers of magazines. Once opened up you see pages filled with these thin beauties and adds promoting diets, workouts, and fashions for them. What you also see is celebrities or people who are slightly over weight having their flaws pointed out or being ridiculed in the magazine for being overweight or “not in shape.” Thousands of teenage girls read these magazines and look up to the people they see inside. In part, as a result they are starving themselves daily in an effort to attain what the fashion industry considers to be the perfect figure. The average model weighs 23% less than the average woman. Maintaining a weight 20% below your expected body weight fits the criteria for the emotional eating disorder known as anorexia. Most models, according to medical standards, fit into the category of being anorexic (Thompson, Colleen. Mirror Mirror website).

Anorexia has been known and recognized by doctors for at least 300 years. Most researchers agree that the number of patients with this life threatening disease is increasing at an alarming rate. The DSM IV: 307.1 Anorexia Nervosa defines anorexia as an emotional disorder characterized by an intense fear of becoming obese, lack of self-esteem and distorted body image which results in self-induced starvation. The development of this disease generally begins at the age of 11 or 18. Significantly, these ages coincide with new phases of a girl’s life, the commencement and ending of adolescence. Recent estimates suggest that out of every 200 American girls between this age span, one will develop anorexia to some degree....
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