Eating Disorders

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Grant Jorgensen
Honors english 10

Self-Made, Not Made in China
Throughout modern history, the unrealistic standard for the female body has been nearly impossible to obtain. As Doctor Joel Yage puts it, “Every society has a way of torturing its women, whether it is binding their feet or by sticking them into whalebone corsets. What our society has come up with is designer Jeans” (qtd. in Derrenne and Beresin). People in a higher socioeconomic status are far more likely to be able to match such standards. Women are willing to go through excruciating pain and sacrifice their own comfort just to achieve the unrealistic body image that has been created. Eating disorders are one way for women to achieve such standards. Eating disorders among young women have become more prevalent due to the increase in the media’s involvement in portraying the “perfect” female body image. Once an eating disorder has begun, it can generate a domino effect on one’s life, both physically and emotionally (Perfect Illusions: What Causes). Physiological and emotional disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and also Binge Eating can all be classified as eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which one starves oneself to lose excessive weight. Anorexia can be fatal, socially and psychologically (Perfect Illusions: Anorexia Nervosa). Bulimia is an emotional “weight control” disorder characterized by episodes of binge eating, followed by purging or restriction from food (Perfect Illusions: Bulimia). Anorexia and Bulimia are linked with the attainment of thinness (Harrison). The third most recognized eating disorder, Binge Eating, is the consumption of unusually large amounts of food in a short period of time (Perfect Illusions: Binge Eating). The binge-purge process is usually followed by self-deprecating thoughts such as depression and the awareness that the eating disorder is abnormal and out of control (Perfect Illusions: Bulimia). Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating are not about weight and food. They are, however, complex disorders where the victim is overwhelmed with low self-esteem, an inability to cope with their own problems, and many other underlying issues that have led them to their eating disorder (Eating Disorders and the Media: Media Influence). The reason an ideal body image has been created and worshiped by so many is primarily the result of the media’s influence. Companies such as Gucci, Calvin Klein, and Nike have all been known to promote their products in ads with super thin models. A Nike ad, “When do we start so desperately wanting to be someone else?” (qtd. in Harrison). A Philips television ad said that they were introducing a TV so thin that a regular TV’s would have a complex (Harrison).For the perfume, Obsession by Calvin Klein, the producers went as far as to say that if a girl or woman looks like Kate Moss, she will be loved too. Even Gucci has joined the campaign to promote thinness: “She looks like she hasn’t eaten in months and she’s proud. And yet another ad by Calvin Klein demonstrates the idea if you look like the woman on the screen you will look “good” (“Eating Disorders and the Media”). The media brainwash women viewers to believe that “sexy” is what the media says it is (Derrenne). The more one is exposed to beauty ads has a direct relationship to the likelihood to have a desire to be thin, or thinner. Almost all ads that are seen on the television have some sort of promotion of thinness in them; whether it is directly or indirectly. Ads for beauty products portray women who are not healthy. They have a weight far beneath what the average is said to be (“Eating Disorders and the Media”). In addition to TV ads, pop culture plays a large role in the portrayal of self-image. People in pop-culture consciously and subconsciously continuously refer to ideal thinness in their conversations, judgments, and the teasing of their peers (Eating Disorders and the Media: Media Influence). It...
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