“The pressure to stay thin and trim in Hollywood is relentless, leading many stars to diets, drugs, and daily dates with their personal trainers” (Anderberg 73). This does not only affect celebrities however. As the media continues to impose its ideal body image, women and teens become obsessed with achieving that thin, flawless beauty. What they do not see is the hours of editing dedicated to that project. That “flawless beauty” is often as unreal as the magic on Harry Potter. Yet, it is so powerful that it leads to many struggles for women. The rise of eating disorders, the constant portrayal of what is the perfect body image, and the unattainable beauty advertised, clearly shows that the media contributes to the incidence of eating disorders.
Studies have shown the more television is introduced into a society, the more cases of eating disorders. Research has shown that a region isolated from the media can quickly become violated as television advertisements are introduced. “In Fiji, before 1995, big was beautiful and bigger was even more beautiful - and people really did flatter each other with exclamations about weight gain” (Goodman 79). Prior to television, women were not criticized or looked down upon for carrying extra weight. To be a large was considered to be a good thing. In fact, thin women were thought to have some kind of problem. After all, it is the heavy woman who had the strength to care for her family. That was the belief until television came along. Now, all we see are women with the “perfect” body shape, and of course, every girl would die to look like that. “Within 38 months, the number of teens at risk for eating disorders more than doubled to 29 percent” (Goodman 79). Before television was introduced to the island of Fiji, the number of eating disorders was drastically lower than today. Within a little over a year, as the television was introduced, these disorders were on the rise. Wherever media has influence,...
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