Symbolic Interactionism is a theory focusing on the approach that has evolved from social behaviorism and that stresses the symbolic nature of human interaction (p. 46). In society, there are norms and expectations that people are expected to follow and live by and trying to achieve this ideal self-image, people sometime behave in a self-destructing behavior. Because the media creates an image that we are suppose to fit, people will go to the extreme measures to meet this look even if it involves developing an eating disorder (DeGroat).
To apply the symbolic interactionism theory to eating disorders, it is important to recognize the role of the individual and how their relations with other individuals influence them to reach the thinness model. The pressures that people take on from a great body image and looking thin come greatly from the interactions with other individuals (Leong). As humans continuously interact with other individuals and interpret their behavior, society is constantly changing which causes the individual also to change his/her self- concept. The ideal figure today is completely different from what it used to be a few decades ago for the reason that society keeps changing the appearance of the individual and the way they are presented in the media (Leong).
Unfortunately no one can stop the media because the media from taking advantage of the low self-esteem of men and women that they have gained from seeing so many unrealistic ideal images presented in the media. The problem is that many people are attempting to achieve the ideal figure that society has set. They don’t realize that society’s ideal body image impossible and out of reach. People are under a lot of pressure to be thin because they feel that’s the only way they will be accepted, and this leads to the result of them starving themselves, vomiting, and unhealthy dieting, which causes the eating disorder (Eating Disorders).