Eating Disorder

Topics: Anorexia nervosa, Eating disorders, Bulimia nervosa Pages: 5 (1841 words) Published: March 13, 2013

Internalizing the impossible: Anorexic outpatients’ experiences with women’s beauty and fashion magazines

Giselle Sanchez
Introductory Psychology
TueThurs: 2:30-3:45
Long Beach City College, Fall 2011

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how anorexia can develop in some young women due to beauty and fashion magazines (Thomsen 2001). In this experiment 28 outpatients were interviewed to analyze deeply how this phenomenon begins and why. Patients are asked how these magazines have an influence on them and what they think about it. In the findings it is also demonstrated how these magazines are used to fulfill “needs” that occur as a result of the nexus of personality, familial, and emotional factors and issues that arise in these young women’s lives (Thomsen 2001). This article could be improved by having more experiments done not only to women and young women but also to young men and men who may also suffer from this disorder. My research comes from the journal article I picked and research sites such as Google scholars, ProQuest and the online school library.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how anorexia can develop in some young women due to beauty and fashion magazines (Thomsen 2001). Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. It is often coupled with a distorted self image which may be maintained by various cognitive biases that alter how the affected individual evaluates and thinks about her or his body, food and eating (Thomsen 2001).  Along with anorexia come bulimia nervosa which is an illness in which a person binges on food or has regular episodes of overeating and feels a loss of control. The affected person then uses various methods -- such as vomiting or laxative abuse -- to prevent weight gain (Yager & Andersen 2005). A deep understanding is found in which anorexic women experience and use women’s beauty and fashion magazines (Thomsen 2001). This topic brings great interest to me because I have been close to people with this disorder. This article really explains the reasons on why anorexia begins and how we can prevent it from happening. The authors of this article suggest that the whole start of anorexia is fashion magazines, young women see models and actors who are thinner than their mother or grandmother when they were the models or actors age or even from today they compare how their mothers and grandmothers are and do not want to get their size even if they are thin they are obsessed with being thinner (Thomsen 2001). Some symptoms of anorexia nervosa are significant weight loss, extreme dieting, including skipping meals or extended fasting, obsessions about food and fears of eating in public, obsessive exercise, use of laxatives, binging and purging, distorted self-image; feeling fat despite being thin, self-esteem that depends on weight and appearance, amenorrhea which stops the menstrual periods or a delays this usually happens with young teens, skin dryness or flakiness, brittle nails and hair, anemia, swelling in feet and ankles, intolerance to cold, hypothermia which is low body temperature, poor concentration, dehydration, fainting etc (Yager & Andersen 2005).

The method of this journal article consists of patients interviewed for this study ranged in age from 18 to 43 (Thomsen 2001). This experiment was made in an eating disorder facility in western United States. All of the patients have been diagnosed by a therapist and to the DSM III-R and IV (American Psychiatric Association) the patients suffered from anorexia nervosa. Although anorexia nervosa was the primary focus of their treatment, several patients indicated that they had also developed bulimia (Thomsen 2001). The interviews were conducted at the center, in campus conference rooms, or in the patients’ homes, based on their preferences. Each interview lasted...

References: Thomsen, S., McCoy, J., & Williams, M. (2001). Internalizing the impossible: Anorexic outpatients’ experiences with women’s beauty and fashion magazines. Eating disorders: The journal of treatment & prevention, 9(1), 49 – 64.
Yager, J., & Andersen, A. (2005). Anorexia nervosa. The New England Journal of Medicine, 353(14), 1481-1488, 1537, 1540. Retrieved from
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