Media’s Role in Eating Disorders Among Teenagers

Topics: Bulimia nervosa, Eating disorders, Anorexia nervosa Pages: 3 (1045 words) Published: January 5, 2009
There has been an alarming rise in eating disorders among teenagers. Our culture and its idealization of a slender figure is a leading cause. Many turn to the media for trends and to find out what’s “in”. Through advertising, television, films, and the fashion industry the message relentlessly being shown is that thin is in. The desire to be skinny and pretty has driven teenagers to anorexia or bulimia as the solution to getting the “perfect body”. However, it can lead to numerous problems. Extensive, not to mention expensive therapy is needed in order to get back in good health. What’s worse is that sufferers tend to hide this behavior which makes it harder for them to get help before it’s too late. Through the media’s easy control over teenagers who look up to models, or actors/actresses, and social pressures; it all leads teens to have unhealthy eating habits with consequences and this needs to be stopped by all means. It’s clear that there’s no single cause for eating disorders for it is a complex condition and it can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, or age. Some of the contributing factors include biological, interpersonal, psychological and social issues (Siegel, Brisman, Weinshel 39-59). Many Americans blame the media’s obsession with appearances for causing eating disorders though. Their power over our development of self-esteem is extremely strong. We're constantly bombarded by images of thin celebrities in tabloids, TV, advertisements, film, and any other entertainments. They have always considered image to be of major importance which leads to the development of eating disorders. As a result “…slim has become our culture’s message” (Siegel, Brisman, Weinshel 5) The entertainment industries have taken the message too far. It’s common to hear them say something like, “She’s great, but can you get her a little thinner?” (Kerlin qtd. In White). They are pushing the limits along reality and idealism. Now with the ability to do computer...
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