Does the media cause eating disorders?

 

101198762-20131113-1757-410.600x400Its that time of year again….the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  The moment girls wait for all year.  The skinny, “perfect” models strut down the runway.  It is nothing but glamorous.  But for the women watching, how does this make them feel about themselves?  Some love it and it makes them feel like models themselves.  But some, on the other hand, go down a different route…

As of now, there is no scientifically proven cause of eating disorders.  They’re seen as superficial to many people and are not taken as seriously as the diseases actually are. But that does not mean the media does not have a huge part in it, because it definitely does.  Percentages of women who have an eating disorder have increased immensely over the past few years.  “More than 5 million American suffer from eating disorders.  Five percent of females have anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.” (ADA).  These numbers have only gone up since then!  Anorexia and bulimia are two of the most common and known eating disorders.

anorexia_by_kandigirl7391What does this have to do with the media?  Well, the media is obsessed with what the best look is and will do anything to make money off an insecurity.  It is almost impossible to go anywhere without seeing an airbrushed model on a magazine or the newest diet that could “make you drop forty pounds in ten days!!”  There are unrealistic.  If these diets were truthful, then one would have dominated the industry already.  (ADA)

“Mass media provides a significantly influential context for people to learn about body ideals and the value placed on being attractive. (NEDA).  Also known as, the media puts the idea in people’s heads that being attractive goes hand in hand with being thin.  Over 80% of Americans watch television at least three hours a day, daily.  Teenagers, however are always on their phones and come across some form of media approximately 7 hours a day.  Teenagers are constantly exposed to these hot models and magazine covers telling them how to get “hot”.

Some scimagazine-collage1entists believe that the media has nothing to do with the development of eating disorders, but how can that be true?  With the desire to be thin in every direction and now at almost every age, it is almost like if you aren’t thin, you are an outcast.  From shows like “The Biggest Loser”, anyone who watches them can be influenced.  Even children can watch these shows and question their body.

feed-eating-disorders

So does the media actually cause eating disorders?  Yes, it can.  Teenagers can be influenced by these celebrities and nice bodies and feel so insecure about themselves that they starve themselves to “look like that”.  Although it is extremely wrong, it is happening in society today.  Companies like Aerie  are starting new campaigns where they do not edit their model’s pictures.  Maybe this could finally put a stop to this horrible influence on teens.

aerie-real-campaign-4

Works Cited:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21802573

2. http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

3. https://www.adolescenthealth.org/SAHM_Main/media/Topics-in-Adolescent-Health/ADA_Position_Paper_Nutrition_Intervention.pdf

4. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/factors-may-contribute-eating-disorders

5. http://www.ulifeline.org/articles/400-eating-disorders-why-do-they-happen

6. http://www.cnbc.com

7. http://womenonthefence.com

8. http://totuscontrol.pl

9. http://feed-eating-disorders

10. http://www.thelingerieaddict.com

2 thoughts on “Does the media cause eating disorders?

  1. Samantha Marie Grillo

    This was an interesting blog to read because people don’t realize how they are constantly exposed to media throughout the day and how it can affect their perceptions of body image. When models are photoshopped on magazine covers, it sends a message to people everywhere that that is what they should look like. The fact that people develop eating disorders because of the media shows that people need to stop supporting the magazines that promote unrealistic body image.

    Here is the link to an article about Aerie’s no-photoshop campaign: http://time.com/1187/american-eagle-ditches-photoshop-for-new-lingerie-campaign/

  2. Katie Ann Farnan

    This post is so relevant and true. Media definitely affects eating disorders and how girls see themselves. Always around fashion show time social media blows up with Tweets and statuses about how girls feel bad about themselves after watching or how they want to start dieting after watching. While many of them are just live-tweeting their thoughts, it goes to show how much media can affect our thoughts and actions. I think the new Aerie campaign is such a good way to model their merchandise as a way to show that everyone – no matter what shape or size – can wear their clothes. I have seen posts on Twitter bashing the people who put down some of the models on Instagram which also shows that social media is working as an outlet to put these negative thoughts and vibes to rest. Great post!

Leave a Reply