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 Eating Disorders and the Media

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Nombre de messages : 96
Age : 29
Date d'inscription : 04/08/2011

MessageSujet: Eating Disorders and the Media   Sam 20 Aoû - 8:30

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Experts, researchers and scholars all agree that media and eating disorders are directly connected. For decades, the media has been the mode of expression of the evolving forms of all societies. Media indeed mirrors the social, economical and political changes of any country. Physical looks, both of men and women, have been dominated by what people have been seeing in the media since hundreds of years. From early childhood, it almost habitually creeps in our mind that good looks matter and definitely they do, however, the extent to which the notion of beauty and body has been represented in the media, has engraved in the minds of people that 'thin and sexy' is the only form of beauty. Read more on causes of eating disorders.

How the Media Influences Eating Disorders

Anorexia, known as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, termed as bulimia nervosa are the two eating disorders that affect every 7 young women in 1000, and every 1 man in 1000. The statistics show that these eating disorders are more common in women than men. It will be an exaggeration to say that media solely is responsible for eating disorders. However, if analyzed deeply, media has been a major force in setting the beauty standards of society. Read more on eating disorders: a serious problem.

Wrong Message to the Society
Television is the source of entertainment and information. However, in today's era, television is more than that. Television today, shapes the thinking patterns of people and hence, society. Kids who spend countless hours on television, develop a superficial sense of self, that is mostly identified by the physical aspect of the personality.

Images on the television are rarely (I say rarely!) shown of average body types, like we exist in the normal life. Overweight characters are given less or no opportunities and it has been a norm to choose someone, 'thin and of zero size'. The modeling and fashion agencies have added like fuel to the fire. Many ad agencies follow anorexic models. 'Weight' has been made the most popular keyword for all search engines and newspapers, diet magazines and TV commercials. Read more on media's influence on eating disorders.

The pop culture and media industry, both have made weight such an important issue that now it has turned out to be a million dollar business. Models, teenagers and women have religiously followed dieting schedules that promise them to lose weight within weeks and months, that eventually makes them vulnerable to eating disorders. Eating disorders and the media have been closely linked when it comes to body dissatisfaction. There has been almost a mad rush amongst women to lose weight and attain the perfect figure. Celebrity actresses are worshiped as God and any thing that they follow becomes a trend within no time.

While I'm not advocating that spreading awareness about weight issues is wrong or for that matter good don't looks matter, but why an obsession with the looks? Media and eating disorders, are surely connected and the prime example are the models who are on diets that is often unhealthy for their age and height. Whenever and wherever you raise your head in the market, advertising campaigns, we will find that thin women only are highlighted as being beautiful. Aren't we creating a society that thrives on the much shallower aspect of human personality?

By projecting physical looks as a major criteria, media has almost created the image of a society that portrays good looks to be 'slimmer, thinner and sexier'. Though our perception of beauty is solely our way of thinking, constant highlight and focus on weight and size issue can definitely unconsciously make us believe that only slim people are beautiful.

It's high time that we understand that if our children grow watching similar images, they may not exactly understand the meaning of true beauty. For true beauty lies in the over all personality and not just in looks. Eating disorders and the media are definitely related and the media should act responsibly in portraying the meaning of beauty and should not show that 'beauty is success'. The debate on media and eating disorders is an ongoing one and everybody can have their own opinions. So, do you agree that media and eating disorders are definitely related? Well, look around yourself, and you will get to know the truth. After all, we all can agree to disagree.
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