Disorder In Media Feeds Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Media, Eating, Disorders, Eating Disorders, Internet, Sociology, Society, Body

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/03

Is it even possible to imagine a world without media? Media is as essential as it is pervasive in society; with the availability of media at the palm of our hands and the connectivity all throughout the world, media has become a fixture in life. It entertains, informs, and educates the people. It can influence the way they think, feel, and act. With this, the power of media lies in its ability to make or break an individual.
Media forms nowadays are more focused on upholding an unreachably perfect representation for both man and woman – the perfect image (Dugan). Print ads, television shows, social networks and the like are riddled with images of models and celebrities having flawless skin, sculpted abs, slim and bony bodies, and faultlessly tapered thighs and legs. These images are undeniably aesthetically-pleasing, however, they can cause adolescents to hate their own bodies and take grave measures to achieve the perfect image.
Although there are a number of other factors that cause eating disorders in adolescents, media, specifically social media, emanate the ideal standards of beauty which highly influences adolescents to give in to eating disorders that can harm and/or kill them such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.
Society over glorifies the perfect image through beauty pageants, FHM and Playboy magazines televised and distributed all over the world. It upholds ideal standards of beauty through the skin-and-bones photographs of America’s Next Top Model contestants and runway models. Advertisements of plastic surgery to remove excess fats have grown rampant over the years. Extremist adolescents that develop a great desire to fit in to society’s norms undergo the gruelling process of starvation and self-loathing to achieve the perfect image (Hogan et al.).
Generally, eating disorders affect more adolescents than adults because they go through a lot of physiological, emotional, psychological changes due to puberty. They may grow accustomed or distressed to these changes, and they will find ways to fit into society. Eating disorders also affect more females than males with a 32:1 ratio. A study conducted in Fiji, a third world country with limited number of households that have television sets, revealed that girls who are exposed to television have higher tendencies of acquiring eating disorders. The researchers concluded that upon watching television shows, these girls are drawn to attain “sexy” bodies as portrayed by models and celebrities. It was also found out that there is a second hand effect on girls who are indirectly exposed to television. They are influenced by those girls who are able to watch television shows through posts in social networking sites. It was discerned through a series of questioning about their outlook regarding their bodies, the way they view society, the way they think society views them and the like that these Fijian girls were greatly influenced by the Western portrayal of the desirable woman’s body disseminated through the media.
In Western countries, statistics show that about 30 million females and males endure having eating disorders. There is a 110% increase in eating disorder cases during the past few years since the boom on social media occurred. Social media users with eating disorders compel each other through challenges such as equating a like to an hour or two of fasting. It is quite alarming that there are pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites in the Internet where girls ridden with these eating disorders come together to talk about their experiences, and coach and help one another in continuing their unhealthy endeavours. They were able to come up with mantras that they live by such as “Pretty girls don’t eat,” and “Skip dinner, be thinner” (Roxas). These websites were even more empowered by social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They have formed a support group for themselves.
Eating disorders are complex conditions as they ruin not only the physiological but also the psychological and mental functions of the girls’ bodies (Spettigue & Henderson). At worst, they are fatal. Donna, a survivor, deactivated her Facebook and Twitter accounts so as to escape from the image-driven social world. She values her life more and knows better than to give in to the concept of the perfect image imposed by society. She experienced a number of harmful effects of bulimia nervosa such as teeth degradation, menstruation problems, and dysfunctional body systems. The case of Tallulah Wilson proves the negative and harmful effect of media on how adolescents view themselves. The 15-year-old girl committed suicide. She wrote on her journal how she desperately and constantly felt too fat for herself and how much she wanted to be like the models she adored so much. She also wanted to be a perfect image.
Support services such as ChildLine for adolescents with eating disorders have noticed an increase in number of calls. However, these girls who were able to gather up the courage to come out and ask for help are only a small portion of the large population with eating disorders. There are still so many out there who are afraid to take the first step to improve their lifestyles. They refuse to even tell their parents as they fear that they will be forced to eat. They worry that if someone from their school were to know what they do to themselves, they would be criticized and ostracised. Basically, they are too bothered by how society would view them, hence the development of eating disorders and the refusal to get better from these disorders.
In conclusion, media does greatly but sadly influence adolescents to strive hard to attain such unhealthy way of living. The perfect image, its unreachable and unattainable ideal standards of beauty destroys the youth. Society is comprised of image-driven wolves that devour the fickle girls and boys.

Works Cited:

Dugan, Emily. Exclusive: Eating disorders soar among teens - and social media is to blame. January 2014. Web. January 2015.
Hogan, Marjorie et al. "Body Image, Eating Disorders, and the Media". 2008. Web. January 2015.
Park, Alice. How social networks spread eating disorders. January 2011. Web. January 2015.
Rojas, Marcela. Social media helps fuel some eating disorders. June 2014. Web. January 2015.
Spettigue, Wendy, and Katherine A. Henderson. “Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media.” The Canadian child and adolescent psychiatry review 13.1 (2004): 16–19. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 03) Disorder In Media Feeds Essays Example. Retrieved May 31, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/disorder-in-media-feeds-essays-example/
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Disorder In Media Feeds Essays Example. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/disorder-in-media-feeds-essays-example/. Published Oct 03, 2020. Accessed May 31, 2023.

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