Social Media and Eating Disorders
In today’s day and age, Americans spend over sixty billion dollars getting rid of their extra fat and skin. Magazines advertising new fad diets and “WAYS TO LOOSE TEN POUNDS IN 10 DAYS” are essential at any store and even in any home. Just look around, whether it is on the television, online, or in the pages of a book, the “ideal” figure is slammed into the average American woman’s face. “We are constantly bombarded with TV commercials and infomercials, Internet spam and banners, radio and print media advertisements –all peddling ways to help us tighten and trim” (Shell). The media promotes eating disorders and unrealistic body expectations for women by glorifying eating disorders, purposely placing extremely thin figures throughout society and giving society a “fat doesn’t sell” mindset through television shows, magazines, and books. There is no doubt that eating disorders are on the rise. According to the results of a new survey by SELF Magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “65% of women from the ages of 25 and 45 reported having disordered eating habits” (Bulik). But, some believe the media doesn’t have anything to do with women wanting to shed a few pounds, no matter how harmful the weight loss method is. No matter where you look, the media is glorifying eating disorders. In books eating disorders are romanticized and accepted, in magazines binge dieting is all the craze, and even on TV characters are shown having eating disorders without any negative consequences. Even in Barbie dolls, anorexia nervosa is a big thumbs up. In a 1965 Slumber Party Barbie, Barbie came with a scale permanently set to 110 pounds and a booklet titled, “How to Lose Weight” (De Lacy). When you open the booklet, the only thing written in it is, “Don’t Eat” (De Lacy). The scale was removed one year later after a lawsuit was filed, but the booklet was still sold with the Slumber Party Barbie for four more...
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