Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog #7-Eating Disorders

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, eating disorders "such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder -- include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males." Many who suffer from eating disorders were influenced by images in the media. These images portray beauty as being very thin, and this creates pressure on eating disorders victims. I agree that the media can have a negative influence on eating disorder victims, but for me personally, I am more influenced by those around me. Any negative thought I have ever had about my body stemmed from being surrounded by my very thin and tan friends. I don't look at a model in a magazine and pine over her "perfect" body because I'm not so ignorant to think that her body is real. Being an advertising major I am aware of the wonders of Photoshop. I think the reason so many people are affected by images in the media is because they cannot grasp the concept that what they are looking at is not 100% real, it is an enhanced version. Advertisers will continue to enhance these images because it is obviously working if these magazines continue to sell. Is the enhancement of models in magazines misleading? Absolutely yes. Can advertisers and the media be the sole reason for all the insecurities concerning body image? No, because like I just said, advertisers would not be so successful in these endeavors if consumers did not buy the magazines and watch the movies, therefore, encouraging advertisers to continue doing their job. For those who are not so knowledgeable of the media's misleading portrayal of beauty, it has had life-threatening consequences. There are many celebrities who have struggled with eating disorders, and their struggles were displayed all over the media for people to witness.

The first example is Nicole Richie who shocked many people with her frail frame when pictures of her running around on a beach were released. She addressed the fact that she looked too thin in the pictures, but denied actually having an eating disorder. This goes to show that many victims of eating disorders are in denial and need help from loved ones to persuade them to get help.

Calista Flockhart is the second example of someone who struggled with anorexia. For years she denied having an eating disorder, but she eventually admitted that the ending of her show caused her a lot stress which led to under eating and over exercising.

Mary-Kate Olsen is another example of a celebrity who struggled with anorexia. She eventually entered rehab, but has not gained a significant amount of weight yet.

Victoria Beckham is yet another example of a celebrity who struggled with anorexia but denied even having an eating disorder for awhile. She eventually admitted that she became "obsessed" with her appearance and was anorexic as a result.

The final example is Lindsay Lohan. who like so many other celebrities denied having an eating disorder. She eventually came clean about having a problem and sought medical attention. But she continues to struggle with her weight and drug abuse.


1 comment:

  1. I somewhat agree that advertisers can't be solely to blame for the reduced body image of women in society due to photoshopped images.. but I have to disagree that they don't have a major effect on this issue. Advertisers continue to photoshop women in all of their photos and continue to ignore the fact that their images do hurt women. Sure people buy the magazines they produce, but the magazines they sell usually all say ways to "enhance women with makeup tips, body tips, weight loss tips." (Specifically women's magazines). If all women hear throughout the magazine is ways the women can enhance themselves in every aspect of their life plus the fact that they don't look remotely like anyone displayed in the magazine, it has to be extremely damaging to the body image of women.
    The whole cycle looks like this: Magazines play off the insecurities of women to get them to buy the magazine. Inside the magazine it promotes more insecurities through their models that make women's bodies feel inadequate, which is another insecurity. Finally the insecure feelings instilled and maintained by magazines keep the vicious cycle of negative body image alive and women continue to buy more magazines.
    So I think the magazines play off of insecurities and are more to blame for the negative body image of women.