In the last post I talked about why I, personally, have a problem with media’s portrayal of beauty. Now I would like to talk about some of the negative effects that portrayal has on women. According to The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, 60% of women in the United States rate their body weight too high. Perhaps these women are a tad bit overweight and only speak the truth. However, it is also possible that these women are being too hard on themselves. Technically, I would consider myself a little overweight, but according to my Body Mass Index, I am healthy. This difference has to do with the way you see your body.
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are both serious conditions that relate to a distorted body image. Anorexia Nervosa is “an eating disorder in which people have an intense fear of gaining weight and can become dangerously thin” (WebMD.com). Bulimia Nervosa, on the other hand, is an “eating disorder that involves binging on food, followed by purging” (WebMD.com). 3-10% of females ages 15-29 could be anorexic or bulimic (Serdar). Both of these conditions have to do with the person trying to take back some control. Think about it, if you can’t achieve the body that you are constantly bombarded with through images in the media, you do feel somewhat out of control. “Eating disorders are a product of increasing pressures for women in our society to achieve an ultra-slender body” (Stice and Shaw). There are also other harmful effects to being exposed to a “thin-ideal.” According to Stice and Shaw, depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity, and body dissatisfaction also result, which I would venture to say we have all experienced.
Many of the models shown on television, advertisements, and other forms of popular media are approximately 20% below the ideal body weight, meeting the criteria for anorexia nervosa (Serdar). We will discuss this more in detail in the next post and also relate that to young girls.
“The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report.” Http://www.clubofamsterdam.com/contentarticles/52%20Beauty/dove_white_paper_final.pdf. Dove, Sept. 2004. Web. Nov. 2013.
Serdar, Kasey L. “Female Body Image and the Mass Media: Perspectives on How Women Internalize the Ideal Beauty Standard.” Westminster College: A Private Comprehensive Liberal Arts College in Salt Lake City, UT, Offering Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees in Liberal Arts and Professional Programs, including Business, Nursing, Education and Communication. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.
Stice, Eric, and Heather E. Shaw. “Adverse Effects of the Media Portrayed Thin-Ideal on Women and Linkages To Bulimic Symptomatology.” Guliford Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 2013.
“WebMD – Better Information. Better Health.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.