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An Opinion That the Media Contributes to the Problem of Eating Disorders

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Scrolling on Instagram, I accidently ran into an account of a girl with lots of pictures of her super extremely skinny body, which made me think that I could see her ribs through her pale skin. But what made me shock was, many teenagers seemed to be admired of her body and say that they were jealous and loved it. The skinny girl wrote on her Instagram that she has eating disorder, but she is in love with what she has and she does not want to gain any weight. For most people, they only think eating disorder is not a type of illness, but just a trendy style which people are chasing for in order to get a ‘perfect body. They also think that the society does not need time to deal with it because there is only few cases that show the dangers of it, especially when you are in America, people will automatically think that it is easier for you to be overweight than underweight. No. It is something worth dealing with.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), 47 percent of girls from 5th to 12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures. Moreover, it also states that 81 percent of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. What is even scarier is that, the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females from 15 to 24 years old. What people do not understand is eating disorder basically is a mental illness. It cannot be cured by simply telling the person to “eat more.” When people are having this illness, they are having both mental and physical problems. They do not think that they need food to live. They do not care for the fact that they can be passed out at anytime and anywhere. All they do care about is how ugly and fat they are when looking in the mirror.

Instead of helping those people who are torturing from eating disorder, social media just makes it worse by keeping promoting the slim and skinny body images via magazines, movies, internet; Kate Moss posted a quote on her Tumblr, and it said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Or American Eagle who say that they are fighting back with skinny models, but obviously we have never seen any big sized models from their commercials. And the hugest climax of this was when Victoria Secret, the America’s largest lingerie retailer, had to remove the phrase “The Perfect Body” from its new bra campaign after facing backlash for advertisements that critics said promoted negative female body images. The phrase “The Perfect Body” with images of slim lingerie models suggested that there is only one ideal body type and if you want to be perfect, you have to look skinny like their models. These three out of millions examples have caused many negative consequences to us, especially for children and teenagers.

Tons of girl teenagers feel ashamed of their bodies and tried to be skinny by many unhealthy ways, such as skipping meals, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives. I have no idea when the skinny starving creature image was considered to be sexy in this society. For me, being skinny is totally not sexy. It just looks scary and feels like you can be blew up anytime by a small wind. I think people should try and eat healthy food such as fruits and vegetables while being physically active, but they should still eat without fear of being judged for being bigger than a toothpick, and having a dessert now and then.

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