Eating disorders are an issue that iseffecting individuals all over the world and can affect people that range fromyoung children to adults. In today’s western society, several young childrenand adults are impacted by eating disorders. The issue of eating disorders,which has the ability to change, isn’t given enough importance and seriousnesswithin our generation and society today. Eating disorders are a type of illnessthat leads to irregular eating patterns due to the fact that an individual isoverly concerned about their weight and appearance.
The different types ofeating disorders include, anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating. Anorexianervosa is when an individual has a fear of gaining too much weight and doesn’tmaintain a healthy body weight according to their age, sex and physical health.Their belief that they are overweight leads to them not eating a great deal offood. They also do not realize the issues that their low body weight can cause.Bulimia nervosa is when an individual consumes an abnormally large amount offood in a limited time period.
When consuming the food, they feel like theydon’t have control over how much they are eating and what they’re doing. To beable to avoid gaining weight these individuals tend to vomit, use laxatives, oruse medications to help control their weight. Binge-eating disorderis again consuming an abnormally large amount of food over a small period and feelingout of control while doing so. This can mean that the individual eats fasterthan a regular person, continues eating more even after feeling full and eventhough they are not hungry, they still eat a wholesome of food and so on. There are several different factorsthat can lead to an individual feeling this way and feeling like they mustresort to eating less or eating more. One factor that might not be controllableis that an eating disorder can be heritable.
This means that an individual canget an eating disorder through a genetic component. Furthermore, in module twowe discussed the sociocultural impacts on eating disorders and societalpressures that women face. It acknowledges that there has been a trend wherebeing thinner is a more ideal look than any other. I leant that these disordersare multidetermined implying that there’s not just one factor that can cause adisorder it can be multiple things like family, culture, society, and possiblywestern culture. Western culture is a generalized term describing the socialnorms beliefs, customs, and values that was originated from western countriesthat people pursue.
Firstly,what we see in the media and how it portrays eating disorders is a big issueand can negatively impact anyone with an eating disorder. All throughout socialmedia we see people assuming eating disorders can just be resolved and individualscan start eating normally and get better. The seriousness of this is obliviousto people and it can lead to a negative impact on someone’s life. It is not anindividual’s choice whether they can get rid of the disorder they have or not.People don’t realize there are many aspects of these disorders and it is morean emotional concern rather than physical. The negative comments will makethese people seem really uneducated about the disorder because to someone withanorexia they will be told to just ‘eat something’.
Someone with bulimia orbinge eating will be told to just exercise instead of throwing up. It makes theindividual with the disorder seem like it’s not important or doesn’t matter.These people have this image sit in mind and regardless of what people anyonesays they will continue to eat less or more. I read somewhere online that ifsomeone says that their eating disorder is a choice then it’s similar to if an individualwho is an addict says they can stop whenever they want.Secondly,we see all over social media images that are shown of what an ideal male orfemale should look like and if they don’t people will bash them for theirdifferences. An eating disorder will cause people to be so obsessed with how theylook and what they eat and, when they go online and see that they don’t lookthe way models or social media personalities do it makes them even moreself-conscious. An example that supports this is the print advertisement I usedby Victoria’s secret.
These images were posted all over social media and attheir stores for everyone to see. The ad showed images of models that are talland thin with a slogan saying the perfect body. People look at this and thinkthat if that’s not how they look then there not pretty enough or perfect.
Majorityof the time the image these people are looking at are not realistic and can bealtered to show people something else. Those models probably have had to gothrough a couple hours of getting ready, doing their makeup and hair, and manymore other requirements to do the photoshoot. Social media doesn’t always haveto be used in negative way either. There are many celebrities now and days thatadvocate self-love and acceptance.
Let’s take Demi Lovato as an example, she isa well know singer who has an eating disorder and has helped many peopleunderstand what it is and how someone can get help. In my opinion, we can also see how being thincan be an image of being successful. Magazines and other social media sitesshow an image of a successful individual and its unrealistic and can lead topeople wanting to be like them. People that are more prone to disorders can getnegatively impacted because it causes them to starve themselves or eat too muchwhich is very serious. Being an athlete,dancer, model, or doing gymnastics can lead to really serious issues due to thepressure they face to look and be a certain way. We learnt in class about astudy where dancers from a school that gave more importance to danceweighed way less compared to schools that didn`t give as much importance. Theyalso weighed less than an average individual their age should.
This proves theidea that if people are thinking and trying to be thinner, it can lead to themhaving a serious disorder. These students are told that if they aren’t acertain weight they won’t be able to succeed in their career. Even famous singers like Demi Lovato and LadyGaga have felt the pressure of looking a certain way and having a particularbody image in mind. Lady Gaga has mentioned that she struggled with anorexiaand bulimia from the age of 15. Demi Lovato has been in the soot light sinceshe was a child and basically grew up with everyone watching her and givingtheir opinions. She has mentioned that she started binge eating and throwing upwhen she was around 9 years old. Lovato talks about her family’s history withdisorders but also the fact that she was bullied at school as well.
Lovatoreleased a documentary in 2017 talking about her disorder and depression andwhat she went through to overcome it. This document showed how she forcedherself to look certain way because of what society thought she should looklike. This document to me was so powerful in the sense that it helped peoplewith an eating disorder, depression and bipolar disorder realize that it’s notthe end of the world and that there’s more to this than what they think. Shetalks about what she does to help her so she doesn’t go back to how she wasshowing people that there are more options. People can have a negative impacton an individual but there are some that can help them in a positive way toovercome these problems. Inconclusion, we see how there are many ways that social media can impact peopleon how they see themselves wither its positive or negative. Society has built into minds that beingthinner is an effective body image.
However, some fail to recognize that thiscan lead to serious health issues, as they are told that if they are notpresented in certain way in the public they won’t be able to succeed in theircareer. We also see how this platform can be used in a positive way to helpothers understand what they are dealing with, when they need to get help, andthat they are not alone while going through this. I personally have had my dayswhere I have looked at someone online and wished that I had that body.Especially when I go on Instagram and see these Instagram models and see howsuccessful they got because of how they looked and it just makes me upset. Ihave also had times where my own family members who have told me I had neededto lose weight to look pretty. I have let these thoughts get to me on manyoccasions but I have amazing parents and sisters that have loved me as me andhelp me realized that I am perfect just the way I am.