media in relation to eating disorder

Bryan and I are two senior students who are doing a research project on eating disorders (ex: causes and effects of eating disorders). Over the last few days, we have been interviewing a number of professionals in this field, such as EDRC, NEDA, Private practice therapists. I would like to share some of the things we found that really interest us. We know that media plays a role in the contribution of eating disorders, but we wanted to see just how powerful media are. Over the last few days, we were told this one experiment done in Fiji. Before the experiment, there was no television in Fiji, and there were almost no eating disorder patients there. However after implanting televisions, the results were shocking: as the number of televisions increases, the number of eating disorder patients also increased. This experiment stuck out to us because it really shows the effect media (in this case television) have on society. Media distort people's views of beauty by setting the norm. All the models we see on magazine covers and advertisements look so perfect and thin that it makes us want to achieve that "perfect look" and that "perfect body". In reality, we know that the models on magazine covers are obviously photo-shopped and airbrushed. Although people know that the images are created using technology, people don't consciously think about that when they see an image of a model. I feel that the important thing here is just to be satisfied with yourself. There will always be new things (ex: new ideas of beauty that media promote) to strive for, but it really comes down to what you feel is beautiful. To me, some of the most beautiful things aren't being thin or being pretty. To me, things like confidence, high self-esteem, self respect, confidence, intelligence, determination, perseverance, self approval are the most beautiful things in the world.
ShanelDaudy's picture

Thanks so much for sharing! I've read about that experiment actually, and it interested me too! It's very astonishing to see the true effect that the media can have on people. I agree very much that real beauty isn't based on being thin or pretty, it's based on confidence, self-esteem...etc. People really need to realize the importance of that.

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