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Anorexia & the Role of Media, Why Anorexia Cases Increasing Daily? (Essay Sample)


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ANOREXIA: Role of Media
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Anorexia: The Role of Media
Media plays a very important role in our day to day lives. Whether negative or positive, the impact is felt far and wide because millions of people have access to the media worldwide. Direct impact also depends on the recipient since all humans do not respond to the message in the same way. The media has been reported to influence how we behave and maintain the size of our bodies. Women are the most affected persons since they are more concerned with appearance than men. As a result, many people suffer from eating disorders which include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
Anorexia or Anorexia nervosa as it is popularly known is a serious eating disorder depicted by self starvation and excessive weight loss which can result in death. Affected persons take inadequate food; have intense fear of weight gain and low self esteem. According to Butterfly (2015), a foundation for eating disorders, a person with Anorexia has not made a ‘lifestyle choice’ they are actually unwell and need help. The foundation postulates that anorexia is actually caused by predisposition and a combination of environmental, social and cultural factors. They also agree with earlier studies which show that more women suffer from anorexia than men. There has been a rise in incidence of anorexia in young women 15-19 in each decade since 1930 (Hoek, Van Hoeken, 2003). Shelly and Ward (2008) says that body dissatisfaction has reached normative levels among American girls and young women. These perceptions develop relatively early, emerging among children and appear to exist across diverse levels of body size and race (Dohnt and Tiggermann, 2006).
Anorexia cases are increasing daily as individuals access the media. Repeated exposure to media content leads viewers to accept media portrayals as representations of reality (Shelly and Ward, 2008). Presentation of women in the media is so skewed adopting this reality may lead to decreased satisfaction with one’s body (Levine & Harrison, 2004). Persons are exposed to powerful and continuous reinforcing mechanisms through exposure to consistent, reiterative and persuasive thin-ideal images (Blaine & McElroy, 2002). Some parents often complain about the kind of media material which their children like viewing or reading. According to Junor (2011) parents frequently told journalists of their distress at finding a cache or hoard of press or magazine articles about eating disorders which their child was using for inspiration.
Many people who view the thin images in the media end up suffering from low self esteem. Exposure to unattainable beauty in both women and men generally favors dissatisfaction with their bodies ( Ruth, 2010). Pinhas (1999) says self-image of subjects was devalued negatively when they compared self-image with pre-selected images of thin image in magazines. According to Joshi, Herman & Polivy (2004) these pictures serve as inspiration and enhancer to food restriction. Constant exposure has also resulted in idealization of stereotypes. Comparison or exposure to beauty standards may have an immediate negative impact on body satisfaction and self-esteem (Stormer &Thompson, 1996). Girls who are pressured by the media to be...
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