Essay by tinyriceCollege, Undergraduate October 2003

download word file, 1 pages 4.7

An eating disorder is a way of using food to work out emotional problems. These illnesses develop because of emotional and/or psychological problems. Eating disorders are the way some people deal with stress. In today's media and society, teenagers are pressured into thinking that being thin is the same thing as being happy and beautiful. The two most common eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is a disease in which women become very self-conscious about their weight and have an intense fear of becoming fat. They go to such extremes as starving themselves in order to keep thin, and some use additional methods such as vomiting, taking excessive amounts of laxatives, or exercising profusely. Bulimia nervosa on the other hand is an eating disorder in which the patient eats large amounts of food in a short period of time, also known as binge eating. Another symptom of bulimia is ridding oneself of food through vomiting, using laxatives, or over-exercising, commonly known as purging.

What makes a young woman associate thinness with beauty? Many are now beginning to believe that the media has much to do with how women view themselves. Young women see thin models and actresses in magazines, advertisements, and television shows. The media have portrayed the successful and beautiful protagonists as thin. They have promoted the image of thinness through popular programming. Thinness has thus become associated with self control and success. Online statistics show that the average American woman's body weight has increased over the past thirty years, yet the models that represent American women have become increasingly thinner. The media's portrayal of happy, successful women being extremely thin makes a huge impact on women's perception of beauty. When girls begin to compare themselves to the famous and thin women they see...