There are many factors that contributes to a poor body image. Because images of ridiculously thin and perfect-looking women are all over the media, it’s no wonder that the percentage of illnesses like anorexia, bulimia, depression etc are increasing. We live in a media-saturated world where our decisions and point of view are highly influenced by what we see in the media. According to anad.org, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, and up to 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.
Many celebrities also battle with eating disorders due to the high demands from the media. One good example would be singer/actress Demi Lovato. CNN has dubbed Lovato as “warrior for mental wellness” for winning her battle against depression, bipolar disorder, anorexia, bulimia and problems with drug addiction. Demi has since recovered from her illnesses and launched the “Love Is Louder Than The Pressure To Be Perfect” campaign, helped thousands of fans around the world battling with eating disorders, and even started “The Lovato Treatment Scholarship” program to help pay for treatment expenses at Cast Recovery for anyone who needs help. Demi has been speaking out to young girls everywhere who struggle with their image. “I want girls to know that it’s okay when they grow up and their body changes. I want them to be aware that certain things they might do to lose weight can be dangerous — life-threatening, even.”
Eating disorders and other body dissatisfaction doesn’t happen just by a single cause, but unfortunately, research has proven that the media does contribute a lot and the pressure exerted by magazines, television and social media highly increases disordered eating.
1. ANAD. (2015). Eating Disorders Statistics – National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Available at: http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/. [Last Accessed: 19th June 2015]
2. CNN. (2015). Mental Wellness Warriors: Fighting for the mentally ill. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/16/health/mental-wellness-warriors-fighting-for-those-who-need-it-most/. [Last Accessed: 19th June 2015]
3. NEDA – Feeding Hope. (2011). Media, Body Image and Eating Disorders. Available at: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/media-body-image-and-eating-disorders. [Last Accessed: 19th June 2015]