While eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia and obesity are consequences of many
factors; the media are ranked among the significant accelerators of these conditions. Research reveals that adolescents spend 6-7 hours a day consuming information from various media. For this reason, society has allowed it to influence trends, beliefs
and beauty standards. This paper will discuss how the media contributes to negative body
image and eating disorders.
The mass media are used to present idealized body shapes and attributes that define
beauty and attractiveness in the fashion industry. The fashion industry has established the thin framed woman as the most attractive, bomber adolescents with images of thin-framed models in ads and magazines. More so, to enter the industry, one must have specific body features which not only kill the ambition for the young women pursuing modelling careers but also make them desire to attain a particular the body frame. Uninformed, they acquire dangerous eating habits in an attempt to lose weight and fit the standards.
The media including TV’s and magazines are misused by advertising agents to
vigorously promote diet pills among other weight-loss drugs without proper instructions and
information on the side effects. Advertising is a powerful tool that triggers the viewer’s desire for a product. Considering that adolescents do not have a developed cognition as an adult, they fall victim to false advertising leading to misuse of such drugs and consequently adverse health effects.
Furthermore, celebrities in pop culture use the social media platforms to impact a
mentality of superficial beauty not attainable by an average person. They often undergo
expensive cosmetic surgery procedures to perfect their bodies and continuously flaunt them
on social media. Since adolescents adore the stars, they get brainwashed to perceive specific beauty attributes causing them psychological issues like self-hate, and low self-esteem which may trigger bad eating behaviours like beige eating and or anorexia.
While the mass media is integral to connect societies, it has contributed to negative
cultures like bad eating habits. Teenagers are developing and not yet reached full cognition
ability which sees them get easily influenced by the media. In an attempt to entertain, media
advocate for unattainable beauty standards through models, celebrities and advertisements
that provoke teenage girls to proactively change their body image, rise feelings of self-hate
and psychological conditions. Media personalities and institutions ought to utilize it to help
teenagers embrace their unique beauty by breaking the set standards.