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Women, Media and Eating Disorders

            What is the cost of perfection, and above all, who defines what perfection is? Eating disorders are life-threatening diseases that affect a woman's physical and mental health. Women do not just catch an eating disorder for a period of time and call it a phase. Disordered eating is a destructive condition that involves significant consequences for health, emotion, and body satisfaction. By establishing unattainable standards of body perfection and beauty, mass media drives women to become dissatisfied with their bodies, resulting in disordered eating behaviors as they try to achieve these unreachable goals. Mass media, above all other factors, is the supporting influence for women to engage in disordered eating, and to maintain their devastating addiction with unhealthy ideas of body image. The obsessive interest with body weight starts at considerably young ages, with television, internet and magazine ads as the fuel for a potentially long, catastrophic path of disordered eating. Social media websites obtain a contributing factor for the development of eating disorders in women in their teenage and adult years. .
             Many variations of mass media are directly related to body dissatisfaction and self- esteem issues, which is the most prominent element for women to acquire diseases like anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. In western countries where thinness is emphasized as an important social value through forms of media, numerous women are suffering from self-esteem issues and eating disorders. Mass media exposes unattainable, unrealistic images to women, making it nearly impossible for them to escape from the messages conveyed about the thin body ideal. The impractical exploitation of women is most prevalent in advertising. Almost all of the images presented through mass media are designed by graphic artists, changing the way a woman naturally looks, which are constructed to stimulate desire.

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