In our society, women are constantly told and shown what the "perfect body" is. They are shown on television, in magazines, and from celebrities who are size 0 or even less than. The media shows skinny women as healthy; it tends to put pressure on someone, who may already have a low self-esteem, to lose weight and attain that "perfect body." .
Anorexia is a very serious eating disorder. It can affect women and men of all ages, but it is most common in young women and adolescent girls. Anorexia is not a new problem, but with the media's depiction of how women should look, the number of women with it is increasing. This disease has three key features. A refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and also a distorted body image are the features that someone with anorexia possesses (Smith & Segal, 2014). .
The media puts great emphasis on the idea that thinness is beautiful. The majority of runway models would be considered anorexic according to the Body Mass Index criteria. Twenty years ago, models weighed about 8% less than the average woman. Today, the average model weighs an alarming 23% less than the average woman. According to C.Y. Johnson, "the average U.S. model weighs about 117 pounds and is 5'11, while the average U.S. woman weighs about 140 pounds and is 5'4 (Johnson, n.d.). It is easy to see why this could cause such a health risk for young girls. .
The front covers of magazines like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Vogue usually have photos of celebrities or athletes with the "perfect body." Most people accept that in many cases airbrushing has been done to make them look enhanced, but for someone who does not understand and accept this, these enhanced photos can lead to trouble. Someone can start out wanting to lose a few pounds to look like a certain celebrity, and then in a matter of no time, it can turn into an obsession with thinness; it won't matter to the young girls how they attain that goal.