Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Anorexia Nervosa and the media Essay Example For Students

Anorexia Nervosa and the media Essay A normal female takes a stroll down the streets of Manhattan and ends up at Times Square, probably one of the most colorful places on earth, which also has an abundant number of advertisements. As this female looks up at the pictures, she can see a Calvin Klein ad. The image portrays people who are the idols of our youth; young, thin, beautiful men and women. These young people depict the ideal body. As this female walks, she begins to notice her own physical attributes and wonders what it would take for her to look like that Calvin Klein model. Despite the fact that the greatest majority of us could never attain these physiques, many, especially young women, deeply desire to have bodies like these. And many will go to great lengths to attain their goal. This often means stringent, unhealthy diets, laxative abuse, and even forcing themselves to vomit. Although the medias portrayal of the perfect body may not be the soul source of eating disorders, they play a big part. Anorexia nervosa is a disorder of self-starvation, which manifests itself in an extreme aversion to food and can cause psychological, endocrine, and gynecological problems. It almost exclusively affects adolescent white girls, with symptoms involving a refusal to eat, large weight loss, a bizarre preoccupation with food, hyperactivity, a distorted body image and cessation of menstruation. Although the symptoms can be corrected if the patient is treated in time, about 10-15 percent of anorexia nervosa patients die, usually after losing half their normal body weight. Anorexia nervosa patients typically come from white, middle to upper-middle class families that place heavy emphasis on high achievement, perfection, eating patterns and physical appearance. (There has never been a documented case of anorexia nervosa in a black male or female.) A newly diagnosed patient often is described by her parents as a model child, usually because she is obedient, compliant, and a good student. Although most teenagers experience some feelings of youthful rebellion, persons with anorexia usually do not outwardly exhibit these feelings, tending instead to be childish in their thinking, in their need for parental approval, and in their lack of independence. Psychologists theorize that the patients desire to control her own life manifests itself in the realm of eating-the only area in the patients mind where she has the ability to direct her own life (Mental Health, Long). In striving for perfection and approval, a person with anorexia may begin to diet in order to lose just a few pounds. Dieting does not stop there. An abnormal concern with dieting is established. Nobody knows what triggers the disease, but suddenly, losing five to ten pounds is not enough.The anorectic patient becomes intent on losing weight. It is not uncommon for someone who develops the disorder to starve herself until she weighs just 60 or 70 pounds. Throughout the starvation process, she either denies being hungry or claims to feel full after eating just a few bites. Another form of anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder known as bulimia. Patients with this illness indulge in food binges, and then purge themselves through vomiting immediately after eating or through the use of laxatives or diuretics. While on the surface these patients may appear to be well adjusted socially, this serious disease is particularly hard to overcome because it usually has been a pattern of behavior for a long time. Psychological symptoms such as social withdrawal, obsessive-compulsiveness and depression often precede or accompany anorexia nervosa. The patients distorted view of herself and the world around her are the cause of these psychological disturbances (Mental Health, Long). Distortion of body image is another prevalent symptom. While most normal females can give an accurate estimate of their body weight, anorectic patients tend to perceive themselves as markedly larger than they really are. When questioned, most feel that their emaciated state (70-80 lbs.) is either just right or too fat(Mayohealth)Profound physical symptoms occur in cases of extreme starvation. These include loss of head hair, growth of fine body hair, constipation, intolerance of cold temperatures and low pulse rate. Certain endocrine functions also become impaired. In females this results in a cessation of menstruation (amenorrhea) and the absence of ovulation. Menstruation usually will not resume until endocrine balanced is restored. Ovulation is suppressed because production for certain necessary hormones decreases. Anorexia in boys has effects similar to those in girls: severe weight loss, psychosocial problems and interruption of normal reproductive system processes. Treatment fo r anorexia nervosa is usually threefold, consisting of nutritional therapy, individual psychotherapy and family counseling. A team made up of pediatricians, psychiatrists, social workers and nurses often administers treatment. Some physicians hospitalize anorexia patients until they are nutritionally stable. Others prefer to work with patients in the family setting. But no matter where therapy is started, the most urged concern of the physician is getting the patient to eat and gain weight. This is accomplished by gradually adding calories to the patients daily intake. If she is hospitalized, privileges are sometimes granted in return for weight gain. This is known as a behavior contract, and privileges may include such desirable activities as leaving the hospital for an afternoons outing. Albert Einstein Essay About Birth ControlIn the spring of 1996, plastic sandwich bags began disappearing by the hundreds from the kitchen of a sorority house at a large northeastern university. When the sororitys president investigated, she found a disturbing explanation: The bags, filled with vomit, were hidden in a basement bathroom. I was shocked, remarked the president (who later learned that the buildings pipes, eroded by gallons of stomach acid, would have to be replaced. Yet in a way it made sense. Most of her 45 housemates, she recalls, worried about weight. It was like a competition to see who could eat the least. At dinner they would say, All I had today was an apple, or I havent had anything. It was surreal (People Online, October 12, 1999). The media plays a strong role in influencing the need to lose weight. Young people are made to believe that thin is beautiful and they must be slim to be attractive. The media has the tendency to stereotype overweight people in a negative manner. Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe could not get a job, exclaimed director Joel Schumacher. Their agents would tell them, Go on a diet, get a trainer(People)In a June 3, 1996 issue of People magazine, actress Alicia Silverstone was being defended by Joel Schumacher for the mockery in the press for have gaining weight.At March 1995s Academy Awards ceremony, Silverstone, 19, the fresh-faced sensation of The Crush and Clueless, did the unthinkable: She appeared in public despite the fact that, like many of her teenage peers around the country, she had just added on 5 or 10 pounds. Was she congratulated for the self-confidence and assurance it took to be herself? Hardly. The tabloids, noting Silverstones role in the next Batman sequel, blared out l ines like Batman and Fatgirl and Look Out Batman! Here Comes Buttgirl! and Entertainment Weekly sniped that Alicia was More Babe than babe(People). Schumacher, whos directing Silverstone in the upcoming Batman and Robin, says he was startled by the meanness of the stories; The news coverage was outrageous, disgusting, judgmental, and cruel. What did this child do? Have a couple pizzas? (People Magazine, June 1996)In a word, yes. In the moral order of todays media-driven universe, in which you could bounce a quarter off the well-toned abs of any cast member of Baywatch or Friends, fashion magazines are filled with airbrushed photos of emaciated models with breast implants. And the perfectly attractive Janeane Garofalo can pass for an ugly duckling next to Beautiful Girl Uma Thurman in the hit movie The Truth About Cats and Dogs. The definition of what constitutes beauty or even an acceptable body seems to become more inaccessible every year. We are evolving toward an unnatural view of beauty. Thin women with huge breasts and stick legs, like those of 12-year-olds. What real womens bodies look like is labeled wrong and unattractive. In conclusion, I believe teenage girls are deluged by images from television, movies, and magazines; battling with an increasingly unrealistic standard of beauty, and pay a price. This says a lot about our culture. Our society worries too much about impressing everyone else with looks. It is seen everyday in movies and media, the stars that people watch and try to look like are perfect to us. People want to look like these stars and will go to any cost to become similar to that star; even if it means harming their bodies. Our society goes too far. Some people are way too harsh on other people. Instead of excepting people for who they are, people judge by looks alone. This is what causes our society to be infatuated with being skinny and having to look like that supermodel on television. Bibliography:ReferencesBody Image: What do you see in the mirror? 17 April, 1997: Internet. WWW:, Louise., Despite Image, Most Anorexics Are 45 or Older. The Medical Post, 8 October, 1996: Internet.WWW:, M.D., Phillip W., Anorexia Nervosa: American Description. 1997: Internet. WWW: (October7, 1999)Long, M.D., Phillip W. Is Anorexia Nervosa Becoming More Common? The Harvard Medical School Mental Health Letter, September 1998: Internet. WWW: (October 7, 1999)Out of Control. People Online 12 April, 1999: Internet. WWW: (October13, 1999)Researcher Says Risk Factors For Anorexia Nervosa Have Genetic Basis21 January, 1998: Internet. WWW: (October 7, 1997)Schneider, Karen S., Mission Impossible. People Magazine. 3 June. 1996What Causes Eating Disorders? Internet. WWW:

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