Eating Disorders and Media

Media and Skinny

These days, it seems as though not only during the summer months, but year-round, the
newsstands are displaying magazines of which almost every issue has a thin, beautifully
airbrushed swimsuit model on its cover. Your television is showing more and more unhealthily
thin actresses. Bones are jutting out and implants are taking the place of real breasts. Most of
these supermodels and actresses are so unnaturally thin that they risk infertility, osteoporosis
and, ultimately, kidney damage.
This obsession with thinness seems to be a sort of domino effect. One actress looses
weight to please the media; next all her co-stars are losing weight to keep up. Actress Courtney
Thorne-Smith (size 4) has said that if she had not been on the TV show Ally
McBeal, she'd have been 5 pounds heavier--but couldn't risk it for fear she'd have looked 'big'
next to her size 2 co-stars. "I would run eight miles, go to lunch and order my salad dressing on
the side. I was always tired and hungry." says Courtney. Meanwhile, her famously thin co-star at
the time, Calista Flockhart, preached the benifits of spinning (vigorous workouts on stationary
bikes). "At first it hurts your butt, but you become addicted to it like a maniac." says Calista,
who, incidentally, is size 2, 5'6", and 100lbs.
Does anyone ever think about how the overload of these images in the media affects the average
woman? Well, for most women it doesn't exactly have a positive effect. In fact, the idea of the
media's "ideal" woman often makes "normal" woman self-conscious -- even if they have nothing
to be self-conscious about.
Judging from what I've seen at the beach, not many men feel the same way. This bad self-
image and shyness that many women feel, in most cases, can be directly linked to what they see
in fashion magazines, on the runway, and in other forms of the media.
What most women and men don't realize is that every image of a model or actress in a...