The media can be one factor in developing eating disorders

Do Photos of Thin Models Really Cause Eating Disorders? Healthline, April 14, 2015.

modelA thoughtful and thorough article about the connection between eating disorders and media immersion. The idea here is that young females especially, but also males, who watch much media – and the average now is at least four hours a day – are constantly being presented with images of female and male beauty that glamorizes slimness. This repetitious act of viewing such thin and beautiful humans becomes embedded in our psyches so that the viewer sees thinness as an ideal, one toward which she or he strives.

As the article points out with some individual cases of females suffering from eating disorders, the situation is multi-factorial, a point I make over and over in my many articles and posts as well as my book. Family issues, an underlying sense of inferiority and perfectionism, as well as trauma, anxiety and depression can potentiate the young person to develop a compulsion to seek thinness in a way that can be pathological and can constitute a case of anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

The central point, then, is that certain young persons are more likely than others to develop a true eating disorder, and that this vulnerability is rooted in other factors in their lives than simply watching too much media. But the media becomes a factor in incessantly and subliminally certain ideal images of beauty that intimate the need to cherish thinness, even skinniness, at any cost.