Unattainable Ideal Body Image


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unattainable ideal body image Change Of Climate

A vast amount of research has been done on the subject of eating disorders and their causes. Many eating disorders have been proven to emerge during adolescence and often serve as the foundations to more serious problems like anorexia and bulimia. This essay will explore the development of eating disorders in adolescent girls. It will show that these disorders are closely connected to the biological and psychosocial changes that occur during the adolescent period.

    Many teen girls suffer with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder in which girls use starvation diets to try to lose weight. They starve themselves down to skeletal thinness yet still think that they are overweight. Bulimia, meanwhile, is a disorder in which young women binge on food and then force themselves to vomit. They also often use laxatives to get food out of their system. All of these young women who suffer from this problem are considered to suffer from a psychiatric disorder. While the causes are debatable, one thing that is clear is that these young women have a distorted body image. (Wolf, pp.214-216)

    What is extremely alarming is that the current thin ideal for women in Western society, which is unattainable for all but a very small percentage of the population, is compounding this problem. It is a very serious issue when someone's body shape is determined by genetic disposition and yet they try to alter it to fit some kind of imaginary ideal of how a person should look.

    Thus, one of the most serious problems is that female nature is not what society says it should be. Some researchers theorize that anorexia is a young woman's way of canceling puberty. Since they lack body fat, anorexics don't get their periods and often lose their sexual characteristics such as public hair. They remain, in other words, little girls. There is also the complex issue of women feeling that by having an eating disorder they are finally in control of something in their life. This may sound strange, but much research has shown that women who have been abused or neglected in their childhoods develop these problems of control. (Attie and Brooks-Gun, pp.70-71).

    Studies suggest that eating disorders often begin in early to mid-adolescence. They are directly connected to pubertal maturation and the increases in body fat that occurs during this phase. These biological changes are associated with increased dieting and unhealthy behaviours in early adolescence. This problem is aggravated by various problems, including negative body image, which has a close association with weight, perfectionism and depression. Family and socialization also play significant roles. It has been found, for instance, that mothers with girls with eating disorders are often critical of their daughters' weight and physical appearance. Families with adolescents who have eating disorders are also often characterized by enmeshment, overprotectiveness, rigidity and lack of conflict resolution. This is connected to the "control" issue mentioned previously. Interestingly enough, girls who are more involved in mixed-sex social activities and dating boys are also more likely to exhibit disordered eating tendencies. (Attie and Brooks-Gun, pp.70-71).

    Thus, eating disorders must be studied in the context of what certain individuals face during their developmental stage, or what they may have suffered in childhood. In general, a combination of the pubertal phase of the female body, the loosening of the individual's ties to parents, and the development of a stable and cohesive personality structure play profound roles in this process. Psychologists Ilana Attie and J. Brooks-Gun have done some work on this issue. They considered eating disorders within the so-called "developmental" perspective, which examines the emergence of eating disorders in adolescent girls as a function of pubertal growth, body image, personality development, and family relationships. The two psychologists examined 193 white females and their mothers during the former's middle-schooled years (13.93 years) and then two years later. They set out to see how much the development of eating problems represented a mode of accommodation to pubertal change. Taking a "developmental" approach, the authors studied the impact of the pubertal transition relative to other aspects of the female adolescent experience. (Attie and Brooks-Gun).

    These researchers emphasized one very significant fact: that as girls mature sexually, they accumulate large ... more

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the road to beauty is a long and thin one

The definition of beauty as found in "Websters New World Dictionary" is, "Beauty- 1. the quality of being pleasing, as in form, color, etc. 2.a thing with this quality. 3. good looks. 4. a very attractive person, feautre, etc." The concepts of beauty were first described by the anicient greeks. The classical values pushed order and serenity. Greek philosphers Plato and Socrates were attempting to define beauty. They thought of  objects or nature as being inherently beautiful: beauty is inside the object, "The beauty within an object is it's pure and ideal beauty". In our present time beauty no longer resides inside. It in completely outlying. The road to become beauty is a long, hard and most importantly thin road. Being thin is the biggest emphasis on people today. In earlier times thin was not that in. Fuller figured women were the ideal picture of gorgeous. Now you have to be a twig to be comsidered beautiful.
Society keeps pushing the emphasis on being thin. Through magazines, ads to lose weight, hundreds of diets and phone numbers to aide in this fight against fat. They are being nothing but deleterious. Also in the magazines the skinny models who are the picture of perfect in their glamorous clothes and makeup. The tall thin legs and high cheek bones. Television is also a major contributer to this obsession people have today with losing weight. Turn on the television and what is seen? Youthful boney models and actors running around in barely anything to sell a can of soup. A Jenny Craig commercial to remind  poeple of what a minority they are and how they must strive and pay her money so they can be perfect just like everyone else. Even driving, wheter it be to work or a trip to the mall. Giant bilboards are a constant reminder of whats beautiful and whats not.  It's a sick obsession and is taken way too seriously. To the point of death even. People feeling corpulent and are dying to be thin, literally.
It all beings with youth. Adolesence is the most vulnerable point in anyones life. This is where it all starts. Being a teenager is not easy and there are many pressures that they face daily. The feeling of being anomalous.Eating disorders can be very much about control, so if they feel like everything around them is out of control, they may develop one to gain a sense of control. It is important for families to raise the teenager to be proud of who they are and not place any importance on their appearance. Fellow students at school are also part of the prolbem. One child has a  faster motabolism than another. One is comstantly reminded how much lower than he or she is just because they aren't as thin as some one else. Teens need to be able to express all types of emotions. They should be encouraged to do their best, but they should not be expected to be perfect. They need to be encouraged to be themselves and to be proud of who they are, so that they will not give into the pressures from their peers to try and fit in. If they are happy with themselves and love who they are, they will be less likely to try and attain society's unattainable "ideal" body image, because they will accept their bodies just the way they are. For men, they want to be the big muscled, winsome male that is persued in just about every commercial. Women wany the skinny model look. The truth of the matter is a mojority of people will never be what the ideal image of beauty is. They are not a monirity as they are led to believe. All the talk, advertisments and televisions repitition of this matter lead people to feel beneath others, it gives them a low self esteem and leaves them vulnerable. When this happens, eating disorders develop. People think that eating disorders are bizare and out of the ordianry in actuality there quite common.
What by definition is an eating disorder? An eating disorder is defined as eating for the wrong reason. Not  because ... more

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