The media needs to advertise the reality of eating disorders.
By: Rickiyah McGrady
Eating disorders affect 8 million people in just the US. Some common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. These disorders aren't just people who under eat or starve themselves, but also people who overeat and can't control their eating habits. Some eating disorders aren't even relevant to a person's mental health; such as restrictive food intake disorder. It is when people simply don't eat enough food and don't give their bodies the nutrition they need.
Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common is the US and around the world. Anorexia is when someone doesn't eat enough and is clearly underweight due to their fear of gaining weight. They are typically very worried about their body type and image and will have constant behavior of avoiding weight gain. They are very insecure with low self esteem and can't understand the severity of their situation or weight loss. Bulimia nervosa is when someone will eat large amounts of food and then force themselves to vomit and preventing their weight gain. These people also are very worried about their body image. Binge eating disorder is when someone eats and eats with no self control then feels very ashamed, disgusted, and/or embarrassed of themselves. This disorder is the most common in the US most likely because of our body images and standards that we have. These people are usually depressed and have a high rate of attempting or committing suicide.
Without treatment up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders don't survive. Suicide is the number 2 leading cause of death of woman ages 15-24. For men it is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-34.(CDC) The main reason these women commit suicide has to do with the double standards we hold, especially towards body types. In today's world women are held to such high beauty standards it's nearly impossible to ever meet them unless you have the money to surgically change your body, or buy hundreds of dollars worth of cosmetics. You’re always too much or not enough so many girls think,”Why try anymore?”.
Eating disorders are a very big problem in the US and all around the world. We’ve put body image over everything else made it the most important characteristic for us to have. We need to teach girls and boys from a young age that there is so much more to life than to please other people and worry about keeping up with the trends. Body shaming needs to come to an end and we need to start advertising real women, not the photo-shopped, fake ones. We need to see more people in the media for their great minds and achievements rather than their great bodies that their doctors gave them.