From an early age women are bombarded with the concept of ‘thin is beautiful’, this is portrayed through size 0 actresses, with alarmingly small frames with their ribs and collarbones painfully poking out of their skin.
In the modelling industry being a size 10 is considered to be ‘plus-size’, even though the average woman in Australia weighs 70kgs, which would roughly be a size 16.
Vogue Magazine stated that the reason they chose Gisele Bündchen as their ‘Model of the Year’ due, in part, was the fact that she retained her ‘stick-thin’ image. In fact, Gisele weighs only 115 lbs. and is 5’11 – 25% below her ideal weight.
Media is part to blame for adolescent eating disorders as they portray unrealistic ideas of what a beautiful woman should look like. Adolescents are highly influenced by celebrities, therefore putting immense pressure on young girls to live up to the expectations of society.
Although, there are a number of factors that could influence adolescent body image disorders including; genetic vulnerabilities, psychological factors and socio-cultural influences. The media should take this in to consideration when using models on the brink of starvation, and actresses that look like they’re in desperate need of a cheeseburger. I believe they are heading in the right direction with campaigns including the Butterfly Foundation Awareness Campaigns which raise funds as well as generate an understanding of negative body image and eating disorders, and NOW Foundations ‘Love Yourself’ Campaign which empowers women to spread the word about the hazards of the media’s narrow beauty ideals.