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Media damaging our perception of a healthy body image

Zoe Thomas, BHS Journalism

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People often compare themselves to actors and models on magazine covers, on TV shows, on billboards. Most of these people have what we think of as an “ideal body.” These models, actors, and actresses are often more petite and thinner than the average person. Therefore we set unrealistic and unsafe standards for our weight that often lead to eating disorders such as Anorexia or Bulimia.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association or NEDA over 80 percent of Americans watch television daily. This means that everyday 80 percent of us are being exposed to this unhealthy lifestyle. Our society has put such a high standard on weight that when people have eating disorders we don’t notice because being at that weight has become the norm.

A real life example of this is when actress Lily Collins played an anorexic in a movie called To The Bone, which highlights the reality of an eating disorder. However, when she was preparing for this role she had to lose weight to make it look like she was anorexic. During this time she would get compliments about how good she looked and people asked what she was doing to look good.

The way Hollywood and the media project body image needs to change. There needs to be more people cast that have an average weight. If we are only exposed to one body type, then how will we ever be okay with the way we look? When someone is cast, it should not be about how they look, but about how good they are at acting.

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Media damaging our perception of a healthy body image