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The Psychology Of Eating Disorders Essay

1718 words - 7 pages

The Psychology of Eating Disorders

Does the saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” stand to be true? For some the answer to this question would be yes. But, to the many health aid companies who advertise in popular teen magazines, commercials, movies, and television shows the answer might be different. The companies that sell “health aide/beauty products” have made a science of understanding the most effective way to advertise and market their products. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year targeting specific age groups and races to make sure that their voice and opinions on the best way to attain those “movie star looks” are heard.
However, in my opinion, this ...view middle of the document...

All three of these eating disorders can be extremely detrimental to a young woman’s health and mental stability.
Aside from the advertsers promoting unhealthy body image, there are many other factors that contribute to young woman developing eating disorders. Psychological causes and personality traits can lead a young woman to truly believe that there is something wrong with the way she looks. Alfred Adler, a psychotherapist in the 20th century, had many theories on personality that can attribute to the reasoning behind the psychological aspect of eating disorders.
Adler stated that people strive for a superior or perfect society (Olsen, & Hergenhahn, 2011, pg. 101). Studies have shown that what is being communicated through the media can influence a person’s thoughts and opinions. With that being said, if is portrayed in the media that women should look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful and their audiences are consistently bombarded with this message then this becomes the society standard. So the message to young women is that being thin will lead to the development of a model’s or celebrity’s physical appearance or a superior “beautiful" society. The majority of ad’s that are in magazines promote beauty products, diet pills, and healthy foods. The only models in magazines are extremely thin; it is so rare to see what is considered a “plus size model” featured in magazines. What young girls don’t recognize is that most of the time the models they are seeing in magazines are airbrushed, so it is not even real. Young girls see these things being portrayed and think that it is the norm to look like that. They want to be as beautiful as the people they are seeing in the media.
Adler indicated that personality is self-created people assign meaning to their lives according to their perceptions of the world, themselves, and others (Olsen, & Hergenhahn, 2011, pg. 102). If young women perceive the world as one that has to be perfect they will strive to perfect themselves. There are certain personality traits that manifest eating disorders. One of those personality traits would be obsessive compulsive disorder. Obsessive compulsive disorder is known to be an anxiety disorder in which people have repeated thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something. Since they have a distinct perception of the world and how they want to look they won’t stop until they are satisfied.
Eating disorders originate because of fictional goals and lifestyles. Because girls have feelings of inferiority to models and celebrities they begin to feel the need to be pushed towards superiority. The very first signs of eating disorders will involve an obsessive preoccupation with food. They make changes in their lifestyles to work towards whatever goal they may have in mind. These girls are calorie conscious and will slowly remove certain foods out of their diets. In the early stages of eating disorders feelings are...

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