February 2015

“In our media saturated culture, it is hard to escape the onslaught of messages about our bodies. Eating disorders are complex illnesses with complex roots. We can’t blame the media, but we do know that this steady stream of unrealistic ideals and digital illusions of “perfection” creates an environment where eating disorders and poor body image thrive. Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight (Martin, 2010). The work of changing the media means recognizing and celebrating advertisements that send healthy body image messages, as well as taking the time to express our concerns about advertisements that send negative body image messages or promote unrealistic ideals. Being a savvy, critical consumer of media is crucial in the fight against eating disorders” (NEDA).