Eating disorders in media is a form of media-induced health concern that has the potential to shape a person’s understanding of and attitudes toward body image, eating, and healthy lifestyle habits Common eating disorders in the media include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder Eating disorders are caused by a combination of psychological, biological, and environmental factors, and can be exacerbated by the mass media’s glamorization of thinness or muscularity, or the promotion of unhealthy eating habits.
With media having such a powerful influence on our culture, it is important to provide examples of how the media has depicted eating disorders in a positive light. Here, we will provide five examples of eating disorder representation in the media that are particularly noteworthy.
The first example is the movie, “To The Bone” (2017), which tells the story of a young woman, Ellen, struggling with anorexia. This movie is not only important for its representation of an anorexic woman as a protagonist, but it also challenges the Hollywood beauty standard by showing a woman that is thin without being glamorous. “To The Bone” is one of the few movies that depict the harsh reality of anorexia in an accurate and powerful way, without romanticizing or glamorizing it.
The second example is the popular television show, “Pretty Little Liars” (2010-2017), which portrays the life of four teenage girls, one of whom is dealing with bulimia. The show represents the struggles that women have with body image and how they try to cope with difficult emotions and stress. This example is important because it demonstrates how pervasive disordered eating patterns can be in young people’s lives and how it can be a coping mechanism.
The third example is the comedy-drama “Goosebumps” (2015). This movie follows the story of an overweight teenage boy, Zach, who seeks a way to lose weight. Though Zach’s weight is a major plot device in the movie, it is ultimately presented in a positive light, with the message that being healthy is more important than just being thin.
The fourth example is the drama-romance “Another Kind of Wedding” (2017). This movie follows the story of a woman with anorexia who is struggling to overcome her unhealthy relationship with food. She is ultimately able to recover with the help of her family, her therapy, and her own inner strength. This example is important because it provides an accurate representation of anorexia and how recovery can be a long process.
The fifth example is a documentary, “Thin” (2004), which follows the lives of four teenage girls with eating disorders. This documentary is important because it shows the devastating effects of eating disorders and how it can have a lasting impact on a person’s life. It also serves to remind people that recovery is possible and that there is hope.
These five examples of eating disorders in the media show how powerful the media can be in influencing people’s understanding of and attitudes toward body image, eating, and healthy lifestyle habits. Through these examples, we can see how the media can play an important role in helping to reduce the stigma associated with eating disorders and provide positive representations of recovery.