Topic: Is the Media Responsible for Promoting Eating Disorders & Negative Body Image Problems in Young People?

Now, this topic which I’m about to discuss I will be treading very carefully with, because as the title suggests, this topic will be focusing on whether the media is responsible for promoting eating disorders, as well as promoting negative body image problems in young people. I will be treading very carefully with this topic, given that there is sensitivity and possible controversy involved, as I don’t want anyone to feel offended with this topic I’ll be discussing. If you do at any stage feel offended with certain points in this topic, I sincerely apologise.

In this day and age, people are always being told to lose weight because other people do not like the way a person looks, as well as how they choose to appear. When it comes to the media, and this is where I’m not afraid to talk about the media, they often criticise and make judgements about a person’s appearance, for example, the media is always often known for tarnishing a person’s good looks, by commenting on their weight, their face, and even the way things look on them. In this instance, media is just vanity, they will do anything they can to promote eating disorders by making people look uncomfortable with their appearances, which, I’m sorry to say, is disgraceful.

In some or most cases, sexism and misogyny often come into the media, as sexism is the most-hated form of background for certain types of sexist language. Misogyny, on the other hand, can be the ultimate killer, and misogyny has been known to promote eating disorders, which can often lead to someone being diagnosed with anorexia, something of which our National Health Service is doing its best to tackle and to stop.

The media is often the root cause for some, if not most of the famous stars of our time, that cause them to change their appearance because of the way the media often paints a picture of them. The media is so negative that even now, it’s absolutely impossible for the media to keep their mouths closed about the way a person may look. In this instance, if you said to someone: “You’re fat!!!”, straightaway that would upset the person that they often see as being too big or too small, because that person would be judging someone for how they look.

In my eyes, if the media and the public hadn’t poked fun at serious issues like this, then not only would nothing like this happen, but these matters would be taken a lot more seriously and everyone would take action to put a stop to it all if we didn’t believe what the media has been telling us.

As you always hear: “Don’t believe everything you read because it may not necessarily be true“, and sometimes, if not a lot of the time, a lot of people get it right, but referring back to the topic, if the media hadn’t promoted eating disorders and negative body image problems within young people, then much of the people of today would have been able to seek help a lot sooner, but the media will do anything to tarnish and diminish a person for what they look like, what they wear, how they choose to appear and how they choose to behave.

My firm belief is a person shouldn’t have to lose weight because everyone wants them to, including the media, but I personally believe that those who may feel insecure shouldn’t feel that way at all, no matter what the public or the media thinks. I believe that anyone should be happy with how they look, and that they shouldn’t listen to what other people think of them, because those who make horrific comments about a person’s appearance as well as their image ultimately, from my own perspective, shows that they are insecure as well, because they might be going through something different or might be going through the same thing, but are trying to hide that by making these comments.

I don’t mean to sound like as if I know it all, because I don’t, but I’m only discussing these issues because over my lifetime, I’ve heard about cases of some people going through anorexia, which they may have talked about either on the news, or on a TV programme that focuses around a person going through anorexia, as well as the strong possibilities of them being insecure because a lot of people expect them to be who they don’t want to be.

At the end of the day, we won’t let the media and the public make us insecure. We should all have our fighting spirit, and we should most certainly have the strength and willpower to overcome whatever the media may throw at us. I always believe that if you can ignore what others think of you, then the best thing to think about is that you were born, not to be perfect, but to be the good person you are.

Also, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you, just think, you’re perfect just the way you are, and whether any of us are born with imperfections, so what, it’s okay to be imperfect. To be perfect is to be imperfect, as you should be happy with the way you are, and just be yourself, that’s what matters.

We weren’t born to be perfect, but we were born different. We should be comfortable with our own bodies and we should be lucky that we were born with the bodies we have, and at the end of the day, a person’s appearance doesn’t matter, the media don’t matter, but it’s you and only you that matters.

If you can show confidence in the body you were born with, and not give a damn about what others think of you, then that makes you stronger. You’re stronger than they are. You’re smarter than they are, and you’re wiser than they are. The gift of life is being able to have the strength, intelligence, and as well as confidence, willpower too.

To conclude, I absolutely believe hand on heart that the media should not promote eating disorders, especially to those at a very young age, and even those in their adult years too, but I also believe that the media should have absolutely no rights to create negative body image problems for young people. The world would be a better place if these problems never came to light, but it is up to all of us to put an end to the media’s perception of how a human being should look. It is up to all of us to seek all the available help for those who are insecure, and it’s also in our best interests to make sure that everyone is safe and well, and that everyone can live their lives and fulfil their potential without being criticised for it. We must stand up and not let the media win. We will and shall feel comfortable with the way we choose to look, and we will not let them win.

If you think that the media is responsible for promoting eating disorders, as well as promoting negative body image problems in young people, then please feel free to sound off in the comments below. Your feedback is much appreciated, and again, if the points I’ve made over this topic has caused you any offence, I sincerely apologise.

Alex Smithson

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