Weight Loss and the Media

How Do Magazines and Television Influence Weight Loss Trends?

It’s interesting to consider how much of our nation’s obsession with weight loss is motivated by celebrities and popular media. There are certainly many Americans whose health would benefit from losing weight, but how much of our obsession with weight loss is motivated by unrealistic images presented in the media?

A Billboard For Eating Disorders

Mischa Barton, a Hollywood actress, thinks ultra thin celebrities and the media’s portrayal of them contributes to eating disorders specifically among teen girls. She made headlines recently when she challenged Hollywood to bring back “womanly curves” and forget about their obsession with weight loss.

It is true that repetitive images in magazines and on television have promoted weight loss among some individuals, specifically young girls, who might not even need to lose any weight. The preoccupation that impressionable young girls have with weight loss and maintaining a tiny figure can be dangerous. It promotes eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. It also prompts dieters, both teens and adults, to take unhealthy diet supplements in an effort to expedite weight loss. Eating disorders present many physical dangers especially for growing bodies, so any warning signs should be dealt with immediately.

Don’t Stereotype

It’s certainly not true that every model or actress suffers from an eating disorder. Some individuals have slimmer physiques as a result of genetic composition, but some do unfortunately suffer from eating disorders as well. The womanly curves actress Mischa Barton speaks about were once coveted and considered popular during various time periods throughout history. Societal acceptance does change, and the change in what is considered attractive, such as the current ultra-thin look, can prompt weight loss in individuals seeking to maintain that ideal.

If you genuinely need to lose weight, you can accomplish your weight loss goals with determination, perseverance, and patience. Weight loss is a sought-after goal, but there are definitely a small percentage of dieters who don’t need to lose weight at all.

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