Eating Disorders in the Media
It’s difficult to watch the news lately without being inundated by stories of young women being victimized, body shamed, cyberbullied, or otherwise harassed through both traditional and social media. The link between social media and eating disorders may be well documented, but what isn’t so often discussed is the link between traditional, main-stream media and eating disorders.
Unfortunately, the link between eating disorders and the media is one that will likely be difficult to break. According to the University of Washington, Americans spend approximately one-third of their free time watching television with the average American teen spending more time watching television than any other activity (aside from sleeping).
These numbers don’t even include facts and figures out how much exposure today’s teens are getting when it comes to social media. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 71 percent of teens use more than one social media platform. This includes venues such as:
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Impossible Standards Influence Our Self-Perception
In a world where so many images are filtered, photoshopped, and altered to appear perfect it can place incredible pressure on teens to live up to a certain perceived standard of physical beauty. Teens, especially female adolescents, who feel as though they fail to meet these standards often struggle with confidence and experience heightened risk for developing eating disorders in a desire to fit in or meet these unattainable standards.
It isn’t difficult to see, with so many hours spent with media each and every day, how strong the media influence on eating disorders can be. Think about an average evening of watching television. How many of the following will viewers encounter?
- Diet product commercials
- Weight loss program commercials
- Weight loss surgery advertisements.
- Perfect women with photoshopped bodies
- Women wearing revealing clothing
That doesn’t even include the prevalence of pressure to attain perfection so common in print media, such as magazine and newspaper advertisements. The pressure is so common it’s no wonder that so many young women do struggle with body image issues.
Misunderstood and Under-reported
While there are some discussions about eating disorders in the media, most people will rarely hear conversations about the possibility of eating disorders caused by media. However, when magazine headlines discuss media darlings gaining weight they use completely unflattering terms to describe the situation, causing even more pressure on these stars to “measure up.”
If they are struggling to do so, imagine the pressure that places on the average young woman viewing from home. When it comes to eating disorders and the media’s influence, it’s impossible to separate the two. They are inexorably linked.
Clementine is here to help young women who have developed eating disorders thanks to the media’s influence in their lives. Weight and beauty standards presented by the media and eating disorders often influence each other. Young women seeking help with their eating disorders will find that Clementine offers a safe harbor for them to recover and regain a positive self-image lost as a result of general media and social media alike.
A Unique Opportunity to Heal
Clementine offers the highest level of medical and psychiatric care outside of a hospital for young women living with the consequences of media influence on eating disorders and a homelike setting where teens and young women can break free of the influence of the media and eating disorders in a judgment-free environment.
The dedicated staff at Clementine offer comprehensive academic and family support while creating an environment free of the influence of eating disorders and the media. Each patient is treated as an individual with a specifically designed treatment plan for her unique needs.
Clementine also offers a low staff to client ratio so parents can be confident that their children are receiving adequate care and supervision during the delicate recovery process. While Clementine is committed to helping teens in their care discover their recovered selves, they are also present to offer direct encouragement when needed to help teens discover their own truths and challenge their thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the foods they eat.
Contact Clementine today with any questions or concerns you may have about the media influence on eating disorders and how that may impact your recovery or the recovery of your adolescent daughter.
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Find out more about our unique approach to eating disorder treatment and recovery.