The Sydney Sun-Herald (December 23 07) tells us that “images of super-thin models and celebrities are not to blame for anorexia”.
A US study, and another from the UK, tells us that people who display anorexic behaviours have differently-wired brains. This difference makes them more likely to experience anorexia whether or not they look at “perfect” celebrity images.
Apparently the disorder can be inherited or triggered by a fault in early brain development. (which doesn’t explain why females are many more times likely to suffer from this particular eating disorder than are men).
The UK study’s use of MRI (brain scan) technology confirmed the US study’s finding that anorexia is a pre-disposition in the brain of the sufferer. The psychologist who is running the study also says that there were anorexics before there were super-thin models.
Eating disorders in general, in my opinion and in the findings of many studies, are highly likely to have been triggered by a person trying to conform to what is ‘normal’. Anorexia is indeed recorded all through history, usually in very tiny number of sufferers, usually in relation to some sort of religious experience, and doesn’t explain the incredible numbers of cases reported amongst young women since the late 1970s.
Bulimia (gorge and purge cycle) was acceptable practice at Roman feasts – puke and keep eating dude. Women who purge in this modern era may use laxatives and/or vomiting and their purpose is to control their weight/shape/size.
There are also other eating disorders, the result of an obsessive desire to change the body size/shape/weight.
I agree the super-thin celebs are not to blame – we are all individuals who make our own choices. When you’re one of the 95% of women whose size and shape is not endlessly displayed in the modern media, or is displayed with less-flattering descriptions, the pressure to be ‘normal’ is horrendous. Anorexia is only one of the side-effects.
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