“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” (Author Unknown) We live in an image-conscious culture, which urges all of us to improve our appearance. Eating disorders are results of the “perfect body” that society encourages. Eating disorders have a major impact on teens today by affecting their daily lives. Efforts to solve eating disorders could change the world but mainly heal a heart.
The ideal body in today's society is mainly showcased through social media These influences on the lives of young people have forced them to take extreme measures and in some cases, has been the cause of death. Social media in today’s society has proven to have a negative impact on the way young people, specifically females, view their bodies. Unrealistic beauty standards, dangerous comparisons, and disorders have all been a result of the increase in social media and the impact that it has on the lives of young people.To begin, social media has created unrealistic standards for young people, especially females. Being bombarded by pictures of females wearing bikinis or minimal clothing that exemplifies their “perfect” bodies. And the worst part is that the famous celebrities that people feel inspired by the most end up being the one that causes them to have thoughts of how to get a skinny body. In a recent survey taken among teens, one of the questions was “How often do you feel pressured to be thin or the perfect size.” 38% of the teens said “sometimes”. 18% said “always”. 9% said rarely. And 19% said “never”. This proves that many teens feel pressured to be a certain size.
One of the many types of eating disorders is Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is the third most common chronic disease among young people, after asthma and type 1 diabetes. Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that results in unhealthy, often dangerous weight loss. This causes you to try to lose weight by starving yourself, exercising excessively, vomiting, or other methods to purge yourself after eating. Results of having anorexia are having a low weight for their body type and height. actively avoiding efforts to gain and maintain a healthy weight, developing an unhealthy relationship with food, limiting food intake, and in extreme cases death.
Another major type of eating disorder is bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia secretly binge eat large amounts of food and then right afterwards they purge trying to get rid of the food they ate. When having an eating disorder, people experience weight fluctuations and do not lose weight they usually remain the same weight range or be slightly underweight. Results of having an eating disorder include extreme social isolation, inability to sleep, suicide, possibly heart attacks and, death.
Though an eating disorder seems like there's no solution, there are many known treatments such as psychotherapy, medical care, monitoring, and medication. Although those are the well-known ways to treat an eating disorder, sometimes a person going through an eating disorder needs an opportunity to feel loved and cared for. My solution is to create a decorated bulletin board with thumbtacks and sticky notes, which will allow students to express their feelings, and what's going on in their life that's hard such as depression, anxiety, and disorders. Then a counselor or teacher in charge of the bulletin board system will answer the students sticky note and return it back to them. I feel as though this system could help at least one life. And maybe someday this system could advance and be put into bookstores, malls, and even restrooms.
Eating Disorders have a major impact on teens today by affecting their daily lives. Though many teens have an eating disorder, there are many ways to help bring them back their smiles. Treating an eating disorder is a difficult task but not an impossible one. “There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever, there are only small steps upward: an easier day an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.” (Laurie Halse Anderson)