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Am I Fat?

Mackenzie was ten years old. She was the perfect child, but she thought she was too fat. She saw all the celebrities on TV, with their thin waists and perfect body. She decided to go on a crash diet to become like the supermodels on TV. Ten days later, she began losing around five pounds a day. Two weeks after she began her crash diet, Mackenzie was buried next to her grandfather. The cause of death: starvation.
The media portrays people to be a size zero with the perfect body. Many kids see this and wish to become that thin. According to the National Association Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported they wanted to lose weight because of a magazine picture, 42% of early elementary school girls want to be thinner, and 81% of ten year olds are afraid to be fat. Is this how we want our kids to grow up? Almost half of elementary school girls want to be thinner. These girls should be concerned about their dolls, not their weight. The ANAD states, “20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.”
The adolescents of the 21st century have grown up around the media. A recent survey conducted by PG News shows that children spend an average of 6 hours a week around the media. With technology still on the rise, more and more hours will be spent near the media and children will see ultra thin celebrities and supermodels. This can lead to an eating disorder which can develop into a serious mental illness or even death.
Whether we want to accept it or not, this generation is being affected in a negative manner by the media portraying people as thin with perfect bodies. Only 5% of the U.S. population has that perfect body, according to the ANAD, 5% of a whooping 305,689,000 people. This is the amount of power the media has over us. 5% of the population has a perfect body and then everyone wants one. The media seems to attack the self-esteem of teens and young adolescents since that is the time they are most vulnerable, wanting to be thin and beautiful.
Robin, age 16, says, “The media just sort of drills it in, that this is the ideal body image, and you sort of feel the need to live up to that expectation.” It’s natural to desire to be beautiful for girls and when they see thin people on TV, that desire becomes even stronger and they won’t stop for anything to achieve that ‘perfect body.’ Anne Moore, a psychologist states, “[Girls get the message], ‘This is who you should be, and this is what you should look like, this is the ideal,’ and the ideal isn’t even real.” According to a Georgia University study of 14,000 high school students, a distorted body image increases the risk that a girl will attempt suicide.
Dictionary.com defines perfect as excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement. That definition doesn’t include anything about being thin. Everyone is perfect and beautiful in their own way. Does it matter what other people look like? “[By] recognizing that she’s intelligent, recognizing that she’s got a lot of spunk, recognizing that she’s funny, that she’s got a great sense of humor. All of those things are much more important than what somebody looks like,” Dr. Moore says.



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t.i.m.n_w said...
Oct. 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm
this artical almost made me cry, it's true. i don't care about being skinny anymore, i did, but i never did anything about it. why?-because i knew that I AM ME, and i don't need to be uber thin to be a good person, todays girls have forgoten that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. your artical was amazing.
 
writingchild replied...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm
Thank you. I actually passed that in as a essay for my English class. Let's hope he likes it as much as you did.
 
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