There is a girl, who skinny enough to make people think that she might be ill. Her face is pale, her eyes are grey and some wrinkles came out underneath the expressionless mouth. She has the same friends by appearance although she hardly could be apostrophe as satisfied and happy adolescent. She is wearing her red bracelet constantly and triple zero clothes made for kids. She is sixteen, called Ana.
The previous lines draw a correct picture in our mind about anorexic teenagers who lose all of their exhilaration and motivation parallel with refusing food. The name Ana refers to the illness’s – anorexia nervosa – more frequent occurrence among females, according to an NHS research nine out of ten people with an eating disorder are women. It is known as the most lethal mental illness, focused on food and self-control whereas the truth can be detected in lack of self – confidence in the background. The mechanism is eating almost nothing and over-exercising. The aim is to reach thigh-gap, to have flat stomach and penetrated bones everywhere. The results are out of attention and the outcome is self-harming.
With the widespread infiltration of social media hundreds of websites gives advice to girls who state themselves fatty. They named as Pro-Ana sites, promoting the anorexic way of life and posting ‘motivating’ pictures leading to the perfect skinny called thinspiration.
We can ask why more and more women want to reach the skeletal thinness and wear the red bracelet as the symbol of anorexia.
Well one part of the answer begins with self-identifying to role models and the traces lead to social media. Actors and actresses are considered to be superior to others therefore they are some kind of admired idols. When they confess having mental and self-esteem problems, in fact they fight for the public opinion’s acknowledgement, moreover try to gain love and respect from the community so that to substitute their own negative feelings with a wished acceptance. Through this silent manipulation – confessing that they have personal, intimate and mental problems – people will believe that they are follow the best way to be glorified and successful, especially young women and teenagers whose self-respect often depends on the peer group’s opinion. The key is to be perfect. Nobody dares to deny the stars happiness and inner feelings although it should be done, because eventually they are not as happy as they seem.
Nothing could demonstrate better the influence of social media than the following experiment. Researchers from Harvard Medical School decided to travel to Fiji to evaluate the effect of visual media. Before they arrived to the island the ideal female body was naturally rounded and women were satisfied with their body-shape but later with the appearance of television attitudes have changed. Two from three girls started to self-vomiting to control body weight and three quarter of the population thought themselves too fat. (Becker et al, 2002)
Even in case of an isolated place role of the television was profoundly affected on people. Walking back to the modern civilization this role is more serious and obvious. Dissatisfaction with ourselves spread like an infectious virus and recovering process is long and exhausting.
Twenty-five years ago, the average fashion model was only 8% thinner than the average woman. Today that figure has risen to 23%. (Derenne & Beresin, 2006)
It seems as if we don’t have enough problem except from our body and our fragile self-love, so we need to create fake idols to follow them and compete with each other who is the most precious. Until we have skeletons on the billboards with triple zero sizes and being anorexic is sexy and fashionable we can’t expect any recovering from this social illness spiced with immature images. One day this negative tendency may have changed by an image where a public figure will emphasize that human values are neither in externals nor in body-image.
Since we are led by the public then we can forget all of these poisonous patterns as dressing up as a child and die because of malnutrition caused by anorexia.
Finally, isn’t it ironic when a person intentionally starve themselves and die in malnutrition compared with those African people who die accidentally daily due to the shortage of nutrition?