The exposure women face to thin models in magazines is affecting not only their self-confidence, but their health. Women’s magazines are making women feel as if they are not “thin enough” and causing eating disorders. Women’s magazines are one source of media causing these problems among women, but I am curious if movies are too; especially the movie Sydney White.
In the article “Social Risk Factors Related to Eating Disorders in Women” by Alejandro Magallares the effect of women’s magazines on women’s health is addressed. In this article, women are portrayed as constantly striving to be thin and resemble the models they see in women’s magazines. This obsession with being healthy or in other words as thin as the models, is leading to an increase in eating disorders. Women are not only developing eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and bing eating disorders, but are fighting to fit in with society. Society or “the norm” makes women feel as if the only way they will be accepted is by being thin. This constant pressure from the media, especially women’s magazines, is making women have social-anxiety and stress from trying to “fit in” by being thin.
Although magazines are the main source of health issues among women, scenes from the movie Sydney White also portray the struggle women face with weight. For example, in one scene in Sydney White Rachel, who is the president of a sorority and the typical “stick skinny blonde”, singles out a girl named Amy for putting on some weight over the summer. Rachel victimizes Amy in front of all the other girls in the house about her weight and says, “Excuse me Amy, don’t you remember you’ve been reassigned kitchen duty, go on…that’s what happens when you gain 27 pounds of break-up weight over the summer.” Amy immediately becomes embarrassed and turns red in the face with humiliation. Rachel also forces the girls to only eat celery, lettuce, and fruit to stay thin and “healthy”. This is an example of how much pressure there is from society to be “healthy” or thin. As the audience, I too not only found myself feeling sorry for Amy, but wondering if I was “thin enough” to society’s standards. These extremes such as hardly eating and having to be as thin as models seen in magazines is causing social-anxiety related to body-image and an increase in eating disorders (Magallares 148-149).
In conclusion, not only does exposure to thin models in women’s magazines cause eating disorders and affect women’s health, movies do too. Women’s magazines and movies can have a negative influence on women and how they view their bodies. Singling someone out because they aren’t “stick skinny” and are normal sized is wrong. Women should embrace who they are and women’s magazines and movies should make an effort to convey the message that bullying someone about their weight is never okay. Media, especially women’s magazines and movies, are causing more of a negative effect about weight than they are promoting “being healthy”.
Magallares, Alejandro. “Social Risk Factors Related To Eating Disorders In Women.” Revista Latinoamericana De Psicología 45.1 (2013): 147-154. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.