Arguing Cause Jordan Starr

Writer's Memo

I found this part of my paper to be particularly interesting: I really liked learning more about my topic and find interesting facts. As I wrote my paper I realized that I am kind of passionate about this topic and once I got going it was easier to write.

This part was surprisingly difficult: I have always had a hard time citing paper, I either over do it or under do it. So starting off this paper I found kind of difficult but I got the hang of it I think.

Next time I would do this differently: I would probably start it right when we got the assignment and not keep pushing it back until I was on spring break trying to write my paper.

Eating Disorders and Media Influence

I believe that the media has a really big part in the way people see themselves. We have this idea in our heads from the media and society that you have to look a certain way in order to be beautiful. I am here to argue that the media does have an affect on peoples body images and the media doesn't help boost peoples confidence, it tares it down.

Eating Disorder

Dieting Pills

Get the Facts


Jennifer Lawrence


Eating Disorders and the Media

What is an eating disorder? According to The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), an eating disorder is a very real and devastating condition. Eating disorders can cause very serious consequences to someone physically and emotionally (NEDA). In the United States 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a variety of different clinically significant eating disorders at some point in their lives (qtd. in NEDA). To a person who has an eating disorder, when they look in the mirror, they never look the way they want. They always think they look thick, chubby, not “pretty’ enough and they think the answer to fixing those problems is to become thinner.

There are many different eating disorders but the main ones you hear about are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Anorexia is when a person starves themselves or barely eats anything. Bulimia is when no matter what the person eats, they throw up afterwards. They find any excuse to why they have to throw up the food after they eat. Binge eating is kind of anorexia and bulimia all in one. The person will sometimes not eat anything, but other times eat so much that they puke. When someone binge eats they usually eat really bad food for them as well.

Part of the reason so many people have a bad self image or an eating disorder is because of society and the media. In our society, we have pictures of celebrities all over the place. On magazines, the majority of the covers are very fit and very skinny actors and actresses. Why is it that so many people suffer from eating disorders and a negative self image but the media continues to say that in order to be ‘attractive’ or ‘beautiful’ we have to look a certain way? In an interview with Jennifer Lawrence, she once said “But I think when it comes to the media, the media needs to take responsibility for the effect that it has on our younger generation, on these girls that are watching these television shows and picking up how to talk and how to be cool… So then all of a sudden being funny is making fun of the girl that's wearing an ugly dress.” (qtd. in Sieckowski). I think Jennifer Lawrence is right, the media should be trying to boost self esteems instead of putting edited pictures of people, that is impossible for majority of the world to look like.

Another thing that is huge in the media right now is diet pills. There are ads in magazines and commercials on the television about varieties of different dieting pills. “Many people use an assortment of dangerous over-the-counter medications while in the clutches of their Eating Disorder, all of which present great dangers whether taken "as directed" or in excess” (Eating). I think that the media puts too much pressure on people having to look a certain way. When there is a lot of pressure, people will do anything they can to measure up to those standards even if it mean unsafe dieting pills.

I do understand that the media is not the only reason that people have eating disorders. In most eating disorders there is more then just one cause. They are usually caused by multiple different reasons. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, some of the factors include genetic and neurobiological, cultural and social, and behavioral and psychological (Simon). Cultural and social behavior, I believe are some what influenced by the media though too. Our culture is very influenced by the media. The same goes for social influences which is very much based on media as well. When people are out in social environments, they see majority of people trying to look a certain way, which is something that the media influenced. Behavioral and psychological influences something different in all people and I do not think that it can be influenced by the media. I think the behavioral and psychological has more to with the way someone way born and raised.

I know that even if the media did start becoming better about what they post and how it affects people, there still would be eating disorders because of the other factors that the Maryland Medical Center mentioned. However I do believe that since the media is so large and a part of everyones everyday lives, that if magazines and advertising stopped focusing so much on how people look on the outside, that maybe some of the statistics would decrease. Maybe the “47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.” (ANAD), would become 15%. Maybe the “69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape” (ANAD), would decrease to even 30%. I believe that the media could do a lot of good, if they just tried to. I also think that since the media knows that they have such a huge impact, why would they not want to try and use that in a positive way? The media could use their powers for good instead of evil. We should all also try and remember that even though the media reports on certain things, we all do not have follow just what the media says. We should all realize we are different and cannot all look the same. Everyone is unique in their own way and we just have to realize that in that uniqueness there is beauty. So all in all everyone is beautiful in their own way. If the media reported on that more, maybe there would not be so many eating disorders and bad self images in the world.


  • NEDA, "Get The Facts On Eating Disorder." National Eating Disorder Association. NEDA, 2011. Web. 3 March 2014.
  • ANAD, "Eating Disorder Statistics." National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorder. ANAD, 2014. Web. 3 March 2014.
  • Sieckowski, Cavan. "Jennifer Lawrence: 'It Should Be Illegal To Call Somebody Fat'." The Huffington Post. Dec 2013. Web. 5 March 2014.
  • Simon, Harvey. "Eating Disorders." University of Maryland Medical Center. June 2013. Web. 5 March 2014.

*Eating Disorders. "Diet Pills, Laxatives and Dangerous Methods." Something Fishy Website on Eating Disorders. 2007. Web. 15 March 2014.

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