Monday, February 20, 2012


We have a close friend who is undergoing treatment for anorexia. One of the things that she keeps saying is no one understands what it's like unless they've gone through it. Well-meaning friends tell her, "Just eat more," but she says something they don't understand is that it's not about the food, it's about control and giving up control is never easy.

I won't pretend to understand what she is going through, but the situation does make me ask why it happens and how it starts. A cursory search on the internet indicated that beauty magazines and pop media are to blame. In fact, the American Medical Association recently condemned extreme photo alterations.

"The appearance of advertisements with extremely altered models can create unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image. In one image, a model's waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist," said Dr. McAneny. "We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software."

While a fork may make it easier to be fat, I bet if you took all the forks away obesity would still be a problem. In the same light, it seems a bit too simplistic to blame the media for individual problems.

"It (anorexia) is seen as a regressive solution to demands posited by the patient’s preparing to exit from
the family of origin while feeling unprepared and overwhelmed by the prospect. Control over food and weight appears to take on undue significance and increases motivation that propels the adolescent to diet and to strive to meet unrealistic goals for their appearance, initiate abuse of food as a form of mood regulation, both inefficient attempts to deal with personal feelings of lack of self-worth, emptiness, and inadequacy. Dieting and binge/purge cycling then initiate a whole host of biological counter-regulatory measures which create their own demands and influences on mental states and appetite regulation, often leading to a intensification of fears of weight gain, body image distortion and deficient satiety regulation in response to food intake. "

-Steiner et al. European Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Age defying, skin clearing, race changing, hair enhancing, weight dropping, pro-pixel intensifying, fauxtanical hydro-jargon, microbead extract technology.

Why eat healthy and exercise when you can just look like you do? No need to rely on healthy body image or self respect anymore. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded a trial version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 to see what I could do with a random picture. Youtube has some amazing walkthroughs on the photoshopping process. Turns out, you can change backgrounds, restore hair, change race, and quite a bit more.



Beauty to this extreme is unattainable - for the rest of you.

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