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Not many people look at a skeleton and think “Dang those are some pretty bones.” So if this is the case then how come every hour one person dies because of an eating disorder?More and more girls are starting to grow with the idea that being “skinny” is the key to success and happiness. Seeing bones sticking out makes them happy, and girls on tv become their role models. They look up to celebrities, actresses, singers, and models. These girls grow up flipping through magazines and scrolling through social media wishing to look just like these beautiful women, thinking it will make them happier. Some decide to make these wishes a reality, and some take it a maybe just a little too far. For these girls looking skinny, tall, and perfect becomes the center of their existence.
Teenage girls grow up comparing themselves to the girls they see on tv. They get an idea of what a “perfect” girl should look like. They think looking like these girls will make them happier. Some though do not even notice when they end up taking it too far. They fail to realize that comparing yourself to other girls and looking a certain way will not make their life better.
The picture is Painted
As young girls scroll through social media they are exposed to beautiful people posing for magazines, thin models strutting the runway, and famous celebrities smiling as they walk down the red carpet. After a certain amount of time young people especially girls get this picture in their mind that in order to be truly happy and successful they need to be a certain weight, a certain height, and look a certain way.
The work begins
The work to make this picture that young girls have created begins. At first it starts off with a healthy diet, exercise, and many beauty products. As it says in an article on helpguide.org most girls start off obssessing over calories, nutrition facts and overall healthy foods. Everything is going well and the girls can’t wait to look beautiful. They feel healthy, confident, and most off all happy.
The motivation is as high as it can be, and there is no stopping now. The need to look like these models on magazines and pretty people on social media is what drives these girls. They are determined to look like these people. For them the success is all in the looks.
Well people might say there really is no problem in this. They might ask, “what’s so bad about exercising, eating clean, and wanting to look your best?” I’ll tell you this, “there is no problem in wanting to look good.” The problem arises when the motivation is so high that these girls are willing to stop at nothing to be “perfect.”
In the process of becoming “perfect” friends are lost, relationships ruined, and soon girls realize they are all alone. As is says in this article people lose trust and self-confidence causing themselves to put a huge distance between themselves and their loved one. Why? Well this is because no one understands them. They feel alone because this constant battle with food and looks never ends. It is always on their mind and it does not stop.
This causes some girls to find friends that do “understand” them online. Websites such as Whyeat.net are created by and for people struggling with weight giving them advice, tips, and tricks on how to drop the “extra” pounds faster.
“I chew things are very specific number of times, depending on the type of food (I have three groups, carbohydrates, vegetables and protein, but I can only have 3 “bits” of food on my plate. Like I could have 3 carbohydrates but not 4 different types of vegetable. ), I can’t have different “sorts” of food touching on my plate, I always have to leave 1/3 of my food; a 1/3 from each 3rd. It’s so messed up.”
“things like i only east corners of ood then leave the rest..chew and spit somethings cant eat anything thats over 100 cals foods gotta be in line”
“i hate eat in front of people, that’s why i like to eat in my room. i get angry when people look at what i’m eating and, when i’m eating, all my attention is focused on it, i ignore everything around me.”
These are some examples of the content posted on such websites. When girls are looking for help they do not go to doctors, they turn to the internet where people will “help” them instead of trying to “make them fat.”
They read these things and do them because it is written by people who are going through the same things they are and they do understand them so they trust everything they say.
The journey to a perfectbody turned into fear, secrets and lies. People that suffer with eating disorders choose to ignore it and do all they can to make sure no one finds out.
Everything Comes Crashing Down
They feel great, they’re looking good, and best of all they are on the road to success. So what happens when for the third day in a row they step on the scale and see the weight hasn’t budged? What happens when they look in the mirror and think “I’ll never be that pretty?” This is where the food portions get smaller, workouts get longer, and the self esteem goes way down. Each day after this they exercise not because it makes them feel good, but because they will be thin, and being thin obviously means being happy. With each meal they don’t consume they think that pretty soon they’ll reach their target weight and eat a huge piece of cake but this day never comes because every time a target weight is reached a new one is created. Each day this continues because they think that soon they will be truly happy. But this day never comes because what started off as losing weight has become their sole purpose of existence. This article explains that eating disorders become a mental illness that needs professional treatment. Girls tend to deny this because they choose to believe they have everything under control.
[what started off as losing weight has become their sole purpose of existence.]
In this whole process what girls don’t realize is that yes their weight is going down, yes they are becoming as thin as those models, and yes in their own way they are becoming “prettier.”What girls always fail to realize that in this journey of theirs to become pretty and happy their happiness is just further away and they are actually on a journey to death. Only when the girls are laying on a hospital bed connected to a heart monitor, on the brink of life and death do they realize that yes they are skinny, indeed bones are sticking out, but happiness is something they can no longer imagine. The memory of the last time they laughed is nonexistent and remembering the last meal they actually enjoyed is a real struggle.They aren’t as skinny as those “perfect” girls, they’re skinnier. And they aren’t happy, they are dead.
[They aren’t as skinny as those “perfect” girls,
And they aren’t happy, they are dead.]
Does not Take Long For Physical to Turn into Mental
What first starts off as a physical problem unnoticably turns into a mental disorder. What started off as losing a couple pounds suddenly turns into losing as much as possible. The problem is no longer in the physical appearance it traveled to the center of the brain.
As a thin girl steps in front of the mirror to do her daily “body check” all she sees is a massive human being with extra fat and ugly looks. Any person from the side can count every bone that makes up her frail skeleton, but all her brain see’s is fat. This is what the site adaa.org calls body dysmorphic disorder. Girls see themselves as what they really aren’t. So what does she do? She eats even less than she already does.These girls no longer see what they actually look like they only see what they think they look like. It is no longer about their body. They can no longer stop.
The body checks, daily starvation, hourly weigh ins, it’s all an addiction. An addiction they either can’t or don’t want to get rid of. The tiredness means nothing to them. Constantly being cold is what they learned to live with. Nonstop pain and weekly fainting does not bother them. These are all symptoms of anorexia as it is stated in an article written by the Mayo Clinic. To people these are symptoms of a disorder, but to young girls it is simple a way of life. And what for? To be happy? Is this really what one must go through to have the life they want? What is the point of making yourself look like someone else if you will just die in the process? In the midst of it all girls don’t realize that they will never reach true joy and success, they will only come closer to death.
Real Question Is
The real question we should ask is, “are looks really the key to success?” Yes looking your best and leading a healthy lifestyle is important. Looking good does have its benefits in life but there is a huge difference between looking good and being healthy, and looking good and struggling to live. Yes looks matter especially in the modeling, film, and music industry, but even people in those industries have boundaries. For example it mentions in an article by BBC News that France has passed a law that bans the use of extremely thin models. The fact that France passed a law about it shows that it is an issue that has affected many. It is good to want to look good, but your looks are not the key to your happiness. And most importantly your looks should not be the cause of your death.
Stop Comparing Yourself
The message we need to spread to young girls is that they must stop comparing themselves. They need to be aware that looks aren’t everything and they will not bring them happiness. If self harm is something they are doing to reach success they will never get there. Most important of all is the environment we live in. As it says in an article by NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) our environment is what causes girls to start comparing themselves and essentially striving to look perfect. Looks are not the key to success. Most important of all your looks are not worth giving away your life.