Long slender legs, tiny waists, chiseled face with high cheekbones, and the unrealistic urge to be “perfect” are struggles that some people struggle with in the world today. Everyday people are reminded, sometimes plagued, with the “ideal” look of a woman, or man. Adolescents whom are idolizing models in magazines, movies, and televisions that give them the false realization that every person, should look like they look, or should fit in clothing like they do. Seeing these unrealistic, usually photo shopped, beauties give an average person, or even overweight person, a notion that in some way they are less than beautiful or glamorous than they are. While most people can shrug off these kinds of stereotypes or feelings of looking like these models, others are haunted by the thought and are constantly obsessed with looking like and compromising their own view for society’s view of being “perfect”. This way of thinking not only affects how they feel about their looks, but also affects their outlook on the every aspect of their lives; whether it is academics, sports, or comparing to others in their family. High energy and fast paced lifestyles have made family interaction a minimal experience and leading kids towards the road of self destruction. Rumney (2009) states that, Anorexia Nervosa, is psychological disorder in which an individual deliberately and willfully starves themselves, engaging in “relentless pursuit of thinness” that can be fatal (p. 16). While according to Snyder (2009), Anorexia nervosa is the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women today (p. 1). She also states that 1% of
Voss 2 adolescent females, which translates to 7 million, in the United States suffer from this sometimes deadly disorder (p.1). Although women are not the only ones affected by the disorder; they make up 90%-95% of all those diagnosed with Anorexia (Snyder, 2009, p.2). The numbers of people affected, when seen on paper, seem near impossible. Especially, when 86% of those are experiencing this disease before the age of twenty, and 10% are at the mere age of ten or younger (Snyder, 2009, p.2). These devastating numbers raise just as many questions. “How can one identify when someone they know is suffering from this disorder?” “Is Anorexia curable?” “What physical damage, if death doesn’t occur, can this disorder cause on one’s body?” And finally, “Is trying to “fit in” or be “perfect” really worth the ultimate sacrifice of one’s health or even their life?” For some people identifying a person who suffers from Anorexia seems simple; too skinny. The actual answer lies deeper than just a person being too skinny. Not every person who is suspected as being anorexic, are actually anorexic. Most cases have to be examined by professionals who can recognize symptoms that are otherwise invisible to the untrained eye. Snyder (2009) noted that most anorexics that are diagnosed, are the ones who don’t express emotions, and are most likely very anxious. According to Rumny’s book, “Dying to Please”, there are many other disorders that may accompany Anorexia; depression, anxiety, body dismorphic disorder, bulimia nervosa, drug and alcohol addiction, and personality disorders (p. 28). The most common of the disorders are depression and severe anxiety (Rumny, 2009, p.28).
Numerous people wonder if Anorexia can be prevented and if society plays too much of a role on adolescents. Society and cultural values play a significant role in the disorder, Anorexia
(Lucas, 2004, p.157). Pop culture is not the only negative influence affecting younger people; the lifestyles that they are becoming accustomed to doing are also playing a major role. Many parents wonder how they can counteract these types of negative influences and portrayals of people in pop culture and high paced lifestyles. Most families are not gathering around the dinner table and eating as family, but relying mostly on fending for