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Sydney Beames

on 17 July 2015

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Body Image Distortions
and Eating Disorders

Sydney Williams, LCSW
Center For Change

Media and the
of Girls
What can you do?
Why is this happening?
Media Education
Influence of Media
Anorexia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa

Eating Disorders
Eating Disorder Criteria
Study in Nadroga, Fiji, Harvard News Release, Becker, 2004
In 1995, 3% of girls reported vomiting to lose weight just as TV was introduced in culture.
By 1998, 15% of girls reported vomiting.
Those who watched TV at least 3 nights per week were 50% more likely to see themselves as too fat and 30% more likely to diet even though they were not more overweight.
Mothers who focus on their own and daughters’ body/slenderness have daughters that are more likely to struggle with eating concerns (Levine, Smolak, Moodey, Shuman, & Hessen, 1994)
Girls (12 years) found to put more emphasis on body’s appearance than on body’s capability (Tiggemann, 2002)
Body dissatisfaction leads to higher rates of cigarette smoking for weight control (Stice & Shaw, 2003)
Teachers rate bigger female students as less competent, but this was found to be the opposite with male students
Teachers are less positive towards students who are heavier (Villimez, Eisenberg & Carroll, 1986)
Physical beauty can equal power for girls (Tolman, 2002)
Sexualization can make an impact in acceptance, form of emotionally or socially bullying girls (slut) (Brown, 2003)
Characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior
An eating disorder is an obsession with food and weight that harms a person's well-being. Although we all worry about our weight sometimes, people who have an eating disorder go to extremes to keep from gaining weight. There are 3 main eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified
Characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight. 
Essential Features:
-Amenorrhea occurs in females
-Intensely afraid of gaining weight
-Refusal to maintain at least 85% of a normal body weight
-Exhibits a significant disturbance in the perception of the shape and size of his or her body (DSM-IV)
Essential Features:
-Recurrent episodes of binge eating.
-Eating, in a discrete period of time
-A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
-Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas or other medications; fasting or excessive exercise.
-The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for 3 months
-Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight
-The disturbance does not occur exclusively during episodes of Anorexia Nervosa (DSM-IV)
Average teen watches 3 hours of TV/day
All media combined is 6 hours 32 min/day (Nielsen Media Research)
68% of Children have TV in bedroom (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)
1 hour day watching websites, music, chat rooms, sending messages (D. Roberts, 2005)
Sexualization (defined in APA 2007 report)
Personal worth and characteristics are overlooked in favor of sexual behavior or physical attraction
Narrow definition of sexuality/attractiveness, based on “thin mentality”
Person is for others’ benefit, rather than a person with the independent worth
Sexuality is not appropriate imposed (age)
Female models are more likely than male models in fashion and fitness magazines place in violent, submissive, sexualized positions
80% of women in ads dismembered compared to 17% of male models
Sexualized advertisement decreases buying brand and remembrance of advertisement (Bushman, 2005)
Consumers think there is too much sexualization in advertising (Dolliver, 1999)
Victoria Secret runway (December 2005) models in lingerie with stuffed animals and toys
Thongs with Muppets, Dr. Seuss
CosmoGirl, Elle Girl, Teen Vogue: How to Please your Man to Please your Prom Date
Adult Women in Media lollipops in their mouths, knee socks, school clothes selling women’s underwear
“If the image maker and pharmaceutical companies and fashion designers have their way, we will always be made to feel that we don’t fit. Either we don’t fit the clothes, or we don’t fit the ideal, or we don’t fit the lifestyle. We just don’t fit, period.”
--Emme, model and author, True Beauty
Sexualization of Young Girls
To the core of me, I believe that this is Satan's plan to destroy us as women.

What do we have that Satan does not? A BODY!
So he makes us hate what he does not have
He makes us feel inferior
He makes us feel like we are not good enough
And then we pass that onto our daughters
Hating yourself is not humility
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught with clarity the importance of our physical bodies:

“We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. …

“The devil has no power over us only as we permit him; the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power.”
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).
What is my responsibility as a mother?
Read the book "Intuitive Eating". It will change your life and the life of your daughter
Permanently delete the f, d and s words (diet, fat and skinny)
STOP OBSESSING- over your weight and over your child's weight. THEY WILL RESENT YOU FOR IT.
Stop speaking negatively about yourself. You are who your little girl wants to be. You hate yourself, they will hate themselves
Accept your flaws. We all have them. Being confident and yourself gives your daughter permission to do the same.
Be an example of someone who likes themself
End Fat Talk. It is boring. No one wants to hear it.
Educate. Educate. EDUCATE. Talk about sex, sexualization of the media, photo shopping, maturation, women roles in movies and TV.
Stop giving Satan the power over you. God loves you, so why can't we love ourselves?
Full transcript