How Advertisements Fed My Eating Disorder
One of my main reasons I started website was because of my previous eating disorder. I wanted to hold myself accountable to getting healthy the right way and share information with others while I was doing it. Almost 3 years later FitChicksTX has become a platform dedicated to health education and most importantly self care and self love.
Now a day it take a lot to shake my self image and self esteem but back in the day my eating disorder was a product of what I saw. My past eating disorder directly came from advertisements, I know this for a fact. My self-esteem issues didn’t start until I was about 12 years-old because that’s when I had access to every type of media. MTV was at its peak, the internet was finally working, and magazines were full of incredibly skinny celebrities. In 2016, being curvy and having an ass are celebrated which is convenient for a curvy woman like me, but it hasn’t always been this way. I was in middle school in the early 2000’s and during that time being sickly thin was hot, according to the then famous Paris Hilton.
Ever television show and ad showed me that thinner was better. I hardly ever (well pretty much never), saw any women in the media that looked like me. Even though I was only 12, I was developing curves. My butt, thighs, hips, waist, and boobs were all growing at a rapid pace and it was freaking me out because I believed my body was all wrong. Even though women in my family didn’t look like what I saw in media, images of them outnumbered the real world bodies I was seeing. Ultimately that is what started my eating disorder.
I would obsessively workout. I forced my mind and body to reject any and all food. I would spend a majority of my day flipping through magazines, cutting out images of thin bodies, and taping them on my wall. Anytime I felt hungry I would go to my wall and think how badly I wanted to look like that. All I was eating were the advertisements. The few times I did eat, it was very little and afterwards, I would feel so ashamed because I set myself behind on my body goals. This happened for me until I was about 15-years-old. I wasn’t even done with puberty yet.
After years of being secretive about my eating disorder, and feeling weak and unhappy, I realized that although I reached my goals, my physical and mental health were in danger. I was lucky to have this realization but some girls aren’t and they still digest what the media is feeding them. The thinner, the better. Today’s ideal female body is much different then it was the early 2000’s , but women are still going to extreme and dangerous lengths to achieve it.
The popularity of being built like a Kardashian has cause a spike in plastic surgery, and the sales of waist trainers. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, 15.6 million plastic surgeries were done in 2015. And waist trainers obviously took over Instagram.
Hourglass Angel CEO, Ruben Soto has profited from the waist-trainer explosion. In 2015, his shape ware company saw a 250 percent increase in waist-trainer sales alone.
It seems like nowadays, social media has replaced advertisements as the cause of eating disorders and self-esteem issues. This trend of having to fit an ideal body image isn’t going away, it is only evolving. The images and people that we are constantly digesting are not their real bodies. They are the bodies that they want you to see. We have to be vigilant in deciphering the real from the fake and it starts with us internally. If you or someone you know is suffering with an eating disorder please contact your doctor or local treatment center.