Eating Disorders“If you can′t be yourself, what′s the point of being anyone else?″ Tennessee Williams once wrote. Which is exactly what is facing young people, particularly girls today. They are besieged by images of what they ‘should′ look like to be accepted. A constant stream of messages from television, magazines and films using attractive, slim, women and girls to advertise products only heightens this perception. A perfect, slim body is equated with success, acceptance, admiration from others, happiness and being in control.
Anorexia, Bulimia, etc.But underneath this desire for control is an extreme unease about who they are, and a dislike of what they think they are. So they use destructive methods to portray this, either with starving themselves (e.g. anorexia) or binging (e.g. bulimia). The binge would mean eating large amounts of food in one go, subsequently trying to rid themselves of what they have eaten by vomiting or using laxatives, trying to rid themselves of the food they have eaten and also the feelings of disgust they feel with themselves for consuming the food.
Teenage girls reach puberty much younger these days, the average age of girls to start periods is 12 and a half years old. At this time they are beginning to be prone to influences from advertisements and peer pressure. They are beginning to forge their own identity in a grown up world, becoming aware of their bodies, of their sexuality, experimenting with expressing their own independence from their parents and competing with their friends.