Here's one of the most frightening articles I've ever encountered regarding the harmful effect that images of underweight models and actresses have upon girls and young women.
The article is written by a prominent medical doctor who is a Fellow of the Society of Biology. It describes the conclusions of the latest research in the field.
It turns out that not only do pictures of starving models and celebs have a devastating effect on women psychologically (as has already been well established by many medical and psychological studies), but biologically
Exposure to these images literally damages girls at the genetic
level. It deforms their DNA
If that sounds too horrific to believe, read on. Here's the link:
And the most terrifying revelations:
How super skinny TV stars are harming our health
By Dr Aric Sigman
18th October 2010
Jutting collar bones, twiglet legs and razor-sharp cheek bones. It wasn’t so long ago that these were unenviable signs that a woman had lost too much weight or, worse, was suffering from an eating disorder.
Now, however, it’s hard to think of a female celebrity who isn’t that thin — not just models and actresses, but news readers and children’s TV presenters. So much so that women and children not only view skeletal frames as normal, but as something they wish to emulate.
There has been an 80 per cent rise in young girls being hospitalised with anorexia in the past ten years. And body dissatisfaction is affecting younger and younger children.
In a recent study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, almost half of the three to six-year-old girls surveyed said they worried about being f**.
Yet any serious correlation between visual media and the rise of eating disorders has largely been dismissed. Until now.
New research shows there is a much stronger link between visual media and eating disorders. Repeated exposure to images of thin women alters brain function and increases our propensity to develop eating disorders.
Many studies have already confirmed the psychological effect such images have on women. But now we can see the biological effects. Scientists have identified sudden, unexpected changes in the brain function of healthy, body-confident women when they view certain female figures...
Molecular biologists at Harvard Medical School now believe that external stimuli may activate major psychiatric disorders by changing how our genes function.
Childhood distress does precisely this and it is conceivable that early or prolonged body dissatisfaction may also disturb DNA, triggering eating disorders in susceptible girls...
A decade ago, the British Medical Association’s Board of Science and Education demanded ‘a more responsible editorial attitude towards the depiction of extremely thin women as role models’. Yet matters have since worsened.
While it’s easy to blame extreme catwalk models, it’s [also] everyday images on television — those of children’s TV hosts, newsreaders and talent-show judges who are deeply unrepresentative of most British women — that are dangerous to girls.
Surely this is discrimination? The BBC, for instance, is ‘committed to reflecting the diversity of the UK audience’ in terms of race and gender. Why isn’t female physique considered an aspect of ‘diversity’? Why aren’t size 16s — the average dress size of British females — allowed to read the news or be a CBeebies presenter?
Fortunately, more and more scientists and prominent medical bodies are beginning to view the media as playing a major role in eating disorders. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently issued a statement saying the media propagates ‘unobtainable body ideals’ and that airbrushed images should carry a kite mark.
The stakes in the body-image wars keep getting higher. Now the full truth is revealed - we're talking about trying to protect girls' minds and bodies, but at a much deeper level than anyone suspected - at the genetic
level, at the level of DNA.
The fashion/media discrimination against larger female bodies is more than a political affront. It is damaging the very genetic fabric of the human race.
Fashion and the media MUST stop foisting an anorexic standard on society, and MUST begin showcasing plus-size female bodies. The very building blocks of humanity depend on it.