Eating Disorders in the Entertainment Culture

eating disorders in the enterainment industryThe entertainment culture has been significantly influenced by western entertainment and media. Our daily lives revolve around constant stimulation, whether from TV, music, the computer or portable devices. Much of this entertainment is defined by increasingly perfected images of attractive people. Photoshop and other technologies have made images of entertainers impossibly beautiful, and the standard is often much more thin or fit than the average man or woman. These images are dangerous for a person’s health.

These images pressure those in the entertainment industry as well as consumers to reach unattainable goals. Those facing this pressure may develop an eating disorder. With the rise of gender equality, more heterosexual men feel pressure to pay more attention to their looks, and many feel insecure when they don’t match up to celebrities in the entertainment industry. Eating disorders affect all races and genders.

Why Entertainers Develop Eating Disorders

Entertainers are constantly pressured to appear thin on camera. The competitive nature of the entertainment industry drives many people to extremes as the entertainment culture idealizes thinness. Actresses and actors are dehumanized and criticized for their body shape or looks. Breaking into entertainment often happens at a young age, and individuals without a healthy lifestyle and support network may become overwhelmed. When constantly trying to please others, entertainers may attempt to deal with stress and gain control by controlling their food intake. Eating disorders may develop in an environment where a demand for perfection is paired with high stress and unrealistic ideals.

How the Entertainment Culture Encourages Eating Disorders among Fans

The internet and portable devices have made entertainment a large part of daily life, increasing the consumption of stereotypical images of beauty and masculinity. The popularity of video games has influenced other entertainment, and now everyday apps and social media have competitive elements that add pressure to be perfect and achieve goals. Individuals consume more entertainment than before with constant internet or TV use, and a constant online presence in social media pressures individuals to always appear perfect.

The demands to be beautiful and thin greatly contribute to the development of eating disorders. Individuals feel as if they are fixing something that is wrong with them based on what they see in entertainment. Recent entertainment on TV is self-referential, with reality TV shows and fans and celebrity interaction creating a false sense of connection to entertainers. However, reality-based entertainment has few unscripted elements, and celebrities may hire others to post on social network sites to create fake personalities that fans emulate. In the rare cases when an entertainer speaks honestly about having an eating disorder, fans often find inspiration to get help for their own negative relationship with food.

Treatment for Eating Disorders

If you suffer from an eating disorder, we can help. Eating disorders are treatable with counseling and diagnosing the underlying conditions that contribute to an unhealthy relationship with food. Call now; our helpline is toll-free and available 24 hours a day.