• Ally Rau

Eating Disorders and Body Shaming in Teenagers

Eating disorders and body shaming is an epidemic that many people have to deal with. According to Eating Disorder Hope, an eating disorder is defined as “illnesses that are characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape.” This includes anorexia nervosa, which is controlling and limiting your food intake, and most of the time is started with not liking your body image. Another common disorder is bulimia nervosa, which is starts with overeating followed by a compensatory behavior. Many people become bulimic to avoid gaining weight or try to lose weight. The last common type of eating disorder is binge eating. Binge eating is done by eating a lot of food at once over and over. It is used as a coping method. Eating disorders, if not treated properly, can be deadly. Mayo Clinic suggests that many eating disorders can develop in teenagers through pressure in society, sports, or by personal influence. With that being said, no one really knows the official reason that so many struggle with eating disorders. “It’s so ingrained in our society that we don’t actually realize when we feel shame about our bodies,” Lindsey Bucki, our school psychologist, said. You can feel ashamed by the size clothing you wear or the way you look in picture which could lead to unhealthy eating habits or an eating disorder. Eating disorders can begin because you don’t like the way you look or comments have been made about the way you look. “You can take a picture at a different angle, and you can look different. We have apps that we are able to change the way we look, and some interalize what we see and feel that we should look that way,” Bucki continued. People’s comments on the way that you look will stay with you and can make you look at yourself differently. Stated in Bulimia.com, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a mental illness where you are focused on the way that you look in an unhealthy way, you constantly want to change how you look and are not happy with your physical appearance. We always talk about the negative impacts of fat shaming, but skinny shaming is just as hurtful. When you are body shamed for the way that you look you lose confidence. No one is able to change the way that they look, and when you have hurtful comments said about the way you look, you start to believe them. Words stick with people and negative comments have a larger effect on most people than positive comments do. A lot of the time when girls, especially, get a positive compliment they don’t believe it or really accept the compliment. Eating disorders and body shaming are things that many people go through. We can not change the way we look, so be kind.

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