Body image and how it is a contributing factor to eating disorders.

Q. why do I want to study body image as being a cause of eating disorders?

A. The reason why I wanted to investigate this topic is that I have a limited under standing of it and I am empathetic towards it. I personally have altered my weight to change my body image, but not through any of these methods. Also it is a growing issue within young females. As well it has always intrigued me as to the extent that body image can effect people in their everyday life’s. In this also the media are a contributing force, in the way they portray body image with the male and female models with there prefect and flawless bodies. But this is a topic I may not cover the media and the part they play.

Q. what I hope to find out and what is my aim?

A. My goals are to find out how it starts what cause it in the beginning, what are the signs and symptoms how and what it can affect in peoples lives. Eg: social, work and family even leading to death. my aim also was to gather the actual definitions of body image and three disorders concerning body image. Two of them being eating disorders and the other one, more to do with a physical visual appearance disorder. Trying also to briefly look at the media. My main goal is to validate my hypothesis that body image is very linked or the main cause that lead people to eating disorders.

Q. What is body image?

A. People often talk about body image, but what is it exactly? O\'Dea (1995, p.56) defines body image as a concept or scheme incorporating a collection of feelings and perceptions such as overall awareness of the body, perception of body boundaries, attention to parts of the body as well as the whole, perception of size of the parts and the whole, and position in space and gender-related perceptions.

Body image includes an individual\'s perception and judgement of the size, shape, weight and any other aspect of the body which relates to body appearance. O\'Dea (7995) p.56

Q. What is body Image in young women?

A. A woman\'s body image encompasses her physical appearance, size and shape. Our body image is formed out of every experience we have ever had- parents, role models, and peers who give us an idea of what it is like to love and value a body. Image is formed from the positive and negative feedback from people whose opinions matter to us. It is also the way we ourselves have perceived our body to fit or not to fit the cultural image.

Many women have a distorted perception of what their bodies look like. They may look in the mirror and see a larger body than the one that they have. Adolescent girls are repeatedly told that they must adapt to socially acceptable norms.

Body Image includes more than weight. The cosmetics industry tries to sell us the idea that we need to improve our skin tone, hair colour and hair style. The clothing industry tells us each year that, to look good, we need to change our wardrobes.

Body image has been studied from numerous and varied perspectives, such as psychological, philosophical and sociological. It has been well documented that in Western culture, females are more concerned than males about eating, body weight and appearance (Pliner 1990 as cited in Murphy 1997). From an early age, children learn that Western culture judges attractiveness and social acceptability using body shape and size as important criteria. The ideal of slimness for males and females and the undesirability of fatness is learned from childhood (O\'Dea 1995).

Q. What are eating disorders?

· Anorexia Nervosa

· Bulimia Nervosa

· Compulsive Eating

· Binge Eating –Over Exercise or Compulsive Exercise

· Body Dysmorphic Disorder

I am only defining three of the eating disorders above, the two most common disorders Anorexia and Bulimia. Then the Body Dysmorphic Disorder, which I see as a relevant disorder concerning body image.

Q. What is Anorexia?

A. Often called Anorexia Nervosa - A person who suffers from anorexia is one who refuses to maintain a healthy body weight. They have an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat