Media Influences on Body Image and Eating Disorders

Media Influences on Body Image and Eating Disorders

Media Influences on Body Image & Eating Disorders

How does the media influence your body image and the development of eating disorders? Specifically, how does society’s “ideal standard of beauty” affect your attitudes about your body image, weight, shape and size? How does the “pressure to look perfect” affect your behaviors with eating and exercise, possibly feeding your eating disorder? Based on the images that you see in magazines, on television, and in social media – how do you feel about your body, right now?

Ugggh! I look so flabby. I need liposuction!
My body is OK, but I’d look better with breast implants!
Getting older is Hell. I hate the wrinkles on my face. Botox me!

In the movie entitled, “America The Beautiful,” our beauty myths are revealed, so we can challenge them and discover our True Beauty beyond the mirror of society’s ideals. The movie follows the true story of a young model, as her career rises and falls. Her story helps us to examine the obsession with youth and beauty – and the damage that occurs when women try to live up to the impossible standards of physical perfection.

The narrator of this movie is a middle-aged, balding, African-American male – who finds himself caught up in his own beauty myths as the story unfolds. His role shows us that everyone is vulnerable to the messages in the media about beauty – women, men, young, old, all races, all social classes. Take a moment to reflect about how the media has influenced you at different times in your life, as well as others you know.

Imagine for a moment that you live on an island which has no “beauty standard,” where each individual is valued for their unique bodies and traits. There are no comparisons made between people, wishing one looked more like the other, because each person knows their intrinsic value, exactly as they are. There are no advertisements for products designed to change your appearance, because who you are is already “perfect.” Free of any messages about how you “should look,” how do you think you would feel about your body?

Wow, look at my thighs! I have such strong legs!
My breasts are such a sensual and wonderful part of me!
Ah, such lovely lines of wisdom on my face! I am True Beauty!

Although we do live in a society with “ideals,” it’s who we really are that is ideal. 


Try this EDIT™ Worksheet to see your True Beauty!


Article may be reprinted with the author bio below.

©2018 by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey. Dr. Dorie is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Addiction Counselor who is passionate about training professionals to effectively guide clients in recovery from eating disorders, through her Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ Certified program. She also meets with clients at her treatment center, Positive Pathways PLLC, located in Evergreen Colorado. Learn more at:


Want more that this “taste” of EDIT™? Dr. Dorie is passionate about her method of Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ to help people overcome eating disorders and addictions.  She provides customized counseling for eating disorders and alcohol / drug addiction at her Positive Pathways treatment center in Evergreen, Colorado – and EDIT™ eating disorder training and certification for coaches and clinicians worldwide. CALL 303-494-1975EMAIL DR. DORIE – GET CERTIFIED