Breaking the Silence: The Impact of Body Diversity in Media Targeted Towards Young Girls


“I hate seeing fat girls on TV or in movies, because the only way the world seems to be okay with putting a fat person on camera is if they’re miserable with themselves or if they’re the jolly best friend, (“Dumplin”)”. Fifty percent of Americans know someone who has suffered from an eating disorder. The third most common chronic illness among children 10-19 years old is anorexia. Ninety-five percent of all those afflicted with eating disorders are within the age range of 12-25, and ¼ of college-aged women engage in binging and purging as a weight-management technique. So why are eating disorders pushed to the side, and sometimes even glorified in the media? Why is the pursuit of the ‘perfect body’ forced onto young people, specifically young girls? A lack of positive representation of diverse, female bodies in media targeted towards young girls has resulted in a dangerous standard of thinness that encourages young women to change themselves by engaging in self-destructive behaviors that often result in body dysmorphia or eating disorders.



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