Body Image and Eating Disorders

Body Image and Eating Disorders

Jessica Simpson and Tyra Banks are beautiful, talented, and strong successful women; you can't avoid reading about them in the tabloids and on T.V.  But, not for the reasons you think.  Somebody decided that both women had gained weight, and the media has taken off with the story.  Here are two women who admittedly once lived anorexic lifestyles, but now are trying to eat and live healthy.  They look and feel great, so why is the media calling them fat?

How can I look and feel healthy in an anorexic world?

The media is quick to pounce on celebrities who suffer from eating disorders and then quickly turn around and attack those who have attained a healthy weight.  We strive to be unrealistically thin and eat unhealthy because we are told that is how we should look.  Let's look at these facts:

  • The average height and weight for a model is 5'10" and 110 lbs.
  • The average height and weight for the average woman is 5'4" and 145 lbs.

  • 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
  • 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
  • The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females!

With the media dictating an unrealistic vision of what we should look like, is it any wonder that eating disorders and body image are a real concern for today's college students?

Please explore this website and learn about the following:

If you have any questions about body image and eating disorders on campus please contact:

SMU Community Health Education at healthed@smu.edu 214-768-2393

*Eating disorders most commonly refer to Anorexia Nervosa, but also include Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.  A more in depth look at eating disorders as well as additional resources can be found on the Counseling and Psychiatric Services Self Help Library: Eating Disorders web page.