Good Example Of Research Proposal On Does American Marketing Affect Eating Disorders In Young Girls

Published: 2021-06-21 23:51:21
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The eating disorders have been considered to be very complex condition that is necessitated by a variety of factors. These factors may be biological, psychological, behavioral, interpersonal, social and emotional. It has not been established as to exactly what motivates this physical and emotionally damaging condition. This essay will seek to integrate psychological and marketing literature that is associated with eating disorders. There is strong evidence linking the use of models during advertising and the cases of eating disorders among young girls (Hesse-Biber, Leavy, Quinn, & Zoino, 2006).
It has been a widely held that eating disorders are as a result of psychiatric problems; this is not, however, been the case since eating disorders are symptomatic of the social problems. Disorderly eating or eating disorders are considered to be culturally induced and diseases that are promoted partially by social and economic institutions profiting from the cult of thinness. This culture of thinness is promoted by the mass media mainly to tap on the market that is associated with eating disorders. Advertising industries, fitness and cosmetic surgery industries, weight loss and diet-food are aware of this lucrative market. Not all women, however, who are exposed to the influences through the mass media, develop dissatisfaction with their bodies or body disorders. In order to have an understanding of how specific women are exposed to, or impacted by mass marketing of beauty ideals through the mass media, it is imperative to undertake sociological perspective about the problem and the reasons behind it. This paper will seek to establish the important clues on the understanding of the penetrating influence of marketing on eating disorders among women (Sanders, 2014).
The American media and marketing entities send powerful signals to the women that it is only thin and beautiful girls that are loved; this serves to catalyze the ideal body for an American woman where thin bodied women are considered as an embodiment of success and health; this sends out the lesson that women should take charge of their eating habits and control their life. Thinness promises women goodies that are offered by life. The college women and middle class are, therefore, duped into accepting this lifestyle. This marketing tactics employed by mass media and advertising companies continuously make young girls be susceptible to developing eating habits that are disorderly; this is motivated by the pursuit of the cultural idealism of thin or slim body. In a context where the requirement of slimness is not taken seriously by young girls, the need is reiterated by peer groups, family, and workplace and school mates (Hesse-Biber, Leavy, Quinn, & Zoino, 2006).
Vigorously marketing campaigns carried out the media makes young girls to be vulnerable to adopting eating habits that are disorderly; they go to the extent of coping behaviors that are associated with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. These behaviors include dieting, starvation; severe weight loss, binge eating and obsession with food. Research has established that eating disorders are common among men than among women. According to Hesse-Biber, 90 to 95 percent of people diagnosed with eating disorders are women. The prevalence of eating disorders is common among young girls and it is no longer an issue associated with class, ethnicity or race but it is general and common among young girls (Hesse-Biber, Leavy, Quinn, & Zoino, 2006).
Traditionally, eating disorders was common among people with diagnosed clinical conditions but, this is no longer the case and instead it has become a psychological issue. Social and commercial institutions have exerted much controls and sought to perpetuate their financial interests in their promotion of their culture of slimness. These institutions extract much profit in transmitting thinness related messages. The self-esteem of young girls is based on the perception by the members of the opposite sex, and the body structure plays an important role in the definition of beauty. Thinness or slim body structure has been culturally and psychologically considered to be ideal; this has been widely carried out by the media through, the use of models who are thin. This is the psychological impression that is cast on young girls and hence forcing them to adopt eating disorders in order to acquire the right body size.
Diet, fast food, cosmetic and plastic surgery industries have been at the forefront in promoting a dangerously thin beauty bodies like the ideal one. This provides a favorable atmosphere for development and adoption of disorderly eating habits. The food industry is striving to reap massive profits, concentration and control at the expense of individual consumer. Food companies promote snacking to enable consumers take more snacks, replace drinking water with soft drinks, present desserts and bombarding young girls with glamorous images of processed food. This has resulted in a majority of young girls becoming obese in their pursuit of slimness. Marketers use the bad food/good food dichotomy in their promotion hence setting up the risk of eating disorders (Spettigue, & Henderson, 2004).
Marketing and advertising are considered the most effective way of transmitting messages in eating habits. Movies, newspapers, popular television, and magazines are responsible for manifesting eating habits that are not health. Eating disorders arise from several causes and once adopted, may be self-perpetuating and can create emotional and physical destruction. Absence of ethics in advertisement a hot debate gaining momentum; the advertisements have been accused of debasing the public by presenting aesthetically irritating and unpleasant displays. Modern marketing is considered to be manipulative and only intended at arousing the psychological desire of the consumer. Marketing tactics employed by several industries end up brainwashing the consumers into forgetting their own interests and only becoming preoccupied with the advert. Marketing activities have ended up promoting unhealthy eating habits among the consumers; most of the mass media advertisements often encourage young girls to pursue slim body that they portray as ideal and desirable (Prendergast, 1998).
Most of the advertising presents a very attractive body of a female that is usually thin. The advertisements exalt beauty slimness, sexuality and vitality. These adverts have duped young girls into believing that the standards of slimness is one captured in advertisements and they take it as the desirable body structure for them. The advertisements have resulted in body image distortions due to the psychological pressures resulting from contrasting between an ideal body image and the objectives of young girls on their body shape. Young girls duped by the advertisement into believing on the distortion of their body shape may start dieting and engaging in excess exercise. This pathological pursuit of an ideal body image result in eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa, it may in extreme cases also result in death. This phenomenon has resulted in the increase, in the number of girls suffering from eating disorders. There is, therefore, a direct link between eating disorders among young girls and advertising.
Young girls model themselves along the slim women that are used in marketing. This according to consumer behaviorist is referred as modeling, vicarious learning and imitative learning. This has been perfected by the young girls in changing their eating behaviors as they see it in the media. The young girls imitate it thinking that it is the right and ideal body shape that might have positive consequences on their lives and their lifestyle. Advertisements, for example, can carry a picture of thin model that is being dated by a well-dressed, handsome man. This modeled behavior will have reinforced consequences on the behavior of young girls. Advertisers use thin models due to the belief and perception that it is very effective when the product is endorsed by physically attractive models. The society perceives thin people, as physically attractive as compared to fat people. Advertisers therefore want their advertising to be effective, it is only sensible that they use product endorsers that are able to influence the consumers positively and attract good attitude towards the advertisement (Fay & Price, 1994).
Advertisement increases the cases of eating disorders among young girls. This is because thin models are used in the advertisement; this is to suggest that the ideal shape of a woman body is thin. The adverts reinforce the changing role of women as visible and it is this visibility that puts much pressure on young girls to maintain a public appearance that is appropriate. Increasing number of reality TV shows like the ABC’s extreme makeover has been criticized for glamorizing dramatic changes on physical appearances and promoting unhealthy body shapes. The discontent of young girls on the body image is related to their frequency of reading fashion magazines, viewing TV commercials and the ads using thin models to enhance the negative feelings of women towards their bodies. The unhealthy eating habits promoted by the marketers include meal skipping, smoking cigarettes, taking laxatives, fasting and vomiting (Cassell, & Gleaves, 2006).
Annotated bibliography
Cassell, D. K., & Gleaves, D. H. (2006). The encyclopedia of obesity and eating disorders. New York: Facts on File.
This book analyses how the young girls are duped into accepting thinness as the attractive body image. The authors base their arguments in the analysis of beauty and teen magazines and its influence on the eating habits of young girls. The book acknowledges the causal role of the media in influencing and motivating eating behaviors of young girls.
Fay, M, Price, C, (1994). Female Body-shape in Print Advertisements and the Increase in Anorexia Nervosa, European Journal of Marketing, 28 (12), pp: 5-18.
The article analyses the role of print advertisements in influencing negative eating behaviors such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. According to the article, print advertisement has turned to brainwash the minds of young girls by exposing them to fashion trends and the perceived body image.
Hesse-Biber, S, Leavy, P, Quinn, C & Zoino, J. (2006). The mass marketing of disordered eating and Eating Disorders: The social psychology of women, thinness and culture, Women's Studies International Forum, 29, pp: 208–224.
This is an insightful article on the role marketing in influencing the eating behaviors of young girls. The author of the article dispels the notion that eating disorders are psychiatric or clinical in nature but blames the behavior on social and commercial institutions that are out to profit from the unethical practice.
Prendergast, G. (1998). Psychology, marketing and eating disorders: Integrating evidence from literature, Association for consumer research, 3, pp: 120-125.
This paper integrates both economic, marketing and psychological literature that are related to eating disorders. The article directly links incidence of advertising to the increasing cases of eating disorders.
Sanders, E. (2014). The Influence of Media Marketing on Adolescent Girls. Retrieved on 27th March, 2014 from: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/sanders.html
The article captures the role of TV, Newspapers and internet in shaping the eating behavior of adolescent girls. The article particularly points out that television, advertisements music videos, commercials, films and magazines as the form of media that is disorienting the perception of girls on the right body image.
Spettigue, W & Henderson, K. (2004). Eating disorders and role of the media. Can Child Adolesc Psychiatr Rev. 13(1): pp. 16–19.
The article provides an excellent review on the role of the media in the development, maintenance and treatment of eating disorders. The article provides insight information on how the role of the media in promoting eating disorders can be curtailed. The article blames the media in providing a social context in which eating disorders prevail among the young girls. The article critically analyzes the role of the media in all aspects and issues surrounding eating disorders among girls.
References
Cassell, D. K., & Gleaves, D. H. (2006). The encyclopedia of obesity and eating disorders. New York: Facts on File.
Fay, M, Price, C, (1994). Female Body-shape in Print Advertisements and the Increase in Anorexia Nervosa, European Journal of Marketing, 28 (12), pp: 5 – 18.
Hesse-Biber, S, Leavy, P, Quinn, C & Zoino, J. (2006). The mass marketing of disordered eating and Eating Disorders: The social psychology of women, thinness and culture, Women's Studies International Forum, 29, pp: 208–224.
Prendergast, G. (1998). Psychology, marketing and eating disorders: Integrating evidence from literature, Association for consumer research, 3, pp: 120-125.
Sanders, E. (2014). The Influence of Media Marketing on Adolescent Girls. Retrieved on 27th March, 2014 from: http://www.kon.org/urc/v8/sanders.html
Spettigue, W & Henderson, K. (2004). Eating disorders and role of the media. Can Child Adolesc Psychiatr Rev. 13(1): pp. 16–19.
Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media
Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media
Eating Disorders and the Role of the Media

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