How the Media Covers Celebrity Eating Disorders

Woman having her picture taken on red carpet also struggles with celebrity eating disorders

The media influences just about every part of our lifestyle. But did you know that news of celebrity eating disorders sometimes informs people in negative ways? A recent study looked at how the media covered these stories and drew some conclusions.

At least several times each year, well-known celebrities reveal bombshell secrets about their lives in the press. The media wastes no time getting these stories out to the public. They even unintentionally glamorize the confessions at times. This is just how the media covers celebrity eating disorders.

But in the game of breaking news and pulling in viewers’ attention, stories involving celebrities count most. And since even very young children have access to the Internet, many of these stories reach young adults. The stories also fail to expose the truths of these disorders and the importance of getting help from an eating disorder treatment center.

When looking at how the media covers celebrity eating disorders, one cannot ignore social media and blogs, which often cover news and stories surrounding celebrity eating disorders. But these posts do not always come from people using press standards.

In fact, many of these social media and blog posts use harmful methods of dieting or disordered eating as “thinspiration.” Thinspiration is a trend that involves finding new and unique ways of getting thin and staying that way.

For example, a blog or social media post may refer to celebrity eating disorders as how some stars gained their thin figures. Many people read these posts and take them seriously. These socially shared examples of how the media covers celebrity eating disorders often go viral.

For those feeling pressured to stay thin or to lose weight, this view of celebrity eating disorders proves very unhealthy. The stories can plant a seed for a disorder of their own to form.

Other Ways the Press Covers Female Bodies

The press causes other pressure for people struggling with self-esteem and anxiety issues. This pressure includes news focus on female stars’ bodies as looking “bikini fit,” good for their age, or thin. These references are stigmas females live with daily, just as they feel pressured to look like those celebrities.

Magazine covers, music videos, and other media contain these pressures, too. In fact, they promote being thin as being pretty. So many young girls and women believe they are not beautiful unless they fit the same stereotype.

About the Eating Disorder and Media Influence Study

In 2016, the Journal of Eating Disorders published a study called, “Pro-Eating Disorder Search Patterns.” The study looked at Google searches over a period of time before, during, and after breaking news of celebrity eating disorders. The point of the study was to review how the media covers celebrity eating disorders and how that news affects the public interest.

The study focused in part on news of Lady Gaga’s eating disorder confession. It showed how web searches during and after this flow of news skewed toward far more positive search terms and questions of these disorders. In other words, people searched for thinspiration influenced by Lady Gaga’s once disordered eating.

The study also showed how media coverage that looks at eating disorders positively attracts the most attention after news like Lady Gaga’s. To experts who know how false information about the disorders affects viewers, this causes a great deal of concern. The effects include using eating disorder behaviors for weight loss or coping with stress.

Important Truths About Eating Disorders

What the media forgets to report is the truth behind celebrities and eating disorders, often dismissing the short and long term damage eating disorders cause.

Some of the health risks associated with eating disorders include:

  • Dangerous blood pressure levels
  • Slow, irregular, or rapid heart rate
  • Bone density loss, brittle nails, dry skin, and dry hair
  • Muscle loss, fainting, fatigue, and weakness
  • Kidney failure or bowel rupture
  • Esophagus rupture, tooth decay, and peptic ulcers
  • High cholesterol, diabetes, or gallbladder disease

Another key truth is how you recover from eating disorders. Recovery can be achieved through a quality, licensed eating disorder treatment facility. Even celebrities do not just put their disorder behind them, without treatment. So much of this news fails to make this urgent need clear to readers or viewers who struggle with eating disorders.

Alabama Eating Disorder Treatment Close to Home

When you suffer from an eating disorder, you need treatment close to home that includes a range of therapies and other support services. Quality programs include:

In Columbiana, Alabama, Magnolia Creek provides this eating disorder treatment. Through this help and support, you learn to cope with stress, anxiety, self-esteem problems, and even triggers of celebrity eating disorders. You learn healthy eating habits and rebuild your life and health one day at a time. Call Magnolia Creek now at 205-409-4220 to learn more about our programs that help you renew your hope, restore your health, and recover your life.


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