DIAGNOSING A PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEM: PHOTOSHOP

A major problem faced by Americans in the recent years is the obesity epidemic. Many people living in America are overweight and have unhealthy eating habits. If most of America is overweight, than why is the ideal American body image to be ultra thin? Fatter American and an ultra thin body image equals an unrealistic body image goal for American’s to achieve. Therefore, the obesity epidemic in America can lead to anorexia or bulimia as a result of American’s desire to achieve this ideal body image. According to the article, 50% of people are unsatisfied with their body image. In 2009, 14.5% of high school girls and 6.9% of high school boy reported going at least 24 hours without eating to lose weight. Also, 5.4% of girls and 2.6% of boys reported that they have vomited or took laxatives to prevent weight gaining. The reason for these adolescents to engage in this type of behavior is due to that ultra thin image, that is overly advertised everywhere. Many advertisements utilize tools, such as photoshop to create and even thinner image that the model in the photograph. These companies go so far as to air brush the model to the point where they have created false advertisement. An experiment was done involving college women with the exposure to an ideally thin body image. Some women were exposed to the thin images of women, while the control group was exposed to normal images of women. It was found that women who viewed the thin images were less satisfied with their own bodies, had lower self-esteems and greater eating disorder symptoms than the control group. As a result, photoshop, air brushing and any usage of an ultra thin body image can have a negative impact of adolescent women. Furthermore, supporting the idea to decrease and regulate usage of photoshop to help prevent any rise in eating disorders. Since photoshop is used widely across America and advertisement companies, it is important to include it in my research paper. The article provides some evidence and support to my argument of the harmful affects of photoshop on social media and its contribution to eating disorders.

Purtle, Jonathan. “Diagnosing a public health problem: photoshop.” Philly.com May 10, 2012 Accessed: February 28. 2014 http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Photoshopping-beauty-into-a-public-health-problem.html?c=r

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