Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Overeating, Self-Image, and Social Media


When you hear the term "eating disorder," you may associate it with shockingly skinny individuals who are lying on their death bed. But, it applies to more than just that. Compulsive overeating is an eating disorder in which the sufferer eats an obscene amount of food on a regular basis. People who are compulsive overeaters see food as a way to fill a void in their life. They will eat whenever they're feeling stressed or upset about something in their life. To a compulsive eater, the words "just go on a diet" are as heart-wrenching to hear as if an anorexic heard "just eat." It's a mental disorder.

It's common sense that what you eat can determine your weight and health, but this doesn't register as well in overeaters. They will eat anything to fill the emptiness or overwhelm the emotion they are feeling. So this causes a problem known as obesity. Obese is a term that is used to describe extremely overweight individuals. Overeating is a relevant issue today, especially in America. Like I said earlier, overeating leads to obesity. Here in America, our obesity rate has grown a whopping twenty percent in roughly thirty years. Specific states are singled out; for example, Louisiana has the highest obesity rate in the nation. I feel very passionate about this issue because I feel that it can be easily prevented. The health issues that surround being overweight and unhealthy are numerous. What if we could nearly stop all of those? This world would be a better place to live.

There are a lot of organizations in place to try preventing and stopping obesity in America. A popular advocate is Michelle Obama. She has made it her personal goal to help end childhood obesity, and she has done so by changing the ways school lunches are prepared and served to children. Another organization is the National Action Against Obesity that acts by educating schools and the general public about healthy and unhealthy habits. I think that a great way to reach out to people about overeating and obesity is to not start off by calling them fat. We don't want to hurt people, we want to help them. So, I believe that if we go at an angle that focuses on healthy living, it will be more effective in whatever way we choose to get the word out. With this angle I believe that through presentations, and other kinds of media, we can combat this issue head-on. Being healthy is for everyone!


Self-image problems are issues that people associate with their bodies and self-esteem. Many young girls look through magazines, or their pinterest, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc... and see what is defined as "beautiful" in this day and age. According to these online communities, beauty is seen as: tall, but not too tall; skinny, but not anorexic; big boobs, but not fake ones; clear skin, but tan; blonde hair, but not bleached; blue eyes, but just the right size; a big butt, but not too big; and slim legs, but very muscular. If you step back and look at society's requirements for beauty, you'll be shocked at how impossible it is to attain these. This media teaches us that if you're not all of that, you're ugly. A lot of girls, and even boys, believe that they aren't good enough to find a significant other, or even be happy! This is the problem in this situation. Self-esteem comes from self-peace and when you can't feel happy about who you are, then you're at a high risk for low self-esteem.

I think it's important to combat this issue to show our society that beauty isn't supposed to be a barbie. We need to show that being yourself, loving yourself, and being healthy is what should be considered beautiful. A saying that I love is "these aren't thunder thighs, they're wonder thighs!" We judge our own body parts while forgetting to thank them for what they do for us! Personally, I know that my thighs are what help me dance so well and base in cheerleading. Without them, I'd be weak!

This issue is everywhere. In every school. In every classroom. At some point in our lives, we are all self-conscious about what we look like. We need to quit the comparing and start the praising. So, I would combat this issue by talking about what happiness and self-peace mean. Will you really feel happier if you look a certain way? Will you ever find self-peace if all you do is hate yourself? No, you will not for either of these questions. I want to start a "Love Your Body" revolution where we praise our figures for what they actually do for us! Live your life, love your body!


Albert Einstein once said, "I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction." Well, Einstein, that day has come. Social media is a constant, updated, real-time setting that we learn about our friends on. Instead of talking face to face, we stare at a glass screen that vibrates when someone is interested in talking to us. These tiny glass boxes contain some people's whole lives! Social media has taken over our attention span, our ability to be amused, and lowered our communication between humans.

I think that this issue is particularly important to combat because we need to recharge our communication skills or we will all end up mute someday! (Yes, that's an exaggeration, but still). This issue affects every single person I've ever known! You can't get away from it these days, even my grandparents have smartphones that they facebook on!

I think a great way to go about this issue is to have everyone try out a 24 hour period without social media or their phones. I think it would be a good experiment to show how much time we consume with it. If we can get the point across that social media isn't everything, I think we can make a difference in people's lives! Down with the technology.
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