Is Anorexia Hot Or Not?
by cmisk1 on February 17, 2014 - 11:54pm
Body: A social dimension topic I was interested in is how the increase of anorexic models and celebrities impact social media today. The article I stumbled upon was titled; “On the link between media coverage of anorexia and pro-anorexic practices on the web” by Elad Yom-Tov and Danah M. Boyd. The main goal of this article was to see if there was a correlation between celebrities' pictures and stories referencing anorexia and an increase in an online public interest in these topics. This article focuses on the online activity involving the issue of anorexia, is it about the eating disorder or is it just a way to boost social media and certain magazines' sales? The author isn't just curious to see if anorexic pictures are viewed more than normal pictures, the author is taking a different approach. The two authors are looking at all of the interactions on the Internet involving this disorder. They examined the Internet activity of 9.2 million users. This is a great worldwide scale of collecting and analyzing online searches I think the fact that this examination was worldwide and didn't discriminate between race, gender, location, or age really supports the results on a universal level. They specifically narrowed their social findings by using twitter and twitter interactions and what was trending. Overall, they found that there was a 33% increase in searches when a celebrity was displayed as anorexic. This shows why the media thrives on these stories; it's hard for people to believe that this beautiful, successful, “perfect” celebrity could now be severely ill and unappealing.
After these results came through you have to wonder why? Why would people specifically look up unhealthy or even gross pictures of a celebrity? There are a few reasons that come to mind: they are simply curious to see how bad this star looks, everyone is talking about it, they have suffered/are suffering from anorexia and can relate, or they stumbled across it. All these different reasons lead to the same impact; it's great for the media. No matter the reason for looking up anorexia involving celebrities, the media doesn't care. They approach the stories and pictures from all angles to appeal all different crowds. Either way their number of viewers is dramatically increasing. So, if one were to think about it, people are looking at these pictures and articles for sick and demented reasons, as opposed to articles regarding a healthy lifestyle, or just something that is intellectually stimulating. In this day and age, media is taking average everyday problems and converting them into something more negative and dramatic than what they truly are. I think since the media has such an impact on women these days and how they are supposed to look and how much they are supposed to weight, that anorexia should be seen more as an illness rather than entertainment. The media thrives on this eating disorder, but in reality this eating disorder has become more popular due to the media’s interpretation on what a women should look like. Ironic much?
References: (Yom-Tov, E., Boyd, D. (2014) On the link between media coverage of anorexia and pro-anorexic practices on the web, Wiley)
Link to Article: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy2.drake.brockport.edu/ehost/detail?vid=14&sid=799cba4f-d9e2-4878-a16d-14aca7a9c14e%40sessionmgr4004&hid=4111&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=a9h&AN=94232157