The Thin Commandments: A Guide To Anorexia Nervosa

2315 words - 10 pages

In today’s world, the pursuit of thinness has increased due to the association it has with physical attractiveness and body perfection. Society, particularly the Western culture, idolizes thin body size as the ideal body image. And as a consequence, eating disorders can develop when people take this to the extreme. Scholars have looked at all forms of persuasive tools that can explain the popularity of anorexia nervosa. From language use (Burke, 1966) to the power of culture in terms of presumed knowledge (Dumit, 2003) and its increasing interest in the ideal body image of the Western culture (Vandereycken and van Deth, 1994).
Kenneth Burke’s “Terministic Screens” (1966) uses the metaphor of camera lenses to explain that language and words affect and determine the way we see the world. While Burke introduces two approaches to the nature of language, I want to focus on the “dramatistic” (Burke 44) approach. With the “dramatistic” (Burke 44), Burke argues that since we all possess our own frame of reference or symbols for interpreting the world, words and thoughts can never be objective since their strength relies on interpretations. Symbols then become a kind of screen through which the world is seen and our realities are each unique because of this.
In their article “From Fasting Saints to Anorexic Girls: The History of Self-Starvation” (1994), Walter Vandereycken and Ron van Deth note that anorexia nervosa is not a modern crisis. They claim that this particular eating disorder is in fact embedded in the Western culture. Vandereycken and van Deth argue that voluntary starvation has evolved over time. Both scholars acknowledge that what started off as a starvation for religious ritual to achieve religious piety has now turned into starvation as a way to satisfy the social construct of an ideal physical appearance (Vandereycken and van Deth, 1994).
While it is not associated with eating disorders, Joseph Dumit’s article “Is It Me or My Brain? Depression and Neuroscientific Facts” (2003), the scholar notes the persuasive power that the media have over people through the use of presumed knowledge. According to Dumit these presumed knowledge is what he called “received-facts” (39) or “a prior knowledge” (39). Dumit states that “a prior knowledge” (39) is knowledge in which information is gained through textbooks and other sources that we trust, which he agues are heavily influenced by culture and its association (Dumit, 2003).
All three scholars, however, fail to include the virtual world. This leads me to question how anorexics view their mental illness. The portrayal of anorexia nervosa by the sufferer themselves can be seen in the form of personal blogs. My research question then becomes: what makes pro-ana (pro-anorexia) websites dangerous to victims of eating disorder, regardless of whether or not they have been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or are recovering from the illness?
To investigate this question, I am using one pro-ana...

Find Another Essay On The Thin Commandments: A Guide to Anorexia Nervosa

Distortion: a Research Paper on Anorexia Nervosa

1083 words - 5 pages a problem and continue with their fatal practices. One will continue to diet and take weight loss medication to get as thin as they see fit. The chemistry of the brain changes completely; your memory becomes bad, the brain’s ability to think is off, and extreme mood swings are prevalent. (Smith, Melinda, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., "Anorexia Nervosa." : Signs, Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment.) Usually any activity involving food or the

Anorexia Nervosa: A Serious, Deadly Disease

2267 words - 9 pages they have a problem. Then they need to be willing to get help and treatment. The next step is to avoid being around places that cause the obsession of being thin to return. Not looking at certain magazines or being around people who talk about food and being thin can help. Going to a professional counselor and talking about their issues can also help the person facing Anorexia Nervosa. The main goal of treatment is to get the patients weight

The Differences between Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia

839 words - 4 pages has a distorted perception of their body, they think they are overweight and in order to have control they eat very little or nothing at all. They also over exercise or even when eating in front of people they don’t actually eat, they just move the food around the plate. Some of the physical aspects of Anorexia Nervosa are malnutrition, one looks too thin, and the hair starts to become brittle and falls out easily. They also tend to be sick all of

This is a project for my Intro to Pyschology class on anorexia nervosa

1172 words - 5 pages Anorexia NervosaAnorexia nervosa is disorder characterized by a refusal to maintain normal weight, intense preoccupation with and unrealistic fear of weight gain, self-starvation, a distorted body image, and by the cessation of menstruation in women. The name comes from two Latin words meaning "nervous inability to eat". The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, carefully weighing

Everything You Need To Know About Anorexia Nervosa

1025 words - 4 pages Anorexia Nervosa is a mental illness in which a person will starve him/herself in order to lose as much weight as possible because of the fear of gaining weight. They believe that they are overweight even when their weight is so low that their health is in danger and they may die from starvation because an anorexic will severely restrict food intake and become extremely thin. Since thinness has become a primary measure of attractiveness

Anorexia Nervosa: Hazardous Disease or a normative behavior?

2022 words - 8 pages the "ideal" figure. I can surely understand that by being cautious about our bodies we keep it healthy and constantly in good shape but there are some limits to the way we define "being cautious" and "healthy". It simply means that we do not harm ourselves by trying to lose weight. Basically, what it means is not to end up suffering from a disorder like anorexia nervosa. There is, though, a controversy concerning the promotion of anorexia nervosa

A Speedy Recovery of Anorexia Nervosa by Family Therapy

761 words - 4 pages Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is one of the most common eating disorders in the world. The slimming trend is so embedded into our lives that some people go to the extreme to pursuit after their new beauty standard. To eradicate the misled thinking of AN patients, therapy is often used in addition to drugs. While researches have proven that therapies, both family and individual ones, are effective, little attention had been paid to their differences

Explain how social and psychological factors contribute to the development of an eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa

1395 words - 6 pages students and university students and found that the combination of pressure to be thin as well as a highly competitive environment "significantly increased the likelihood of developing anorexia nervosa".Individual and psychological factors contributing to a predisposition to anorexia include an individual's personality. Traits of anorexics have been shown to be obsessive-compulsive tendencies, introversion and general anxiety as well as an intense

Starve for Perfection, the Cost of Anorexia Nervosa

1603 words - 6 pages Starve for Perfection, the Cost of Anorexia Nervosa There are innumerable amounts of people in this modern society that suffer from eating disorders. Forcing to be part of a society were it is more significant to be thinner than healthier and fitter, the media perpetuates and feeds over the strong feelings that women have to be thin to be desirable. With the media purporting the standards of what a beautiful woman should look like to get into

The Effects of Pharmacological Treatment on Anorexia Nervosa

1489 words - 6 pages females, with only about five percent of those suffering from the disease being male. It is also most likely to develop in young females as a result of societal pressures on women to remain slim. The DSM-4 criteria for anorexia nervosa contains the following factors : maintenance of a body weight which is less than 85% of that expected for normal weighing individuals, intense fear of becoming overweight, disturbance or distortion of how one

Anorexia Nervosa and Its Effects on the Human Body

767 words - 3 pages Anorexia nervosa is a life threatening eating disorder affecting millions of teenagers and adults worldwide. Anorexia can be defined as a maintenance of less than fifteen percent body fat through self starvation. Ninety-five percent of anorexics are women between the ages of twelve and eighteen; however, in the past twenty years, this disorder has become a growing threat to high school and college students alike. An extremely serious disease

Similar Essays

Anorexia Nervosa. A Summary Of Two Articles Related To Anorexia And Their Findings

1320 words - 5 pages Psychology Assignment: Literature ReviewIntroduction to PsychologyThis paper will summarize two articles that relate to anorexia and discuss the causes, symptoms, effects and treatments of a perplexing eating disorder that many people suffer from. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that has bombarded western cultures and society as a whole. As a nurse we must acknowledge and encourage the importance of a healthy body image.TABLE OF

The Eating Disorder Anorexia Nervosa Essay

1693 words - 7 pages The Eating Disorder Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia nervosa is a relentless pursuit of excessive thinness that interferes with the fulfillment of responsibilities to the self and to others because it produces an intense and irrational fear of becoming fat, an obsession with food and weight control, and a life threatening weight loss. Eventually, a series of starvation-induced physical and psychological changes threatens control over eating

Anorexia Nervosa And How To Help

989 words - 4 pages Anorexia nervosa is a growing problem throughout teenagers and adults in today's society. It is often assumed to be solely a problem female's face; however it is now a growing problem in young men as well. Anorexia nervosa is not simply about being thin. There are several other components to the disease. Some may experience the feeling of a lack of control. Others can be diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In some cases, people

Anorexia Nervosa Is A Life Threatening Disease

992 words - 4 pages percent of their ideal body weight. There are two types of anorexia nervosa: restricting type and binge-eating and purging type. They regularly deny how serious the disorder is. Anorexia is a serious and potentially life threatening mental illness. Anorexia Nervosa is a big part of adolescence life. In society today there are many social standards that promote a thin body. Adolescents tend to look up to the super thin models that are plastered all