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Beauty Of Body Essay, Research Paper

The definition of beauty as found in "Websters New World Dictionary"

is, "Beauty- 1. the quality of being pleasing, as in form, color, etc. 2.a

thing with this quality. 3. good looks. 4. a very attractive person, feautre,

etc." The concepts of beauty were first described by the anicient greeks.

The classical values pushed order and serenity. Greek philosphers Plato and

Socrates were attempting to define beauty. They thought of objects or nature as

being inherently beautiful: beauty is inside the object, "The beauty within

an object is it’s pure and ideal beauty". In our present time beauty no

longer resides inside. It in completely outlying. The road to become beauty is a

long, hard and most importantly thin road. Being thin is the biggest emphasis on

people today. In earlier times thin was not that in. Fuller figured women were

the ideal picture of gorgeous. Now you have to be a twig to be comsidered

beautiful. Society keeps pushing the emphasis on being thin. Through magazines,

ads to lose weight, hundreds of diets and phone numbers to aide in this fight

against fat. They are being nothing but deleterious. Also in the magazines the

skinny models who are the picture of perfect in their glamorous clothes and

makeup. The tall thin legs and high cheek bones. Television is also a major

contributer to this obsession people have today with losing weight. Turn on the

television and what is seen? Youthful boney models and actors running around in

barely anything to sell a can of soup. A Jenny Craig commercial to remind poeple

of what a minority they are and how they must strive and pay her money so they

can be perfect just like everyone else. Even driving, wheter it be to work or a

trip to the mall. Giant bilboards are a constant reminder of whats beautiful and

whats not. It’s a sick obsession and is taken way too seriously. To the point of

death even. People feeling corpulent and are dying to be thin, literally. It all

beings with youth. Adolesence is the most vulnerable point in anyones life. This

is where it all starts. Being a teenager is not easy and there are many

pressures that they face daily. The feeling of being anomalous.Eating disorders

can be very much about control, so if they feel like everything around them is

out of control, they may develop one to gain a sense of control. It is important

for families to raise the teenager to be proud of who they are and not place any

importance on their appearance. Fellow students at school are also part of the

prolbem. One child has a faster motabolism than another. One is comstantly

reminded how much lower than he or she is just because they aren’t as thin as

some one else. Teens need to be able to express all types of emotions. They

should be encouraged to do their best, but they should not be expected to be

perfect. They need to be encouraged to be themselves and to be proud of who they

are, so that they will not give into the pressures from their peers to try and

fit in. If they are happy with themselves and love who they are, they will be

less likely to try and attain society’s unattainable "ideal" body

image, because they will accept their bodies just the way they are. For men,

they want to be the big muscled, winsome male that is persued in just about

every commercial. Women wany the skinny model look. The truth of the matter is a

mojority of people will never be what the ideal image of beauty is. They are not

a monirity as they are led to believe. All the talk, advertisments and

televisions repitition of this matter lead people to feel beneath others, it

gives them a low self esteem and leaves them vulnerable. When this happens,

eating disorders develop. People think that eating disorders are bizare and out

of the ordianry in actuality there quite common. What by definition is an eating

disorder? An eating disorder is defined as eating for the wrong reason. Not

because of hunger and feeding a body. It’s eating out of anxiety, depression or

just because. Patients are usually surrectitious about the disorder. not wanting

a lot of attention. The most well-known eating disorders are anorexia nervosa

and bulimia nervosa.Those affected are mostly young women and girls. People with

these eating disorders often have a psychological profile of low self-esteem and

feelings of helplessness. They tend to blame their problems on their weight and

consequently develop an overwhelming drive to lose weight. Eating disorders are

devastating behavioral maladies brought on by a complex interplay of factors,

which may include emotional and personality disorders, family pressures, and

aculture in which there is anoverabundance of food and anobsession with

thinness. Eating disorders are generally categorized as bulimia nervosa,

anorexia nervosa, and eating disorders not otherwise specified. These are not

new disorders. Although anorexia nervosa was first defined as a medical problem

in 1873, descriptions of self-starvation have been found in medieval writings.

Anexoria nervosa is the disorder in which self starvation takes place. With this

disorder at least fifteen percent to as much as sixty percent of the normal body

weight is lost. Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness in

adolescent women, and is estimated to occur in 0.5 percent to three percent of

all teenagers. Anorexia usually occurs in adolescence. However, over the past

forty years, while ,the incidence has been stable in teenagers it has increased

in young adult women. There are many effects that come with anexoria. In women,

menstrual periods stop. In men levels of sex hormones fall. Young girls do not

begin to menstruate at the appropriate age. Person denies the dangers of low

weight and is terrified of becoming fat. They are terrified of gaining weight

even though she or he is markedly underweight. Reports feeling fat even when

very thin. In addition to the above, anorexia nervosa often includes a feeling

of being disconsolate, irritability, withdrawal, and peculiar behaviors such as

compulsive rituals, strange eating habits, and division of foods into

"good/safe" and "bad/dangerous" categories. Most studies of

individuals with eating disorders have been conducted using white middle-class

females. There is some indication, however, that African American girls and

young women may be at particular risk for eating disorders because of poor body

images caused by cultural attitudes that denigrate the physical characteristics

of minorities. Living in economically developed nations on any continent appears

to pose more of a risk for eating disorders than belonging to a particular

ethnic group; symptoms remain strikingly similar across high-risk countries.

Oddly enough, within developed countries there appears to be no difference in

risk between the rich and the poor. Bulimia nervosa is the diet-binge-purge

disorder. Bulimia, which is morecommon than anorexia, is characterized by cycles

of bingeing and purging. Bulimia nervosa usually begins early in adolescence

when young women attempt restrictive diets, fail, and react by binge eating. In

response to the binges, patients purge by vomiting or by taking laxatives, diet

pills, or drugs to reduce fluids. Patients may also revert to severe dieting,

which cycles back to bingeing if the patient does not go on to become anorexic.

Eating binges prior to purging average about 1,000 calories, but intake during a

binge can be as high as 20,000 or as low as 100 calories. Patients diagnosed

with bulimia average about 14 episodes of binge-purging per week. People with

bulimia that does not progress to anorexia have a normal to high-normal body

weight, but it may fluctuate by more than 10 pounds because of the binge-purge

cycle. The person who binge eats feels out of control while eating.They vomit,

misuse laxatives, exercise, or fasts to get rid of the calories. He or she diets

when not bingeing, becomes hungry and binges again. Bulimics believe self-worth

requires being thin. May shoplift, be promiscuous, and abuse alcohol, drugs, and

credit cards. their weight may be normal or near normal unless anorexia is also

present. Like anorexia, bulimia can kill. Even though bulimics put up a cheerful

front and seem very elan, they are often depressed, lonely, ashamed, and empty

inside. Friends may describe them as competent and fun to be with, but

underneath, where they hide their guilty secrets, they are hurting. Feeling

unworthy, they have great difficulty talking about their feelings, which almost

always include anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and deeply buried anger. Eating

disorders not otherwise specified (NOS) is a third category NOS was established

to define eating disorders not specifically defined as anorexia and bulimia.

This category includes binge eating without purging, infrequent binge-purge

episodes (occurring less than twice a week or such behavior lasting less than

three months), repeated chewing and spitting without swallowing large amounts of

food, or normal weight in people who exhibit anorexic behavior. The effects of

eating disorders are not just mental. Severe phsyical effects take place and

slowly lead to death. Some of the many disorders are malnutrition, it is caused

by undereating or overeating. The word malnutrition indicates deficiency for

energy, protein and micronutrients (e.g. vitamin A, iodine and iron) either

singularly or in combination. It can cause severe health risks including, but

not limited to, respiratory infections, kidney failure, blindness, heart attack

and death. Dehydration is caused by the depletion or lack of intake of fluids in

the body. Eating disorders most common symptoms include dizziness, weakness, or

darkening of urine. Electrolyte Imbalances, electrolytes are essential to the

production of the body’s "natural electicity" that ensures healthy

teeth, joints and bones, nerve and muscle impulses, kidneys and heart, blood

sugar levels and the delivery of oxygen to the cells. Lanugo (soft downy hair on

face, back and arms). This is caused due to a protective mechanism built in to

the body to help keep a person warm during periods of starvation and

malnutrition, and the hormonal imbalances that result. Edema is the swelling of

the soft tissues as a result of excess water accumulation. It is most common in

the legs and feet of compulsive overeaters and in the abdominal area of

anorexics and Bulimics it can also be caused by laxative and diuretic use.

Muscle Atrophy is the wasting away of muscle and decrease in muscle mass due to

the body feeding off of itself. Impaired Neuromuscular function is due to

vitamin and mineral deficiencies (specifically potassium), and malnutrition. CAn

also suffer from insomnia which is having problems falling and/or staying

asleep. Another symptom is chronic fatigue syndrome it’s the continuous and

crippling fatigue related to a weakened immune system. Hyperactivity, manic

boughts of not being able to sit still. Swelling in the face and cheeks

(following self-induced vomitting). Callused or bruised fingers, this is caused

by repeated using the fingers to induce vomitting. Tearing of the esophagus is

also caused by self-induced vomitting. a tear of the gastroesophageal junction

can occur. Spontaneous stomach erosion, perforation or rupture. Acid reflux

disorders, partially digested items in the stomach, mixed with acid and enzymes,

regurgitates back into the esophagus. This can lead to damage to the esophagus,

larynx and lungs and increases the chances of developing cancer of the esophagus

and voice box. Reflux can sometimes become severe enough that food cannot be

kept down at all.Cancer of theesophagus, throat and voice box (Larynx) due to

acid reflux disorders. Dry skin and hair, brittle hair and nails, hair loss all

these are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, low blood pressure,

hypotension (more common in those with Anorexia and/or Bulimia) caused by

lowered body temperature. Can cause heart arrythmias, shock or myocardial

infarction. Hypotension – sudden drop in blood pressure upon sitting up or

standing. Symptoms include dizziness, blurred vision, passing out, heart

pounding and headaches. Hypertension (more common in those with Compulsive

Overeating and/or Binge Eating Disorder) elevated blood pressure exceeding 140

over 90. Can cause: blood vessle changes in the back of the eye creating vision

impairement; abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, kidney failure, and brain

damage. Low platelet count or thrombocytopenia is caused by low levels of

vitamin B12. Disruptions in Blood Sugar Levels – Low Blood Sugar/Hypoglycemia

can indicate problems with the liver or kidneys and can lead to neurological and

mental deterioration. Diabetes can also produce high blood sugar as a result of

low production of insulin. This can be caused by hormonal imbalances,

hyperglycemia, or chronic pancreatitis. Iron Deficiency, Anemia, this makes the

oxygen transporting units within the blood useless and can lead to fatigue,

shortness of breath, increased infections, and heart palpitations. Kidney

infection and failure – your kidneys "clean" the poisons from your

body, regulate acid concentration and maintain water balance. Thinning of the

bones, which is known as Osteoporosis, with reduction in bone mass due to

depletion of calcium and bone protein, predisposing to fractures.Osteopenia is

having below normal bone mass indicating a calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency

and leading to Osteoporosis. Hormone imbalance or deficiencies associated with

the loss of the menstrual cycle can also increase your risks of Osteoporosis and

Osteopenia. Amenorrhea, the loss of menstrual cycle (due to lack of secreting

hormone, Oestrogen, by the ovaries). Easily bruising skin due to vitamin

deficiencies that decrease the body’s ability to heal itself, low blood pressure

and extreme weight loss will all lead to easily bruised skin that can take a

long time to heal. Dental problems, decalcification of teeth, erosion of tooth

enamel, severe decay, gum disease will be caused by stomach acids and enzymes

from vomitting. Can also be due to the lack of exercise the teeth can get from

the process of eating certain foods. There are many factors associated with

having an eating disorder that can lead to heart problems or a heart attack.

Sudden cardiac arrest can cause permanent damage to the heart, or instant death.

The many different personalities that go along with the different types of

eating disorders vary. Personality disorders linked to eating disorders are

specific personality disorders. There is an avoidant personality in anorexia and

a borderline personality in bulimia narcissism is found in both. It should be

noted that all these traits may be found in either eating disorder. One study

indicated that women with both eating disorders tended to be less optimistic, to

worry more, and to deny negative issues when solving problems than were women

without eating disorders. In general, women with eating disorders had a much

more difficult time dealing with stress than other women. Studies indicate that

as many as a third of anorexia restrictors have avoidant personalities, they

tend to be perfectionists and are emotionally and sexually inhibited. They also

often have less of a fantasy life than people with bulimia or without eating

disorders. They rarely rebel and are usually perceived as always being

"good". They are terrified of being ridiculed and feeling humiliated.

Achieving perfection, with all that involves, is the only way to achieve love,

this means becoming trouble-free and demanding nothing (including food). Part of

this need for perfection is an ideal image of thinness that can never be

achieved. People with anorexia are extremely sensitive to failure, and any

criticism, no matter how slight, reinforces their own belief that they are

"no good". Because love is never obtained through attempts to be

perfect, a sense of failure is inevitable. patients are described as having a

total lack of self. Studies indicate that almost fourty percent of people who

have bulimia were borderline personalities. Such people tend to have unstable

moods, thought patterns, behavior, and self-images. They cannot stand to be

alone, they demand constant attention, and they have difficulty controlling

impulsive behavior. People with borderline personalities have been described as

causing chaos around them by using emotional weapons such as temper tantrums,

suicide threats, and hypochondria. They idealize people and are often

disappointed and rejected. Some research has suggested that the severity of this

personality disorder predicts difficulty in treating bulimia and might be more

important than the presence of psychological problems, such as

depression.Studies have also found that people with bulimia have a high rate of

narcissism, a personality disorder marked by an inability to soothe oneself or

to empathize with others, by a need for admiration, and by hypersensitivity to

criticism or defeat. Even the people who are already considered very attractive

have prolbems. Strongly competitive athletes are often perfectionists, a trait

common among people with eating disorders. Women in "appearance"

sports, including gymnastics and figure skating, and in endurance sports, such

as track and cross-country are at particular risk for anorexia. Success in

ballet also depends on the development of a wiry and extremely slim body.

Estimates for episodes of eating disorders among such athletes and performers

range from fifteen to sixty percent. Male wrestlers and light-weight rowers are

also at risk forexcessive dieting. One-third of high school wrestlers use a

method called weight-cutting for rapid weight loss; this process involves food

restriction and fluid depletion using steam rooms, saunas, laxatives, and

diuretics. Although male athletes are more apt to resume normal eating patterns

once competition ends, studies are showing that the body fat levels of many

wrestlers are still well below their peers during off-season and are often as

low as three percentr during wrestling season. One study of girls without eating

disorders reported that before puberty, girls ate quantities of food appropriate

to their body weight, were satisfied with their bodies, and depression increased

with lower food intake. After puberty, girls ate about three-quarters of the

recommended calorie intake, had a poorer body self-image, and depression

increased with higher food intake. New research suggests that girls as young as

ten years old associate being teased or socially victimized by peers with being

ugly or fat regardless of their actual physical characteristics. Such poor body

images can often lead to eating disorders. It is not surprising, then, that

there is a greater risk for bulimia and other emotional disorders in girls who

undergo early puberty, when the pressures experienced by all adolescents are

intensified further by anxiety-provoking attention on their early changing

bodies. Models and sports athlete being adulationed, making people feel worse

about themselves and more vulernable. Our society today has gone astray from the

thinking of Socrates and Plato. Beauty is only skin deep, and pernicious steps

are being taken to achive this. The majority youth. Teens and children are being

taught that beauty is all and thin is beauty. They are develpoing ailments that

are harmful and eventually fatal.

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