Youngsters can easily access information with the explosion of information and the widespread image of beauty on TikTok. They might want to chase the “perfect” body image. According to statistical research, beauty and fashion categories in Malaysia get the most views on TikTok.
Beauty and fashion can contribute to the development of eating disorders by promoting unrealistic and narrow beauty standards that often require individuals to have a particular body shape or size. These standards can lead some people to engage in disordered eating behaviors such as restrictive dieting, excessive exercising, and purging to achieve the desired body image. Additionally, constant exposure to images of thin and “perfect” models in the media can further fuel feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction with one’s body, exacerbating or triggering disordered eating patterns.
For example, there was the trend of the A4 skinny waist challenge in TikTok, and youngsters nowadays are chasing to reach the goal of an ant waist. In K-Pop culture, “ant waist” is a term for seriously teeny-tiny waists. People would do anything to pertain to this ideal feature. Eating disorders can occur.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are severe mental health disorders affecting a person’s relationship with food and body image. Although they are similar in some ways, there are essential differences between the two conditions.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a persistent fear of gaining weight, self-starvation, and a distorted body image. People with anorexia often weigh themselves, eat little food, and exercise excessively. This can lead to malnutrition, heart problems, and bone loss. In severe cases, anorexia can even be life-threatening.
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating followed by purging through vomiting, fasting, or excessive exercise. The purging behaviors can lead to electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, and damage to the teeth and throat. People with bulimia often feel a lack of control over their eating behavior. They are ashamed or embarrassed about their binge eating. Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia may maintain healthy or even overweight body weight, making the disorder harder to detect.
Feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem can accompany anorexia and bulimia. They can also co-occur with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
Treatment for both disorders typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and medication. Family-based therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy effectively treat anorexia and bulimia. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to address medical complications and stabilize the person’s health.
Suppose you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder. In that case, it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional. With proper treatment and support, people with anorexia and bulimia can fully recover and improve their relationship with food and body image.
“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. Sometimes in smiles.”– Laurie Halse Anderson
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I am Daniel, My Psychology KK’s intern.
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