When I consider the extremes that females resort to for thinner figures, I can’t help but to think of the extreme importance of looks in today’s culture. It is of the human nature to base first impressions of people on their physical appearance and to be inclined to like those who we find attractive.
Looks are a superficial thing that are determined solely by chance and chance alone. Besides cosmetic surgery, we can only alter our appearances by eating and exercise habits. Some women with eating disorders don’t eat enough and exercise far too much. It is also against human nature to want to go through physical strife such as hunger pains or exerting too much energy, so something must be motivating these women to subject themselves to such circumstances. That something is the insane desire to be skinny and “beautiful.” This paradox between human instincts clearly conveys the mental aspect that must be accounted for in the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.
People who are suffering from anorexia nervosa can have psychological symptoms very similar to those of depression. They can experience feelings of worthlessness, fatigue and loss of interest, and may even withdraw themselves from their usual social experiences (http://www.mirror-mirror.org/anorexia-and-effect.htm). All these psychological symptoms stem from severely low self-esteem.
I find it quite disturbing that many of our society’s values and norms have pushed so many women to find their own bodies inadequate, and even if they are perfectly healthy and beautiful, they are blind to it. Perfection does not exist, and I wish people would stop pushing themselves too hard to reach it. It is a sad fact that our culture places such great emphasis on something that is completely shallow.