The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Speaker defies negative body image

By Angelica Estrada/reporter

Have the media ever made you think negatively of your body image, and think that you are too fat or too skinny?

A seminar held Feb. 13 addressed this very issue.

“How the media portray self-image, and how you perceive yourself may be two different things,” Jason Wooten, physical education assistant professor, said in a Feb. 13 presentation.

The seminar on SE Campus was designed to educate the college community on self-image and the impact it has on health.

If a person is too skinny, he or she can be anorexic, and have heart failure and any other heath problems as well.

If a person is overweight or obese, the health risks include heart disease and diabetes.

The modeling industry has made young women think that being very skinny is very healthy, but it is not, Wooten said.

Models Luisa Ramos and Ana Carolina Reston became anorexic and died of heart failure.

Even the fashion industry is speaking out against this type of body image.

“I have never liked thin girls, and I have never made them go on the catwalk,” designer Giorgio Armani said in 2006.

In Spain, thin models are prohibited from working.

“The fashion industry should ban size zero models as a statement against anorexia and other eating disorders among young women,” Wooten said.

According to a Fox News story online, a New York attorney wants to set healthier standards for models and make them law.

Several warning signs point to a distorted self-image, Wooten said.

Exercise addiction, binge eating, rigid routines, fixation on weight loss and working out even when injured or sick are just a few of the warning signs.

Female athlete triad, an eating disorder, triggers irregularity in the menstrual cycle.

It also stresses bodily functions and causes loss of energy and bone mass.

Wooten said female athletes with this condition will restrict calories, exercise excessively, eat vegetarian meals and change environmentally.

“Males also have problems with their self-image,” he said.

Men have a disorder called muscle dysmorphia. When scientists did not know what this disorder was, they called it “reverse anorexia.”

Muscle dysmorphia happens to men who want to look big and bulky. They don’t have to be athletes, but they do excessive exercising and use steroids to help them reach their goal.

Muscle dysmorphia is linked to drug abuse, suicide, bipolar disorder and antisocial behavior. No treatment exists for muscle dysmorphia, Wooten said. The only prevention is to educate the public and trainers on this issue.

“Social support such as sit-down family meals, dining out, walking or jogging with a group in the neighborhood are ways to help prevent body image problems,” he said.

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