Author: gcaesar1

Do You Look Just Right?

thinner Model Banned in Spain

Eating disorders and body altering techniques are glorified in today’s media, leaving people, particularly children and teens, with a skewed view of what it is to be “normal”.

What we should be focused on is how an individual can safely obtain the physique they wish to have, techniques designed to battle counter-productive practices, and the importance of embracing one’s body the way it is. In some television programs, there are often scenes that depict young people exemplifying destructive eating behaviors. These acts are laughed off as if they are to be expected, placing eating disorders in a positive light. If popular media continues to glorify such detrimental habits, our country will surely reap the consequences.

Remember the family-friendly 90s classic Parent Trap starring America’s sweetheart Lindsay Lohan? What about the seemingly endless films that child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen appeared in? Every little girl in America wanted to be them and every parent in America was more than willing to pop in those movies and let their children be swept off to another world. While Lindsay Lohan and the Olsen twins might have been a positive role model as young girls, they are now epitome of what not to do. Their lives are constantly in the public eye for drug use, endless partying, and most importantly, how rapidly their bodies grow thin. The young girls that idolized these women as children may very well still look up to these fallen starlets and mimic their behavior, no matter how destructive; after all, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

How one sees their body can be the beginning of an eating disorder. Far too often, society associates being thin, with hard working, beautiful, strong and self-disciplined. On the other hand, being fat is associated with being lazy, ugly, weak and lacking will power. Because of these harsh critiques, women are hardly ever completely satisfied with their body. However, women are not alone in being self-conscious about their bodies. Men and women alike often feel a great deal of pressure to achieve and/or maintain an imagery, and sometimes, attainable appearance.

Over time, the ideal body image has changed, causing people to adapt to new standards of beauty. For many centuries, being thin implied that you were poor and had no means of eating in excess. Being a full figured man or woman was a sign of wealth and beauty. Beginning in the 1800s, the word diet began to creep into our vernacular. Initially, dieting advice was only aimed at men because women were expected to be curvy and voluptuous. During the turn of the century, woman became more active and began playing sports. At this time, we started seeing weight as a part of science with the study of calories, ideal weight and body mass index. Come the 1950s, curves were brought back with a bang by Marilyn Monroe. marilyn-monroe-1She singlehandedly resurrected curves with her dramatic hourglass figure and became a powerhouse sex symbol after appearing on the first issue of Playboy Magazine in 1954. Even so, as the decades went on, a little extra flab became something to be ashamed of and slender became the idolized figure.

Many kids — particularly adolescents — are worried about how they look and may feel self-conscious about their bodies. “This can be especially true when they are going through puberty, and undergo substantial physical changes while facing new social pressures” (Levitt, Sansone, Cohn) , and transitioning from middle school to high school. Sadly, for a moderate number of kids and teens, that worry can lead to an obsession that may grow into an eating disorder. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa cause dramatic weight fluctuation, interfere with normal daily life, and can permanently affect their health.

People with anorexia have an extreme fear of weight gain and a distorted view of their body size and shape. As a result, they strive to maintain a very low body weight. Some restrict their food intake by dieting, fasting, or excessive exercise. People with anorexia try to eat as little as possible, and take in as few calories as they can, frequently obsessing over food intake. Anorexia causes health issues such as hair loss, permanent bone loss, fatigue, constipation, kidney failure, abnormally low heart rate and blood pressure, etc.

Bulimia is characterized by habitual binge eating and purging. “Someone with bulimia may undergo weight fluctuations, but rarely experiences the low weight associated with anorexia”(Lawrie, Sullivan, Davies) . Both disorders can involve compulsive exercise or other forms of purging food eaten, such as by self-induced vomiting or laxative use. Bulimia, like anorexia, causes a variety of health complications such as irritation of esophagus, stomach, salivary glands and throat from persistent vomiting, gastric erosion of the enamel, irregular heartbeat and more. It is important to remember that eating disorders can spin out of hand very easily and are difficult habits to break. Eating disorders are serious clinical problems that require professional treatment by nutritionists, doctors, and therapists.

Works Cited

American Society of Nephrology. “Bodybuilding With Steroids Damages Kidneys.” ScienceDaily, 30 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Nov. 2012.

Levenkron, Steven. The Best Little Girl in the World. Puffin: Grand Central, 1996. Print.

Hornbacher, Marya. Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia. New York, NY: HarperPerennial, 1999. Print.

Levitt, John L., Randy A. Sansone, and Leigh Cohn. Self-harm Behavior and Eating Disorders: Dynamics, Assessment, and Treatment. New York: Brunner- Routlegde, 2004. Print.

Lawrie, Z., E. A. Sullivan, P. S. W. Davies, and R. J. Hill. “Media Influence on the Body Image of Children and Adolescents.” Eating Disorders 14.5 (2006): 355-64. Print.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Early Operation

Health problems plague people in all walks of life, even if they’ve just begun.

The image above by William DeShazer shows a baby in, what looks like, intensive care. Behind the infant is a light blue blanket with an array of animals and welcoming words. There are tubes and chords coming from every direction, all centered around a seemingly confused new-born. There is a large piece of gauze held down by transparent adhesive plastic. Another child-freindly blanket, complete with colorful images, is used to cover the child. On the front-left side of the baby, there is a teddy bear that is almost as large as the child in the center of the photograph. There is a green bow in the dark-brown hair of the baby. A rectangular monitor of some sort is attached to the child’s forehead with letters and numbers scrawled across it.

By interpreting the image, we one can conclude by the bow in the child’s hair that it is a girl. The tubes and chords surrounding the new-born are probably there to keep her alive. The gauze on her chest indicate an operation has been done, possibly on the heart. The blankets behind and on top of the baby are there most-likely for warmth and comfort. The teddy bear to the child’s left is there to keep the child company (seeing as she can’t tell the difference) and is quite possibly the first stuffed animal she has received. Judging by the hair-bow, blankets, and teddy bear, the child in the center of this photo has a family who cares a great deal about her. Because she is a new-born baby, she has absolutely no idea what is happening around her, which shows in here innocent and confused stare.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Food Lines in Pakistan

The photo above clearly shows the current state of poverty in which Pakistan exists on a daily basis and their is no end in sight.

In the featured picture, there are over a dozen visible Pakistani people in a line, waiting for food to be distributed. The clothing in which they are dressed ranges from decent, to rags. In the foreground of the photo, there is a large pan, possibly a skillet, filled with some sort of meat being fried in grease. Accompanying the meat, there is flattened dough that the meat will be served on. Also in the foreground, there is a smiling child receiving the finished product from the pan. Every other adult member of the photo whose faces can be seen are staring intently at the food they will soon receive. There is one young man near the front of the line, holding his hands expectedly. Who knows when any of these individuals have eaten last.

In interpreting the photo above, one can conclude that every person involved in the picture is impoverished. The clothing the members of the photo are wearing range from decent to raggedy. The fact that they are waiting in a line for food in sub-par clothes suggests that they cannot afford food, much less, new garments. When taking a a closer look at the meat being fried is probably a mixture of low-grade substances mashed together and cooked. Judging by the fact that the clothing being worn covers most of the body and no one is perspiring, it is not summer. There are people of all ages in the food line, which leads me to believe there are no age distinctions in the lower class of Pakistan. Everyone needs to eat. The smiling child in the foreground of the picture suggests she is still naive to her living situation and social standing, happy due to her appreciation of being fed.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Childhood Obesity

One of the fastest growing epidemics in America is childhood obesity. Even though childhood obesity has been addressed by several extremely influential people, we’ve got a long way to go before this problem is under control.

The image above shows a young, overweight child sitting in the midst of several appetizing treats. He is a young boy, seven or eight years old, who seems to be in the middle of meditating. The food floating around him is personified with inviting smiles. There are large whiffs of tempting fragrance encompassing the boy during his meditation. Near every food item, bright star-like sparkles accompany the aroma, making for a near irresistible feast.

Everywhere we turn in the United States, there is an advertisement for food waiting to be seen. The food being displayed, though appealing, usually comes with negative side effects due to the fact that it’s not always the healthiest choice. Living in America, one becomes accustomed to being impatient. With popular establishments such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s, food can be easily mass-produced for a low price. When these businesses are equipped with kid-friendly commercials and merchandise, children are extremely easy targets. The youth of today are used to going through the drive-thru of their choice and super-sizing for just one dollar more. Even if children were to want a healthy alternative, unhealthy options are thrust in their path, causing them to settle and develop habits that are harmful to their wellbeing. Also, children today are getting less exercise than the generations prior to them because they are distracted with social media and electronic game consoles that allow them to sit indoors and stare at a screen. A poor diet paired with lack of exercise is nothing short of a recipe for disaster.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Area 51



The picture above is used as a deterrent for curious on-lookers, extra-terrestrial enthusiasts, and sight-seers.

Area 51 was built in the late 1950s. The testing facility stays about 90 miles away from Las Vegas on the shores of Groom Lake. Area 51 was initially created as a testing site for secret military spy planes. The CIA chose a desert in Nevada because of it’s remote location and accessibility to a large, dry lake bed needed to land the planes. The government refused to acknowledge the validity of Area 51’s existence until September 29, 1995. All buildings and facilities surrounding Groom Lake are among the most secret on the planet. Security is so impenetrable, some people still choose to consider it a myth. On top of surveillance cameras and security planes, Area 51 is patrolled 24/7 by guards known as “camo-dudes.” There are hangar doors built into the sides of mountains that automatically shut when satellites travel overhead. The United States government is willing to keep this location secure at all costs.

The picture above is an actual warning posted on the perimeters of Area 51. What is going on that’s so top secret, anyone can be shot for walking a few steps too far? I firmly believe there are more than just jets being tested on the outskirts of Groom Lake. Something along the lines of alien life isn’t too far-fetched for many minds to conceive.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.