Throughout the history of the western world, different changes have occurred in the value placed on food and, with it, in bodily dimensions. Closely related to this we find the variations in the concept of beauty that have occurred at different times. So, for example, in developed cities, where food is not a limited good, thinness is considered the aesthetic ideal, while, on the contrary, in places where food is scarce, plumpness of the body is aesthetically the most desirable.
We must not forget that beauty is a subjective aesthetic value inherent in human beings and has no universality, Since it is influenced by various cultural and economic factors … what may be good for one company at the same time may not be good for another.
This is why social phenomena affect both the way we perceive beauty and the way we value ourselves. In some contexts, this may give way to eating disorders.
The canons of beauty and their influence on eating disorders
Symmetry, like human health, has been considered an indicator of beauty, Alongside his other items such as big eyes, long legs and youth. Today we have studies showing that these traits are good indicators of attraction.
In addition, the symmetry of the potential mate is a sign of internal health, and the evolution would have been to select the most symmetrical in order to exclude the diseases or malformations that generate disadvantages in the offspring and thus achieve the future of the species.
It is difficult to get a definition of beauty because of this subjective character, but we can talk about the canon of beauty by referring to the set of characteristics that an object or a person should have. so that the society in which she lives considers her attractiveness.
This concept varies from time to time and from culture to culture. For much of prehistoric times, there was a canon of beauty that corresponded to a woman with a large belly, voluptuous breasts, and wide hips, with the primary focus being the survival and reproduction of the species. This concept evolved until it came to Currently, a stage where extreme thinness fills the podiums.
This type of social stereotypes associated with bodily beauty they cause a potentiating effect of various eating disorders. The main ones are as follows.
1. Anorexia nervosa
It is the most important eating disorder due to the severity that some cases can reach. The literal translation of anorexia nervosa is “loss of appetite” and is a disorder of food deficit. The subject suffering from this disorder has a relentless urge for weight loss caused by a phobic fear of obesity, so he follows a very strict and continuous diet leading to starvation and in many cases death.
Symptoms include severe food restriction and resulting malnutrition, distorted body image, food avoidance behavior, And different physical repercussions such as menstrual irregularity and later amenorrhea or impotence in men.
2. Bulimia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and bleeding. Like anorexia, the person is obsessed with his “ideal weight” (distorted like the vision of his body image) and is afraid of obesity, seeking above all to be thin.
The person begins to feel an urgent need to eat at all costs and without self-control. After these episodes of overeating or commonly called “binge eating”, the subject is overwhelmed by negative feelings of guilt that he tries to correct by induced vomiting, the use of laxatives and laxatives or the use of amphetamines. .
This circular behavior (urge to eat – feeling guilty – eliminating those feelings) occurs over and over again, constantly perpetuating the bulimic image. The influence of media and advertisingThe professional demands in some cases and the need for social integration can be factors that predispose the person to suffer from this type of disorder.
The most affected ages are those covering adolescenceWhere self-esteem has its greatest instability and social acceptance and the reference group is the number one priority, but anyone can be vulnerable.
No one is perfect, but we are perfect imperfections. Know yourself, love yourself and surpass yourself every dayin all their aspects, they must be the fundamental pillars of personal development and achieve psychological well-being that accompanies bodily well-being.