Some girls are perfectly content with their bodies, but there are others who are never satisfied. There is much more to it than self-loathing; there are many reasons someone might be more likely to have an eating disorder.
Gender is an issue. Eating disorders are more common in women than in men, but there has been a dramatic increase in the number of boys and young men who have developed the same eating disorders that their female peers experience; both anorexia and bulimia are seen.
Your age is another consideration. No one is impervious to having an eating disorder – they can even arise at some point in middle age. But most commonly, the problem starts much sooner, usually in adolescence or your early twenties.
Your chance of developing an eating disorder increases greatly if a family member also suffers from a disorder. You might think it would influence you in the opposite direction, but instead it sometimes makes it socially acceptable.
A person who has a mental disorder such as an OCD can also suffer an eating disorder, as controlling food and eating is another way to control the world around them. Similarly, there is an increased rate of eating disorders in women suffering from depression or anxiety.
Some athletes and exercise fanatics are at risk of developing eating disorders under the pretense that it will enhance their performance.
Of course, peer and family pressure is a big factor in the development of eating disorders. Our peers have a deep effect on the way we see ourselves. Criticism from the people around us related to our bodies can actually cause the development of eating disorders, even if in jest.
If you happen to fall into any of the above categories, you should take steps to ensure that you won’t fall victim to an eating disorder – or if you already suffer from one, prevent the condition from worsening. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for your body type and how best to maintain it.
If those around you are criticizing you destructively, try building your confidence by socializing with people who don’t criticize you unnecessarily.
Don’t get caught up in the dream of looking like the anorexic cover girl on the latest fashion magazine. Even the most gorgeous models will acknowledge that they are grateful for the photo retouching software that makes their bodies look so perfect.