HOW CAN WE SHIFT THE NARRATIVE OF DISORDERED EATING IN TEENAGERS CONVERSATIONS?

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WHAT IS AN EATING DISORDER?

Eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent eating behaviours that negatively impact your health, your emotions and your ability to function in important areas of life (Mayo Clinic). Most eating disorders involve high focus on weight, food consumption and body shape, leading to dangerous and unhealthy eating behaviours.  There are many different kinds of eating disorders, each with their own set of symptoms and ways of presenting themselves. Commonly known eating disorders include: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

Diagnostic criteria for eating disorders (please note, there are other eating disorders than these listed and these descriptions are just from one source – they may be different somewhere else)

 

Causes: The exact causes of eating disorders are not fully known and similarly to many other mental illnesses, there can be a multitude of causes.  From a biological point of view, certain people may have genes that increase their risk of developing eating disorders or changes in ones brain chemistry can also be a factor.  Causes can also be from psychological and emotional health. People with eating disorders may have psychological and emotional problems such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, impulsive behaviour and troubled relationships which can contribute to the disorder.  

Risk factors: Teenage girls and young women are more likely than teenage boys and young men to have anorexia or bulimia, but males can have eating disorders, too. Although eating disorders can occur across a broad age range, they often develop in the teens and early 20s. Other factors including stress, family history and other mental disorders may increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.  

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EATING DISORDER AND DISORDERED EATING? 

Disordered eating is a term used for unhealthy eating behaviours and worries about body image. It is quite common, many people have some kind of disordered eating at some point in their life. It is important to recognize the signs of disordered eating and get help from a medical professional before the problem gets worse. That way you may prevent an eating disorder from developing. Eating disorders are extreme cases of disordered eating and when one’s behaviours meet the DSM-5 criteria for an eating disorder. Some of the most common types of disordered eating are dieting and restrictive eating. Others include self-induced vomiting, binge eating, and laxative abuse. 

THE DEEPER PROBLEM 

The problem of eating disorders and disordered eating extends farther than those who have eating disorder.  I recently realized how casually people talk about disordered eating without knowing that what they are describing is similar to an eating disorder/disordered eating.  Teenagers have normalized unhealthy eating behaviours in their conversations but in the wrong way.  Instead of being supportive and creating an open environment for addressing this dire topic they freely talk about their disordered eating behaviours and almost to the point where they seem proud of it. For example a few months ago I was sitting at school with some friends (let’s call them Ashley and Julia) who were talking about when they eat their meals and how unhappy they are with their body.  They had just been scrolling through Instagram and the conversation went something like this:

Kendall Jenner
Kendall Jenner


Ashley: I wish I looked like Kendall Jenner. How is she so pretty?

Julia: SAME! I have an entire folder in my camera roll with pictures of her that I look through to motivate myself to lose weight. 

Ashely: I really need to lose weight, summer is coming so fast and I am so fat, I can’t look like this while wearing a bikini.

Julia: Yeah… I just stop eating sometimes. 

Me: Do you not eat for an entire day? Don’t you feel hungry? 

Julia: I go for one to two days, you stop feeling it after a while and then I just eat a lot the next day but then I feel bad about how much I ate so I stop eating again.

Ashley: I do the same thing, it’s not that bad.  

THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA 

In addition to this conversation, I noticed the amount of content being posted on social media, specifically TikTok, about eating disorders and disordered eating. Despite the harms and negativity it can bring, the online community has grown to being very supportive and open to mental illnesses. I think it is really great that people can have a space to connect with people similar to them and share their suffering publicly.  I do however see some downsides.  As we know social media can be very dangerous, it takes lots of courage sharing your personal struggles online, but when there is a free comment sections there are bound to be people who leave mean and hurtful comments. Another negative to social media is the opportunity for people or content to be misunderstood.  I often see videos of people sharing their “how I lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks” or “what I eat in a day – my journey to losing weight”.  While the intentions of these are to share and document their journeys, there are definitely many people out there, myself included, who have wanted to try these regimens seen online. Everyones bodies are different so these tips may not work for them and most of the time they are unrealistic.  

This is a TikTok that came up on my for you page a few days ago. I think this video does a good job at explaining what goes through some with an eating disorders mind however like always there is a negative.  Before watching this, imagine you are 12 years old, see everyone else at school as being “prettier” than you and because of this not the most confident in your own skin. When scrolling through TikTok, you come across this girl who looks beautiful and healthy and is describing her eating habits. At the innocent age of 12, you are very vulnerable to the influence of social media and so you decide to follow what she is doing in hopes of being as pretty as her. 

Video by Amelia Elizabeth, taken from TikTok

MY RESPONSE 

With all the conversations and social media posts I have become more aware of over the past few months there are two ways I think this issue could be better addressed.  

1.  We need to change the way we talk about our eating habits. There are many simple switches to our language that could create an environment where the talk of eating habits and disorders is not warped to become casual banter. We can do this by: 

2.  Think about who you are following on social media. Notice which accounts make you feel good or bad about ourselves. Be conscious of who we follow and what they’re bringing to our lives. We need to unfollow accounts that make us place emphasis on appearance and recognize when we’re tempted to follow someone just because they’re attractive. 

HOW CAN YOU TAKE ACTION?

In the future, listen and be aware for negative and casual talk about eating disorders and disordered eating. If you hear a conversation headed the wrong way speak up and educate on the effective and better ways to address disordered eating and eating disorders.

Brainstorm some ideas! In the comments below answer this prompt: what are some other ways you can think of to address eating disorders in conversation? Consider how we can shift the narrative from casual, relaxed discussions to a better understanding of eating disorders. In addition, I would love to hear any other feedback/questions/other comments you may have! Click here for my sources and don’t forget “you are beautiful no matter what they say” (Christina Aguilera).

82 Comments

82 comments

  1. Hey Rubi! I really liked your presentation. I thought it was very creative and definitely very informative. As someone who is beginning to become more educated on the subject of disordered eating, I agree that there is, unfortunately, a lot of talk surrounding eating disorders. I think that there are casual conversations (similar to your hypothetical given) that are normalizing disordered eating habits. To answer your question, I think that if people were more educated as to what some of the dangerous disordered eating consequences there were, it wouldn’t be as normalized. Also, something that I think may help on the overall subject of eating disorders is refraining from commenting on anyone’s body at all. Even if it is a compliment, you never know what a person may be doing that you are unaware of, and praising their image may perpetuate any unhealthy behaviors they’re practicing. Good job on your project!

    1. Hi Cristina, thanks for your response! I totally agree that we should just stop commenting about body image whether it is positive or negative. I am glad you enjoyed my project!!

  2. Hi Rubi! Your project is really important to me especially since looking at the conversation you had with your friends! Disordered eating seems to be almost ‘normal’ these days and I firmly believe education could help prevent that. What I appreciate most is your dos and don’ts of what to say as we can sometimes cause harm without realizing it. I feel like a big problem with eating disorders is that they can sneak up on a person. If we had more honest learning about disordered eating, body dysmorphia, and social pressure, maybe we could make this ‘sneaking up’ a bit more clear.

    1. Hey Anna! I am happy that you were able to recognize the important message I aimed to share with this project. Honesty about disordered eating, social pressures and body dysmorphia is not something I initially thought of but after reading your comment I see a whole new door of issues that I can hopefully address in the future. Thank you for your response 🙂

  3. Good!

    1. Thanks Derb, I am glad you enjoyed my page!!

    2. I agree!

  4. Hey Rubi! I love your page! It’s super easy to grasp the important information and stay engaged with the page. I had no idea that there was a difference between “disordered eating” and “eating disorders”, and your description of the conversation between Julia and Ashley is sadly extremely relatable in teenage culture. Through the use of social media “teenage” conversations are now expressed to a much broader audience, and I wonder in what ways this could negatively impact younger age groups, further inducing the stigma around the “goal” of “skinniness”.

    In response to your prompt, I personally believe positively tackling a discussion around any triggering subject is quite nuanced. I would possibly focus on increasing awareness. However, I think it is very important to avoid any language that not only encourages disordered eating, but also that makes an individual feel guilty for or invalidates their personal relationship with food. Overall, I think it’s important to be sensitive and vulnerable when discussing eating disorders both casually and in an academic setting. Great work 🙂

    1. Hi Melina! Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, I am glad you enjoyed my project. I completely agree that avoiding all conversation positive or negative about body image would be the best solution to this issue. Though as you probably know it is very hard to control what people say and how they react. For now, be aware of what you and others around you are saying and think about how someone might react and then hopefully someday we will be in a better place to fix this problem entirely.

  5. This is fantastic! Great job Rubi!

    1. Hey Namara! I am glad you enjoyed my project, thank you for your response!!

    2. Yes, it is most definitely a fantastic project!

  6. Hi Rubi – excellent project! While reading through your example of an unhealthy conversation regarding eating disorders, I realized I’ve also given into this toxic dialogue. I think in this time period, there is a strong trade-off between being confident and happy, and depicting harmful body images on social media. The conversation you included prompted me to think about the origins of why we think these thoughts and why it’s increasingly normalized. As you said, this unhealthy environment and ineffective media portrayal of eating disorders create a destructive cycle for teenagers. I wonder how we can invite young girls to remain confident on social media, while also spreading messages of positivity toward less-confident girls. Of course, eating disorders do not strictly apply to young women. Great job 🙂

    1. Hi Stephanie, thank you so much for your comment! Ideally, the best way to build up young girls confidence on social would be to eliminate all images that contribute to the desire for unrealistic body images however this is very unrealistic right now. Realistically, we all just need to be more kind and supportive and then hopefully we will get to the point where everyone can love themselves for who they are. You mentioned that you have realize you have been involved in conversations similar to the one I wrote about. I hope you are more aware now and if you catch yourself in a conversation like this in the future you correct yourself and those around you!

  7. This is very important information and well presented. Eating disorders are a tricky subject and helping people
    Understand and communicate about it is a great help!!
    Thank you

    1. Hi Tom, thank you for reading my project and your comment!

  8. Hi Rubi- Firstly this is such an important topic and I am very impressed with your content and execution of your article.
    I think we often forget that images on social media esp of “influencers” are photoshopped and these are distorted images which raises the bar of what people perceive how they need to look. As much as eating disorders or disordered eating can affect any age group, I think education is key on the long term effects of both on our bodies from an early age. As an adult I think it is important to talk openly about these issues to our children, no matter their age and to remember that our conversations too are very influential of how they perceive themselves.

    1. Hi Tracey, thank you for your comment and giving me the perspective from someone of an adult age!! I am glad you enjoyed my project 🙂

  9. Very well done project Rubi! I think that this is a very important topic to cover and I think you did it in a very relevant way that relates to kids today! PS the tik tok song is stuck in my head

    1. Hi Christina, I really appreciate your response and I apologize for the song being stuck in your head – I hope the rest of the information stuck in the same way!

  10. Hi Rubi! Amazing project!! This is a very important topic to cover, I think with social media, people constantly compare themselves and it can definitely lead to some harmful outcomes. I think the importance of how to engage with people aboueo disordered eating is very important. Great job bringing awareness to this! 🙂

    1. Hi Peyton! Thank you for taking the time to read my project, I am glad you saw the importance in it I hoped to portray. You are very right when you say that people are constantly comparing themselves on social media which can lead to dangerous outcomes. This also shows that in reality, people will never be truly with themselves – with or with out social media.

    2. I agree Peyton! Awareness is very important!

  11. We didn’t talk about or even think about disordered eating when I was a teenager. So many people I knew/know continue have food issues. What a treat to see it being discussed intelligently in this forum.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I am happy that I was able to contribute to a much needed growth in education about eating disorders that will hopefully benefit many people in the future.

  12. WOW! great project Rubi!!

    1. Thanks Sarah 🙂

  13. Great work here! I definitely see that you’ve put a lot of hard work into this and it’s amazing to see the final result. Fantastic. 😀

    1. Hi Kevin! I appreciate you taking the time to read my project, I am glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Hi Rubi! Awesome project! I really enjoy how you used graphics throughout your project and the infographic about what disordered eating was was super informative. The part that struck me the most was the conversation about disordered eating at your school. Looking back, I’ve definitely heard and taken part in this type of dialogue before. I enjoy your focus on teenage girls but I also wonder how perceptions towards other teens could be change as well? Also, as I’m taking positive psychology right now, I wonder if a lack of self-love is a large contributing factor to eating disorders and how that can be changed in an age where there is so much criticism and judgement online and in real life. Again, really great project and I really enjoyed reading through it!

    1. Hey Catherlin! Your perspective from the positive psychology class is very insightful. I never fully considered this aspect of self-love while creating my project but this is something I would like to look into more. Hopefully we can someday shift the criticism and judgment of social media to a more supportive and loving community. Thank you for your response!!

  15. Hey Rubi,

    I think your catalyst conference highlights a really important issue for the younger generation. With the rise of social media and “unrealistic” beauty standards, many teenagers are comparing themselves with others leading to eating disorders. These disorders could cause massive health problems and need to be addressed urgently. In addition to the two solutions you proposed, I think another important step would be to change the expectation of a preferred body type. In my opinion, the root cause of eating disorders comes from the desire to look a certain way. By promoting campaigns that seek to show that all body types are beautiful, people are less likely to fall down the loophole of eating disorders. When it comes to the conversation itself, I think it’s important to educate the younger generation. Many people don’t know how harmful eating disorders can be so generating awareness, like what you’re doing, is a great step towards shifting the narrative.

    1. Hi Pierre – thanks for reading my project! You are correct, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are fuelled by the desire to look a certain way, which is often smaller and skinnier. These disorders distort your perception of yourself and so no matter how small you are, you will always want to be smaller. Thank you for understanding the urge to address this problem and responding with such an insightful comment!

  16. Really interesting
    You have given much food for thought on this disorder.
    I think I have to reread this over to dwell on your findings and all the work you have done

    1. Thank you for your response Andy! I am glad I was able to broaden your understanding of this issue.

  17. Rubi, your focus on negative thinking reminds me of a key piece of research called Beck’s Cognitive Triad. He proposed negative views about oneself lead to negative views about the world which lead to negative views about the future…which then lead to negative views about oneself.

    1. Hi Mr. Germain, I really appreciate your comment! I have never heard of Beck’s Cognitive Triad but it definitely sounds very similar and in align with the message I hoped to share. This is something I will have to look into in the future if I choose to continue this research!

  18. Rubi,

    Such a thoughtful and informative presentation of such an important topic.

    1. Thank you for your reading my project and your response Tovah!

  19. Great project Gubs! Super important topic and you did a great job raising awareness about it!!

    1. thanks so much lily!!

    2. Yes, Lily! This is a super important topic and Rubi did a great job raising awareness about it!!

  20. Hey Rubi, very interesting project, I think it’s great you decided to do this, love all the info. Definitely one of the best GOA projects I’ve ever seen.

    1. Hey Kris! Wow, what an honour. I am glad you enjoyed my project 🙂

  21. Super cool topic!! Thanks for covering this issue, so good to learn about something so important 🙂

    1. Totally, it is a very important issue so we must do our part to spread awareness! Thanks for the taking the time to read my page Andrew!!

  22. Wow! What an informative project. I think this is a very important topic to bring up with an increasing importance of mental and physical health these days! Super appealing to this generation.

    1. Hey Frank! That is a very good point about the increasing importance of physical and mental health however both of these are always very important so when the pandemic is over we must not forget to do check ins with ourselves and peers every so often. Most importantly, we must be kind to everyone and consider their feelings always.

  23. Hey Rubi,

    Well said. I’ve heard statements like “just don’t eat” or “I feel so fat” around school, and I never realized that they dangerously feed into the myth that eating less means feeling/looking better. I particularly enjoyed your infographic and the emphasis on “I” statements to check in with people. I think the positive “what to say” column applies to not only eating disorders but also other issues like depression, anxiety, etc, and it provides some everyday affirmations that can help create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Body positivity is so important and I’m thrilled you’re bringing more awareness to it in your project.

    1. Hi Emma! Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad you saw the value you of ‘I” statements and I hope you will be able to integrate these into your conversations. I like that you identified how these positive statements could be used for other mental illnesses. In truth though, we should be saying kind words like these and checking in on our peers all the time, mental illness or not.

  24. Beautiful project! Really good job on bringing awareness to such an important issue that can often be disregarded. Great work

    1. Hi Cecile – thank you for taking the time to read my project!

  25. Hi Rubi, great presentation. I’ve never learned or thought about disordered eating before so your presentation was informative. The graphics and videos used throughout your presentation were really helpful, especially the chart about how to and how not to speak about disordered eating. Education can certainly help address this issue as not many young people know about the many consequences of disordered eating. It will also be important to teach people, especially the younger generations, that you don’t have to look a certain way to be considered “beautiful.”

    1. Hey Aaron! I love your last statement about reminding youth (and really everyone in general) that we dont have to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. Thanks for checking out my project!

  26. Hi Rubi! Your project was well-researched and thoughtfully put together. From a range of media sources to the addition of personal experiences, it’s clear that you dedicated a lot of effort! As for your prompt, because teens are a common demographic for developing eating disorders and/or disordered eating, I think lessons about disordered eating should be incorporated into education curriculums. Topics could include social media’s impact and warning signs for disordered eating because often, we don’t realize how normalized it is. I was wondering with the idea above, if you think it could easily veer into unhealthy or triggering conversational environments?

    1. Hi Allison, thank you for commenting! I agree that education could lead into unhealthy/triggering conversations which is why I think schools shy away from teaching about it. I believe guided discussions about disordered eating could be a solution for a way to avoid conversations going down this dark alley and teach people how to properly talk about this topic for the future. I am glad you enjoyed the variety of media I included!

  27. What an important topic. Bringing awareness and discussing this issue can help people from developing dysmorphic disorders.

    1. I 100% agree Iva! Discussion can help immensely!

  28. Hi Rubi,
    At a first glance, your project is very well presented and your page catches my eye because you have very interesting videos and tables accompanied by a good amount of text. I can truly tell that you have done your research and have a deep interest in this topic. One fact that stood out to me was the whole social media part of the problem and its role on giving unrealistic and possibly unhealthy ideas. After looking at your page and more specifically your section on how one person say that they want to look like Kylie Jenner, i have a question that has arisen was whether this has been something that has only been happening in the past century?

    1. Hi Jackson! To answer your question – I think this is an issue that has grown more recently because of social media and access. This issue however could have been similar long ago but in different ways such as idolizing the people we see in magazines and on a smaller scale it could be with people we see in our own lives like at school. I am not sure if this answers your question and if you have more feel free to respond to this message!

  29. Rubi your page is both visually appealing and incredibly informative. Good on you for choosing to tackle such a difficult issue 🙂

  30. Well done Rubi!

    1. Thanks Hudson 🙂

  31. Great project Rubi. Such a difficult topic to address.
    Well done

    1. Thank you for viewing my project Richard – I really appreciate it!!

  32. Rubi,
    Such an important issue and you have presented it beautifully in a very open, informative and non-judgmental way.
    Knowledge is power!
    Nice job!

    1. Hi Kim! Thanks for taking a look at my project!!

  33. Great work Rubi!

    1. Thank you for such an insightful comment Vincent!

  34. Hi Rubi! I thought your project was quite thorough and well done – it’s evident you’ve taken time and put in effort to research your project!

    As a male, I haven’t had much interaction with eating disorders, from my knowledge, none of my female friends have them or if they do, it is considered somewhat of a taboo. I think that’s exactly the problem and your project seeks to change that so well done.

    I also agree that a large proponent of body shaming and toxicity is social media – on Instagram we see unrealistic beauty standards that young women feel they have to live up to. I think that it’s quite an unhealthy environment and sends terrible messages to women about how they look. This (as I have no doubt you’re aware) leads often to eating disorders, where women try to meet these impossible standards.

    Your infographic was great! It stood out and gave specific examples of how we can shift the narrative of beauty standards in teenage conversations.

    I would avoid the big blocks of text. Lots of people tend to skip or skim big text, and some of your content may get lost! Rather, I’d suggest making it more visually appealing through different and creative headers or fonts.

    Great project – especially important in today’s day and age.

    1. Hi Rafeeq! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. In response to your first part, you would be surprised how many people you know could have a form of an eating disorder and many may be hiding it because as you mentioned it can be seen as taboo. I really appreciate your constructive feedback, I will keep this in mind last time!

  35. Hi Rubi,
    This study of eating disorders is impressive on many levels. It’s informative, thoughtful, and thought provoking. It’s presentation, skillful, creative, and engaging. Best of all, the strong interest and response this presentation generated, is proof of its value and success.
    Well done!

    1. Hi, thank you so much for taking a look at my project. I really appreciate all the support!

  36. Hi Rubi! Amazing job. I found you project very engaging due to the multimedia use of videos, as well as colourful infographics. I enjoyed how you incorporated example conversations to help us become more aware to the things that we say. To this point, I found the colourful infographic on what to say instead very effective. I like how you used bolded words, perhaps you could continue this throughout the website not just with unfamiliar vocab but also phrases. Lastly, on your image ‘Potenial Signs of an Eating Disorder’ I would suggest removing the watermark in the corner.
    Once again great job!

    1. Hey Morgan, I am really happy you enjoyed the different forms of media and the conversation I included! Thank you for your suggestion to remove the watermark – this is something you had to pay for so if I was going to take the poster to a school for example, I would definitely pay to remove it. I also really like the idea to bold more words throughout my project and this is something I will keep in mind in the future. Thanks again!

  37. Hi Rubi,

    At first glance, the presentation’s structure looks very clean and legible, the heading, subheading, and body paragraph fonts are all consistent throughout the paper. The order of information presented was also logical, and made it easier for the readers to follow along the paper. I noticed that the paper first began with a short discussion about what are eating disorders and who are most prone to them, then talked about the larger issues behind the disorder (how social media diminishes the value of the conversations around eating disorders), and finally some solutions were introduced to combat this problem.

    Three issues that I found with the paper are: lack of evidence, bibliography not working, not enough emphasis on the core part of the paper.

    I noticed that a lot of the evidence and analysis used in the paper was very anecdotal, ie. you use the phrase “I often see videos of people”, “I was sitting with a few friends at school, and I heard” etc. Although anecdotal evidence is not always bad, it may be nice to see some empirical evidence regarding the number of teens who feel insecure about their body, or studies that have specifically tied social media activity to insecurities.

    After I noticed a lack of evidence backing up some of the claims in the paper, I tried clicking on the link to the sources referenced, however I was denied from being able to see them. This is a problem, since the entire point of a bibliography is for the audience to be able to see where all the information used in the paper was drawn from; it would be problematic if no one could see the sources.

    Towards the end of the paper you started speaking about the core chunk of your catalyst paper, that is “In what ways can we shift the narrative of disordered eating in teenager conversations”. Although you brought up 2 great solutions, the level of depth and analysis of the solutions was quite underwhelming compared to what you previously wrote. A total of 2 sentences was used to discuss the first solution, then another 2 sentences were used to discuss the second solution. I found this odd, since you seemed to analyze the effects of social media on binge eating very well, but the same level of analysis and attention wasn’t brought to the solutions that you presented. Since your paper is titled “How can we shift the narrative”, perhaps the solution area is the primary section of focus. However this piece of feedback should not be confused with me saying that your solutions are bad, because they are in fact quite ingenious and may work; however, maybe bring some previous case studies, or some more analysis on why each solution will work. One of your solutions is that “we need to change the language we use to talk about eating habits”, however you don’t say how we can attain that, which made the solution seem overly simplified, Should we incorporate this language change within school education? Should the government fund an advertisement campaign for this issue? Should social media companies stop promoting body negative content?

    Other than those pieces of feedback, I really felt your catalyst project was very meaningful, and interesting to read. Great work Ruby!

    1. Hi Michel! Thank you for all of your feedback. You brought some really great points. In regards to the bibliography, you are so right and it is not good that it wasn’t accessible. I have since made it viewable to anyone so feel free to take a look if you would like. In response to your final point, the chart I made with language we can change was mainly my solution because it is something realistic we can change in our lives. I like your suggestion of incorporating this into curriculum however I think this can naturally be done if we start to chance the way we converse. Again, I really appreciate all of your feedback!

  38. Rubi your project was extremely well made. There was a lot to interact with and take from it. The colors used really popped out and helped me visually stay focused on your presentation. There were a lot of great moments where you emphasized words by bolding them, that was a great detail that helped me retain attention to your project. Good job.

    1. Hi Miles thank you so much for your response. I am glad the bolded words helped retain your attention throughout my project.

  39. Hi Rubi,
    I was really impressed with your narrative and how you voiced the importance of shifting conversations and perspectives about eating disorders, particularly with youth. This is especially critical in today’s age as many young people grow up idolizing celebrities and their looks, without thinking about how the media obscures things among other factors. Additionally, as you have noted, conversations amongst teens seem to have become frivolous rather than aware. Though I do think that it’s important for youth to feel comfortable speaking about these things with each other and empathizing with each other, it’s important to recognize that certain acts aren’t okay for our bodies and that casualness in conversations can cause harm. That said, I think that creating awareness about what type of eating disorders there are and behaviors associated with them is something that should be widely taught, particularly to youth. Your chart was also super informative and useful in regards to how we can/should shift conversations about eating disorders in order to provide support, help, and awareness for each other. Lastly, I wonder how we can make these conversation strategies and topics more regularized in male circles, considering a lot of focus around eating disorders is on girls (which I think is also incredibly important). In all, I think you did a great job and would conclude that awareness about eating disorders themselves is the best way to help others recognize what is and isn’t good for their bodies.

    1. Hey Gwen. I found your final remark about how we can regularize these conversations in male circles very thought provoking. I am not sure on how we can better incorporate proper language into males conversations. Though, from my perspective as a girl in high school, negative (or really any) talk about looks or disordered eating habits is not something I generally hear or see. Maybe I am not exposed enough because I know it probably happens at some point or another but I think in terms or conversation this may be more of a problem with girls. I really appreciate your response – thank you!!

  40. Hey Rubi, this was a great presentation! I love how many layers there are to this: the causes of eating disorders, the multiple influences from social media to celebrities, the infographics on how to have positive conversations surrounding disordered eating. You dove deep into this topic and the research, and it shows! My question to you is, what was something surprising you learned from the research process?

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