Stop the media using triggering images when talking about eating disorders
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Eating disorders have the highest death rate of any mental illness and affect 1.6 million people in the UK of every body type,age, gender and race. Despite this the images the media uses when talking about eating disorders depicts underweight mostly white women.
Eating disorders are being spoken about more in the media which is an important conversation that needs to happen. However the images that accompany these articles tend to show starved bodies of suffers at the lowest point in their journey. While the stories that accompany these images might send a positive message about recovery to those who need it, the pictures send the wrong message. They portray the harmful stereotype that you have to be ultra thin to have an eating disorder. A message that stop multiple sufferers seeking treatment and likely exasperates their drive to loose weight. The UK's leading eating disorders charity BEAT reports "Parents have frequently told us of their distress at finding a cache or hoard of press or magazine articles about eating disorders that their child was using for inspiration or encouragement".
Secondly the images used in these articles tend to show mainly white underweight women. This creates the stereotype that only this group can suffer from an eating disorder. This media image has created the idea that no other group can suffer from an eating disorder stopping other suffers seeking treatment as they feel that they don't fit the mould.
What do we want? The UK media to voluntary stop using triggering images such as underweight bodies or harmful stereotypes when speaking about eating disorders. This would allow suffers to engage in the conversation without feeling triggered and all groups of suffers feeling included and validated.
AVOID: pictures of emaciated bodies/ before and after pictures/ pictures that depict eating disorders just as underweight individuals/ pictures that include ribs,bones,thin wrists or legs/ pictures that only include white underweight females
Please sign and share this petition and lets open the media conversation on eating disorders up to all. Lets send the message that an eating disorder is a mental illness and is #morethanjustanimage.
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