--Adolescent program parent
By Dr. Mark Warren
Following our Body Beautiful event Monday February 25th, we would like to continue to explore issues around body image and societal expectations of beauty. Recently model Cameron Russell gave a TED talk, which seeks to bring interesting, educational, and innovative speakers to the general public. As someone who has read much about the way the media and societal expectations of beauty impact body image and appearance in a negative way, I was quite amazed to see Ms. Russell’s talk. I know very little of the model world and have primarily viewed it in a negative light as perpetuating body image disturbance within our culture. Ms. Russell’s talk is an incredibly well thought out and well considered presentation. Her ability to describe the uselessness of fixating on their body, the cultural biases and prejudice that make one type of look seem more valuable than others. and the discussion of the limitations of using media images to judge oneself are quite profound. Parts of this talk contain pictures of her time as a model, which may be triggering for some of our readers. Please take this into consideration before viewing the presentation. If you feel it to be appropriate for you we encourage you to take a look at the video below:
Cameron Russell: Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model.
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Contributions by Sarah Emerman
By, Dr. Mark Warren
The book Eating Disorders and the Brain edited by Drs Lask and Frampton continues to be an extraordinarily important book to understanding the etiology of eating disorders. Given our current knowledge, we often say that eating disorders are biologically based. Yet, this is somewhat of a two-dimensional statement as eating disorders are experienced as complex and multi factorial. A large number of factors seem to be interacting when someone presents with an eating disorder. These include genes, early attachment, personality issues, cultural issues, cultural norms, peer relationships, sensitivity, and on and on. Current biological work is beginning to show us is that many of these factors may in fact be related to one and other. The complex development of the eating disorder can be understood as the product of a specific genetic profile that develops in a specific individual under specific circumstances. Rigidity, perfectionism, skillfulness, and skill deficits, that are often seen in individuals with the illness are often mislabeled as “causes” when they are in fact part and parcel of the same developmental picture that may ultimately result in an eating disorder. With continued research of the brain, we are closer to understanding this complexity in terms of a specific biology that causes multiple expressions and can ultimately understood and treated through development and improvement of structures within the brain.
I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Arnold, author and expert on eating disorders. She has recently published an article in Scientific American Mind which provides a terrific summary of what we know about the brain, its structure, biology, and functions and their subsequent role in eating disorders. Our thanks to Carrie for this fantastic and informative article.Please click below to access a portion of this article. Copies of the full article are available at our front desk.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=inside-the-wrong-body
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