The Negative Effect of Ideal Thin

date: Apr 24, 2016
- Thesis
language: English
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Nobody knows when it began, but it seems that all in a sudden, people tend to be really thin that is just impossible to achieve, which they called “beautiful”. This kind of beauty was actually called Ideal Thin, first mentioned by an article done by 7 researchers in 2003 (Low, et al., 2003). Some people believe that this trend of beauty is actually one of the characteristics born with us that we cannot get rid of, so there is no need to panic that this trend will harm our society. However, others don’t think so, as they claim that this fashion has caused a number of problems in recent years, such as family conflicts, growth of anorexia nervosa and false use of drugs, which has raised the concern in the society. This article illustrates the danger of beauty with two main reasons of extreme means to keep beautiful and following blindly to the fashion of Ideal Thin.

The most significant danger of Ideal Thin is that people take extreme trials, like taking slimming drugs and extreme dieting, to achieve the perfect beautiful shape that may not be achievable. One most common way is to take those weight-loss supplements that usually claimed “Guaranteed losing 10 kg in 2month”, yet it is reported that these supplements have strong side-effects on people from arrhythmia, valvular heart disease to serious eye problems or even congestive heart failure (Theobald, 2016). Some people think people are just not unintelligent, and they should know the proper means to be slim, such as exercising regularly and eating healthily and wisely. However, there are still numerous people would take risk to do this “fast and simple” way to become slim instead of using “slow and painful” ways like exercising. According to a report in 2015, one forth Americans admits that they use ways like weight-lost supplements to lose weight (WABC, 2015). This clearly shows countless people just want to become slim effortlessly, taking a pill every day without going to gym.

What’s more, people could be harmed by this trend because of herd mentality. When people see the trend of Ideal Thin continuing growing as the media promoting it and people doing it, People can hardly prevent the arose of the ambition for Ideal Thin. According to a report from three researchers (Groesz, Levine, Murnen, 2001), People can get upset about their own body shape under the influence of other people and the promotion form the advertisement, which cause them decide to join the people who have a strong desire to be Ideal Thin. Nonetheless, people claim that they are smart. They believe that educated people will not be influenced, so not all the people will be following blindly. It is true, smart people do know these image is impossible, according to the research done by Dr. Engeln (2013), a psychologist and body image researcher at Northwestern University. But she also discovered that some educated people, although knowing the image is harmful and impossible, some of them said they think they would want to have a try. As you can see, the herd mentality is still beyond people’s logic which is not the public would love to see.

The dangerous trend drive more and more people into this endless hole, and people scramble for it endlessly. What we know is that this trend could be unstoppable, but the society is continuing donating effort to slow down this fashion. Nobody knows what will the trend be someday, but this fashion will gradually be changed and stop harming people.


Groesz, L., Levine, M., Murnen, S. (2001). The effect of experimental presentation of thin media images on body satisfaction: A meta-analytic review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 31(1), 1-16.

Low, K. G., Charanasomboon, S., Brown, C., HiItunen, G., Long, K., Reinhalter, K.,  Jones, H. (2003). Internalization of the Thin Ideal, Weight and Body Image Concerns. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 31, 81-89.

TED. (2013, October 21). An epidemic of beauty sickness | Renee Engeln | TEDxUConn 2013[Video File]. Retrieved March 21, 2016, from YouTube:

Theobald, M. (2016, Feburary 22). The Risky Side of Weight-Loss Drugs: Disrupting Heart Rhythm. Retrieved March 20, 2016, from everyday HEALTH:

WABC. (2015, January 6). Consumer Reports: Should you take weight loss supplements? Retrieved March 20, 2016, from ABC7NY: