Impact of Unrealistic Industry Standards

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When it comes to beauty and body image, the media seems to be the greatest force in defining the standards that we should all be striving toward. In fact, these standards are practically impossible and utterly realistic to reach by any normal means, yet countless of women and men will fall into the vicious cycle of seeking that which is not attainable.

Far from the spotlight of the glitz and glamour portrayed in the media industry is a shadow of reality that many face in this toxic environment.

While many changes are challenging the industry toward more positive practices, there remains many disturbing trends in the industry that are unsettling, particularly for the mental health community.

As more artists, performers, actors, models, and entertainers come forward and share their personal stories about their experiences in the industry, the more light is shed on issues that have a global reach.

Understanding Eating Disorder Risk

One such individual who is pushing back against the dangerous standards in the media industry is actress Amanda Gist. In a recent published interview with the Daily Mail, Gist reveals her decision to completely turn away from her successful Hollywood career due to her struggles with bulimia nervosa and severe depression. Gist recalls the rapid decline in her own mental health occur simultaneously with a blossoming career within the acting industry. The immense pressure to lose weight and maintain an unreasonable frame along with ongoing body shaming created a harmful environment for this budding actress.

Woman on Social MediaLeaving it all for the sake of her health, Gist shared, “’I realised, if I was being brutally honest, in five years’ time I would be dead, or I would have killed myself.’ [1]. Since leaving her Los Angeles based career and work, Gist has not only been able to seek out appropriate help and treatment for her mental health issues, but has also shared her story to support other women who may have been through similar experiences.

Redefining Beauty Standards

Gist is joined by many other advocates, both in and out of the media industry, to reshape and redefine beauty standards and to encourage others to embrace their own uniqueness that gives the very definition to the meaning of beauty.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What steps should we take as a community to encourage the media industry to redefine beauty standards?

Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.



The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 22, 2017
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