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Emile Durkheim’s Suicide Theory and Media Body Pressures

Julie A. Rice
Ohio Northern University

I will analyze the paradigm shift of the ideal female body with regards to modern society.  Our perception of the ideal female body is increasing the number of eating disorders within the United States, and as a result, is increasing the number of deaths stemming from eating disorders.  Our view of women changes frequently, and as a result, is leading to an increased number of eating disorders. This phenomenon is present in everyday society and in every single person’s life, not just women, yet excels in present day America with the help of extreme influences by different forms of media.  Men and women together create the ideal ‘laws’ that women are expected to follow, which makes it a social effect.  There is lacks of consistency in the way people, women in particular, are expected to look; drastic changes are taken in order to meet the new and ever-changing norm.  These dramatic measures are taken because there is no set ‘normal’ standard to follow, and it leaves people feeling desperate to fit in and sometime resulting in desperate measures.  Furthermore, this evidence suggests that the phenomenon present is compatible with the research present in Emile Durkheim’s experiment with regards to suicide.