For my final year, we had to write an FYP or mini-thesis on a Irish subject that interested us. As my interests and journalism talents lie predominantly in the fashion sector, I wanted to touch on a subject that was both true to my abilities but also something that was completely outside my comfort zone.
After much deliberation and talking to family/friends/my FYP supervisor Emer, I landed on the social affairs side of fashion and wrote my thesis on ‘The Effects of Media Influence on Young Irish Women’, a topic I knew nothing about but was interested in learning a lot about. In my studies, I covered eating disorders, depression & suicide and drugs. I also covered the little-known subject of orthorexia as my special topic. Take a look at my work and see what you think, one of these articles will be featured in OohLALA magazine coming out October 23, which I’m extremely excited about and I’ve featured ‘Orthorexia – An Unknown Eating Disorder’ on Intrigue.ie.
The basis of my print major for the Final Year Project is ‘The Effects of Media Influence on Young Irish Women’ and contains four different articles surrounding the issue.
‘The Effect of Media Influence on Young Women with Depression’ talks about how young women can be adversely affected by the media, both in the way it portrays body image and the way suicide is reported in the media. This can lead to teenage depression due to a lack of self-worth or can trigger copycat suicides. This is seen in a few recent cases in Ireland and has a lot of media speculation around the topic at the moment with new guidelines and campaigns being set up. Talking to representatives from the HSE, Pieta House, the Samaritans and Suicide Ireland about their thoughts completed this.
‘Media Influence on Women with Eating Disorders’ talks about the way the media can influence women to develop an eating disorder. My findings show that women can develop an eating disorder if the person has a pre-disposition to being affected by body image issues. I spoke to representatives from Bodywhys, the media, Headline and Serenity Counselling.
‘Orthorexia – An Unknown Eating Disorder’ is a study into orthorexia, an eating disorder, which has had very little coverage in Ireland. I’ve spoken to the eating disorder experts in Ireland like the EDCC and the EDRC that specialise in the few cases of orthorexia seen in Ireland but the dangers of orthorexia is that it is more common than expected but people don’t see it as a problem.
‘Does the Media affect how Young People Use Drugs?’ is about how drugs and alcohol in the media can affect young people. I found that drugs didn’t have a profound impact on young people when portrayed in the media but alcohol advertising is a big issue and both the representatives from the HSE and academics I spoke to agreed that something needs to be done about the matter. I spoke to the HSE, an academic in drugs and alcohol studies and the media.