Food Choices Based On Gender And Social Setting

901 words - 4 pages

On an average day, most Americans are consuming some quantity of food. With the consumption of food, there is an underlying message in what they choose they eat. Their choices of intake are more than just needs of survival, they extend far beyond that. By Americans being allowed to choose their own foods to eat, they’re given a feeling of power and satisfaction. Food choice is a convoluted behavior that is derived from instinct and is derived from many integral factors. Since the early 1800s, men and women were given distinct roles in society. The images depicted of them have gone on to play a role in the influence of what foods they should eat. Because women are seen as a symbol of delicacy, it’s expected of them to eat small portions while men take on the larger ones. Both groups also tend to eat the foods they eat due to the environments they’re exposed to. As Americans, we live in a culture where food dominates majority of our lives and the choice of what we put into our mouths is firmly fixed with gender roles and social setting.

Both men and women were seen as two different people with different contrasting expectations. Although their duties separated them from each other for half of the day, when it came time to gather as a family it was usually during meal time. It used to be that what the household ate, the woman would have as well. Today, some of these women are cooking different foods for their families compared to what they’re eating. With the pressure to be thin by society, women are constantly striving to maintain a healthy and slender looking body. It’s as if it’s expected of them to give birth to a family and then maintain them while controlling their appetites. Compared to men, there are some women who tend to lean more towards classy dining and smaller portions. The foods they choose have little to do with pleasure and more to do with discipline.

In Susan Bordo’s Anorexia Nervosa, the anxiety that women deal with in trying to be thin is discussed. Bordo mentions how women control their weight through compulsive behaviors such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. According to Bordo, “Women have mutilated themselves internally to attain the image of ideal femininity.” (Bordo 144) The ideals that stem from the desire to maintain this femininity is reflected with what women choose to eat. Unlike men, women are more likely to be dieting and therefore salads contribute to the popularity of diets. Men eat differently than women because they aren’t necessarily being targeted with the intention to...

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