Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels

2817 words - 11 pages

Sydnie JamesEnglish 102Spring 2013 - iCourseSLN #12947April 7, 2013Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny FeelsOver thirty three percent of the United States is obese, so one would think being on the heavy side would be socially acceptable. Yet there seems to be some obsession over losing weight in society today. Some achieve weight loss through proper nutrition and exercise; others resort to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. While being the most obese country in the world, America also has the highest mortality rate of eating disorders today (2005). Disorders such as these can involve an extremely low food intake which can be detrimental to a person's health. The main cause of this illness is brought upon by the concern of body weight and shape, but why be so concerned over one's physique? Risking one's life to simply be "skinny" may seem extreme, but that has not stopped people from contracting this disorder; society may be to blame for this increasing problem.Beauty ideals in society have gone through drastic alterations throughout the decades. During the middle of the eighteenth century, a fleshy and full figure was actually considered a sign of health and prosperity (Perceptions). In the nineteenth century, having an abnormally small waist and large upper and lower body was considered beautiful. In order to obtain this look, women used corsets. This often resulted in shortness of breath and even rib distortion (Reshaping the Body); yet this method was socially acceptable because it achieved a beauty ideal at that time. In the 1920's, the idea of curviness being ideal had ended. During that time feminism had taken over and the "in" look for women was a boyish figure. "They were out to prove that they were every bit as good as their male counterparts, which initially manifested itself as imitation" (Western). During the next decades, a strong, healthy body type had become popularized again. The thin boyish figure in the 1920's was used for women to appear masculine and powerful, but in the 1960's it became revered as beautiful and delicate when the underweight, boyish model known as Twiggy Lawson had become the new standard for perfection (Perceptions). The ultra-thin body ideal remains ingrained within society and is still trying to be obtained today. The supermodel known as Twiggy was simply born extremely thin and became popularized for it; now, women and girls imitate her by eating nothing or regurgitating everything they do eat. Perhaps people continue to deprive themselves of food because Twiggy-like figures continue to be conveyed in mass media.Though half of the United States is either overweight or obese, mass media continues to reinforce beauty ideals, including the slim figure. An example would be in advertisements; advertisements tell society what one should and should not be. "Advertising creates an 'ultimate standard of worth, so that women are judged against this standard all the time, whether we choose to be or not'"...

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