Cult of Thinness

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The author talks about the different ways in which the American popular culture, families, schools, peer groups, and the health and fitness industry undermine women’s self-confidence as they instill the notions that thinness is beauty and that a woman's body is more important than her mind. She makes it known that there are many different factors as to why there is such a need to be thin these days and why there are so many eating disorders in our society. She blames the media as one of the leading contributing factors as to why our society is consumed with dieting, being thin, and body image and I agree with this. I believe that the media system is corrupt and it influences most of our perceptions, especially women. For example on magazine covers, there are usually pictures of women in bikinis, or even topless showing off their skinny bodies. And in beauty commercials, its usually skinny, tall women used to advertise beauty products. This images and frames are what is branded by media and society as “looking good” or “being sexy”; as a result of this, women especially adolescents and young adults compare themselves to these models and feel inadequate. They feel like that is how they are meant to look and may end up dieting or starving themselves or even in more tragic consequences undergo surgery. A 12 year old girl stated, “When I see those twigs of people in the magazines and on TV, I say, “I’m going to go on a diet.” You almost want to get thin just so you can wear the right clothes. I watch all my junior high friends – they look like something out of a magazine”. However, the author also talks about some cultures that think that voluptuous, curvy women are a sign of prosperity and also an indicator of their ability to cook and take care of their family
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