Stick Figure - Analysis

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Amanda Bullock
10/30/12
Psych 401H
Professor Banyard
Stick Figure
Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb is a first person account of a young girl and her battle with anorexia nervosa. The book is composed of diary entries from when Lori was a young girl, at age eleven. By seeing her personal thoughts and stories from the time when she was battling this disorder gives us a very close look at what drove her obsession with being thin: mainly her mother and peers, who were also obsessed with looking “perfect”. In Stick Figure, we follow Lori all the way from the first time she begins to think she should diet through her eventual hospitalization for the eating disorder. There are many tell-tale signs of the disorder viewed along the way, which are described in the textbook. Overall, Lori Gottlieb's diary is a valuable primary source offering us insight into the mind of a young anorexic girl, and complements the information given in the textbook. The textbook characterizes anorexia nervosa as “a disorder characterized by an intense fear of being fat and severe restriction of food intake” (Schacter, Gilbert, and Wegner 288). Lori begins demonstrating this mindset of being fat while she is on vacation with her family in Washington, D.C. Before the vacation, she often feels unpopular and not as pretty as the other girls in her school, however she never describes herself as fat. While visiting her cousin, Kate, Lori observes both her aunt and her cousin decline food and dessert, simply saying that they will “nibble” off of others' plates. When Lori asks why they don't eat their favorite desserts, they respond that real ladies don't eat like that, and they must keep their figures in check (Gottlieb 58). As an eleven year old girl, Lori just wants to be like her role models, such as her older cousin Kate. As the diary reads, “I asked Kate if she also lost weight from not eating very much, but Kate said she's not on a diet. Which made no since since she hardly ate anything at...
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