The Culture of the Thin Bites Fiji

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Dear Billy,
I hope you are getting over the flu you had last Friday. I’ve had it before and I felt absolutely terrible. I know it has been going around campus, and I see you were one of the unlucky ones to get it. Hopefully, you will get better soon, but please don’t come to class until you are well, because I don’t want to get sick! Anyways, in class Friday we discussed a passage titled, The Culture of Thin Bites Fiji, written by Ellen Goodman. This writing argues that the skinny culture of the United States is responsible for damaging the Fijian teens. In this article, Goodman discusses how the Fijian culture’s thoughts of being large turned around entirely. Goodman writes that in the years before 1995, “food was not only love, it was a cultural imperative.” (Goodman 608-610). This means eating was a sign of common hospitality. The appearance of being a big woman meant she was beautiful, and the bigger the women the more beautiful she looked. In this time, women were also prescribed to herbs that stimulated their appetites, resulting in them eating more food and gaining more weight. A common compliment many women received was, “You look wonderful! You’ve put on weight!”(Goodman 608-610). This statement shows the complete opposite view Americans have for their bodies, which is being slim is the ideal image for a woman. Americans often see being fat as an unpleasant image, so we try to stay in shape and maintain a slender body. The image American’s put forth drastically changed the way Fijian woman treated and viewed their bodies. In 1995, a change in the Fijian view occurred. The main reason for this change was due to American television being brought into the island. “Suddenly, the girls of rural coastal villages were watching the girls of Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210, not to mention Seinfeld and E.R.” (Goodman 608-610). As the women and girls began to watch these shows, the appearance of being fat suddenly became hideous. Soon, all the Fijian...
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