Body Ritual in Nacirema
When I started reading Miner’s “Body Rituals among the Nacirema” I wasn’t really ‘reading’ it. By the end of the first page, it “hit me” and I had to start reading it over again. Realizing the essay was speaking of Americans gave me a whole different perspective. I found some of it quite amusing as well as enlightening. My feeling is that the author intended the reader to see our own ethnocentrism and question our own acts towards others with whom we are not familiar. Much of the article depicts the “Nacirema” people as pathological and obsessive in their rituals. Hoarding potions and creams, whether they are old or useful, rituals to fix imperfections of the body by “medicine men” of different types. Telling their problems to listeners instead of sharing with their families. Is this to make themselves happier, or to justify their actions? It seems that the Nacirema have lost the site of being individuals and must strive to be like all others. People are concerned with appearance, but indulge in binging habits that destroy their bodies. Then try to fix the problem without really realizing what the problems are. Obesity and fad dieting by the adults portray to the children what life is supposed to be like, instead of being natural and active and healthy. Keeping up appearances with opulent habitats to show wealth, and being consumed by making more wealth. Uncaring people in the “latipso” poking and torturing the Nacirema, and getting paid to do such things. It describes “faith” being put into items and ceremonial treatments that may either help or hurt them. Changing of body appearances drastically to gain acceptance, instead of being content with life. We are the most advanced in healthcare and have found cures or treatments for so many diseases, yet we show little appreciation to the men and women that strive to make our lives better by ruining our health. We expect more and give less to each other on a daily...
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