8 September 2014
Fat Crisis or Rebellion?
Within the United States obesity is a growing epidemic; it is an undergoing health concern that is affecting men, women, and children from all walks of life, but is the road to obesity cultivated by upbringing and environment or is it a result of gender norms? In his 2010 article, “Kentucky Town of Manchester Illustrates National Obesity Crisis,” columnist and author Wil Haygood provides a different perspective on the cultural misconceptions that are associated with obesity in the United States and provides an intimate look into the lives of a rural town family engrossed by obesity. Contrary to Haygood's article, Susie Orbach, an accomplished author and a woman's rights activist, presents an alternate belief as to how obesity and fat represent change to our American way of life. In her 1978 article, “Fat is a Feminist Issue”, Orbach argues that fat represents a subliminal women's protest against the ideal woman's appearance, a propaganda like ideology created by that of a male dominated culture. While both articles discuss the issues of diet and body image, Haygood's perspective attaches readers to the story of a family's subconscious nature to eat and discerns emotional trauma and seclusion to be reasons for bad dietary habits; while Orbach takes a soapbox stand out of left field and labels woman’s dietary habits as a rebellion against the status quo perspective of the ideal woman. When it comes to the topic of obesity, most of us will readily agree that obesity stems from bad dietary habits. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of how seclusion can impact dietary habits. Whereas some are convinced that obesity is an issue of a fragile mind-set or bad genetics, others maintain that obesity is the product of the individual's environment, may it be fast food cuisine or emotional trauma. Wil Haygood presents an alternative theory that seclusion in terms of the...
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