Young Women’s Body Image in America Today
We all have our ideal of what we would like to look in order to gain acceptance from ourselves or the people around us. However, while most of us, women, take a healthy approach in achieving this ideal image, like consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly, others go to extreme measures like eating close to nothing or choosing to regurgitate the food they have previously eaten in large amounts and exercising obsessively. Where have all of these obsessive behaviors originated from and most importantly, what makes one think that they can continue the behavior without serious health consequences, are questions that escape me.
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is because they tend not to take care of themselves and prefer not to for no other reason than a feeling of “letting themselves go” when that is not necessarily always the case. Genetics and other predispositions to being overweight like a slow metabolism or a gland malfunction are only some of the health factors that will cause a person to become overweight and generally speaking, these factors are not modifiable by a change in one’s behavior like dieting or exercising.
In Sharlene Hesse –Biber‘s reading “Am I Thin Enough Yet?”, Delia, is a young woman who comes from a well-to-do family and is determined to maintain her small frame by binging because, in her opinion being overweight will cause her to loose the perspective of marrying a man with a lot of wealth, thus dwindling her chances at achieving a certain social status. The ideal that she has created in her head, has been constructed in the family environment as well as the images and messages presented by the media promoting a certain type of structural model of how a woman needs to look in order to achieve success in life. In addition to this sense of being more superior because of being thin, there is always a generally accepted idea that people who are thin are more pleasing to the eye, although it does not translate to good health. As such, here are some shocking body image statistics sadly confirming the “being thin” epidemic in the US and its devastating effects:
• Seven out of ten women felt depressed and angry when they had seen pictures of thin female fashion models.
• When asked, two out of five women specified that they would gladly give up 3 -5 years of their lives, if they could just reach their ideal weight goals
• In the United States, approximately 7 million girls and women experience eating disorders.
• When asked, 51% of girls aged 9-10 stated when...