To eat or not to eat?
How is that something as simple as food cause huge pressure to conform in the public sphere? Women in particular struggle daily with the evil "F" word...FOOD! How is it that women have made impressive strides in education, access, jobs and economic status and are still struggling for basic acceptance physically, of their bodies. Somehow society decided to raise young girls on the notion that they need to emulate the models and stars in magazines and Hollywood. We live in a society that has an obsession with FOOD and an even bigger obsession with bodies and an overwhelming focus on the need to transform. How many different low-fat, fat-free, gluten free items do we need. When will something ever be good enough, the way it is supposed to be...body- wise and food-wise. This constant obsession with food in my opinion has caused women to internalize that they are not good enough the way they are. Growing up in the performance world I was trained internally to obsess endlessly about what I put into my body and in turn, what my body looked like. Let's rewind even more... In my opinion it all started in the 70s and 80s... women's bodies seemed to quite obviously take a step away from what is natural and turned into warped figures that seemed to be literally wasting away and falling to societies pressures. Take for example Brooke Shields...a 15 year-old who made made every woman desire Calvin Klein Jeans. Was it Brook that sold the jeans or was it her tall, slender legs and slim physique. The media was basically ordering women to "channel" their YOUTH and fit into skimpier clothes adorned with a youthful style...ironically the standard of beauty was imposed on a female audience of whom was naturally larger and more mature than Shields. Go figure!! I have come to think if this nasty relationship between women and food like this: the more space women take up in the world the more pressure they feel to reduce themselves physically. So ultimately women succumb to the pressure to diet and fit a certain body type because after years of inequality it is the only thing that can be done to save their space in society. More on a philosophical level but makes sense... I think that society and the media's wide range circulation of magazines, TMZ, talk shows, diet supplements, exercise regimes, etc are a direct link the pressure to be thin and the epidemic of eating disorders. I mean just the other day my drop dropped when I saw a commercial of a 13 year old girl talking about having weight loss surgery...13!!! Now she "fits" in and feels great...!?!? Hmmm....so when is too young for dieting and surgery? My final thoughts are that the pressure to diet and achieve the accurate body shape for a desirable female is part of the ongoing BACKLASH against the changes in the status of women...the larger the female presence, the narrower and more childlike idealized images become. Think of famous movie stars and television stars...how many look more like you did in your teens than the "housewife" they portray?
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