Eating Disorders

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No doubt about it, America is obsessed with body image, and eating disorders are have more than doubled since the 1960's. This is in part due to social media holding stick thin, underweight women as the ideal model of a beautiful woman (the average BMI, or body mass index, of a fashion model is 16.3-17.1), despite the fact that men typically hold curvier women in a healthy weight range to be more attractive (BMI of 18-21). The truth is, men DON'T find unhealthily thin models attractive--men find curves attractive. The average Playmate has a BMI of 18.5, which is still quite thin, however the point is her average bust-waist-hip measurements are 35-23-24 in. This would indicate that men find curves, rather than being stick-thin, attractive. Now, some could argue that an 18.5 BMI is still unrealistically small for many if not most women, but this just leads to the point I wanted to make in the first place: health is attractive. Starving yourself to be underweight doesn't look good probably because being underweight indicates you're barely healthy enough to function, much less reproduce. Curves--but not being unhealthily overweight--are attractive because they indicate feminine health and fertility. If you're properly taking care of yourself, then regardless of what your BMI is, you're as healthy as YOU can be, and you're looking the best that YOU can be, and you shouldn't try to conform yourself to society's standards. I propose that eating disorders have become more and more common because too many women and girls feel pressure to maintain a body shape that is unhealthy for them, and frankly, I find it disgusting that the media continues to promote this by constantly flashing pictures of underweight women that supposedly have an ideal figure. It's wrong, and women should focus on being healthy inside and out rather than trying to force their bodies into an unrealistic shape. I know that many factors contribute to eating disorders beyond pressure from social media, but I argue that this pressure is a major one, and women need to train themselves to become immune to it and focus on what truly matters: health.
My sources include: http://womensenews.org/story/arts/060924/fashion-world-says-too-thin-too-hazardous http://mathildasanthropologyblog.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/what-female-figure-do-males-find-the-most-attractive/ http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-women-need-fat/201202/do-men-find-very-skinny-women-attractive

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Eating Disorders - Psy1001 Section 08 Spring 2012 Read More

4 Comments

So the window of BMI that men find attractive = Eating Disorder + Breast Augmentation + Brazilian Butt Lift.


I think the still image is less affecting than the words movie scripts use to code what's expected of young women, and more importantly, by men. Why is ok for fat men to be depicted as involved with ultra thin attractive woman? When the scenario reversed is not tolerated as believable.
What's not airbrushed are men's over-entitlement to perfection. That has a real effect on social economics because there clearly are commodities of women who are willing do anything to fit this expectation.

Professor Simpson pointed out last week, men who are "not Brad Pitt", focus on being super faithful to one relationship and being able to provide materially. I get this.
Still there are American sit-coms that depict fat lazy middle class husbands with perky skinny clean up after their fat rude husband wives. I don't get this.

I do feel that females are more pressured than males to look a certain way. I whole-heartedly agree with you that girls should focus on being healthy. Women come in all different sizes: stick-thin, athletic and muscular, or curvy: and society should embrace them regardless of their size.

As you said, eating disorder is a social problem. This is caused by mass media that hooks females to be thin, and to do unhealthy diet. Those female have to realize that glamorous and thin women who appear in the mass media are doing their job to have good body. We are not them who are earning money when they look good. The only thing that we have to do is just eating healthy food with regular exercise, which makes our body healthy and healthily thin.

To begin with, I completely agree with you that people need to be healthy and should not resort to eating disorders to lose weight. But I will also tell you that your main argument about beauty is curves. Just type in google, “body types” and you will see that there are many natural body types that have few curves. Some women, when weight is gained, are like a brick. I think most women aspire to be curvy, but most cannot so they choose to be thin. Also, even if social media advertised curves primarily, they would still advertise small waists, toned legs, and very little stomach fat. Women try to achieve that with eating disorders too.

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This page contains a single entry by herma488 published on April 8, 2012 1:47 PM.

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