Essay Reflecting Body Images from American Culture

1474 Words Jul 23rd, 2007 6 Pages
Sara Brown
12-7-05
Eng 101 MW
Isbell J
Reflecting Body Images from American Culture
Currently in America Culture there is a prevailing desire to become thin. "Between five per cent and ten per cent of girls and women (i.e. five-ten million people) and one million boys and men suffer from eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or other associated dietary conditions." (http://www.annecollins.com/eating-disorders/statistics.htm) So many people are influenced by the media that it transforms their own self image into unrealistic ideas leading many adolescent females and some males to eating disorders. Our society is driven for individual control thus forming the judgment that fatness is a loss of self-control
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56).
When consumer consumption was just on the up rise in the nineteen hundreds, it received a lot of religious criticism. One Minister felt disgraced by any advocate that decided to pursue materialistic objects rather then the divine meaning in life. (Stearns Pg. 58) Even as the criticism declined Americans felt as if they were losing their moral fiber. Morals are principals of right and wrong according to Webster's Dictionary. This is important because they felt contempt by the church and as a result they had to find a new way to become accepted once more. Soon there was an association of fat with laziness and new morals were becoming apparent. America had discovered dominance over the body through deliberate self-sacrifice by not eating. (Stearns) A thin person was now defined as a person with self-control strengthening their moral quality and acceptance into society. Religious discipline was on a decline but restraint in eating and its undeniable appearance of slenderness took on its own moral responsibilities. (Stearns Pg.64) Successful diets meant painful but rewarding control, the same kind of struggles that battles with sin had always entailed. Throughout the nineteen hundreds the ideal of the female body continually became thinner. Miss America was five feet, one inch tall, with a waist of twenty-five

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