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Beating Anorexia and Gaining Feminism

In her article “Beating Anorexia and Gaining Feminism” Marni Grossman talks about her own personal experiences with fighting a food disorder. She grew up in a world where men are the ones who decide how a beautiful woman should look like. She also was influenced by her friends who gave her the idea that women must be skinny and beautiful in order to impress men. Marni felt ugly and fat, so she became anorexic which was a major struggle in her life. She described how hard it was to have such an illness. Marni then started to educate herself by reading feminist texts during the months of her recovery. She listed many feminism authors of whom she read from. Finally, she beat her anorexia and gained her feminism. Marni Grossman is one example of millions of women today. Women today are concerned with their body images because media has led girls to believe that in order to reach perfection, women have to look like actors and models. The T.V. advertisements, magazines, newspapers, and media tell us that in order to be happy and successful, someone should be skinny and beautiful. Girls feel bad about themselves if their weight, hips, and breasts do not match up with the images that are put in their mind. I think we have to do something to change these stereotypes and let every girl whether in high school or college read this article and learn a good lesson. What will women accomplish if they starve themselves since it is a high risk of death? We should think many times before adapting to such an idea and we have to change the bad stereotypes we have in our society about being skinny, beautiful, losing weight, and such things. Girls should accept themselves for who they are and not be influenced by how they look. They should alter the idea of thin and happy to healthy and happy. If you have good health, then it does not matter how you look like. I am writing about this subject because I have a teenage daughter who has the same obsessions with her weight. As the author states in her article about her situation “There were calories to count. Food to avoid. Body mass index to calculate.” My daughter always suffers with these issues and she goes crazy if she finds that her weight increases by one pound. I let my daughter read this article and she thought again about the idea that health and happiness is better than just being thin and happy. Media should represent examples of women who have values such as moral, honesty, intelligent, and altruism so that girls model them. We really need a revolution to inform the media with our message. Seeing girls in their young age suffer from such eating disorders just to be acceptable in the society is upsetting and painful. To decrease the suffering of girls and young women in our society, the media must help spread the moral images instead of those negative stereotypes.


  1. maelsaye says:

    Very insightful post. I agree completely that women should not have to suffer by trying to live up the impossible standards of beauty portrayed in the media. We as a society need to spread the message that being insanely thin is unattractive! As a male, I’d much rather have a thick woman like Kim Kardashian over a girl with no curves. Women need to find out that the models they see in magazines aren’t even real. The Dove commercial that was shown in class beautifully portrayed the magic of Photoshop. If more women would see that commercial, we could begin to end anorexia. http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyh5juaeXW1r1t1tso1_500.jpg

  2. jtfick says:

    Your post explains a big issue in society today. I noticed this first hand just earlier in the day when I went to the grocery store. As I was in line to check out, there were several magazines that were within viewing sight. All of these magazines were about the figure of a female body and ways that one could potential improve their body. That’s when I started wondering who was the one that had the idea of exactly how a woman should look and every other woman should look just like her to be perfect. All these magazine titles talked about is getting a slimmer stomach, perkier breasts, or a better looking butt in a bikini. These Photoshop pictures, like the comment above mine describes, in my view, are the sole reasons anorexia is affecting so many women still today.

  3. […] Beating Anorexia and Gaining Feminism « Intro. Women's & Gender … […]

  4. balbojaw says:

    You said your daughter turns crazy if she gains even one pound, but she is not alone in that regard; many girls do the same. I believe there is a lot of pressure put on girls from the media and peers. Girls try to pursue the image the media constitutes as being attractive and beautiful (i.e. be skinny, etc).

  5. Anna says:

    maelsaye: This article discusses feminism, and I feel that part of Marni’s recovery was getting over her childhood misconceptions that men determine her beauty. If you prefer a girl with curves, that’s your opinion. The way a man views a person is not their reason for developing an eating disorder.

    jtfick: Magazine’s are not the only reason for eating disorders. They contribute the rising incidence of eating disorders, but are not the sol cause. Eating disorders, like other mental disorders, existed long before magazines and even the diagnosis.

    balbojaw: There is a difference between trying to pursue media beautiful (which often includes big boobs and a nice toned butt), and an eating disorder. Eating disorders move past the ideal skinny of society, they move past those magazines, eating disorders drive sufferers to nothingness, to death. That’s the goal, not “attractive and beautiful.”

    I agree that magazine’s can trigger negative thoughts and portray impossible standars, but there is MUCH MORE to eating disorders than “I want to impress a boy” or “I want to look like [insert celebrity].”

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