Eating Disorders Summary

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Eating disorders are commonly perceived as stemming from a greater mental instability or a fault in perception; Sheila Lintott’s interpretation of these disorders, however, focuses on the impact of societal standards and other external factors, including those that give a person “value” or validation. She states that: “[eating] disorders arise in response to a world that conceives of a woman 's worth in terms of her physical appearance” (Lintott 82), which ignores personality and important accomplishments. The article’s chief focus is that of the true cause of disordered eating in women. Lintott feels that society and the need to reach sublimity is at fault for women 's obsession with their bodies, stemming from three main ideas ideas; female …show more content…

It is clear that society is responsible for cultivating a community in which beauty and thinness are interdependent. According to Lintott, “the average woman is preoccupied, if not obsessed, with thinness” (66). She argues that this comes directly from exposure to modern media, which “bombards us with images of impossibly thin models and exceedingly skinny actresses, among whom the rates of eating disorders are extremely high” (qtd. in Lintott 67). Higher respect and esteem is usually given to women perceived as being thin, regardless of other factors. There is a paradox concerning the ideal form of a woman being so slim in contrast to our Baumann 2 society of excess and overindulgence. Outdated standards of thinness and beauty are still applied, even in an environment that is no longer conducive. The author reaffirms that many factors go into the development of an eating disorder -- most of which have to do with one’s external environment. Pop culture is constantly promoting slim models smiling and laughing in advertisements to the point where it alters our idea of what it takes to truly be happy. The author …show more content…

Furthermore, society highly praises weight loss, confirming the disordered eating as means to achieve an admirable goal; as stated by the author, “too frequently, a woman will get more encouragement or praise for her weight loss than for many of her other accomplishments” (Lintott 78). This type of positive reinforcement only perpetuates the cycle of these disorders within society.The article covers the type of motivation behind those who become anorexic and bulimic, and this particular piece of evidence attributes it to the pursuit of sublimity. Lintott urges that our ideas of beauty, confidence, and a higher state of being all seem to be characterized by the idea of a thin form. Some women’s motivation in taking their body weight and image so seriously may be caused instead by internal factors impacted by outer experiences. The author also mentions that anorexia is more commonly glamorized than other eating disorders, since it is believed to be showing complete control over one’s body. Lintott states that “there is a certain pride in the anorectic that is matched with shame in the bulimic. The anorectic, it seems, is stronger, better, Baumann 3 more perfect: thus, she receives more respect and admiration” (76). Conversely,

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