Journals Higher Education

$24.95

Paperback

30 October 1997

208 Pages | 11 halftones

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195117912


Bookseller Code (05)

Am I Thin Enough Yet?

The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity

Sharlene Hesse-Biber

Whether they are rich or poor, tall or short, liberal or conservative, most young American women have one thing in common--they want to be thin. And they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get that way, even to the point of starving themselves. Why are America's women so preoccupied with weight? What has caused record numbers of young women--even before they reach their teenage years--to suffer from anorexia and bulimia? In Am I Thin Enough Yet?, Sharlene Hesse-Biber answers these questions and more, as she goes beyond traditional psychological explanations of eating disorders to level a powerful indictment against the social, political, and economic pressures women face in a weight-obsessed society.
Hesse-Biber highlights the various ways in which American families, schools, popular culture, and the health and fitness industry all undermine young women's self-confidence as they inculcate the notions that thinness is beauty and that a woman's body is more important than her mind. We are introduced to women (and men) from different cultures who themselves have acquired eating disorders in pursuit of the American standard of physical perfection. And we learn of the often tragic consequences of this obsession with thinness. The book concludes with Hesse-Biber's prescriptions on how women can overcome their low self-image through therapy, spiritualism, and grass-root efforts to empower themselves against a society obsessed with beauty and thinness.

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