Body Image Eating Disorders and Obesity by Thompson Essay

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The book breaks down the stereotype of what an eating disorder really is. In today’s society having an eating disorder means that you have some kind of “psychological frailty or illness” (1). When thinking about those that have eating disorders typically it is “young, middle to upper class, heterosexual white women” comes to mind (1). Their motivation is to take on the unrealistic appearance of models and reach the “standards created by advertisers and clothing designers” (1). The author in no regards is trying to down play women that have eating disorders because of the pressure of the media but is showing that there are other people and reasons for having eating disorders. This image that we currently have leaves out “women of color, …show more content…

The author never compares or contrasts the rate of having an eating disorder from white women to minority women. If white women are more likely to partake in having an eating disorder that could explain why minority and lesbian women are not the primary focused on. Nor does the author discuss why white women are the main focus when it comes to eating disorders. It would have been nice if Thompson would have gone into more detail in the social factors of having an eating disorder. For example, since having an eating disorder is considered to be a “‘white girl’ phenomena… professionals misdiagnosed or ignore women of color” (12). Thompson did not give details as to why this is true.
It could be the fact, that the majority of magazine models and regular models are very thin white women. Even in movies and television there is rarely a depiction of the “average” or “above average” woman of color. This could be a large part of the problem. When some of these women were taken to the doctor as children they were considered to be too thin by their mothers and given medicine to curve their appetites instead of being properly diagnosed. Since, doctors are at the top of the medical ladder, what they is diagnosed is usually taken very seriously. When the doctor agreed with the child’s mother that the child was to too fat even though the child was not, this could leave lasting effects. When the child’s environment tells her that she is too fat, she has no choice but to conform.

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