Fat History : Bodies And Beauty Essay

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The book Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West by Peter Stearns concentrates on discerning the leading causes of diet culture and why weight has become a popular topic within the general public. He claims that his focus is equally focused on each gender, however the writing makes it clear that the female sex is more affected by weight gain and control and thus involves more information about one gender. About a third of Stearns’ argument incorporates the French diet and its very obvious differences from the American one. Both countries place dramatically dissimilar rankings on the OECD’s list of obesity rates; France sees some of the least obesity, whereas the USA has struggled with some of the highest rates for decades, with today’s rates at an all time high of 33% of citizens self-reporting as obese. Although Stearns does not determine an official beginning to this culture, we can generalize that between the years of 1870 to 1920, fashion, religion and gender roles were changing quickly enough to enhance the change in perspective about obesity and heighten its rates. He ties in the way that fashion has influenced fat culture, one of the main drivers of the promulgation of the diet mindset since the 1870’s. From the 1870s onward, a new aesthetic fashion had attacked the wearing of corsets in favor of a more natural look… by the 1890s, the uncorseted body became increasingly stylish among middle-class women, along with somewhat tighter clothing that now

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