Summary Of ' Wasted By Marya Hornbacher Essay

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Marya Hornbacher’s memoir, Wasted, describes her lifelong battle with eating disturbances with focuses on anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In modern day society, thinness is associated with “wealth, upward mobility, and success” (Hornbacher, 1998, p. 46). Thinness is “an ideal symbolizing self-discipline, control, sexual liberation, assertiveness, competitiveness, and affiliation with a higher socio-economic class.” (p. 46) Not eating also suggests that one have such a full life that food is not a priority. The media influences children to believe that one must be thin in order to be beautiful. To Marya, a self-proclaimed perfectionist, she must be perfect in order to be successful. She believed she could only be perfect if she had a perfect body, a perfect career, perfect relationships, and perfect control over her life and herself (p. 231-232). Marya never had a healthy relationship with food. She reckons she went down this path because she was curious and wanted to explore the extent of hunger, but her family seems to play a larger role in contributing to her eating disorders. Growing up, her father was constantly on-and-off diets, and her mother had an eating disorder. Since children tend to look up to their caregivers, it is very likely that Marya picked up on her mother’s habit of counting calories and obsession with being thin so she could be like her. Her family also placed a large emphasis on her weight; her grandma used to give her toast and then take it away

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