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I Hate My Body. Too Many Times Too Many Women Have Said This. What’s Body Dissatisfaction Have to Do with Women Losing Wei

Posted Feb 27 2011 8:38am

What’s with women being dissatisfied with their bodies? All women—well, almost all—want to weigh less. That’s the kind of body dissatisfaction that sixty percent of American women can’t seem to satisfy.

There is a drive for thinness going on, and it has been going on forever—or at least during the entire lifetimes of today’s women. You might not be surprised, therefore, to learn that all types of eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, crash dieting, yo-yo dieting, purging are so much more prevalent for women than men. Roughly, it’s about a 7 to 1 ratio, women to men. (Eating disorder fact: Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.)

So why are women killing themselves over how their bodies look? And, by the way, you’d expect that if having a thin body is so important why are they not thin? The weight stats: On any given day, 45% of women are trying to diet. BUT…60% of women age 20 to 74 are overweight or obese. How do you explain this?

From time in memoriam women were found to be wanting, in one way or another. Not good enough to vote. Not good enough to be a person in her own right—just chattel. Couldn’t fight for her country. Basketball was too strenuous beyond a few bounces of the ball. The glass ceiling. Just sex objects, despite the fact that they were mothers, wives, daughters, sisters. Women had to be better than men to be accepted in medical school—and then their success was attributed to their manliness.

What’s a woman to do when it’s been such a man’s (read, mad) world? The only way to settle her predicament is for a woman to look at her body—because that is the most basic feature that distinguishes her as a woman—and say, “it’s not good enough”.

Keeping too much unwanted weight on for a woman makes her feel not good enough or equal enough. If this develops into one of the common eating disorders, it is a sure sign that help is needed, not just with eating control and weight maintenance, but also with more important matters like the sense of self-worth. It’s self-worth more than anything else that drives the engine called women. And why shouldn’t it? It does for men too, but they don’t count in this discussion. Women have a completely different history.


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