Download PDF by Mimi Nichter: Fat Talk: What Girls and Their Parents Say about Dieting

By Mimi Nichter

They hate their thighs. They binge and purge. they need an ideal physique. those are the yankee women we've heard approximately in document after report--surveys telling us that 1/2 all teen-aged women are weight loss program at any given time, and suggesting that a lot of them are "at risk" for consuming problems. yet what do those information fairly suggest? How do ladies take into consideration their our bodies, their visual appeal, their tradition? In 'Fat Talk' the ladies solution for themselves. the results of a learn that countless numbers of teen-aged ladies for 3 years, this booklet brings to mild the subtleties, the complexities, and the realities of girls' rules approximately their shapes, their consuming behavior, and their actual beliefs.

Anthropologist Mimi Nichter makes use of an attractive narrative type to discover the impact of associates, kin, and media on girls' feel of self. In vast excerpts from interviews, we pay attention how those women vary from these we come across in surveys. particularly, regardless of common dissatisfaction with one point or one other in their our bodies, the women didn't vitamin quite a bit as speak about weight loss diet. "Fat talk," Nichter wryly argues, is one of those social ritual between buddies, a manner of creating team spirit.

'Fat Talk' unearths a few alterations among the black and white topics Nichter interviewed--not simply in issues of weight and visual appeal, but additionally within the mother-daughter courting that looked as if it would powerfully impact a girl's self-image. relocating past the stereotypes of such relationships, Nichter examines the problems and struggles that moms face in mentioning fit daughters today--and indicates how we would support ladies flow past punishing photos of excellent attractiveness.

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Additional resources for Fat Talk: What Girls and Their Parents Say about Dieting

Sample text

Whereas the average girl reaches her full height by about age ~fteen, boys enter puberty much later and continue to mature and grow until age twenty. In her narrative, it is evident that Christine was angered by boys’ unchallenged power to critique girls’ bodies, but she also felt singularly powerless to ~ght against it. She had been the brunt of much teasing throughout middle school, and these memories were fresh in her mind. Her friends agreed that if a boy was overweight, he would be teased far less than a girl who was overweight.

The designation “perfect” also appears prominently in advertisements and feature articles in teen and women’s magazines. ” Though we are led to believe that we are inadequate as we are, never fear! A wide range of products is available to mask imperfection in a way that appears natural. In focus groups we asked the middle school girls if they thought magazines and television had an impact on how they wanted to look. Girls were eager to jump in with their responses, indicating that they had thought about this topic before and perhaps discussed it with friends.

It’s just not that way with guys, and that’s why they don’t have as many friend problems. Like for girls, we have to compete to get where we are. And I mean we’re always sizing each other up in terms of how we look. It’s like one day, me and my sister were talking and we said like when a girl comes up to you that you don’t know, then after you’ll be totally talking about her, trying to ~nd faults with her. ” I mean it’s all about competition about how we look. While much has been written about the importance of social connection to girls and women, Kim’s observations speak to a { 20 } in the presence of the perfect girl politics of separation among girls played out through discourse about appearance and personality.

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