The Perfection GameOR,
How to die in slow motion...
"Dying to be Thin", a film narrated by Susan Sarandon; was originally broadcast late December, 2000. It examined the increasing prevalence of eating disorders.
Dr. Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of "Fasting Girls" explained:
I think there are two primary things going on right now with the cultural availability of eating disorders. First the whole society is involved in the perfection game, alright? That we all can fix our bodies, make our bodies over. And then I think, among young women...they're increasingly tuned in to a celebrity culture where the models and actresses bodies are considerably thinner than they have ever been in the past.Read on...
This is very seductive and hard for young girls to resist...(Excerpt from the transcript of the Nova Special "Dying to be Thin")
In the fourteenth century, the mystic Saint Catherine of Sienna, starved to death at the age of 33...she engaged in food refusal and a number of other penitential acts...
In the 19th Century, it is also possible to envision middle and upper class girls who want to be very thin...because it meant that they were spiritual...because it meant they had kind of conquered their carnal appetites, such as food and eating.
I see the common theme in all this is that women are using the appetite as a voice. And they are using the appetite to express different things depending upon their historical situation.
To watch the entire programme, in eight parts, click the pic. And lest you think this is merely a chick thing, click HERE for Dr. Thomas Holbrook's tale of his decade long foray into anorexia nervosa.