Fat is a Feminist Issue Essay

Fat is a Feminist Issue Essay.

Susie Orbach writes about the reality that many women face with problems of obesity, overweight, social roles, and sex-stereotypes in the US. In “Fat is a Feminist Issue” the author writes in extend to the main problem that women face with overweight in America, how it has become a serious issue in the topic of obesity, and the typical “sex-role stereotypes” differences that exist today (449).

Manipulated by media ads and the pressure on women to pursue the ideal physical and beauty appearance, Orbach claims that women have been the target of a “ten billion dollar industry waits to remold bodies to the latest fashion” year after year (451-52).

In addition to this, Orbach gives us some background history on fashion and how media ads affected the thinking of those young ladies who lived in the 60’s and 70’s, where television started to be a mainstream along with magazines and radio. Orbach writes that in the 60’s, there were only three ways to “feel acceptable” within one’s society: to be skinny, flat chested and straight hair (451).

By the 70’s the fashion was the opposite. Clearly, this statement clarifies the historical example of the classic American culture, slammed by media ads in which women are bombarded with new fashion styles and new trends every year. The fact of the matter is that Orbach claims that being fat is a “culturally defined experience of womanhood” (449), however, she calls society to make a change in this issue in which women are constantly fighting a never ending war of overweight and obesity. Response After reading this essay I’ve found there are reasons as to why women in our society today overeat.

In terms of overeating, and the pressures society places on women, I agree that sometimes society place too much pressure on them to look or be a certain way. There are indeed some overweight woman who are perfectly healthy, and others who are not. Although, the issue comes when we try to impose what our idea of healthy is, or what it is supposed to look like from our on perspective onto them. This can drive people to depression, and all types of other bad habits like overeating. I also believe that Orbach, was correct when she stated that self –image, and self- consciousness, play a big role in this subject as well.

She states that by not living up to the standards placed by society, would essentially be deeming oneself as an outcast, which in today’s society is very true. Those who cannot/ do not keep up with the latest trend, look, and style are no longer considered to be “in” which is ridiculous. Women especially, should be able to be them despite what new trend comes about, how many more people become skinnier, or whatever the case may be. We should teach that being comfortable in one’s own skin is what is key, staying healthy, and then working one becoming a better you is what comes next.

This essay showed me that if one really took the time to think about it, being “fat” really could be looked at as a social disease that we ideally created and placed on them. I agree, that society, gender roles and the expectations that we place on women can be directly correlated with overeating and obesity. For me, obesity and overeating is something I never quite understood, nor took the time to really critically think about until now. I was skinny as a young girl; my weight was under one hundred pounds and therefore never having to think about being “fat”.

As I got older, I started to gain weight, reaching one hundred and thirty pounds, and then I started thinking “Wow! I’m fat”. Then I became pregnant and gained more weight, I was “HUGE” in my eyes. After giving birth I became obsessed with my weight and body image. I started to exercise and eat healthy to lose the weight; I felt pressure from society, family, and friends to lose the weight because I had always been so thin. I even went to the extreme of having lipo after I couldn’t lose the weight by eating right and exercise.

That period of my life was a dark and sad time for me; my family didn’t know about my depression, I was under so much pressure to look perfect! Orbach, also touches a subject that I kind of disagree with as she explains: “the relegation of women to the social roles of wife and mother has several significant consequences that contribute to the problem of fat” (450). The social roles have played an important role in the American culture, especially in women where it’s always the classic stay home mom, taking care of kids and the husband being the only provider.

Under these circumstances, perhaps, women don’t feel the necessity to present an ideal physical image once they are married, or to what she claims it’s a “response to the inequality of sexes” where women feel less valuable and they express some type of rebellion towards the stereotypes that society has created of “being fat” or impulsive eating disorder (448-49). Reason I don’t agree completely with this subject is because, I know many stay at home mom’s that do want to stay looking good, and feeling good, not only for them, but for their husband and children.

Overall, Susie Orbach’s article “Fat is a Feminist Issue” was a very good one. It teaches us that we should not imply our own beliefs of what the ideal woman should, or should not look like. While at the same time understanding that obesity and overeating are driven by something, some struggle, expectation, or pressure. This implies that would should not be so quick to say being “fat” is simply a choice that some individuals make and that, that is all there is to it, because there can be other factors. Works Cited

Fat is a Feminist Issue Essay