Anorexia vs. Bulimia

Powerful Essays
Anorexia vs. Bulimia

According to Mary Pipher, PhD, “In a city of strangers, appearance is the only dimension available for the rapid assessment of others. Thus it becomes incredibly important in defining value” (216). “Beauty is a defining characteristic for American women” (Pipher 216). She later goes on to say that, “When unnatural thinness became attractive, girls did unnatural things to be thin” (217). One of the most common unnatural things girls did to be thin were develop two popular eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. “A person may have anorexia nervosa when she diets to the point of weighing only 85 percent of ideal weight” (Kirby 68). “Unlike the anorexic, who is excessively thin, the bulimic is usually within a normal weight range, but her weight fluctuates” (Kirby 70). “Girls who are chubby or plain miss much of the American dream. The social desirability research in psychology documents our prejudices against the unattractive, particularly the obese, who are the social lepers of our culture” (Pipher 217). “Young women with eating disorders are not at all different from their peers. It’s a matter of degree. Almost all adolescent girls feel fat, worry about their weight, diet and feel guilty when they eat” (Pipher 218). Although both eating disorders are medically dangerous, mentally unhealthy and take a very long time to treat and cure, anorexia nervosa is more glamorous than bulimia because anorexics are thinner than bulimics, and being thin means being beautiful in American culture.

“Anorexic young women tend to be popular with the opposite sex. They epitomize our cultural definitions of feminine: thin, passive, weak and eager to please. Oftentimes young women report that they are complim...

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