Disordered eating

“What does it paltry to be Fat, Thin, and Female?”

– Chapter 5 in “The Anthropology of Food and Body” through Carole, M Counihan

anorexia-eating-disorderSource: http://www.lifeandstylemag.com

As a Human Sciences pupil, I have the opportunity to study modules from across a range of disciplines: allowing me each incredible insight into Anthropology, Psychology, Pharmacology, Political Science, Genetics and equitable Film Production to name just a small in number. The opportunity to study the identical phenomenon from a number of literary perspectives not only broadens my intellectual faculties, but often causes me to trial what I read, comparing schools of pondering in the way they approach and analyse essentially the like occurrence.

A keen interest that I acquire is in Clinical Psychology, with eating disorders a topic i find especially fascinating: how food and eating, the greatest in quantity evolutionarily basic components of survival, can become pathologized and quite literally torturous to a living body. However, I now have the contingency to analyse it from an anthropological view, finding symbolism and social meaning in which I had previously thought of as a predominantly biopsychological plight.

From a clinical perspective, a consist of of psychological and biological mechanisms are reasoning to be drivers.During the years of adolescents, amongst the constraints imposed by parents and teachers, restricting fodder intake can be seen as the primary and sometimes only way of exerting command of one’s life. Preoccupation with aesthetics, and the way that others observe you are complicated by the biological transitions and changes that are inception to taking place. Distorted logic or difficulties in processing compound emotions leads to irrational eating behaviours, what one. in turn can affect the strength to fit in or adjust normally to companionable situations surrounding food. The lack of animation caused essentially by starvation then affects your emotions, governing to a vicious cycle of negative associations through food.

On the flip side, viands can be a comfort: an twinkling of an eye reward in response to stress or loss of hope. Like a drug, it can deadened emotions, even if just temporarily. This makes it uphill to control, even addictive. Biologically, each body reacts differently – metabolically in the space it responds to food, but in like manner psychologically in the relationships it forms through eating.

bookSource: http://www.amazon.com

However in What does it ~s to be Fat, Thin, and Female?, Counihan explores the gendered dimensions to disordered eating at either of the extremes – verdict similarities in seemingly polar behaviours: anorexia, bulimia, binge erosive and obesity. Why is it that round 90% of sufferers of bulimia and anorexia are young the fair sex?

Counihan suggests that the physical transformations inflicted on the material substance by eating disorders may be each attempted escape from female sexuality. The fit norms of the female form be able to be violated either by highly restricted or undue amount eating, resulting in an androgynously de-sexualised corpse. Between a third and two thirds of corrosive disorder sufferers also have a above experiences of sexual abuse, so transforming one’s dead ~ may be seen as a apology mechanism, adopted as protection from sexual regard or exploitation.

Alternatively, they may unmistakable in response to a fear of the biological changes accomplished in adolescence, triggering an impulse to retreat to a previous childlike form. The attack of menstruation or development of curves, whilst apparent symbols of femininity, can be reversed or disguised on bodies either starved or stuffed through food. Confusion of sexual or self-identity may go before as guide to a desire for invisibility. The abhorrence for the body one finds themselves in based concerning totally distorted perceptions of the self – spiralling into a unsafe pursuit of an unobtainable image or identity.

Counihan describes a Cartesian-like throb between the ‘male exalted mind’ and ‘denigrated pistillate body’; mirroring the anorexic’s regard with submission/body misalignment and the persistence of patriarchal dominance. Socialised being of the cl~s who being distinctly un-feminine, natural drives of competitiveness may have existence internalised by women, fostering a sentiment of rivalry to be the prettiest, the ut~ intelligent, or indeed the skinniest. This be able to turn a harmless awareness for one’s figure into a pathological obsession.

warningSource: http://www.buzzfeed.com

However, these ideals of skinniness, and the feeling of femininity manifesting as petite and slight, don’t appear to be total. Among African American teens, Counihan argues, the discernment of beauty is more flexible: in place determined by confidence and body speech – thus made more accessible than what is genetically pre-determined.

Overall, this shows to me in what state studying a range of disciplines be to complement one another. A totally biological approach overlooks the impact of conversable interactions and nuances of cultures. Without a in greater numbers holistic approach, we undermine the honorable complexity of the human race.

Anorexia-billboard-campai-001Source: http://www.theguardian.com

Counihan, C., 1999. The anthropology of fare and body: Gender, meaning, and faculty. Psychology Press.

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