The Goode Life


It’s Not Just the Zaftig With Food Issues
November 5, 2008, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Ever since those after-school ABC specials debuted in the 80’s, eating disorders, particularly anorexia and bulimia, have been seen as a white girl thang.

And, as most people of color know by now but find it hard to express, disordered eating is SO not limited to the paler people in the world.

Ethnic culture is like a blueprint when it comes to a person’s development and social functioning – everything from how loudly you speak [I know you can hear my conversation from three blocks away, but I get it from my mama, okay?] to how you view career choices [the old adage about Southeast Asians giving kids two options: medicine or law? Not so untrue].

Leslie Goldman, author of a new book on body image, who elaborates on the link between Jewish women and self-destructive behaviors in a Huffington Post piece.

What Goldman does not say is how everyone’s culture affects their relationship with food, eating, and body image. Yes, the Jews are famous for neuroses, but what about other minorities? I’ve known a few Asian-American women who’ve waxed eloquent about the pressures to be tiny, since that’s what’s “expected” of Asian women; and what about Latinas and Black women? I think one of the best kept secrets is the disordered eating that often runs rampant in these communities, because of misconceptions about who exactly is at risk.

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