The excerpt, Hunger as Ideology by Susan Bordo reveals her great effort to educate, describe, and uncover past and present eating habits, behaviors, and societal influences on men and women, in order to “expose the deeper roots of eating disorders and distorted body images: a long-standing, devastating ideology that has held women captives of their own desires.” Bordo unmasks the present messages by the media and society and the expectations and pressure bestowed on females during the Victorian age. She examines societies ways of forcing the idea of the “ideal women” or “perfect female” through commercials, advertising, fashion, and other forms of media on to individuals. For example, commercials where women are shown nibbling or eating carefully as to not ruin their figure, satisfy men by providing food for them (and even satisfy themselves by making men happy with food), and creating sterotypes on how men and women should view food as well as the way they indulge in it, find comfort in it, and enjoy it in general. These restrictions on the female appetite are depicted on television and other sources of media as being necessary for health and attractiveness, polite, gentle, and to avoid looking “vulgar” or like slobs. On the other hand, men are supposed to “have a hearty, even voracious, appetite. It is a mark of the manly to eat spontaneously and expansively” these pre-conceived notions are shown frequently through commercials for products such as, “hungry man dinners” or the “manwich.” These views, opinions, and portrayals are mere fantasy. Women should have equal rights to food, and more importantly have the right to enjoy eating. The idea that men can eat like an animal and women are supposed to eat sparingly, is ridiculous. These commercials portray false images to children. To instill in a young girls mind that she has to watch what and how much she eats in order to try to look like a 5’9″, 100 pound super model is outrageous. These ideas allow these highly influence-able girls to believe that they should do whatever society perceives necessary in order to meet these high and very unrealistic expectations, going as far as starving themselves, binging in private, and practicing dangerous and sometimes deadly eating disorders.
I think that if these false impressions of men and women’s eating habits, behaviors, and expectations continue, the reprocutions for this negative influence will back fire worse than ever imagined. We should be encouraging healthy eating habits and, love and respect for your body. I believe that only then will men and women truly appreciate themselves and their body for what they are. What did you think about the excerpt? What do you think about this topic and these ideas in general?