Eating Disorders as Export

July 31, 2007 at 3:59 pm (frightening things, injustice, sexism) (, , , , , )

Anne Becker, anthropologist, claims that there wasn’t disordered eating on the island of Sigatoka, in Fiji, before 1995 (save for the very, very rare case). That, and their culture appreciated large-bodied people.

But then they acquired access to television. It was only three years before 11% of the girls on the island developed eating disorders and new insecurities about their bodies.

The majority, 83 percent of the girls, blamed their change in attitude on the media.

“Now we are feeling, we feel that it is bad to have this huge body,” one 16-year-old Fijian told Becker.

Why?

Assimilation. As the U.S. continues to assert its superpower status, developing countries get our exports — including eating disorders.

This is not an isolated incidence. Read more about it here.

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