Our Body Ourselves Summary

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Transcending a Cultural Influence In the article “Our Barbies, Ourselves,” Emily Prager shows how icons such as Barbie have created and perpetuated a fat-hating culture. In contrast, Zoe Whittall’s article, “My Hot Fat Girl Manifesto,” offers a prescription of how to transcend these cultural influences. The media’s perception of “beautiful” is making it hard for men and women everywhere to understand what beauty truly is. This skewed image of the perfect body causes many individuals to feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and thus becomes a hindrance to the attainment of the good life. Although the media and icons such as Barbie have created a fat-hating culture, Zoe Whittall shows individuals that in order to live the good life she has…show more content…
When Prager learned that Barbie was designed by a man, she felt relieved. However, she claims that this knowledge does not justify the damage caused by the creation of an unrealistic ideal of the female body. Prager describes how the physical dimensions of Barbie reflect the societal norms of the glorification of being skinny, which results in a culture of fat-shaming. This she says is endemic in society and perpetuates male dominance. On the individual side, Prager asserts that this so-called “Barbie effect” leads to unhappiness in both males and females, harmful dieting and diet drugs, dangerous surgeries, and emotional insecurity. “It was found that girls who were exposed to Barbie pictures reported less body esteem and a greater desire to be thin. Researchers concluded that early exposure to unrealistic pictures of too thin body shapes may damage a girl's body image. This, in turn, leads to the increased risk of eating disorders with cycles of weight gain and loss” (“The Barbie Effect”). The cultural influences are causing individuals to strive for the impossible rather than focusing on how to be happy with their unique
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