Disability Essay Essay, Research Paper

In today?s society men have an attraction

towards skinny women. The most gorgeous

super models are thin and when other girls look

at them, they get jealous. Many girls see this, and

view themselves as being overweight and have a

complex and a desire, which is to be skinny, this

disease is called Anorexia. Anorexia is a disease,

which affects mostly women and sometimes

men. Anorexia is when you think you are fat, and

you deprive yourself of food in order to be

skinny. They see themselves as being fat and

want to strive to be better than the "norm", and

by that, being as skinny as possible. The

glamorous women are skinny and we see this

everywhere in movies, fashion shows, television,

magazines etc?

Lennard Davis describes normalcy as "Each of

us endeavors to be normal or else deliberates

tries to avoid that state". (p47 Davis) We humans

do everything by comparison, whether it be

comparisons between cars, weight, looks,

money, and pretty much anything else you can

think of. Mostly all us strive to be better than

"normal". Anorexia is a disease, which exists

when a person has a goal, a goal to look better

than anyone else does.

Anorexia in itself is a disability because they are

unable to function like a normal person should.

Their bodies physically deteriorate and they have

a complex that is practically incurable. Anorexia

physically ruins your skin because you are not

consuming any oils and the skin dries out. With

prolong Anorexia, females are prone to losing

their ability to give birth because of malnutrition.

Mentally it kills you because all you think about

is how you look, and looks aren?t that important

in comparison to your personality. It is called the

incurable disease because once someone has this

complex they can never really let they eat a fatty

food, or ever see them even a pound heavier

than they are. When my sister was Anorexic, her

doctor asked her, "What would you do if I forced

you to eat a Burger King? french fry?" She

responded "I?d kill myself". At one point she

weighed 97 pounds, and was 5 feet 10 inches

tall. My sister fortunately has technically been

cured because she eats normally but she still

watches what she eats extremely carefully.

"Any bell curve will always have at its extremities

those characteristics that deviate from the norm.

So, with the concept of the norm comes the

concept of deviations or extremes. When we

think of bodies, in a society where the concept of

the norm is operative, then people with

disabilities will be thought of as deviants. This, as

we have seen, is in contrast to societies with the

concept of an ideal, in which all people have a

non-ideal status" (Davis, p29)

Davis is saying that there are many people who

are considered normal and want to be better than

that. Anorexia deals with this because girls feel

they have to be skinny in order to be beautiful.

Beautiful as in being prettier than "average"

women are. They want to be the ideal but then

they stray away from it as they get into the

extremes cases of anorexic they go toward the

non-ideal situation.

Ideology plays a big part in this because with

anorexia the girls strive to be skinny, and this is

their "ideal" situation. With anorexia they get to

their ideal stage and still have a complex of

thinking they are fat. They go far beyond they

ideal stage and then the disease takes them far

beyond their desired state and get into an acute

situation. In my sister?s situation it became so

severe that she had to put in a hospital and had to

be fed intravenously. She weighed 97 pounds

and was 5?10" at her worst.

Anorexia is also caused by a stigma. We ask why

does a person become Anorexic? One way a

person may become anorexic is by them being

alienated, or mentally abused due to their obesity.

Having a stigma hurts a lot and sometimes people

must take extreme measures in order to fight the

stigma and get on with their normal life. As

Goffman says, society categorizes people and

when people get into a category they are not

happy with they tend to repent and reform. By

reforming means whatever they much do to get

themselves happy with themselves and more

importantly society. Although anorexia is not

always a complex that has to do with someone

striving to be skinny, it may just be a chemical

imbalance or depression that can cause this


"Society establishes the means of categorizing

persons and the complement of attributes felt to

be ordinary and natural for members of each of

these categories. Social settings establish these

categories of persons likely to be encountered

there." (Goffman, p.31 reader)

According to Goffman societies kind of causes

diseases such as anorexia because a person feels

very insecure in society and believes that they are

over weight and starve themselves. Society

categorizes people in basically two groups, pretty

and ugly. Although I do not agree with this, many

people are rude to many people who are over

weight. If you go to a school where the average

girl weighs 160lbs and you weigh 140lbs you

may be placed in a category with the "pretty"

group. On the other hand if the situation is

reversed and the average girl weighs 115lbs, and

you weigh 120lbs you may be in the "ugly" group

which causes many people to become self

conscious and go anorexic. In my sisters case she

used to hang out with a group of girls who were

very pretty and she had a complex and wanted to

look better than the rest of them. Her way was

starvation, and once she got to her best looking

stage, the "ideal" point, she kept on starving

herself leading to detrimental consequences.

Many people have many different ideas about

anorexia and how it is trying to be more like the

"norm" by removing a stigma of being

overweight, like in my sisters case except she

was never really overweight. Ideology plays a big

role in this as well because they never get to their

ideal state causing problems.

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