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 aswell.
"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.