What Girls and Their Parents Say About Dieting
By (author) Mimi Nichter
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Fat Talk by Mimi Nichter
Book DescriptionThey hate their thighs. They binge and purge. They want a perfect body. These are the American girls we've heard about in report after report - surveys telling us that half of all teen-aged girls are dieting at any given time, and suggesting that many of them are "at risk" for eating disorders. But what do these statistics really mean? how do girls think about their bodies, their appearance, their culture? In this book, the girls answer for themselves. The result of a study that followed hundreds of teen-aged girls for three years, this book brings to light the subtleties, the complexities, and the realities of girls' ideas about their shapes, their eating habits and their physical ideals. Anthropologist Mimi Nichter uses an engaging narrative style to explore the influence of peers, family and media on girls' sense of self. In extensive excerpts from interviews, we hear how these girls differ from those we encounter in surveys. In particular, despite widespread dissatisfaction with one aspect or another of their bodies, the girls did not diet so much as talk about dieting. This, the author argues, is a kind of social ritual among friends, a way of establishing solidarity. It reveals some differences between the black and white subjects the author interviewed - not just in matters of weight and appearance, but also in the mother-daughter relationship that seemed to powerful influence a girl's self-image. Moving beyond the stereotypes of such relationships, Nichter examines the issues and struggles that mothers face in bringing up healthy daughters today - and suggests how we might help girls beyond punishing images of ideal beauty.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674006812
(227mm x 122mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2001
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Mimi Nichter
Lighting Up, Paperback (February 2015)
At a time when just about everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, why do so many college students smoke? Is it a short lived phase or do they continue throughout the college years? And what happens after college, when they enter the "real world"? This book deals with these questions.
Anthropology and International Health, Paperback (April 1996)» View all books by Mimi Nichter
This work examines the significant health problems facing South Asia today and assesses the ways in which these problems are approached by those directly engaged in primary health care. It aims to emphasize the relevance of anthropological research to international health/medical anthropology.
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Author Biography - Mimi Nichter
Mimi Nichter is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona.
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