Edition: 2nd 2007 (Revised)
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Whether they are rich or poor, tall or short, liberal or conservative, most young American women have one thing in common--they want to be thin. And they are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get that way, even to the point of starving themselves. Why are America's women so preoccupied with weight? What has caused record numbers of young women--even before they reach their teenage years--to suffer from anorexia and bulimia? The Cult of Thinness, Second Edition--a revised, expanded, and coauthored version of Sharlene Hesse-Biber's award-winning book, Am I Thin Enough Yet? (OUP, 1997)--answers these questions and more. Hesse-Biber and Patricia Leavy go beyond traditional psychological explanations of eating disorders to level a powerful indictment against the social, political, and economic pressures women face in a weight-obsessed society. Featuring updated statistics and studies, The Cult of Thinness, Second Edition, has been extensively revised to include emergent theoretical perspectives in areas of study including body image, eating disorders, the mass media, and commercial culture. New chapters on masculinity, ethnicity, gender, and globalization align a refined cultural study of body image with the larger trends found in current sociological scholarship. Covering such topics as lesbians and body image construction, female athletes and the unique body image issues they balance, and the cult of celebrity, this new edition examines the multitude of societal and psychological forces that compel American women to pursue the ideal of thinness at any cost.