‘Pregorexia’ and Postpartum Priorities

What does it say about a culture if when a baby's born, the mom's tummy size gets as much attention as the baby?The British magazine OK! came under fire earlier this summer for running a feature story on Kate Middleton's "post-baby weight loss regime." Even as moms around the world tweeted and blogged their appreciation of Kate's post-baby appearance, in which she seemed not to make any attempt to disguise her postpartum tummy, OK! magazine, like any good tabloid, tried to appeal to readers' … [Read more...]

The Evolution of G.I. Joe

I had this vague memory of reading something about an academic study of G.I. Joe figures--by researchers from UMass and Harvard Med, by the way--which found thatthe figures have grown much more muscular over time, with many contemporary figures far exceeding the muscularity of even the largest male bodybuilders......our observations appear to represent a "male analog" of earlier studies examining female dolls such as Barbie.Together, these studies of children's toys suggest that … [Read more...]

The Eating Disorder You Don’t Hear Much About

The thing about a disorder like anorexia is that it eventually makes you look something like what the dominant culture regards as most beautiful, and achieving that 'look' becomes more important than, say, staying alive.And it's perfectly socially acceptable--for the most part--to tell skinny people how 'good' they look. When I was 17 and recovering from major thoracic and spinal surgery, I returned to school fragile and emaciated from the ordeal, only to hear "Oh my God, you lost so much … [Read more...]

How Patriarchy Gave Me an Eating Disorder, Part 2

My husband says I forgot to point out that not only did Ruth pursue Boaz, pretty much proposing marriage to him, but she also went and lay down next to Boaz at night. When he was sleeping. After he'd been drinking.How's that for some 'Biblical' Passion & Purity!?{And yes. I totally love and adore my scholarly husband for pointing that out.}Anyway, OK. Brief recap from part one--Things I learned from evangelical culture:Be Pure.And so be afraid of your own … [Read more...]

How Patriarchy Gave Me an Eating Disorder, Part 1

Disclaimers:1. This title is, of course, hyperbole.2. My parents didn't teach or embody patriarchal attitudes. {Not blaming you, mom! Not blaming you, dad!}3. I might have to add more disclaimers later.Criticizing fairy tales for being relentlessly patriarchal is well-trod ground, I know. It's been nearly 20 years since Ani DiFranco first sang:i am not a pretty girlthat's not what i doi ain't no damsel in distressand i don't need to be rescuedso put … [Read more...]

Tracey Gold’s ‘Starving Secrets’

Remember Tracey Gold from Growing Pains? A recovered anorexic, she's now hosting a new Lifetime channel reality show: 'Starving Secrets.'Even this People magazine photograph portrays Gold's anorexic body as glamorous.The show, still in its first season, follows women with serious eating disorders, and gives them the opportunity to a enter into a treatment program. Critics of the show point out that it follows in the genre of made-for-TV movies like The Best Little Girl in the World, … [Read more...]

100 Posts!

Yesterday's post on Plumpy'nut marked 100 posts here on Eat With Joy. I thought of doing some version of the '100 things about whatever' meme, but I think I'm too lazy and/or busy for that.Besides, I thought it might be more fun to highlight the top 10 posts from Eat With Joy's brief Internet life. And so without further ado...(Click on each title to read the full post; italicized text represents excerpts)#10 Film Review: "The Help" and the Supper of the Lamb"Living the gospel … [Read more...]

America’s Newest Diet Guru?

...or America's latest "health" sanctioned eating disorder in the guise of a fad diet?Some weeks ago, my friend Ellen sent me a link to this story in More magazine, which bills itself as a publication "for women of style and substance." Ellen and I were both shocked and distressed by the "substance" of this one:The article sings the praises of Lyn-Genet Recitas, the owner of Neighborhood Holistic in New York City. Lyn-Genet is "certified" in Chinese food theory and holistic nutrition. … [Read more...]

It’s Fat Talk Free Week!

So it's Fat Talk Free Week.What? You've never heard of "Fat Talk Free Week"?Neither had I, until a little less than a year ago, when I was researching ways in which the discussions that we have around the table influence our thoughts and behaviors surrounding body size and health.I suspected that talking about fat, calories, and weight would have a negative effect on people's thoughts and behaviors, and I also suspected that such talk was pretty common. Certainly it was nothing … [Read more...]

Speaking Out, Part One

{I'm away this week. In addition to the delights of being with family & friends, I had the opportunity to speak to a MOPS group in New Jersey. I'm going to share some of the talk with you here. If I get my tech stuff together, I might even go all fancy and post it as a podcast so you can hear my squeaky little voice.}So, I've struggled with how to organize this talk because I feel like there are two sides of me that I bring together in my writing, and each one is the “real me.” The first … [Read more...]


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