Anorexia Nervosa: Hazardous Disease or a normative behavior?

Essay by droopy26University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2007

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"...should I lose some weight, am I going to be a star?" Madonna in her new single is openly trying to be sarcastic about her American dream. She is making an excellent point about the way society is trying to shape our conscience. "You should lose at least ten kilos before you become a singer" an image-maker was advising a girl who had great bodily dimensions, making me think that I should quit eating for good. What we are in a way being taught today is that success and happiness mean thinness. Top models, actors and actresses, television people, and every one surrounding us are fairly obsessed with their bodies. So, they pass their obsession to us because after all we really want to get the job of our dreams, we want that cute guy to like us, and we want to get into that cool group of people. At this very moment there is a great number of people starving themselves in order to have the "ideal" figure.

I can surely understand that by being cautious about our bodies we keep it healthy and constantly in good shape but there are some limits to the way we define "being cautious" and "healthy". It simply means that we do not harm ourselves by trying to lose weight. Basically, what it means is not to end up suffering from a disorder like anorexia nervosa. There is, though, a controversy concerning the promotion of anorexia nervosa. Some say that we are dealing with a harmful disease, others that it is a normal way of life. So, what is to be said about anorexia? There are two sides to the story: Is Anorexia Nervosa a destructive disease or simply a way of life?

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual IV, Anorexia Nervosa is:...