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Essay/Term paper: Disability essay

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Psychology

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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.
 

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