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news: reviews “perfect girls, starving daughters”

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Title/Topic: Reviews “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters”
Posted On: 10/31/2007
Oct 31, 2007 ( – There is an interesting article in, reviewing the book “Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters” by Courtney Martin. Here is an excerpt from the review:

In Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, a breezy but insightful journalistic foray into young women’s eating, Courtney Martin says it’s only gotten worse since I was in high school. In 1995, 34 percent of American high school girls thought they were overweight. Now, 90 percent do. That statistic encompasses a wide range of women, from those who eat healthy, normal meals and feel awful about it to those who suffer from bulimia or anorexia to those who actually are overweight. (Martin says obesity is not wholly different from anorexia; both reflect a distorted sense of food’s meaning.) “Colleges are breeding grounds for eating disorders and unhealthy obsession with food,” Martin observes. After their second trip of the day to the gym, zealous college dieters head to the cafeteria, where they linger over the mac-and-cheese and then choose the salad bar. They mask their weight-loss intention by claiming they’re vegan, or inventing a lactose intolerance.

Martin argues that this bodily self-loathing not only imperils girls’ health but also robs them of time and energy. She estimates that many women spend about 100 minutes a day scrutinizing their bodies and their caloric intake. That’s 100 minutes a day they could be “admiring … the width of their hips … celebrating their creativity … reading an amazing book, feeling grateful for family and friends, memorizing a poem, considering concepts of God, or taking action against global warming.” If a woman obsesses for 100 minutes a day, every day, from age 12 to age 85, she will have devoted three years of her life to the negative caloric value of celery sticks.

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