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The feminist philosopher Susan Bordo deplores Western media’s obsession with female thinness and dieting. Her basic complaint is that increasing numbers of women across the globe are being led to see themselves as fat and in need of a diet. Citing the islands of Fiji as a case in point, Bordo notes that “until television was introduced in 1995, the islands had no reported cases of eating disorders. In 1998, three years after programs from the United States and Britain began broadcasting there, 62 percent of the girls surveyed reported dieting” (149–50). Bordo’s point is that the Western cult of dieting is spreading even to remote places across the globe. Ultimately, Bordo complains, the culture of dieting will find you, regardless of where you live. Bordo’s observations ring true to me because, now that I think about it, many women I know, regardless of where they are from, worry about their weight. . . .
I learned really early on that I had to treat it as if it were a real job. This might be my middle class background - the Irish work ethic, which isn't quite the same as the Protestant work ethic - but still, it's, 'Get a job and show up every day. Be there. And don't complain. Who do you think you are: you're nobody special; go to work.'