Body image and self-esteem: Courtney Martin on Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters

Compromising health for elusive perfection

Author Courtney Martin comments on some prominent health challenges:

Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters book“Nine million girls and women in this country — of all different classes and cultural backgrounds — have diagnosable eating disorders and countless others obsess over food and fitness.

“Panic disorders are twice as likely for females. About 75% of autoimmune illnesses occur in women.

“These are serious health concerns in large part caused by a society that systematically socializes women to take the weight of the world on their shoulders and try to look graceful while doing it.

“When I was researching and interviewing for my book — Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body — I couldn’t believe how much pressure girls and women put themselves under.

Dying for perfection

“Whether it was the Armenian-American girl in the course I teach at Hunter who felt completely shameful that she’d gained weight in college despite the fact that she was the first in her family to go, or my beautiful younger cousin from a tiny town in Colorado who spent much of college feeling on the edge of an eating disorder (as did I), women are just flat out deteriorating as a result of their own determination to be everything to all people all the time.

“It’s not just about Ivy League admittance or extracurriculars. It is about a nation of women buying in to the idea that their wellbeing is not as important as achievement and beauty.”

Courtney Martin – in her AlterNet post The Un-Pretty Perfect Girl.

Related posts and pages:

Salma Hayek: “Being short was considered a deformity.”

Barbie & “generalized melancholy”

Body image

Self-esteem /

Self concept

My related article: The Dark Side of Beauty


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