Mainstream media culture in the US relentlessly accosts viewers with the message that the ideal body is thin. We receive messages each day about new diets, ideal bodies, thigh gaps, power foods, burning belly fat… the list goes on.
Furthermore, media culture endorses casual judgmental commentary on other peoples’ bodies – an entire industry is founded on weight-related teasing.
Is she pregnant? Who looks better in that dress? All of these questions, articles, top 5 lists etc. reinforce the notion that beauty is related to thinness, and that thinness is a necessary component of worth.
Behind this cultural valuation of thinness is a more insidious proposal: you can lose weight if you try, and if you don’t lose weight it means you aren’t trying.