"When de Notion Strikes Me": Body Image, Food, and Desire in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Margaret Marquis In most media, America's obsession with image is always painfully evident; bony actresses star in movies and television, and waif-thin models in women's magazines have nearly always been the ideal. With recent increased awareness of eating disorders that have been borne of a society heavily concerned with image, researchers have focused on different factors pertaining to those who suffer from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Often, image corresponds to race, as was shown in one particular study that found "an overwhelming majority of white females believe that thinness is a prerequisite to attractiveness," whereas "more than half of the black females in the sample believed that a female did not have to be thin to be attractive" ( Jackson 184). This reallife attitude toward body size has counterparts in the literary world that are not readily apparent in other media; the phenomena of relaxed attitudes toward large body size is clearly evident in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Healthy (and even abundant) body size is valued among the African American male and female
The Southern Literary Journal – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 12, 2003
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