As you may know, 521 Latinas completed a survey for Hijas Americanas. Here is some of what they had to say about weight and beauty: 50.8% said they were unsatisfied to very unsatisfied with their weight. 84% believe that women today are held to a higher beauty standard than women 20 years ago. 86.8% believe attractive women are more valued in society. 94.4% believe that society expects that women should do whatever they can to be more attractive. 74.2% have dieted at some point in their lives. 15.6% reported having an eating disorder at some time in their life. When I spoke to the women I interviewed, I was struck by the isolation felt by the women who had or were suffering from eating disorders. As one woman noted, “eating disorders are not believed to be the province of sexy Latinas.” These women didn’t feel they could reveal their suffering to their peers or family because of comments they had overheard (such as suggestions that eating disorders were a white thing) or worries that the role of food in their family would further complicate their families’ understanding of what they were experiencing. The fact is that most eating disorders have biological roots that are aggravated or influenced by cultural and emotional factors. No group is automatically exempt.
If when or what you eat seems to have control over your life or if you are concerned about someone else, please call the National Eating Disorder Association at 800-931-2237 for guidance.
Want to show your support for this issue? There are many things you can do as an advocate and activist.
Want to visually show your support for eating disorder issues? Buy an I am Beautiful t-shirt at www.geocities.com/angel.strength; the t-shirt has a great back story and proceeds support the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders.