The Famine Within (1991)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Gender Issues, Illnesses & Disabilities, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Canada  |  
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Eating disorders such as bulemia and anorexia seem to be becoming commonplace among young women. In this documentary, the role of advertising and popular culture in the development of unrealistic ideals for women's bodies is explored. As a result of the constant pressure to look like someone they can never be (very few people can have or sustain the body type of today's models), many girls are obsessed by food, and afraid of it. Truly, they suffer from The Famine Within. In addition to providing a historical perspective on ideal female body types, the documentary explores the feminist critique of popular notions of beauty, and girls and others who have suffered as a result of obsessive dieting are interviewed. In one telling statistic, it is shown that in the mid-1960s, the ideal woman was only eight percent thinner than the average woman. Today, advertising's ideal woman is almost twenty-five percent thinner than the average - and many of these paragons of beauty are much thinner still.

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Keywords

advertising, anorexia-nervosa, bulimia, eating, eating-disorders, ideals, obsession, self-image, weight-loss, women