In America and other civilized cultures in the world people are obsessed with looking fit and healthy, seeing as looking fit and being healthy is considered acceptable. In their writings both Barbara Ehrenreich and Marjorie Rosen agree that in today’s society looking healthy is very important.
In Ehrenreich’s The Naked Truth about Fitness Essay, she says, “We redefined virtue as health.” By this she means that in today’s societies of the world that health is valued immensely and looked up upon. “Health”, in her quote can mean two things it can mean being fit and strong, but it most likely means looking good by societies standard.
Looking good in society’s eyes is different for everyone, since most people are different, but for most people probably includes having a trim waste, flat stomach and bulky arms. What she means by virtue in its most broken down terms can be considered a person’s morals and morals are what people believe in. So in a way she is saying that people believe in health.Ehrenreich thinks both good and bad things about the way that society is going at becoming fit and healthy. She shows the read how she thinks that how we are going about becoming fit by saying, “By confusing health and virtue, we’ve gotten testier, less tolerant, and ultimately less capable of confronting the sources of disease that do not lie within our individual control.” By this she is saying that we have bad attitudes and that we cannot control sicknesses that we as people develop.
To show that she approves of how society is doing a good job of getting and keeping fit is shown to the reader she says, “Fewer Americans smoke than did fifteen years ago; they drink less hard liquor, eat more fiber and less fat.” In this quote she is showing the reader that because of the awareness of being healthy has spread and is widely accepted that we have all gotten wiser and are taking better care of ourselves than we did in the past.
Rosen’s essay New Face, New Body, New Self; she shares the stories of five young people who have undergone plastic surgery. In the first paragraph of the article Rosen quotes Camille Paglia as saying, “as long as there is a serious defect which plastic surgery can correct and help a young person feel more confident. But unfortunately the model that has evolved is the Barbie doll.” The Barbie dolls figure that is talked about in the quote shows the Paliga thinks Barbie is the perfect body of a woman.
One section of the article “thinner thighs in an hour and a half- all for just 10,000”, agrees with what Ehrenreich’s view on the subject. The section was about Robyn Notrica. Notrica had very large thighs and could not lose them, she dieted and worked out but nothing worked for her. So she had liposuction done to remove the excess fat in her thighs, since her body was all in proportion except for her thighs. One of the only reasons that she had this done was so that she could look healthy, like the Barbie doll that Paliga talked about in the beginning of the article.
Although Ehrenreich and Rosen’s articles are written differently and are not too similar, their views can still be seen.
Ehrenreich’s statement “We redefined virtue as health.” Is strengthened by Rosen’s article about how all the teenagers want to look healthy and fit. To be healthy and fit will be for a long time be a desired thing to people in societies all around the world and maybe in the future maybe it will be really to be healthy and not just for the looks.