American society has recently been preoccupied with thinness, exerting enormous pressure on people, especially women to be thin. Unrealistically thin. The evidence:
- Female television actors are more likely to be thin than male actors
- Females receive more marketing messages to be thin from magazine articles and advertisements than do males
- Women directly relate physical appearance with self-esteem and are less satisfied with their body shape than men
- Women view their own bodies more aesthetically while men view their own bodies as forms of function and activity
- Thin males have been rated intelligent but likely to be teased, while thin females have been considered to be more attractive than their friends
- Television depicts situations where thin people prosper and larger people are ridiculed
- Between 1970 & 1990 there was an overall increased emphasis on weight loss and body shape in the content of popular women's magazines, as well as a change in the portrayal of female models to a thinner shape.
- Playboy magazine increased the promotion of slimness over the period of 1959 to 1978
- Miss America Pageant exhibitions were found to be thinner over time. Since 1970 the pageant winners have been subsequently thinner.
Current evidence does NOT support the idea that it is better to be thin than to be fat.