Obesity and overeating is a topic that is ongoing within the United States, and in many lives of woman today. Fifty percent of woman that live in this country alone are estimated to be overweight. Individuals of our society are always looking for new diets, dietary plans, supplements, and or advice. Every woman would love to be considered physically fit, and beautiful in the eyes of others, but this within itself is a challenge.

Everyone perceives beauty in different ways, shapes, and forms. Obesity and overeating in women can be linked to sex/gender roles as well as societies expectations on what the ideal woman should be or look like.The essay entitled Fat is a Feminist Issue by author and therapist Susie Orbach; touches on an issue that many women have problems dealing with today that can be linked to a direct effect from society. Hence obesity and overeating, which is believed to be a social disease, according to Orbach. She believes that being overweight was indeed a feminist issue. Orbach states that “Fat is not about lack of self- control or lack of willpower.

Fat is about protection, sex, nurturance, strength, boundaries, mothering, substance, assertion, and rage” (p. 449).Orbach believes that all of these were legitimate reasons as to why some women are “fat”. Throughout the essay, specifically toward the end, Orbach states that there is a direct link between the way society looks at women in this day and age, and the reasoning for them being overweight, or overeating. It is found that individuals now and then try to keep up with societies latest trend/look.

Orbach believes that this pressure and stress can drive woman to overeat. She believes that self – image and being self - conscious of oneself also contributes to this disease.She states this when saying “Emphasis on presentation as the central aspect of a woman’s existence, makes her extremely self-conscious. It demands that she occupy herself with a self-image that other will find pleasing and attractive” (p.

450). She also implies that woman took on being fat, and became somewhat comfortable with it because it was a way for them to “stick out”. The ideal woman during this time period were considered to be skinny, and flat chested with long straight hair, and as time went on, curly hair with full breasts, and therefore women of size did not fit within this description written and created by society.This image of women was one that almost every woman strived to be like, and according to Orbach, “To ignore them means taking the risk of being an outcast”(p.

451). This showing us that woman had reasoning to be “fat” and overeat, which was caused due to societies pressures/expectations of what a woman should look like, as well as what a man would find attractive or not. The essay Fat Is a Feminist issue, is one that pulls on the emotional strings of an individual. This essay showed me that if one really took the time to think about it, being “fat” really could be looked at as a social disease that we ideally created and placed on them.I agree, that society, gender roles and the expectations that we place on women can be directly correlated with overeating and obesity.

For myself, obesity and overeating is something I never quite understood, nor took the time to really critically think about until now. I have always been skinny, according to society underweight although I weigh one hundred and twenty five pounds. I use to believe that as long as you worked out and stayed on top of your game that obesity would never be an issue. After reading this essay I’ve found there are reasons as to why women in our society today, as well as back then overate.In terms of overeating, and the pressures society places on women, I agree that sometimes we place too much pressure on them to look or be a certain way. There are indeed some overweight woman who are perfectly healthy, and others who are not.

Although, the issue comes when we try to impose what our idea of healthy is, or what it is suppose to look like from our on perspective onto them. This can drive people to depression, and all types of other bad habits like overeating. I also believe that Orbach, was correct when she stated that self –image, and self- consciousness, play a big role in this subject as well.She states that by not living up to the standards placed by society, would essentially be deeming oneself as an outcast, which in today’s society is very true. We tend to refer to them as “misfits” or “outcasts”. Those who can not/ do not keep up with the latest trend, look, and style are no longer considered to be “in” which is ridiculous.

Women especially, should be able to be them despite what new trend comes about, how many more people become skinnier, or whatever the case may be. We should teach that being comfortable in one’s own skin is what is key, staying healthy, and then working one becoming a better you is what comes next.Overall, Susie Orbach’s article Fat is a Feminist issue was a very good one. It teaches us that we should not imply our own beliefs of what the ideal woman should, or should not look like.

While at the same time understanding that obesity and overeating are driven by something, some struggle, expectation, or pressure. This implies that would should not be so quick to say being “fat” is simply a choice that some individuals make and that, that is all there is to it, because there can be other factors.