The Culture Of Thin Bites Fiji Summary

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Before 1995, Fiji was a culturally rich society that believed strongly in hospitality and expressing themselves through the food they consumed (502). However, Ellen Goodman, an accomplished journalist for the Boston Globe, reveals the effects of television on Fiji’s women in her article, “The Culture of Thin Bites Fiji”. Goodman argues that the insecurities associated with a person’s body image are predominately a result of the entertainment industry because eating disorders became extremely prevalent after being exposed to Western television, achieving success economically is often correlated with one’s body, and cultural values are influenced as advertising and television depicts “going thin” as ubiquitous.
As Fijian women were exposed to Western television, eating disorders on the island skyrocketed. In a culture centered on food, Fiji initially praised weight gain in their society. However, Goodman states, “Suddenly, the
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Goodman analyzes how the entertainment industry has altered Fiji’s cultural values when she states, “…74 percent of the Fiji teens in the study said they felt “too big or fat” at least some of the time and 62 percent said they had dieted in the past month” (502). Before Fijian women engaged in watching Western television, they were obsessed with eating and overeating. Ultimately, Fijian women were a reverse image of American women. American’s presented an idealistic image of “skinny” which has caused ordinary women to feel insecure and unworthy. Broadcasting has transformed Fiji’s culture and values significantly through “reality” shows that glorify beauty and thinness. For instance, Calista Flockhart’s body weight has been illustrated as the optimal size. However, Hollywood has not acknowledged the clear association between appearance and sickness (503). Unique cultures, such as Fiji, continue to be impacted by American