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obesity paper

obesity paper

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Published by BallStateEnglish335

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Published by: BallStateEnglish335 on May 05, 2011
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05/20/2012

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1
A DOUBLE-TAKE ON OBESITY
Mary EdwardsJim GeddaLindsay GrossJessica Mayflower 19 April 2011Obesity has become a personal issue for each American. If you are not obeseyourself, then you know and/or love someone who is and you have witnessed his or her struggles. The discourse on obesity is deceiving: offering quick fixes that do not last if they work at all, showing characters who think their weight is the funniest thing to ever happen, or giving viewers the impression that weight loss is the only answer toacceptance. There are not shows or magazine articles that show people going throughthe thousand rigorous steps to change their lifestyle. The news does not cover your neighbor who is only thirty pounds overweight and does not care about her chances of one day strutting on a catwalk. If an obese person is stoned to death by hecklers, thenwe may hear about it but camera crews do not follow ten year olds to school to revealhow not humorous kids think their weight is. Thousands of diets and jokes may exist, butpopular discourse does not cover long-term solutions. The discussion of obesity can bebroken up into three mediums: print, television and the Internet.
F
AT
P
RINT
In relation to print, obesity has taken a mild turn. Weight, a decade ago, was allabout sex appeal and looking
hot 
in fashionable clothes. Although that idea has notentirely changed, the discourse in print is attempting to focus more on health issues.This gives the idea that obesity is discussed with the best of intentions for the critiquedindividual. Magazines are beginning to give stories about unhealthy weight loss and
 
Obesity 2
eating disorders more than discussing how fat someone may look in their little blackdress. Weight loss is discussed as a great achievement—if you are thinner, then you aresexier, famous and happy.In the fight against the evil word “fat,” many individuals are going to extremesbecause of the intense discussion of 
instant cures.
An article in
ELLE 
 
Magazine
discussed a procedure called “Cryolipolysis,” where doctors, “place a coffee-saucer-sizesuction-cup-like apparatus on the skin to gradually extract body heat until thesubcutaneous levels of fat are frozen” ( cite ) Four syllable words make this procedureseem like an intelligent way to solve a health problem. It is “doctor language” with wordslike
subcutaneous
and
noninvasive
. However, once the lengthy explanation isdemolished, this procedure is, simply put, a doctor putting a plunger-like object on thebody fat and freezing it to death. Strained through the definition of logos, this does notsound like a reasonable idea anymore. The cures against the
ultimate
health problemare presented in this manner: big words in complex sentences giving the idea of legitimacy. However, the article is merely an ad for an expensive procedure that willhave no long-standing health benefits. Instantaneous results seem a lot less dauntingthan years of retraining one’s habits to develop a healthy body.The article plays on a lot of desires we have about weight. It is unhealthy and Iwant it gone now. The procedure is described as “painless” and “less invasive than lipo,”two topics that often come up when discussing problems with other weight lossprocedures. Not once in the article are the health benefits of the procedure outlined, butthe trimming of stomach and thighs is prevalent. Fortunately, this article was in theHealth and Beauty section taking away part of the illusion that the “Fat-Blasting Device”is a health issue. Over all, the message with this piece is that there is a procedure, notaccepted by the FDA yet, that will allow us to sit and have the majority of our fat frozenoff. Key word: sit.
 
Obesity 3
On the other side of the discussion on obesity,
US 
Magazine posted an article,“Size 4 Model Fired for Being Too Fat.” The use of numbers like 4 and 120 are meant tooutline the absurdity along with certain buzzwords like
large
and
fat.
The numbers givethe illusion of logos but in coordination with the buzzwords’ negative connotations in our culture, they open up a pathos-centered argument. The article was in the HealthyLifestyle section giving the impression the magazine is trying to support healthy weight.The word
healthy 
has a slew of connotations behind it that inspire readers’ own personal journeys with health.Alongside that, models have often been critiqued for their bone thin bodies but
US 
, by pointing out a heinous requirement, is giving the image that they do not agreewith this. This is a slight illusion due to the fact that they never actually say anythingother than the model, Filippa Hamilton of Ralph Lauren, said, “They said I couldn’t fit intheir clothes anymore” (US Magazine.) Hamilton is described three times as being a
size4
without any other information on her. The writer is assuming that most of the readersare above a size 4 due to studies done on America’s obesity. If the average woman is asize 10, then a 4 sounds very small. From the upper end of the scale, this prejudicesounds outrageous, but
US 
is not necessarily saying they are against it.In between the paragraphs of the article, there are links such as “See inspiringphotos of real people who lost weight in a healthy way” or “See photos of models whoembrace changes in their bodies.” Weight is a
real people
problem, so we want to knowhow
real people
deal with it? The assumption is that models and celebrities do not dealwith weight issues the same way others’ do, which contradicts the original topic of thearticle. Following this subject up with a link about models dealing with weight simplyadds to irony. With the lack of detail and stance, this piece is built purely on pathos andmildly on ethos due to
US Magazine’s
standing reputation and the reputation modelshave to being almost emaciated (or the
ideal 
weight.)

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