From the Editor

by Susan Weidman Schneider

Discussing the subject of Jewish women and body image with a group of college students last month, one young woman made an observation that has played in my mind many times since: “If my roommates and I stopped talking about what we’ve eaten or avoided eating, about how fat we look and how thin everybody else looks, we’d have enough time to really make the revolution.” From conversations like this one, and from all that I’ve been hearing from eavesdropping on the self-loathing mutterings of pre-teens and teenagers, I reinforced my sense that the national preoccupation with body image was nuts, and somehow a plot to deflect girls and women from other, higher pursuits. Young women are starving themselves, rendering their bodies incapable of sustaining them for the important work they need to do, and the starving is taking up a lot of energy. Not an efficient way to raise the next generation.

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