A very interesting and sad story about eating disorders within the Orthodox Jewish community, from Jezebel. Evidently, in arranging their marriages, one of the criteria for some Jewish men is that their brides be below a size 8.
And in a move reminiscent of that Ben Stiller movie, sometimes they take the mother’s dress size into account too. (The whole “dress size” criteria raises the question: what kind of size 8? I guess you’d find the retailer with the most generous vanity sizing and call yourself that size, whatever it is.)
“Very often, young men looking for brides in the Orthodox community call a girl’s parents and ask for her dress size.” If it’s over a size 8, says the Forward, she may be headed for spinster city.
Some men go so far to ask for the dress size of the mother of the prospective bride. You know, so a future husband can rest assure his wife-to-be will be able to shed the baby weight (and there will be many babies: Orthodox Jews don’t always believe in birth control)…
As many experts note, eating disorders are often about control, and eating disorder specialist Dr. Ira Sacker told the Forward that Orthodox girls and women often want to control their food intake because in such a regimented and ritualized society, what they eat is the only thing they have any power over.
This is a community that I know very little about, so I’m hesitant to give an opinion that may be culturally insensitive. (I didn’t even know whether to put this in the “Race & Ethnicity” category.) So I guess I’ll just report it and let you talk about it. Thanks to Nonk for the link. (And for alerting me to the slight correction regarding the Orthodox dress code a couple of days later.)
Posted by mo pie