"The media and society in general promotes such unrealistic expectations of body shape, even some medical "experts" are far too narrow in their definitions of what is "normal" and "acceptable".
Whoa. Obesity is on the rise as alanabit rightly calls attention to.
While I agree I was appalled at the Fashion industry's crossing the line in its promotion machinaery promoting the suggestively drug-induced appearance of the"emaciated waif" look ( not my term of art ) "no one" can argue against the "equally" legitimate
"look of health" that is the state of the over-worshipped women atheletes that made such cultural in-roads starting in the 70's.
Women gymnast and figureskating stars for openers. They "worked" to acheive the same body classification as "dancers" physiques from the "my body is my instrument" school of thought. This attention to "balanced" health has also paved the way for "accomplished" in everything from Martial Arts to Yoga.
So to say that the promotion of certain "body types" as "purely" a product of the ( marketplace ) media and society ( in particular the "women" whom continue to "support" all of the Celebrity tabloid trash along with the "beauty secrets"of Hollywood air-heads,their cosmetics ,and the cosmetic surgery industrial complex ) is clearly "not" telling the whole story by any measure.
"It all combines to rob many of their self-confidence or even, such as Karen, their health and their lives. It is society's shame..."
I'm sorry , but Karen "chose" to be in that limelight, willingly made $millions$ from that same Media & Society, and to shame
all of society for its "continued" collective participation in the wanton "ignorance" of just what true health is , at this late date , just falls to me.
BTW: It was equally as sad to see the Olympic track star Florence Joyner ( Flo-Jo ) ,certainly "not" a walking ( or running ) stick figure by any measure ,to suddenly die of heart failure still in her 30's with the apparent 'abuse" of "steroids" as the cause.
Bottomline: Obesity is "never" a healthy body-type and hardly "unrealisitc" as something to be advised against.