While I agree with Miss America on the problem of eating disorders, I think more depth would be useful in thinking about it.
The Fall of Man involves an alienation between the sexes in which each gender uses its characteristic powers to exploit the other. For example, men use physical strength and aggression while women use sensuality.
This power play between the genders though is biased in Western society with male aggression more likely being criticized while female sensuality is more likely to be indulged or even encouraged. So culturally women are understandably more at risk of going over the edge in terms of body image, thereby explaining why eating disorders are predominantly a female problem.
The point here is that such behavior should be understood as a consequence of getting so caught up in the “war between the sexes” that affected individuals put their own lives at risk.
A provocative analogy would be to compare the anorexic woman who kills herself in a (conscious or unconscious) pursuit of sexual power over men with the male terrorist who accidentally blows himself up with his own pipe bomb. Granted this is a harsh comparison, but the dynamics are the same– in both cases, a strategy for gaining power backfires. Moreover, I don’t offer the illustration to be mean, but rather for its shock value in stirring some insight into how deeply the spiritual roots of eating disorders go.
In the meantime, Miss America’s interest in getting more attention on the problem of eating disorders can be seen as either (1) especially appropriate or (2) somewhat ironic in that she herself symbolizes the very values that have become so disordered within the anorexic and the bulimic.
The difference between the soft porn of beauty pageants and the hard porn of secret compulsions is not a matter of kind, but of degree– and the gender difference on the slippery slope from one to the other is instructive.
For men, soft porn often leads to hard porn. But for women, it sometimes leads to bulimia and anorexia.