Assignment 1: Critique
Lionel Shriver is a seasoned journalist who has written for many publications including Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In her article on essential mums’ website, “Do we need to lighten up about obesity,” Shriver claims that vanity - “desire to look, and feel, more attractive” (Shriver, para 7, 2013) – is the ultimate reason for anyone to want to slim down. However, in Shriver’s entire article, she does little to substantiate her stand with concrete evidence. Hence, although I agree with Shriver’s stand that “most people slim down out of vanity” (para 9, 2013), I believe that Shriver could have backed up her claim with more concrete proof.
I agree with Shriver’s stand regarding vanity as the main reason to slim down, where “mere aesthetics provide more powerful ...view middle of the document...
This shows that the media, which has an extensive reach into the hearts of the public, has long been propagating the idea of slim is desirable and visually appealing. This goes to further justify the validity of Shriver’s claim that people slim down to look good and hence, I agree with Shriver’s stand.
A more serious problem with Shriver’s argument is her lack of concrete evidence to give solid backing to her argument and thus, her credibility is questioned. Undoubtedly, Shriver has written a very persuasive piece by skillfully utilizing relatable anecdotes to appeal to her readers’ emotions. On the motivation to exercise, Shriver used herself as an example to explain that people exercise “to feel good because they look good” (para 17, 2013). In an attempt to acknowledge those who are genuinely concern about health issues, Shriver gave an example of her “friend whose knees are shot and … being overweight contributed to the deterioration of her joints” (para 9, 2013). Despite all this, Shriver has failed to include undisputable evidences to support her claim that many people lose weight due to vanity, such as statistics and research to demonstrate her knowledge in this topic. Consequently, with a lack in objective proofs in her argument, Shriver’s credibility is compromised in her views on the reasons for people to lose weight.
In conclusion, Shriver has provided an interesting read on the topic of obesity and successfully justified her claim that underlying every single hypocritical reason to lose weight is the desire to look good. However, it is a shame that the article lacks concrete substantiation, with which it could have made it much more credible.
Shriver, L. (2013, July 13). Do we need to lighten up about obesity?. Retrieved from http://www.essentialmums.co.nz/mums-life/health/8986018/Do-we-need-to-lighten-up-about-obesity