Producing Physical and Social ‘Unfitness’

My mom would ask me to go to the store. I had so much anxiety about that . . . I think it was because of being overweight and people commenting even though that’s not what I thought consciously. All I knew was that it was uncomfortable to go outside. (Salima) Women recounted how they … Continue reading Producing Physical and Social ‘Unfitness’

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Why Women More Than Men?

“Given that this belief system pervades our culture, why does it affect women so much more than men? Why do more women than men suffer from eating disorders, obesity, and distorted body image? Why are women, not men, at war with their bodies? There are many reasons, some more obvious than others. One reason is … Continue reading Why Women More Than Men?

…And Man Created “Woman”: Representations of Women’s Bodies in Western Culture

“The 20-plus years of my professional life as clinical psychologist has been spent working with women who hate their bodies--women who feel “too fat,” although most of them are not “fat.” [...] They feel they have failed at being beautiful [...]. They have allowed me to see that their body hatred registers, silently, voicelessly, in … Continue reading …And Man Created “Woman”: Representations of Women’s Bodies in Western Culture

Food, Sexuality, and Desire

  "I would argue, however, that more than a purely profit-maximizing, ideologically neutral, Madison Avenue mentality is at work in these ads. They must also be considered as gender ideology--that is, as specifically (consciously or unconsciously) servicing the cultural reproduction of gender difference and gender inequality, quite independent of (although at times coinciding with) marketing … Continue reading Food, Sexuality, and Desire

The Heavy Bear

"“The withness of the body”: the body as not “me” but “with” me is at the same time the body that is inescapably “with me.” Like a Siamese twin, neither one with me nor separable from me, my body has “followed me since the black womb held,” moving where I move, accompanying my every act. … Continue reading The Heavy Bear

“Feminist Consumerism and Fat Activists: A Comparative Study of Grassroots Activism and the Dove Real Beauty Campaign”

"Both the Dove Real Beauty Campaign and PPPO [Pretty, Porky, and Pissed Off] claim to challenge hegemonic beauty codes that articulate a virtually unachievable conception of physical beauty. Given the extent to which these images of models affect women’s self-perceptions, it may come as little surprise that only 2% of women describe themselves as beautiful. In response, Dove has committed itself to … Continue reading “Feminist Consumerism and Fat Activists: A Comparative Study of Grassroots Activism and the Dove Real Beauty Campaign”

“Not just ‘a white girl’s thing’: The changing face of food and body image problems”

Probably the most significant factor, however, in the failure to conceptualize eating problems in an inclusive way has been ignorance of (or in some cases, resistance to acknowledging) the awesome power of cultural imagery. Fiji is a striking example of that power. Because of their remote location, the Fiji islands did not have access to … Continue reading “Not just ‘a white girl’s thing’: The changing face of food and body image problems”