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

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“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”

“‘Fat! Fat! Big fat butt!’ and so on”

[A]s I was about to serve the cake at her last birthday party, I overheard the children at the table, laughingly discussing the topic of fat. The conversation was apparently inspired by the serving of the cake. 'I want to get fat!' one of them said, laughingly. But it was clearly a goad, meant for … Continue reading “‘Fat! Fat! Big fat butt!’ and so on”

There’s No Business Like the Body Business: Profiting from Women’s Bodies

"Most women feel their bodies fail the beauty test, and the American health and beauty industry benefits enormously from continually nurturing feminine insecurities. If women are busy trying to control their bodies through dieting, excessive exercise, and self-improvement, they are distracted from other important aspects of selfhood that might challenge the status quo.* In the … Continue reading There’s No Business Like the Body Business: Profiting from Women’s Bodies

The Cult of Thinness

"Ever since I was 10 years old I always wanted to be the thinnest, the prettiest. ‘Cause I thought, if I look like this, then I’m going to have so many boyfriends, and guys are going to be so in love with me, and I'll be taken care of for the rest of my life." … Continue reading The Cult of Thinness