The Ideal Body Of The Western World Essays

1940 Words Oct 27th, 2016 8 Pages
What constitutes the ideal body is in constant flux, due to shifts in the cultural zeitgeist (influenced by factors including scientific and technological advancement). As such, the consensus of what currently constitutes the ideal body in the Western world is fundamentally different to that of the 1980’s.
While the effects of scientific and technological advancement are important, it is necessary to question whether the changing notion of body image is due to changing social values or whether, in fact, the greater influence on the changing notion is through the modification of economic structures.
When deciphering the reasons behind the expression of the bodily ideal in both contexts, it is necessary to note the role that the economic ideology of Neoliberalism has had in both cases.
It is of interest for one to analyze the application and effects that Neoliberalism has had on both ages, by applying the theories of French philosopher, Jean Baudrillard and German philosopher, Karl Marx.
Jean Baudrillard proposed in his 1981 book Simulacra and Simulation, that contemporary society has replaced reality with symbols and signs, and that human experience is that of a simulated reality, what he referred to as the Hyperreal (the inability to distinguish between reality and the fabrication of reality). Consumerism and The Hyperreal are concomitant, as in order to perpetuate the cycle of expenditure and consumption; objects are assigned with arbitrary values disassociated with their…

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