The Old : Feminism, Western Culture, And The Body Essay

797 Words 4 Pages
Why are we so concerned with keeping our bodies slim, and how do we reinforce those standards through society and culture norms? In her essay, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and The Body, Bordo centers on the complexly and densely institutionalized system of values and practices within which girls and women come to believe they are nothing unless they are trim, tight, lineless, bulgeless, and sagless. (p. 32) Preserve the critical edge of the “old: feminist discourse, while incorporating a more postmodern appreciation of how subtle and multifaceted feminist discourse must be if it is to ring true to the complex experiences of contemporary women and provide systemic perspective on those experiences. She pursues aspects and intersections: cultural representations of female hunger and female eating, the role of consumer culture, long-standing philosophical and religious attitudes toward the body, similarities to other predominantly female disorders, connections with other contemporary body obsessions, continuities with “normal” female experience in our culture. (p. 32)

In the section, Whose Body is This? Bordo begins her analysis of the body in relation to Anorexia and the Feminist/Culture Paradigm. Throughout time we have used culture as a means to project the standards that we live by. She emphasizes that the medicalization of eating disorders gives an inadequate understanding of the extensive control culture has on the female body.

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