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Body Image & Beauty Ideals Desires & Disorders The body as a social canvas.

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Presentation on theme: "Body Image & Beauty Ideals Desires & Disorders The body as a social canvas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Body Image & Beauty Ideals Desires & Disorders The body as a social canvas

2 The Beauty Ideal Beauty is socially constructed –Changes over time and between cultures Reflects social power and relations of inequality and privilege –Corporate interests & mass media define beauty Enforced through disciplinary practices –Complex and irregularly enforced based on position in society

3 Disciplinary Beauty Practices The taken-for-granted routine behaviors surrounding how we maintain or improve our appearance Exist throughout Western history and most cultures worldwide These everyday practices, routines and rules of appearances reflect social power

4 Beautywhy do we do it? Being normal = conforming to norms Being accepted is less stressful Serious, not strident –Womens power comes from appearance Survive in sexist culture –Lesbian baiting Health –Conflation of health with beauty Bonding Rituals

5 Criticisms Of Beauty Practices Double standard of beauty Imposes considerable cost in time and money Standards are established by multi-national corporations and the media Fashion and beauty negatively impact womens health Combined effects of standards lead women to low self-esteem

6 The Social Construction of Beautiful Bodies How are bodies socially constructed? –For what purpose? How are eating disorders socially constructed? – For what purpose?

7 The Social Construction of Beautiful Bodies Body imagehow we perceive our physical appearance, as well as how we think others perceive us. Images formed through: –Parental and peer messages –Socialization –Mass-media and cultural messages –Cult of Perfection

8 Ideals through History Throughout history, emphasis has focused on different parts of the body with an increased emphasis on thinness in the late 20th century In 1940s the cultural ideal figure for women became significantly thinner as compared to the actual female figure

9 Eating Disorders Anorexia Bulimia Compulsive EDNOS –Food jags & phobias How healthy is our image of health? What is healthy?

10 Corporeal Schizophrenia Food as comfort in an uncomfortable world Food as control in a chaotic world Food as a commodity in a materialistic world Thin as an ideal Obesity as a reality

11 Theories of Eating Disorders Bio-medical model –Silver bullet cures Psycho-social model –Culture of thinness Social constructionist model –The personal is political

12 Body Awareness vs. Body Image Self Regard over Objectification


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