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Body Image & Beauty Ideals

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Presentation on theme: "Body Image & Beauty Ideals"— 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 Beauty—why do we do it? Being normal = conforming to norms
Being accepted is less stressful Serious, not strident Women’s 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 women’s 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?

7 The Social Construction of Beautiful Bodies
Body image—how 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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