Confessing Excess: Women and the Politics of Body Reduction by Carole Spitzack

By Carole Spitzack

Taking a look at the discourse on woman weight-loss in American tradition, Confessing extra analyzes modern weight loss program and the load loss literature via taking on the subjects of confession and surveillance. Spitzack argues that eating regimen is characterised through confession (of "excess") which ladies internalize and which necessitates ongoing surveillance or tracking of the physique. casual conversations and in-depth interviews additionally juxtapose women's daily healthy eating plan reviews with the discourse of weight loss program texts. through comparing the cultural building of ladies during this demeanour, the writer illuminates the facility recommendations that supply self-acceptance on the cost of self-condemnation.

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Example text

The contemporary woman displays health by taking a stance of resistance to prevailing fashion ideals; she "takes control" of her wardrobe and her self­presentation.  They're not real. " In addition, in her general categorization of the women of fashion—"they're always," "they never"—Marsha suggests a low tolerance for deviation from narrowly defined criteria for female attractiveness in the world of fashion.

Barbara's discussion of the ideal body, for example, is connected to a release from rigid standards; yet, her language choices and her "list" of requisites for attractiveness imply that women's "health" involves numerous restrictions.  You have to look healthy, and in looking healthy you can't be pale, you can't look tired, you can't look fat, you can't look flabby.  Simultaneously, she, like many women, defines health by identifying aesthetic concerns.  To illustrate, Ellen observes a connection between physical attractiveness and power within hierarchically organized institutions and practices.

12).  64).  Implicating women's reproductive functions as evidence for female pathology points to cultural and medical visions of feminine sexuality as diseased or disease­producing.  3 If she is given a label of disease, however, medical intervention underscores the legitimacy of women's natural propensity for disease.  But just like the habitual criminal, the overeater doesn't really understand his motives.  It should come as no surprise, then, given the history of women and disease, that such women are seen as offensive because they occupy a space reserved for men.

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