“Culture not only has taught women to be insecure bodies, constantly monitoring themselves for signs of imperfection, constantly engaged in physical “improvement”, it also is constantly teaching women (and, let us not forget, men as well) how to see bodies. As slenderness has consistently been visually glamorized, and the ideal has grown thinner and thinner, bodies that a decade ago were considered slender have now come to seem too fleshy” (p57)
Bordo, Susan (1993) Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. Berkeley:
University of California
Despite writing in 1993, Bordo’s article still rings true in today’s society in the media age. The media is constantly writing about people’s bodies and criticising them if they aren’t a size 8 and more so if they are skinny or have cellulite or spots. So it is no surprise that many teenagers develop eating disorders. Below is some of the images on Pinterest when searching for anorexia. Many images with writing that encourages people that this is the perfect body image.
And these images encourage the use of the pro-anorexia sites which again show images of emaciated girls. But also it is unclear how many have been manipulated by Photoshop and can be very misleading. Below is a screen grab of a pro-ana website which they are known by.
“Through the use of slogans and the sharing of information and images of anorexia and anorexic bodies, the movement sought not only to stabilise the discursive and social spaces in which anorexia could be rep- resented but also, by extension, create its own representational space with its own standards of slenderness. “(p.43)
“Not only does thinspiration expose the absurdity of
the slender ideal by attempting to idealise emaciated bodies, but sites like Antigonere’s
album expose the impossible double-bind of agency and oppression upon which the
cultural demand for slenderness is founded.” (p.50)
Burke, Eliza.(2012) “Reflections on the Waif: Images of Slenderness and Distress in
ProAnorexia Websites.” Australian Feminist Studies 27, 37-54,
Burke talks of the cultural demand for slenderness which is only made worse by the photographs that are shared across these social media platforms as well as the media.