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You are what you eat, eating disorders and the consumption of patriarchy

by Tsouluhas, Litsa

Abstract (Summary)
The dramatic increase of eating disorders in contemporary Western society is symptomatic of a cultural backlash against women's increased independence. At a particular historical moment when it would appear that culture has loosed its grip on the female body, many women continue a long-standing legacy of efforts to squeeze their feet into glass slippers - that is, into one impossible form or another. This situation reflects a profound contradiction in the lives women in Western patriarchal culture. As will be discussed in this work, such practices as self-starvation, laxative abuse, and excessive exercise are continuous (albeit extreme) responses to culture's perpetual glamorization of a female body that is cellulite-free, firm, and in control of its desires and impulses - precisely those desires and impulses which threaten to corrupt the stability of the patriarchal order.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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