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

By Carole Spitzack

The discourse on lady weightloss in American tradition, Confessing extra analyzes modern weight loss plan and the burden loss literature by means of taking on the subjects of confession and surveillance. Spitzack argues that healthy eating plan is characterised via 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 food plan reviews with the discourse of eating plan texts. by way of comparing the cultural building of ladies during this demeanour, the writer illuminates the ability techniques that supply self-acceptance on the cost of self-condemnation.

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In turn, increased problems call for greater discipline or guardedness.  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.

Xiii). Along with other promoters of women's "health," Moynahan offers a correction of physical "defects," leading to increased youthfulness and individuality. Concomitantly, Moynahan's description presents aging in the language of decline, slippage, harshness, decreased self­confidence, and increased self­consciousness. Readers of her book learn about the "secrets" of cosmetic surgery so that they, like millions of other women, can reconstruct an individual ideal, repairing the damage done by simply having lived.

Obesity, like cancer, is comprehended culturally and medically by pointing to individual disposition and lifestyle, instead of pointing to the limitations of medical power.  Personal qualities, not medical inadequacies, hold the individual within the confines of illness.  First, Sontag explains, "every form of social deviation can be considered an illness" (p.  Similarly, the body of an obese woman violates socially acceptable conventions pertaining to appearance; thus the patient signifies health—an erasure of disease—through a reduction in body size.

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