Fatness: North American Women's Moral Peril

Farouz Salari

Abstract


Over the past 50 years, Judeo-Christian ideology, the North American biomedical system, capitalism, and feminist movements have all played a role in naturalizing and legitimizing the slim body ideal for North American women. In North American society, women’s social worth has largely come to depend on their management of the slim body ideal, while their body size has become a representation of a sense of personal responsibility, values, and discipline. Following Judith Butler (1997), I argue that through their acceptance of, and attempts to embody these ideals, women perform their gender and play a part in recreating and validating these socio-cultural norms.

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