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You said it August 21, 2005

Posted by Winter in beauty myths, body politics.
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‘Through the pursuit of an ever-changing, homogenizing, elusive ideal of femininity – a pursuit without a terminus, requiring that women constantly attend to minute and often whimsical changes in fashion – female bodies become docile bodies – bodies whose forces and energies are habituated to external regulation, subjection, transformation, “improvement.” Through the exacting and normalizing disciplines of diet, makeup, and dress – central organizing principles of time and space in the day of many women- we are rendered less socially orientated and more centripetally focussed on self-modification. Through these disciplines, we continue to memorize on our bodies the feel and conviction of lack, of insufficiency, of never being good enough. At the farthest extremes, the practices of femininity may lead us to utter demoralization, debilitation, and death,’

– Susan Bordo, From Unbearable Weight, in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, p. 2363.

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