Chapter Four: This chapter focuses on women’s bodies as sites of struggle and resistance in contemporary U.S. society. It explores the ways the body is a gendered product, socially constructed, and framed by the ideas and practices of gender and other differences. Sections discuss the relationships between nature, the body, and femininity, and explore the “beauty” ideal, disciplinary “beauty” practices (including cosmetic surgeries), and strategies for resisting these ideals. This chapter also discusses eating disorders and the weight loss industry.
Answer the following question fully in 5-7 sentences each:
Define disciplinary “beauty” practices and give examples. Discuss the role of the media in the construction of the female body. How are these practices related to the development of consumerism and global capitalism?
What exactly do you think the ideal woman’s and man’s body look like? How are these images related to systems of power and inequality?
How do these ideals affect the ways you think about your own body?