November 1: Body Projects.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Women and Gender Studies
Karen Ruffle

WOMEN AND GENDER STUDIES WEEK 8 “america’s obsession” – movie BODY PROJECT - Joan Jacobs brumberg, the body project: an intimate history of American girls (1997) - “girls today make the body into an all consuming project in ways young women of the past did not” brumberg - - body scrutiny - - impossible standards - Body as a “problem” - Changes in physical maturation process - - mismatch between culture and biology - Psychological dimension: bodies as full-time projects - - body dysmorphia - Role of Medicalization: puberty is “difficult” BODY PROJECT  Adolescence always time of self-consiousness - Socially and culturally constructed  19 century: emphasis on spiritual development - Class dimension: small hands, feet, waist - Big body, hands, feet: working class Good works vs. Good looks  Before ww1: girls’ diaries focus on spiritual improvement (not bodies)  How to be better person, not have better thighs!  Resolutions  What are your New Year’s resolutions? “managing” the body  Body needs to be constantly maintained  Less emphasis on individuality  Exterior emphasis: hair, skin, teeth, tone, clothing – how are these managed?  “body talk” (brumberg): negative in tone Forces shaping our body projects  Capitalism: products, advertising, innovation, clothes  Medicalization:  - puberty = danger  - pimples = bad  Popular media: actresses who “never” diet; photo shopping; make-up; magazines Susan bordo  Body as text  Body as site of social control  Michel Foucault and “docility”  2 symbolic roles of body shape size: 1. Status in world, 2. Moral status  Unwa
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