Susan Bordo : The Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body

Unbearable Weigh published in 1993 by Susan Bordo. In her work S. Bordo explains the dominant ideals of women beauty, unarchievable at it is, and in the light off this unarchievable goal the patological syptoms of bulimia and anorexia. Her research method leans on Foucauls concepts off power and discourse.  Bordo argues that anorexia is the point where two exclusive discourses show there incompatibility. The point where the Discourse off a ideal Body ( Media, Fashion,…) and the will to gain such body are in contradiction with the modern mass consumption capitalism, where instant satisfaction is the demand (fit in 5 days, loss 20 pounds in 20 days). Anorexia is the point where woman are reaching to ideal goals of beauty but in a context off mass consumption. So the will to slenderness must become  rigid and extreme, otherwise its not accomplished. As a fall out of failing to gain a slender body they absolutely give up ( obesity).

So the value of  achieving a slender body ( they did it) is so immense that stopping would be failing yourself and the societies expectations. As you go thinner your friends, coworkers praise you body and even more important your yourself and your will to archive it are show in your body diet. You become the master off your body. This mastering off the body  is in our history off Western philosophie (the duality of mind- body) one off the most important gains, from Plato, Aristotel, Descartes, Hegel,….

S. Bordo argues that women that subordinate there body to methods of slenderness are not stupid or  blindly guided by mass media, actually they have just correctly decoded the feminin recipe for success in a “mans world”. A slender,  beautiful woman is more accepted in our society ( she is feminin) has a better partner, a better paid job and more self-confidence. Not to denie that she is still contributing to the re-production off a patriarch system and exactly the anorexic shows us how harmful the societies perception off feminin, slenderness and (women) success is.

What does the anorectic achieve and fail to gain in her goal to absolute slenderness? 1. the slender body, 2. the mastering of body, 3. a man/woman constructed perception of woman success in public area, 4. she becomes slender( woman the ideal), so a method of will ( men the ideal) of self-control, self- mastering that in the women case is reduced to her body, 5. contradictions emerges:  in the anorexic case she actually fails in the public area, because she is preoccupied with the body, her body isn´t empowered but week ( the petit, pasiv women body), that´s another patriarhic ideal off women body. Naturally her mind is trying to empower the women thou her body, where the body is being reduced( psihicaly). In one point the anorectics expresses her dissatisfaction with everything thaT reminds her off a woman ( breast, hips, menstruation), so here she  correctly decoded the subordination of women in the society and the centering  off womenhood on there body. Her extreme slenderness is a way to get rid of women attributes and take on men attributes…( the androgin women is sexy-as is shown in mass media). Shows self-control as men and is petit , harmless as a woman should be? And in getting rid of her women shapes, she gets rid off the causes of sexual harassment (  lot off anorectics have were victims of sexual assaults/harassments).

S. Bordo call for a reassessment of body, not as a other object to be controlled by will power, but as a constructive part of ones subjectivity, she call for a variety off body ideals ( not just one; white slender body), she call for a variety off sociely accepted success methods that come from women autonomy ( as her body, her shapes, her misshapes, not a object…),…

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