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Susan Bordo and the female body image

Susan Bordo
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Today we will look at the life and work of Susan Bordo in our feminist series.

According to the University of Kentucky, “Susan Bordo is Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and holds the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Flight to Objectivity: Essays on Cartesianism and Culture (SUNY Press, 1987), Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (U. of California Press, 1993), Twilight Zones: The Hidden Life of Cultural Images from Plato to O.J. (U. of California Press, 1997) and The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private (Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1999) and The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.) She is also editor of Feminist Interpretations of Descartes (Penn State Press,1999) and co-editor (with Alison Jaggar) of Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing (Rutgers University Press, 1989.) Forthcoming is Breaking the Surface: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought, coedited with Ellen Rosenman and Cristina Alcalde, to be published by University of California Press in 2015.”

https://gws.as.uky.edu/users/bordo

Susan is a feminist writer who writes a lot about body image and how it affects women in society. Susan Bordo maintains that what we eat, what we wear and anything to do with a female body is a product of society. In other words, we have been taught how to do these things.

As we know, because of the American focus on weight many women have been become anorexic and bulimic. We have been taught to hate our bodies. Women are focusing more on their bodies now than they did in a long while.

If you want to get ahead in life in both the social and political arena your body determines your success and how the world perceives you. Somehow the focus on the body becomes separated from a woman’s true self causing women to become less focused on their identity and more on their body image.

The image of the female body is also determined by culture, history, the status quo; one of the main culprits is TV where images of the perfect body is so prominent. This body ideal has led to models starving themselves and young women trying to live up to the perfect body image while feeling bad about themselves when they cannot live up to the ideal.