Alice Dogruyol’s article ‘Big girl in a skinny world: Killer heels are fine for tiny girls, but I’m carrying 90 kilos on spikes’ (Daily Mail, 8 June 2010) lends itself well to feminist psychology, and specifically the ways in which the female body is socially constructed and the implications this can have for women’s psychological (and physical) health. For example, Dogruyol describes herself, after having caught sight of her own reflection in a shop window, as ‘shapeless’ and ‘huge’, or as the title suggests ‘Big girl in a skinny world’. Her self-perception mirrors the strongly entrenched view that in order to be considered attractive and of value in Western culture women must be slim (Bordo 1993). Dogruyol’s self-perception of her body is part of a medium of culture in which the physical body becomes a reflection of the social body, such that, the central rules and hierarchies of Western culture determine how the body is seen (Bordo, 1993). Therefore, the body becomes a direct form of social control, in which greater restrictions and less tolerance is imposed on girls and women than on boys and men (Lee, 1998). The significance of physical attractiveness means that ideals such as ‘women must be slim’ have psychological implications for women in that they experience some degree of dissatisfaction with their bodies and that this may lead to a sense of alienation from the body, a fragmented self and a lack of autonomy. In order to regain a sense of autonomy and self, Dogruyol opts to make her body appear ‘slimmer’ by purchasing new clothes that will produce ‘a stylish, confidence-boosting new look.’
Big girl in a skinny world: Killer heels are fine for tiny girls, but I’m carrying 90 kilos on spikes
Social Psychology Eye
- Issue Information June 10, 2013
- Genocide, Extinction and Aboriginal Self-determination in Tasmanian Historiography June 10, 2013
- The New Zealand Home Front during World War One and World War Two June 10, 2013
- Confrontation and Unification: Approaches to the Political History of Normandy, 911–1035 June 10, 2013
- Shadow Kingdom: Lotharingia and the Frankish World, C.850–C.1050 June 10, 2013
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- The Pursuit of Happiness
- Confirmation Bias, Satire, and Stephen Colbert
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- Women with hairy legs – an oxymoron?
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- Pink Ribbon: Charity or hitting in the face?
- Act your age: young people will like you more!
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