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Type: Journal article
Title: Disordered eating and choice in postfeminist spaces
Author: Musolino, C.
Warin, M.
Wade, T.
Gilchrist, P.
Citation: Outskirts: feminisms along the edge, 2015; 33:1-20
Publisher: University of Western Australia
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1445-0445
Statement of
Connie Musolino, Megan Warin, Tracey Wade, Peter Gilchrist
Abstract: This paper explores the rise of disordered eating in a postfeminist world. Based on findings from an Australian Research Council grant that investigated why women with disordered eating were reluctant to engage with treatment services, we demonstrate how women embody postfeminist positions of choice and responsibility in their eating and body practices. Through applying Rosalind Gill’s (2007) concept of postfeminist sensibility to ethnographic accounts of women living with disordered eating, we argue that postfeminism, neoliberalism and healthism represent a constellation of contemporary forces which have unwittingly created an environment for disordered eating to flourish. Within the setting of lifestyle choice, postfeminist sensibilities support and rationalise women’s endeavours in their disordered eating practices. The pervasiveness of neoliberal ideas in a postfeminist world highlights that the rhetoric of choice as empowering disguises an increasing push for individual responsibility, particularly in the areas of health and fitness. Such ideas are reinforced in the self-monitoring and self-disciplining practices of participants who explain their practices as lifestyle choices. Investigating the ways in which women describe their disordered eating practices within a postfeminism space offers new and critical insights into why resistance to help seeking is common.
Rights: Outskirts is an Open Access Journal and work may be shared under the Creative Commons licence BY-NC-ND.
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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