According to Bordo, Femininity, notions of control and such illnesses all have a direct correlation towards the management of ones body. The body is what we eat, how we dress and the daily rituals to which we attend (Bordo 2017: page 78). The body is not only a text of culture but a direct focal point of social control. The social and personal factors that are introduced in this text are related in Bordos work. Women and their relationship with their body is a clear example of gender performance that society and culture manifests.
Society uses cultural images to give a perception that regulates women’s disciplines such as style and diet to normalize cultural discourse. Femininity relates to how women use certain notions of control to influence how they are perceived in society. Women are overall spending more time on their bodies through self-modification which can also lead to Anorexia and Agoraphobia. Overall, the article emphasizes the concept that the female body is a “text of culture” (Bordo 2017: page 78). Femininity creates this concept through notions of control. Bordo then goes on to say that Anorexia and Agoraphobia are examples of resistance against the overall cultural/social order. Female bodies become docile: “bodies whose energies are habituated to external regulation, subjection, transformation and improvement” (Bordo 2017: page 81). Femininity is the pursuit of the female ideal.
Women use notions of control such as diet, make-up and style as an outlet for principles of self-modification.Through these disciplines women feel a lack of insufficiency of never feeling good enough and never feeling like they live up to societies high demands. Women’s bodies are created through feelings and social forces that society places that overall result into these illnesses. Society creates this ideal female body that women try to pursue through Anorexia and Agoraphobia. With Anorexia, Bordo argues that there are two major factors that create the Anorexic body. First, “the masculine society creates this stereotypical concept of femininity.” (Bordo 2017: page 81). Through Anorexia the woman discards all of her female features.
The more she starves herself the less feminine she looks which overall result into a more slender masculine figure. Losing such feminine features allows for a sense of overall safety. Second, Bordo believes that anorexia allows a women to be able to have control over herself. Controlling her appetite and what she is able to eat gains a sense of dominance over her own body.
Therefore, a women who is able to control what she eats is an extraction of social elimination. Agoraphobia on the other hand, is the feeling of being trapped. “It is the extreme extension of the cultural sex-role stereotype for women” (Bordo, page 81). Being a career women was a dirty word, women were often stereotyped as someone who should stay at home as a housewife.
In Agoraphobia the women therefore, loses her social freedom and is contained in a restricted space. Both diseases relate to how the women is looking for a way to fight the social/cultural order that is perceived in modern society. These notions of control that is described in Bordo’s text insinuate that the female body is in fact docile and becomes an outlet for self-modification. In conclusion, Bordos text shows how Femininity, notions of control and illnesses such as Anorexia and Agoraphobia all relate to the womens authority of ones body. Femininity is the pursuit of the female ideal. Women use notions of control such as diet, make-up and style as an outlet for principles of self-modification. These social and cultural notions combined with societies ideal image of the women body creates a distorted image. The Women’s body is shaped by social forces and Anorexia and Agoraphobia are the pivotal outcome of practices of resistance against these social forces.
Through Anorexia the women is able to have control of herself and get rid of every feature that links her to femininity. Through Agoraphobia the women is restricted. Femininity, notions of control and illnesses such as Anorexia and Agoraphobia all have a direct correlation towards the management of ones body.