Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The legislation of the body

Recent media coverage reveals an obsession with obesity and anorexia. This is in the context of European league tables and death of slim supermodels. There was even a question whether teenage obesity is child abuse.

There have been claims of legislation/discrimination of the very fat or skinny. Quite rightly this has been rebuffed by saying it creates a nanny state. I would go even further than that, the legislation of the body creates a totalitarian state in which everyone is supposed to be measured. There is a craze of normality, the middle, in our society. This can be linked to Foucault’s idea that the body and sexuality are cultural constructs rather than natural phenomena.

The obsession with health reveals fragile characters shaping the debate.

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