I don’t remember when or how this book came into my hands – while it doesn’t look like the sort of thing I’d buy wandering through a bookstore, I’ve been known to surprise myself.
It’s a good read, and surprisingly light for nonfiction. Along with talking about girl’s bodies from corsetry to acne to body piercing, it really looks at the history of when and how dieting began, and how perceptions about women’s body shape and sizes have become smaller as we expose our bodies more in our styles of dress. There is an interpretation by Brumberg that values for girls went from internal to external, with the Victorians placing more emphasis on their daughter’s characters while now more emphasis is placed on girls being sexually attractive at an increasingly younger age.
It also gave me a lot to consider regarding dieting and how we view our own bodies. In the middle of the book is a collection of historical photos of women and girls. These girls, once considered the ideal of health and good character of their time, are now viewed as “fat.” While there was no discussion about character implications and body type in modern life, there was quite a bit about how the personality was thought to reflect on the physical appearance – so, for instance, promiscuity was thought to result in acne.
I recommend the read, and while I don’t think it’s likely to change anyone’s opinion in terms of where they stand on modern sexuality and how women behavior towards our own bodies, I think it will make sense at the very least of our mothers and grandmothers, and teach us where some of our own ideas came from.
While there is a conclusion that relates sexual violence to increased sexualization of girls, sexual violence specifically directed at women extends back to the beginnings of known history, and there’s some empirical data across multiple cultures that makes it clear that women’s physical appearances and demeanors have absolutely no bearing on men committing sexual violence. 1)Rape is all about and always about certain men trying to preserve power through acts of violence. It has no bearing on attractiveness, style of dress or pesonality. It has a bearing on men who were raised very poorly living in a world where people give them a false sense of entitlement rather than putting them down like dogs.
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|1.||↑||Rape is all about and always about certain men trying to preserve power through acts of violence. It has no bearing on attractiveness, style of dress or pesonality. It has a bearing on men who were raised very poorly living in a world where people give them a false sense of entitlement rather than putting them down like dogs.|