Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Truth Behind The Glamour – Competitors & Disorderly Eating

Trigger Warning   ‘The brutality with which we judge and then treat the body reveals the desperation to make it perform as we imagine it should.’[1]   Three months before show day is the beginning of the end. At this stage, Bikini competitors exchange body building for sculpting; stripping away soft flesh to uncover the […]

I’m Judging You – Why do We Want to Live up to the Ideal?

In The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf questions why women ‘react to the “ideal,” whatever form she takes at the moment, as if she were a non-negotiable commandment?’[1] The response is that conforming to the ideal yields social success. As psychologist Dr Merryl Bear writes, ‘a slender body is seen to bring all sorts of rewards: […]

I’m Judging You – Why do We Want to be Lean?

WHY DO WE WANT TO BE LEAN? Trigger Warning Within the bodybuilding world, Bikini competitors have the ‘softest’ look. Despite this, however, they are still required to step onstage with a body fat percentage that is significantly lower than the norm. Miami Pro’s Ms. Bikini class calls for competitors who are ‘lean with minimal body […]

I’m Judging You – Wonderwoman: The Ideal Body?

During my research, every Bikini competitor whom I interviewed had an ideal vision of how they wanted to look. Interestingly, their ideal had changed over the years. The majority of women idolized the slender figures of 90s and 00s runways, embodied by supermodels such as Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen. The ‘anorexic fashion model’ look […]

I’m Judging You – A Perfect Body that Proves there is No Such Thing

In her article ‘9 ‘Perfect’ Female Bodies That Prove There’s No Such Thing’, Huffington Post journalist Renee Jacques summarises the dilemma faced by the twenty-first century female: ‘as a woman living in a media-saturated world, you will basically be told to attain a slim body that is both toned and curvy, like that of a […]

‘I’m Judging You’ – Why Focus on Women?

This work focuses upon female experience, since, while disorderly eating and distorted body image do occur among men, their prevalence is significantly less. In the UK in 2013 ‘[t]here were nine times as many females…as males… admitted to hospital for an eating disorder’.[1] This gender bias is especially true of anorexia nervosa, which is one […]

I’m Judging You – The Body Ideal Throughout History

Trigger warning Throughout history, Western women have been controlled by various ideals of physical perfection. Susie Orbach discusses this in her 2006 work Fat is a Feminist Issue, wherein she writes that ‘women are caught in an attempt to conform to a standard that is externally defined and constantly changing.’[1] I argue that these changing […]