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By Paula Saukko

Significantly examines diagnostic and well known discourses on consuming issues.

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Extra info for The Anorexic Self: A Personal, Political Analysis of a Diagnostic Discourse

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Not wanting to be the Smurf girl was not normal, a psychopathology. The tenacious Smurf in me has been against being told how to be a woman. Just a few months ago I re-encountered the Smurf discourse, when a colleague of mine commented that I wear clothes that do not show off my body—something she told me is typical of anorexics. At forty I am no longer so enraged or embarrassed by these diagnostic comments. I know the “baggy clothing” theory of anorexia—I know all of them. My colleague likes to wear girlie clothes, such as black spider web hose and high heels, and her favorite theorist is Judith Butler.

Rereading the Stories That Became Me 33 My explanation of my anorexia, thirty years after the event, as a rather violent attempt to negotiate my personal life and social position is not, of course, divorced from the discourses on anorexia and embodiment, even if it draws attention to slightly different themes. However, it is the explanation that I feel most comfortable with at this moment. Conclusion My attempt in this chapter has been to provide an experience-close reflection on the way in which diagnostic and popular public discourses define anorexic women.

They measure the relationship between exposure to media images of thinness and eating disorders, hypothesizing, for example: “that exposure to thinness-depicting-and-promoting (TDP) media, defined as fitness and fashion magazines and television programs with conspicuously thin female characters, would predict . . anorexia, bulimia, drive for thinness, body dissatisfaction and ineffectiveness in women” (Harrison, 2000, p. 20). Major and minor celebrities’ confessions about anorexia and bulimia saturate the media.

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