2016 Undergraduate Awards

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Eating disorders (EDs) are often emblematized by the upper-class young white woman anorexic or bulimic, an archetype that constructs disordered eating as pathological and depicts it in a singular and comprehensible manner. Personal narratives of body dissatisfaction (rooted in both literature and qualitative research), as well as my own subjectivity as a poor East Asian-Canadian woman, will equip me with the theoretical frameworks and insights by which I problematize the homogenization of problematic eating. Subscribing to the tradition of interjecting first-person perspectives into research that is so characteristic to feminist theory, I demonstrate how a subject as visceral and commanding of credence as disordered eating not only welcomes but arguably necessitates experiential recounts. By revising the traditional (non)feminist analyses of eating disorders, weight preoccupation can be de-pathologized and its formation can be delineated as inherently racialized, gendered, and socioeconomically stratified. This is not to insinuate that these are the only interrogative lenses necessary nor that these alone are sufficient, but merely that they offer critiques which otherwise might not manifest.


Image: "Barbie's Diet II" by Laura Lewis. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.