Never Just Pictures Summary

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Never Just Pictures Summary

In the essay Never Just Pictures, feminist author Susan Bordo explores the media and fashion industry’s influence on our society’s obsession with being thin, and also delves into the psychological responses to our culture’s social issues that mold what those industries choose to utilize when marketing. Bordo demonstrates how it is our culture of increased competition and anxieties over lack of resources that is shaping the marketing business, and encouraging them to reflect visual solutions to our insecurities with models and fashion campaigns seeking to look ‘beyond need’. She uses references to established organizations, such as the Olympics, to exemplify other parts of our culture that are also helping to perpetuate these unattainable body types. Ultimately, Bordo urges the reader to change society and its attachment to ultra-thin idealism, by facing those insecurities within themselves that the marketing businesses pander to. In today’s society, thin isn’t just in style, it is increasingly becoming synonymous with words such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘ideal’. Product advertisements and commercials are bombarding our televisions and magazines with gaunt-looking models having the effect of standardizing what the public sees as normal. Bordo begins Never Just Pictures by introducing the obsession our society has with being thin, or more to the point, its obsession with its disgust of fat. She writes that products offering solutions to weight gain are becoming as commonplace as advertisements for headaches. Pointing to weekly magazine’s ever present articles on weight loss tricks or celebrity relapses and diet pills ads on TV, Bordo suggest that these are just one of the ways that children are learning that being fat is more detrimental in life than anything else. She quotes a study revealing that young children place being fat is worse than facial and body disfigurement. Addressing eating disorders as becoming part of our...
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