Becoming Women:  The Embodied Self in Image Culture

Becoming Women: The Embodied Self in Image Culture

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By Carla Rice
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
408 Pages 25 Images
ISBN 9781442610057
Published Mar 2014
Online discount: 25%
 $32.95    $24.71
ISBN 9781442640436
Published Apr 2014
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442668263
Published Feb 2014
Online discount: 24%
Full purchase $32.95

In a culture where beauty is currency, women’s bodies are often perceived as measures of value and worth. The search for visibility and self-acceptance can be daunting, especially for those on the cultural margins of “beauty.”

Becoming Women offers a thoughtful examination of the search for identity in an image-oriented world. That search is told through the experiences of a group of women who came of age in the wake of second and third wave feminism, featuring voices from marginalized and misrepresented groups.

Carla Rice pairs popular imagery with personal narratives to expose the “culture of contradiction” where increases in individual body acceptance have been matched by even more restrictive feminine image ideals and norms. With insider insights from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Rice exposes the beauty industry’s colonization of women’s bodies, and examines why “the beauty myth” has yet to be resolved.

Carla Rice is the Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender, and Relationships in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph. She has more than 20 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, and media consultant on body image and beauty culture.

List of Illustrations and Tables

Introduction: Searching for Identity in Image Culture

1 In the Shadow of Difference

2 In a Girl's Body

3 Invisible in Full View

4 The Student Body

5 Puberty as Sexual Spectacle

6 A Body That Looks, and Feels, Like a Woman

7 In the Mirror of Beauty Culture

Conclusion: Out of the Shadows

Appendix A: Participant Profiles
Appendix B: Interview Guide and Advertising Flyer

Becoming Women reveals and analyses crucial dimensions of women’s experiences, with a depth that has not been attained before. A model for all in examining people’s lives, it constitutes a serious advance in state-of-the-art research.”

Natalie Beausoleil, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

“Well written and accessible, this is an interesting book that raises some important issues around women’s embodiment.”

Sarah Grogan, Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

“Based on interviews with the first generation of women to have grown up in an image-saturated world replete with image technologies, Becoming Women offers the reader an extensive and engaging exploration of ‘image culture’. The rich narrative about how women ‘worry about their bodies’ provides a good introduction to issues surrounding beauty culture and its impact on girls and women.

Dawn Currie, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia

‘The concepts are clearly defined, allowing the reader to keep pace with the wealth of ideas and subjects discussed… This work significantly demonstrates the autonomy and agency of Women in creating their own embodiment in a society that pushes for a strict standard of how women should look and act.’

Ashley Crouch, Journal of Religion and Culture vol 26:1-2:2016

‘Finally we have sophisticated feminist disability work that moves beyond social construction of gender and disability… Highly recommended.’

P.A. Murphy, Choice Magazine vol 52:01:2014

‘Becoming Women is a rare gem for disability studies that grounds complex theory within the personal narratives of women with disabilities…. The book highlights the need for cultural change in viewing disabled bodies, particularly within medicalized caregiving settings.’

Kaley Roosen, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies vol 3:03:2014