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PCOM Library / Hot Topics in Research / Graphic Medicine / Hot Topic in Research: Feminine famishment: Graphic medicine and anorexia nervosa

Hot Topic in Research: Feminine famishment: Graphic medicine and anorexia nervosa

barbarawo Graphic Medicine, Hot Topics in Research

Socio-cultural rigidities regarding the shape and size of a woman’s body have not only created an urgency to refashion themselves according to a range of set standards but also generated an infiltrating sense of body dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem leading to eating disorders. Interestingly, through an adept utilisation of the formal strengths of the medium of comics, many graphic medical anorexia narratives offer insightful elucidations on the question of how the female body is not merely a biological construction, but a biocultural construction too. In this context, by drawing theoretical postulates from Susan Bordo, David Morris and other theoreticians of varying importance, and by close reading Lesley Fairfield’s Tyranny and Katie Green’s Lighter than My Shadow, this article considers anorexia as the bodily manifestation of a cultural malady by analysing how cultural attitudes regarding body can be potential triggers of eating disorders in girls. Furthermore, this article also investigates why comics is the appropriate medium to provide a nuanced representation of the corporeal complications and socio-cultural intricacies of anorexia.

Venkatesan S, Peter AM. Feminine famishment: Graphic medicine and anorexia nervosa. Health. 2020;24(5):518-534. doi:10.1177/1363459318817915

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