Rad Reading: "What Does Capitalism Have to Do with Body Image Anyway?"
by Abaki Beck
Text: What Does Capitalism Have to Do With Body Image Anyway?
Author: Grace Manger
Quote to Highlight: “Judging someone for their health is still judging someone, and equating health with morality is still body policing, masked as a “public health concern.” Our preoccupation with health needs to end before any of us stand a chance of changing a capitalist society fixated on obedience and productivity of healthy and able bodies.”
Quick Summary: In this article, Manger critiques the societal preoccupation with health as capitalist; that promoting ideas of “health” is often more about making money (by selling magazines with tips or selling diet tools) than in helping people become healthy. In fact, the piece ventures that the preoccupation with the “health” objectifies women by focusing on one type of body and only certain parts of the body - like having “perfect” thighs or abs. She particularly focuses on the damage these ideas cause to people with eating disorders. Even progressive circles, who may argue that it is possible to be healthy with any body type (or unhealthy with anybody type), do not go far enough in critiquing the preoccupation with our bodies being “healthy.” Though the piece could provide more racial analysis, as women of color are even more objectified than white women (who are assumed to be “all women”), it is still an interesting critique.
File it under: Fatphobia, capitalism, ableism
Type of text: Opinion article with little accessible jargon
POC Online Classroom strives to make readings and resources that celebrate the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities more accessible. Rad Reading is a new series that highlight texts to read and writers to support! We will post every Tuesday.