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Hi, My name is Sydney and I go to Wellesley High School in Wellesley, Massachusetts and I am doing an issue paper on body image. I was wondering if you could give me a definition of feminism and/or body image. Thanks again, Sydney.

First, the definition of feminism, which according to the dictionary, means the movement toward the full social, political, and economic equality of all people-in other worlds for men and women to have equal access throughout society.

Second, the definition of body image - essentially, body image means both how we view ourselves as well as how women's bodies are viewed in society at large. For instance, women's bodies are still commercialized and are looked at more often as stereotypes than as reality. I think that every woman has struggled with how she views her body - too fat, too thin, big thighs, too pale, too dark, etc.... All of this self-assessing feeds into our body image.

There are some great resources on body image: Naomi Wolf's book The Beauty Myth, Joan Brumberg's book The Body Project, Ophira Edut's anthology Adios Barbie, also, you should reference questions here at Ask Amy, which deal with this topic.

I hope that helps with your issue paper, but please feel free to write back if you have further questions.

[The books refered to in this section are available at the Feminist.com Bookstore.]


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