(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Digital Culture, Body Images and Eating Disorders

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Josie Fraser from EdTechUK has just posted a detailed and thoughtful piece on trying to look at and address online Ana/mia (annorexia/bulimic) Communities without the "online communities are a haven for evil/trauma/etc" so often seen in sensationalist media. At the same time, the idea of a communities where anorexia and bulimia are actively promoted is very disturbing not least of all due to the way it so seamlessly meshes into the other aspects of teen angst. Suffice it to say this is a very difficult area that needs careful consideration and many strategies are needed to address it.

On that front I just came across the very simple but extremely effective "Retouch" site which aims to:

The media world is becoming increasingly fixated on appearances. And the number of tricks used to achieve the increasingly exaggerated ideals is growing. Many models have plastic surgery and even more are retouched so they appear to have bigger breasts, smaller stomachs or fuller lips.

We wanted to show how easy it is to change someone's appearance in this campaign.

Retouch is at least one of those avenues where the artificiality of bodily imagery can be visualised in a manner which highlights its constructedness and, hopefully, go some of the way to revealing how entirely mass marketed "idealised" body images are!

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