Clear Nude: The Lens + the Nude, Issue IV, Summer 2015 ClearNude: The Lens + the Nude, Issue IV, Summer - Page 63

prepare food for others rather than themselves, and 9. Covering up and tucking in that ‘small is attractive’. Food means health and dis- Clothes, shoes, jewellery, depilation, piercing, tat- ease, comfort and guilt, being small and being curvy. tooing, and now surgery. Far more than the male, the Can these conflicts ever be resolved? female body is seen as something to be concealed, exposed, altered, corrected and accentuated. Why 7. A malaise of shapes do we think this? When do girls learn it? And how, How did our species get to the point where large num- exactly, do women do it? This chapter includes a radi- bers of us, mostly female, starve and binge their way cal new theory of what each and every item of female to death, sickness and serious injury? What are eating clothing is actually designed to achieve. It also inves- disorders, and why do some of us get them but not tigates how surgery, once synonymous with treating others? When did we start getting them – are they a severe disease, became an acceptable form of body new thing, or as old as our species? Most of all, what enhancement. strange evolutionary forces lie behind our propensity to suffer eating disorders, and were those forces once 10. Why women care and why it’s complicated beneficial rather than harmful? Throughout the book, the theme emerges that the central biological role of female curvaceousness in 8. Following the fashion our species has led to it becoming built into every as- Men may be irrevocably hard-wired to desire certain pect of human life – women’s health, their sense of core elements of the female form, but what about self, men’s desire, control of eating and guilt, body humans’ more transient preferences for women’s fashions and fashion for bodies. Finally, the author shapes? Why is a body size or shape deemed attrac- addresses the question of why women think about tive in London or California but thought ugly in Ni- their bodies so much, and in such complex ways. The geria? Why was heroin chic replaced by Sophie Dahl Darwinian idea that they wish to impress men is soon and Beyoncé? Why does thinness become the body- discounted, and instead the true reasons why body ideal in certain places in certain decades? And what is shape is central to female life and individual life-suc- the actual evidence that the media really do influence cess are laid bare. ‡ women’s opinions of their own bodies? Clear Nude | Summer 2015 63