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Disrupting the ‘ravages of lookism’: Observations of female model bodies

Dwyer, Angela E. (2004) Disrupting the ‘ravages of lookism’: Observations of female model bodies. In Richmond, Katy (Ed.) Revisioning Institutions: Change in the 21st Century, The Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association, December, Beechworth.

Abstract

This paper seeks to disrupt one of the feminist orthodoxies about the riskiness of looking concertedly at women’s bodies. Drawing on observational research that intentionally and meticulously ‘looked at’ the female body, the paper considers how this observational work is disruptive in that it challenges the notion that to look scrupulously at female bodies feeds into and inflames an already burgeoning culture of ‘lookism’ (Katzman, 1997). As part of a doctoral study that reconceptualises the fashion model as a pedagogue to young girls, observations were conducted in a modelling ‘classroom’ in order to document how young girls are instructed by the female model body in a pedagogical manner. This research situates the bodies of the fashion model and the young girl as ‘objects’ of a punctilious ‘gaze’ that destabilises more conventional ideas about doing observational research ‘properly’. This paper will explore the implications of this work with particular emphasis on what it means to look intently at female bodies in general, and more specifically the female model body as a body of ‘danger’, and the young female body as a body of ‘innocence’.

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ID Code: 11245
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the publisher's website (see hypertext link) or contact the authors
Additional URLs:
Keywords: fashion model, female, body, looking, observation, gaze, object, feminism, literature, danger, young girl, research
ISBN: 0959846042
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Culture Gender Sexuality (200205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Gender Specific Studies (169901)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Copyright Statement: Copyright remains with the authors
Deposited On: 18 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2011 15:44

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