Female Body Image in Contemporary Art: Dieting, Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, and Fatness, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Female Body Image in Contemporary Art

Dieting, Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, and Fatness, 1st Edition

By Emily L. Newman


196 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

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Numerous contemporary artists, particularly female artists, have chosen to examine the idealization of the female body. In this crucial book, Emily L. Newman focuses on a number of key themes including obesity, anorexia, bulimia, dieting, self-harm, and female body image. Many artists utilize their own bodies in their work, and in the act of trying to critique the diet industry, they also often become complicit, as they strive to lose weight themselves. Making art and engaging eating disorder communities (in real life and online) often work to perpetuate the illnesses of themselves or others. A core group of artists has worked to show bodies that are outside the norm, paralleling the rise of fat activism in the 1990s and 2000s. Interwoven throughout this inclusive study are related interdisciplinary concerns including sociology, popular culture, and feminism.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


  1. Beginnings
  2. Diets
  3. Eating Disorders
  4. Self-Harm
  5. Fatness
  6. Beginnings, Again
  7. Selected Bibliography

About the Author

Emily L. Newman is Associate Professor of Art History at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Art

Routledge Research in Gender and Art is a new series in art history and visual studies, focusing on gender, sexuality, and feminism. Proposals for monographs and edited collections on this topic are welcomed.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / General
ART / History / Contemporary (1945-)
ART / Popular Culture
ART / Subjects & Themes / Human Figure
ART / Performance
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Eating Disorders
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies