Confessing Excess

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Looking at the discourse on female weight reduction in American culture, Confessing Excess analyzes contemporary dieting and the weight loss literature by taking up the themes of confession and surveillance. Spitzack argues that dieting is characterized by confession (of “excess”) which women internalize and which necessitates ongoing surveillance or monitoring of the body. Informal conversations and in-depth interviews also juxtapose women’s everyday dieting experiences with the discourse of dieting texts. By evaluating the cultural construction of women in this manner, the author illuminates the power strategies that offer self-acceptance at the price of self-condemnation.

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