Journal Article — The Body/Mind Split in Pursuit of Beauty: Understanding Eating Disorders Through Sociological Writing — by Nicole

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Abstract

Why is it that we always seem to be in a constant state of war between our bodies and our minds? It is as if there is some invisible disconnect that we feel a desperate need to bridge. So we reach our hands out blindly and grasp the first thing that comes along, such as magazines featuring paper thin models portraying supposed standards of beauty. And never mind the fact that we will never get there. Sociology can give us incredible insights on problems that occur in our own lives and in the world around us. The most effective way, perhaps, of getting to the root of my own problem regarding the body-mind split is to dive directly into the heart of the storm and steadily spin outwards. Using C. Wright Mills’s sociological imagination as a guide in terms of the study of personal troubles in relation to public issues, in this paper I inductively begin by analyzing the particular case of my own experience and struggle, gradually working toward relating it to the broader social world. In conclusion, I realized that there is not one solid definition of beauty and that it cannot be defined in simple, tangible terms. I think the truth is that the spectrum extends infinitely, rooted in the essential connection between the body and the mind. By writing essays like this one, it is possible to reach new understandings that can slowly and gradually help fill the mind/body gap that has been created by an eating disorder.

Recommended Citation

Nicole. 2008. “The Body/Mind Split in Pursuit of Beauty: Understanding Eating Disorders Through Sociological Writing.” Pp. 157-168 in Sociological Imaginations from the Classroom: Plus A Symposium on the Sociology of Science Perspectives on the Malfunctions of Science and Peer Reviewing (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VI, Issue 2, 2008.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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