John Libbey Eurotext



The obese body and the tyranny of the body ideal Volume 14, issue 7, Septembre 2018

Université Paris 6, Faculté de médecine, Département d’Enseignement et de Recherche en Médecine Générale, 91 boulevard de l’hôpital 75013 Paris, France
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: obesity, ideal body wheights
  • DOI : 10.1684/med.2018.357
  • Page(s) : 322-4
  • Published in: 2018

Obesity is considered as being the first non-infectious epidemic of humanity. Not any society escapes this increasing phenomenon. This even alert health and politic authorities until it leads to a public health issue. If today the consequences can be anticipated, it has not always been the case.

Obesity is a modern concept in relation with a body type measure through the Body Mass Index (BMI) which classifies the individuals, we could say the bodies.

The BMI defines a body standard between body types judged as being too low versus some being excessive. Over and below these marks, health risks are increasing.

The question of body standard is not unrelated to aesthetic appearances. The position of the beauty standards to identify what could be a beautiful body has disrupted the BMI body standard rank in order to progressively implement her slimness ideal tyranny.

The overlapping of an ideal body with the concept of standard leads to a double disqualification for obese people: Not only they break up with the aesthetic, but they are also suspected of psychological weakness, not being able to be the obstinate artisans of their body type control. The stigma is double: Ugliness and physical and mental softness.