This article recalls the emergence of a new object in scientific speeches of the beginning of the 20th century, the "cellulite", and its advent in two French magazines of the 1930s, "Votre Beauté" and "Marie-Claire". Cellulite, before its "invention", was only but female adult flesh to be found by physicians all over the body (ankles, the abdominal region, event the nape of the neck). The words used to describe this flesh turned it into something "pathological" that marked both bodily and moral ugliness (since cellulite resulted from the neglect of those "letting themselves go"). Our aim is actually to show how the cruisade against "cellulite" produced and reproduced a certain construction of the "feminine", and in which way this cruisade matched the idea of the individual responsible for his physical condition. Beauty is not a grace, but the visible proof of a volontary work on the body: we will show the moral feeling of guilt linked to obesity between the two World Wars. We will also examine the speeches at the time, sketching an uhealthy female body and its degeneration, as well as its intoxication due to life in big cities and female work. These speeches resulted in an accusation of modernity itself.

Le corps féminin, entre science et culpabilisation. Autour d'une histoire de la cellulite

GHIGI, ROSSELLA
2004

Abstract

This article recalls the emergence of a new object in scientific speeches of the beginning of the 20th century, the "cellulite", and its advent in two French magazines of the 1930s, "Votre Beauté" and "Marie-Claire". Cellulite, before its "invention", was only but female adult flesh to be found by physicians all over the body (ankles, the abdominal region, event the nape of the neck). The words used to describe this flesh turned it into something "pathological" that marked both bodily and moral ugliness (since cellulite resulted from the neglect of those "letting themselves go"). Our aim is actually to show how the cruisade against "cellulite" produced and reproduced a certain construction of the "feminine", and in which way this cruisade matched the idea of the individual responsible for his physical condition. Beauty is not a grace, but the visible proof of a volontary work on the body: we will show the moral feeling of guilt linked to obesity between the two World Wars. We will also examine the speeches at the time, sketching an uhealthy female body and its degeneration, as well as its intoxication due to life in big cities and female work. These speeches resulted in an accusation of modernity itself.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/42404
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