I’m working on a paper that responds to some of Girard’s thoughts about anorexia, and also Mark Anspach’s writings about it. I find the idea of competitive/rivalrous dieting interesting, but I would like to interrogate the idea that extreme dieting is about unrealistic ideals of beauty. I’d suggest that there’s a misunderstanding here about women and desire, and what drives these kind of excessive behaviours. Is it hard for our culture to conceive of women as having complex interior states that have nothing to do with their traditional value to men– in fact, as objects, themselves, of sexual desire? Is this default reading of anorexia a blinkeredness, seeing women as objects– objects who grow obsessed with being the most desirable objects? What happens if we open our reading of anorexia to the possibility that women have desires that are entirely unrelated to sexual politics and aesthetic power?
I hope to provoke some thoughts from you, that will in turn provoke my writing!