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New CosmopolitanismsSouth Asians in the US$
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Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752800

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752800.001.0001

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The Psychological Cost of New Cosmopolitanism: Eating Disorders in the Context of Globalization

The Psychological Cost of New Cosmopolitanism: Eating Disorders in the Context of Globalization

Chapter:
(p.138) Chapter Six The Psychological Cost of New Cosmopolitanism: Eating Disorders in the Context of Globalization
Source:
New Cosmopolitanisms
Author(s):
Dana S. Iyer, Nick Haslam
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804752800.003.0006

This chapter explores the influence of the globalization of the thin body ideal on the development of body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders in South Asian American women. It considers representations of South Asians in the American and Indian media, and experiences of racial teasing that heighten awareness of ethnic features. It argues that the internalization of media images in the United States and in South Asia, coupled with the painful self-awareness about one's physical differences from the beauty ideal, could lead to the desire to achieve the perfect body through excessive dieting and compulsive exercising. The global acceptance of the thin ideal by South Asians in their countries of origin and elsewhere is likely to give rise to a new kind of cosmopolitanism, one that looks at people as objects of desire, irrespective of race.

Keywords:   globalization, media images, body image, South Asian American women, ethnicity

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