Many people today, and perhaps especially women, pursue the goal of a thinner body with religious-like devotion. This paper examines this devotion and some of the questions it raises about ‘religion’, ‘the body’, and ‘culture’, and the relationships between them.

The article of today, selected by librarian Björn Dahla, is:

Lelwica, M. (2011). The religion of thinness. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 23, 257-285.

The idea that you can take charge of your life by controlling your body is not-so-subtly promoted in the before-and-after pictures that often accompany ads for weight-loss products. Trough cliché conventions (i.e., women in the ‘before’ pictures are typically slouching and look unhappy) such images beckon with the promise of being ‘born again’ through a thinner body.