iAnorexic : a body politics of pro-anorexia and cyborgs : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
The pro-anorexia movement online is a topic of much contention in medical, psychological and public arenas. While psychology has located the source of Anorexia Nervosa within the individual, taking up a historically, socially and culturally contextual perspective enables an understanding of pro-anorexia through the genealogical examination of anorexia, women‟s embodiment, social movements and technologies. What emerges is the production of a pro-anorexic cyborg, lived both metaphorically and literally by modern Western women experiencing anorexia. Examining the textual content of online pro-anorexia communities allows for a discursive analysis of the complex pro-anorexic voice. What this voice constructs is female embodiment characterised by multiplicity, contradiction, information, connection, blurred boundaries, disrupted dualisms, non-innocence, simulated consciousness and political resistance lived through a troubled, biologically restricted female body. Through the use of cyborg metaphor, this thesis argues that pro-anorexia online is fervent resistance to patriarchal femininity in a way that produces tolerable female embodiment.