In the past decades, the pressure to perfect and design our bodies has been unprecedented. Men are encouraged to surgically pump up their pecs, breast enhancement is a sweet sixteen birthday present in the suburbs of America, and eating problems – from bulimia to obesity – are growing daily, affecting children as young as six. In China, women are having their legs broken and extended by 5cms. In Iran, behind the Hijab there are 35,000 cosmetic nose reconstructions a year. The body is no longer a given and to possess a flawless one has become the ambition of millions.
In her years of practice as a psychoanalyst, Susie Orbach has come to realise that the way we view our bodies is the mirror of how we view ourselves: our body becomes the measure of our worth. In this book, she raises the fundamental questions about how we arrived here and proposes a new theory on how we became embodied.