Beauty, Eating Disorders & Size 0: A Qualitative Enquiry into Fashion's Social Responsibility

Schillebeeckx, Simon J.D. (2007) Beauty, Eating Disorders & Size 0: A Qualitative Enquiry into Fashion's Social Responsibility. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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The fashion industry has popped up in academic research and the news occasionally regarding counterfeiting (Hilton et al, 2004), labour practices (Anon, 2002; Shaw et al, 2004; Nelson, 2006) and sustainability, which led to the creation of the Ethical Fashion Forum. Following recent attention, this dissertation investigates various discourses on the fashion industry's "corporate social responsibility" in producing an extremely body-conscious and disorderedly eating society. The current thinness-ideal has become an issue tackled by corporate pacesetters and is also addressed by some protagonists within the fashion industry, at least in their rhetoric.

After exposing a tendency towards instrumentalization within CSR, I introduce the conception of issues as collectively defined. Beauty as a newly risen societal issue is than linked to thinness idealization via its 'anorexic and bulimic extremes'.

This qualitative research explores five prominent discourses surrounding eating disorders and investigates how these different stories infuse fashion designer's sense of responsibility. The research aims to gain insight into how this particular stakeholdergroup feels about eating disorders, size 0 models and the different measures taken by fashion councils in various fashion capitals. Also some of designers' hidden ideological stances of power and responsibility will be exposed. I conclude by summarising the crucial contributions made regarding the issue of beauty and the therewith interwoven eating disorders. Finally, I re-imagine CSR as a noninstrumentalist industry-wide responsibility and extrapolate the ideas of beauty and eating disorders to a general perspective on the influence of the capitalist economy on the body.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Keywords: beauty, eating disorders, corporate social responsibility, fashion, critical, non-instrumentalist
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 15:49

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