Anorexia, capitalism, riot-grrrl

In Overland 197, Anwyn Crawford contributed a devastating critique of Nick Cave, one of the most-discussed articles we’ve published in the past year or so. For Overland 200, she’s written a much-needed intervention tackling some of the major issues in contemporary feminism. It begins like this:

A chart hung above the chalkboard in Mrs Brandie’s classroom, written in the patient, legible hand of a primary school teacher. Black marker on white card, two columns: name, weight – Anwyn Crawford, 34 kg.

I’ve forgotten the name of the lightest member of the class, but not her figure, the lowest weight on the chart: 18 kg, limbs like kindling. My maths, at age eight, was good enough to know that I was nearly double this. I knew enough to know that I was fat and she was thin, and I was utterly ashamed.

An overweight childhood gives the lie to any optimistic belief that children, particularly girls, live at any point outside of capitalism, beyond the strictures of a global body industry. Oh no. We learn young. Carefree, vanilla-scented innocence is a myth for selling bubble bath.

Read the rest in Overland 200.

Editorial team

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