As ever more countries enter the global economy, reshaping the body has become the means by which women are encouraged to enter modernity. Once bodies were local, marked by their own local traditions. Today, variety is replaced by uniformity. The formerly plump Miss Nigeria is superseded by a thin westernized version and sets the trend for how contemporary Nigerian women are to look. Encouraged to see the body as a consuming center, a personal logo that signifies our membership of the global community, bodies across the world are being commercialized and restructured. This development means that we are losing bodies as we lose mother tongue languages. Standardization is supplanting diversity as facsimile bodies become the new calling card of belonging and identity.


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pp. 387-394
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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