This article examines the way that contemporary British women’s magazine advertising employs idealized images of thin white women to confer status on a range of beauty products and services. These lean, pure, radiant images of white women are imagined to be natural sources of light, beauty, and the entry point (with the product) to a higher state of female grace. However, the article also addresses what is argued to be the ‘absence’ effect and the lack of corporeal life that is also at the core of many of these ‘lacking’ images of white women. The article argues that such textual ruptures and contradictions, in turn, point to the way that thinness itself, as a self-willed body project, can be considered to be a resistant body practice, or one that draws attention to the life and death struggle at the heart of what it means to be a ‘good’ white woman in a patriarchal society
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