The Owl Was a Baker's Daughter: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, and the Repressed Feminine--A Psychological Study


Chapter 1: Experimental Background

Chapter II: The Body and the Psyche

Chapter III: Three Case Studies

Chapter IV: Loss of the Feminine

Chapter V: Rediscovery of The Feminine


In a culture where the symbolic world tends to be forgotten, the woman who orientates her life around food is particularly vulnerable to obesity. Her gnawing spiritual emptiness she will vainly attempt to fill with the concrete form of the symbol. The gnawing will grow into a constant anxiety. In “The Symbolic Life,” Jung wrote:

Only the symbolic life can express the need of the soul – the daily need of the soul, mind you! And because people have no such thing, they can never step out of this mill – this awful, grinding, banal life in which they are “nothing but.” In the ritual they are near the Godhead; they are even divine.” (98-99)

A psychological study of eating disorders