Want to be reconciled with his body

Why is the relationship to our body so complicated? Because there is in us a body to body constant between three bodies: the organic, the fantasy and the social, explains Noëlle Chatelet.

Isabelle Taubes

Why are our relationships with our bodies so complex? How to be reconciled with him?

To answer these questions, Noëlle Châtelet undertook a long journey around the body more than twenty years ago. The essay that inaugurated this journey, "Le Corps à culinaire culinaire", in which she tackles the tumultuous relations between the body, the food and our fantasies, has just been reissued at Seuil, as well as "Body made to measure" ( 1), a survey in the country of cosmetic surgery that gives voice to patients and surgeons. The opportunity to meet an author who, from his own experience, advances theories of a rare daring.

1 - Published in 1993 at Belfond, under the title "Trompe l'oeil" and not found since.


Our body is at its peak. He claims sweets when we try to go on a diet, he gets tired, he often differs from what we would like him to be ... so much so that he is sometimes considered a foreign body, rather frightening. Why this relationship so complicated?

Noëlle Châtelet: First of all because of his uncontrollable demands that you emphasize, to which are added the diseases that strike him and remind us of our condition as mortals. The body is the place of all dangers, but also of all pleasures. But our Christian civilization is wary of pleasure: it associates it with fault, sin, and therefore guilt. Even atheists are subconsciously dependent on this heritage. I knew a woman able to take two kilos just by looking at cakes: guilt attached to gluttony made her fat! Finally, education takes over religious principles. The child quickly grasps that his body gives him voluptuous sensations but he will be almost immediately prevented from enjoying it: "It's bad ..." he will be told. However, I feel that today the desire to be reconciled with the body is stronger than ever.


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