The Fat Studies Reader

By Esther Rothblum; Sondra Solovay | Go to book overview

Part IV
Size-ism in Popular Culture and Literature

Welcome to Part IV of The Fat Studies Reader

Size-ism in Popular Culture and Literature

Our cultural context is rich in messages about what fat means for people, their worth, and their worthiness. Social attitudes are constantly informed by these messages. Popular culture and literature provide ample opportunities to reflect on the representation and construction of fatness and are especially active areas of fat studies scholarship.

After reading these chapters consider the following discussion questions:

How do members of fat and queer communities see themselves and construct
their own erotic and political identities? How do these constructions differ
from mainstream portrayals?

What roles are created in fiction for fat female characters and readers?

How are racial and ethnic representations of masculinity influenced by weight and
food in literature?

In a culture where only thin women are “fit to be seen,” what is the result of put-
ting fat women center stage?

Why do so many women who make it to center stage pursue weight loss after
achieving stardom?

What is the impact on fat spectators of famous fat people publically pursuing
thinness?

What are the meanings and implications of thin actors dressing in “fat suits” in
contemporary culture? Is this an acceptable practice? Why or why not?

-221-

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