Embodying and Embracing Fatness
This section addresses the challenges and successes of reclaiming the fat body in movement through exercise and dance. The essays in this section present the perspective of fat people who created either conceptual or physical space where they were encouraged to embrace their fat bodies.
After reading these chapters consider the following discussion questions:
What is the connection between physical embodiment, reclaiming the fat body in
movement, and fat liberation politics?
Can one simultaneously effectively work for fat liberation while pursuing weight
loss goals? Why or why not?
What assumptions attach to burlesque performance, as compared to other perfor-
mance, and how do those assumptions change depending on the body size of
What motivates people to create space for fat embodiment?
What stereotypes attach to fat people exercising?
Do those stereotypes influence people of all sizes in the same way?
Using fat as a lens, consider the role of sexuality in creating personhood.
In addition to the activities discussed in these chapters, what other activities might
support an individual's feeling of embodiment, whatever their weight?
What barriers exist that prevent or hinder fat people from enjoying physical
Compare the impact on an individual of using exercise as a means of embracing
and embodying fatness versus the practice of using exercise as a putative cor-
rection for fatness.
How do the essays address the tension between an individual's views of their own
body and mainstream views of their bodies?
How do stereotypes about the fat body affect your choice, or the choices of your
friends or loved ones, to engage in exercise or movement?