Body Positivity, Fat Acceptance, and Body Image
We've all seen segments on television-- a dehumanized fat person walking, her face out of frame, as a newscaster's disembodied voice laments the "obesity epidemic." And we've seen the movies-- their lack of fat leading actors silently speaking volumes. From the government, health industry, diet industry, news media, and popular culture we hear we must focus on our weight. But is this national obsession with weight and thinness good for us? Or is it just another form of prejudice-- one with especially dire consequences for many already disenfranchised groups?
For decades a growing cadre of scholar have been examining the role of body weight in society, critiquing the underlying assumptions, prejudices, and ramifications of how people perceive and relate to fatness. This burgeoning movement, known as fat studies, includes scholars from every discipline, as well as activists, artists, and intellectuals. The Fat Studies Reader is a milestone achievement in the field, bringing together diverse voices to explore a wide range of topics related to body weight. From the historical construction of fatness to public health policy, from job discrimination to social class disparities, from chick-lit to airline seats, this collection covers it all.
In one volume together with its bestselling sequel When it was first published, "Fat is a Feminist Issue" became an instant classic and it is as relevant today as it was then. Reflecting on our increasingly diet and body-obsessed society, Susie Orbach's new introduction explains how generations of women and girls are growing up absorbing the eating anxieties around them. In an age where women want to be sexy, nurturing, domestic goddesses, confident at work - an equal to their male counterparts, and feminine too, the twenty-first-century woman is poorly armed for survival. Never before has the "Fat is a Feminist Issue" revolution been more in need of revival. Exploring our love/hate relationship with food, Susie Orbach describes how fat is about so much more than food. It is a response to our social situation; the way we are seen by others and ourselves. Too often food is a source of anguish, as are our bodies. But "Fat is a Feminist Issue" discusses how we can turn food into a friend and find ways to accept ourselves for who and how we are. Following the step-by-step guide, and you too can put an end to food anxieties and dieting.
"'Unbearable Weight' is brilliant. From an immensely knowledgeable feminist perspective, in engaging, jargonless (!) prose, Bordo analyzes a whole range of issues connected to the body--weight and weight loss, exercise, media images, movies, advertising, anorexia and bulimia, and much more--in a way that makes sense of our current social landscape--finally! This is a great book for anyone who wonders why women's magazines are always describing delicious food as 'sinful' and why there is a cake called Death by Chocolate. Loved it!"
-- Katha Pollitt, Nation columnist and author of "Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture (2001)
Vibrant, vivacious, and gorgeous, Wendy Shanker is a fat girl who has simply had enough-enough of family, friends, co-workers, women's magazines, even strangers on the street all trying (and failing) to make her thin. Written in Wendy's wonderfully funny and candid voice, The Fat Girl's Guide to Life provides thought-provoking insights, statistics, and body-image resources intended to restore a realistic standard of beauty and self-acceptance to the 68 percent of American women who wear a size 12 or larger. The Fat Girl's Guide to Life invites you to step off the scale and weigh the issues for yourself.
When it comes to body image, women can be their own worst enemies, aided and abetted by society and the media. But Harding and Kirby, the leading bloggers in the "fatosphere," the online community of the fat acceptance movement, have written a book to help readers achieve admiration for-or at least a truce with-their bodies. The authors believe in "health at every size"-- the idea that weight does not necessarily determine well-being and that exercise and eating healthfully are beneficial, regardless of whether they cause weight loss. They point to errors in the media, misunderstood and ignored research, as well as stories from real women around the world to underscore their message. In the up-front and honest style that has become the trademark of their blogs, they share with readers twenty-seven ways to reframe notions of dieting and weight, including: accepting that diets don't work, practicing intuitive eating, finding body-positive doctors, not judging other women, and finding a hobby that has nothing to do with one's weight.
Fat? Chunky? Less than svelte? So what! In this hilarious and eye-opening book, fat and proud activist/zinester Marilyn Wann takes on Americas' biggest fear—worse than the fear of public speaking or nuclear weapons—our fear of fat. Statistics tell us that about a third of Americans are fat, and common sense adds that just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, has worried about their appearance. FAT!SO? weighs in with a more attractive alternative: feeling good about yourself at any weight—and having the style and attitude to back it up. Internationally recognized as a fat-positive spokesperson, Wann has learned that you can be absolutely happy, healthy, and successful...and fat. With its hilarious and insightful blend of essays, quizzes, facts, and reporting, FAT!SO? proves that you can be out-and-out fabulous at any size.
Fat isn't the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn't match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates "thin" with "healthy" is the problem. The solution? Health at Every Size.
Tune in to your body's expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now-- and Health at Every Size will show you how.
Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.
Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight.
To be fat hasn’t always occasioned the level of hysteria that this condition receives today and indeed was once considered an admirable trait. Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture explores this arc, from veneration to shame, examining the historic roots of our contemporary anxiety about fatness. Tracing the cultural denigration of fatness to the mid 19th century, Amy Farrell argues that the stigma associated with a fat body preceded any health concerns about a large body size. Firmly in place by the time the diet industry began to flourish in the 1920s, the development of fat stigma was related not only to cultural anxieties that emerged during the modern period related to consumer excess, but, even more profoundly, to prevailing ideas about race, civilization and evolution. For 19th and early 20th century thinkers, fatness was a key marker of inferiority, of an uncivilized, barbaric, and primitive body. This idea--that fatness is a sign of a primitive person--endures today, fueling both our $60 billion “war on fat” and our cultural distress over the “obesity epidemic.”