The ‘Fat’ Female Body
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Exploring the rapidly increasing interest in obesity and fatness, this book engages with dominant ideas about "fatness" and analyses the assumptions that inform anti-fat attitudes in the West, looking at the intersection of medicine and morality in pathologizing "fat" bodies.
specificities and prejudices. In establishing and deploying a universal 'standard' to measure all bodies against, humanist medicine produces an insistence on 'sameness' that fundamentally belies a deeper concern for normalisation. Margrit Shildrick notes: ... the point emerging from Foucauldian analytics is that in the production of truths there is no distinction to be made between empirical and normative disciplines. Rather, the so-called hard sciences are intermeshed with disciplinary practices
from the 'perceptual backdrop' of hegemonic knowledges that structure the very way in which he sees? As argued throughout Part I, in upholding the norm/pathology binary in medical discourse, what is effected is a neglect of a recognition of the socio-cultural function of the categories of 'normal' and 'pathological', and medical participation in the way these terms come to 'mean' in lay society, and their sedimentation in pre-conscious practices of perception. The central task of this first
"often produces a divinity effect in the subject, a compelling belief that one is a god or a vehicle of divinity" (1993, p. 218). This is perhaps what we see in Walton's garish, bold and defiant depiction of a 'fat' 'goddess' in a secular society: we have a picture of a 'fat' woman who is her own creation. The 'fat goddess', standing firm against the world with her cottage-cheese thighs akimbo refuses normative ways of knowing: the knowledge others believe they have of her. Without taking this
renegotiating this contract by renaming/rein scribing what is already in existence may indeed have far-reaching political effects, but the assumptions on which such a process is founded are problematic. Sedgwick rejects the idea that 'fatness' is a sign of pathological subjectivity, for example, but embraces other tacit knowledges about the body as an empirical object. Sedgwick also takes up the notion that rationality can be a tool of body politics, which then tacitly reproduces a privileging of
ample hips are offered up, bellies hang over new bikini bottoms with impunity. In short, 'fat' girls are offered the chance to take up the position of privilege denied to them as a result of the pathologising, hegemonic constructions of identity and difference, which cast them into the domain of abjection. The offer of taking up a privileged position appears to be a cornerstone of the 'playful' activism that Marilyn Wann advocates. For example, what greets you on Wann's website homepage