giving theatre a queer poke up the arse
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The Cake Daddy Reader

 

Why ‘fat’?

‘We’re here, we’re spheres! Get over it!’ – Marilyn Wann, p. 7.

Burkeman, Oliver. 1998. “We’re Here and We’re Spheres.” The Guardian, August 25.

‘In fat studies, there is respect for the political project of reclaiming the word fat, both as the preferred neutral adjective (i.e., short/ tall, young/old, fat/thin) and also as a preferred term of political identity. There is nothing negative or rude in the word fat unless someone makes the effort to put it there; using the word fat as a descriptor (not a discriminator) can help dispel prejudice.’ (p. xii)

Wann, Marilyn. 2009. “Foreward.” In The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther Rothblum and

Sondra Solovay, p. ix-xxvi. New York: NYU Press.

‘I use the terms fat and fatness as neutral descriptors, not as derogatory terms. I sometimes use the word corpulence as another neutral term for bigger bodies. This is an imperfect solution. Given the extent to which fatness has been condemned and pathologized over the past century, it is impossible to choose a truly neutral word for fat.’ (p. 7)

Saguy, Abigail. 2013. What’s Wrong with Fat? New York: Oxford University Press.

Fat justice is social justice

‘…fat acceptance groups assert that the central question is not about medicine or public health but about civil rights. They reclaim the word fat as a neutral or positive descriptor, as the civil rights movement reclaimed black and the gay rights movements reclaimed queer. This movement argues that we would do better as a society to invest public resources in raising consciousness about the negative social implications of weight-based stigma and discrimination…’ (p.14, original emphases)

Saguy, Abigail. 2013. What’s Wrong with Fat? New York: Oxford University Press.

‘… it is useful to think of fat activism as a social movement because it has the potential to expose the inadequacies of obesity discourse, it shows that fat is more complex than medicalisation or social pathology and invites other ways of approaching the subject.’ (p. 94)

Cooper, Charlotte. 2016. Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement. Bristol, England:

HammerOn Press.

‘It becomes apparent that people who really do have meaningful choices about what to eat and whether to exercise are also privileged by wider social determinants; for many people detrimentally affected by social determinants, the “healthy choice” may not be about whether to have whole-grain or processed wheat products, but be about whether to eat or stay warm.’ (p. 102)

Bacon, Linda and Lucy Aphramor. 2014. Body Respect: what conventional health books get

wrong, leave out, and just plain fail to understand about weight. Dallas, Texas: BenBella

Books.

‘Every person who lives in a fat-hating culture inevitably absorbs anti-fat beliefs, assumptions, and stereotypes, and also inevitably comes to occupy a position in relation to power arrangements that are based on weight.’ (p. xi)

Wann, Marilyn. 2009. “Foreward.” The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther Rothblum and

Sondra Solovay, p. ix-xxvi. New York: NYU Press.

‘Coming out’ as fat

‘…fat activists reqularly descibe the experience of coming out as fat choosing to no longer pass as on-the-way-to thin… coming out meant mustering courage to engage in activities only for thin people, giving up futile diets, and rebuilding self-esteem.’ (p. 95)

LeBesco, Kathleen. 2004. “The Queerness of Fat.” Revolting Bodies?: The Struggle to

Redefine Fat Identity, pg. 85-97. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

‘Bill Savage (2009) suggests that being out is about revelling in your fatness and embracing the benefits of being fat. Sedgwick (1993) also proposes that being out as a fat is also about putting those around you on notice that it is not okay to engage in fat phobic assumptions, language and behaviour.’ (p. 45)

Pausé, Cat. 2012. “Live to Tell: Coming out as Fat.” In Somatechnics 2(1): 42-56.

‘…a fat woman may cover by wearing dark clothes or flaunt by wearing a hot-pink bikini… Queer theory often performatively celebrates acts that are typically coded as socially deviant in order to resist the very categorization of ‘‘normal’’ and ‘‘deviant.’’ Yoshino (2006) argues that coming out involves a politics of assimilation, whereas flaunting represents a politics of difference.’

Saguy, Abigail and Anna Ward. 2011. “Coming Out as Fat: Rethinking Stigma.” In Social

Psychology Quarterly 74(1): 53-75.

‘…all are queer who live according to a “queer time” that does not privilege the future at the expense of the present and past (Halberstam, 2005, pp. 6–7). The fat would implicitly fit this group precisely because they are seen as refusing to live their life according to the imperative of “health.” In this sense, the fat are queer in our culture exactly because they are seen as living a life that is “unhealthy,” and thus a life that is presumably defying the imperative to cultivate maximum longevity.’

Levy-Navarro, Elena. 2009. “Fattening Queer History: Where Does Fat History Go from

Here?” The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay, pp. 15-22.

New York: NYU Press.

Further…

‘When we talk about the social determinants of health, we’re referring to factors beyond genes and lifestyle that influence people’s health and are largely out of their immediate personal control… Other vectors of illness include racism, homophobia, sizeism, transphobia and classism – the list goes on, but these vectors are not usually accounted for in medical and nutrition texts. Once we understand the centrality of oppression and chronic stress in causing many weight-associated diseases, a different set of responses becomes not only possible but necessary.’ (p. 97)

Bacon, Linda and Lucy Aphramor. 2014. Body Respect: what conventional health books get

wrong, leave out, and just plain fail to understand about weight. Dallas, Texas: BenBella

Books.

‘According to a recent study, only 11 percent of large people depicted in news reports were wearing professional clothing. Nearly 60 percent were headless torsos.’

Hobbes, Michael. 2018. “Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong.” The Huffington

Post, September 19. https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/everything-you-know-about-obesity-is-wrong/

‘Since 1959, research has shown that 95 to 98 percent of attempts to lose weight fail and that two-thirds of dieters gain back more than they lost.’

Hobbes, Michael. 2018. “Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong.” The Huffington

Post, September 19.https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/everything-you-know-about-obesity-is-wrong/

‘Accounts of the future by dieters and former dieters suggest that it functions as an inescapable fantasy in which thinness is posted as the solution to any and all conflicts of the past and present. Fat activist and blogger Kate Harding (2007) refers to this as “The Fantasy of Being Thin.” In the fantasy, losing weight “is not about just becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable” but “about becoming an entirely different person – one with far more courage, confidence and luck than the fat you has.” (p. 224, original emphasis)

Fox, Rachel. 2018. “Against Progress: Understanding and resisting the temporality of

transformational weight loss narratives.” Fat Studies Interdisciplinary Journal 7(2): 216-226.

Essentials

Bacon, Linda. 2010. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. Dallas,

Texas: BenBella Books.

Bacon, Linda and Lucy Aphramor. 2014. Body Respect: what conventional health books get

wrong, leave out, and just plain fail to understand about weight. Dallas, Texas: BenBella

Books.

Braziel, Jana Evans and Kathleen LeBesco. 2001. Bodies Out of Bounds: Fatness and

Transgression. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Campos, Paul. 2004. The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obession with Weight is Hazardous

to Your Health. New York: Gotham Books.

Cooper, Charlotte. 2016. Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement. Bristol, England:

HammerOn Press.

Fat Studies Interdisciplinary Journal

LeBesco, Kathleen. 2004. Revolting Bodies?: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity. Amherst:

University of Massachusetts.

Rothblum, Esther and Sondra Solovay. 2009. The Fat Studies Reader. New York: NYU Press.

Saguy, Abigail. 2013. What’s Wrong with Fat? New York: Oxford University Press.

Schwartz, Hillel. 1986. Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat. New

York: Free Press.

Wann, Marilyn. 1998. FAT!SO?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size. Berkeley:

University of California Press.