Description : On any given day in America’s news cycle, stories and images of disgraced politicians and celebrities solicit our moral indignation, their misdeeds fueling a lucrative economy of shame and scandal. Shame is one of the most coercive, painful, and intriguing of human emotions. Only in recent years has interest in shame extended beyond a focus on the subjective experience of this emotion and its psychological effects. The essays collected here consider the role of shame as cultural practice and examine ways that public shaming practices enforce conformity and group coherence. Addressing abortion, mental illness, suicide, immigration, and body image among other issues, this volume calls attention to the ways shaming practices create and police social boundaries; how shaming speech is endorsed, judged, or challenged by various groups; and the distinct ways that shame is encoded and embodied in a nation that prides itself on individualism, diversity, and exceptionalism. Examining shame through a prism of race, sexuality, ethnicity, and gender, these provocative essays offer a broader understanding of how America’s discourse of shame helps to define its people as citizens, spectators, consumers, and moral actors.
Description : Cultural anxieties about fatness and the attendant stigmatisation of fat bodies, have lent a medical authority and cultural legitimacy to what can be described as ’fat-phobia’. Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation, pathologisation, and commodification of fatness, coupled with the moral panic over an alleged ’obesity epidemic’, this volume brings together the latest scholarship from various critical disciplines to challenge existing ideas of fat and fat embodiment. Shedding light on the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts, Queering Fat Embodiment destabilises established ideas about fat bodies, making explicit the intersectionality of fat identities and thereby countering the assertion that fat studies has in recent years reproduced a white, ableist, heteronormative subjectivity in its analyses. A critical queer examination on fatness, Queering Fat Embodiment will be of interest to scholars of cultural and queer theory, sociology and media studies, working on questions of embodiment, stigmatisation and gender and sexuality.
Description : To be fat in a thin-obsessed gay culture can be difficult. Despite affectionate in-group monikers for big gay men-chubs, bears, cubs-the anti-fat stigma that persists in American culture at large still haunts these individuals who often exist at the margins of gay communities. In Fat Gay Men, Jason Whitesel delves into the world of Girth & Mirth, a nationally known social club dedicated to big gay men, illuminating the ways in which these men form identities and community in the face of adversity. In existence for over forty years, the club has long been a refuge and OCysafe spaceOCO for such men. Both a partial insider as a gay man and an outsider to Girth & Mirth, Whitesel offers an insiderOCOs critique of the gay movement, questioning whether the social consequences of the failure to be height-weight proportionate should be so extreme in the gay community. This book documents performances at club events and examines how participants use allusion and campy-queer behavior to reconfigure and reclaim their sullied body images, focusing on the numerous tensions of marginalization and dignity that big gay men experience and how they negotiate these tensions via their membership to a size-positive group. Based on ethnographic interviews and in-depth field notes from more than 100 events at bar nights, caf(r) klatches, restaurants, potlucks, holiday bashes, pool parties, movie nights, and weekend retreats, the book explores the woundedness that comes from being relegated to an inferior position in gay hierarchies, and yet celebrates how some gay men can reposition the shame of fat stigma through carnival, camp, and play. A compelling and rich narrative, Fat Gay Men provides a rare glimpse into an unexplored dimension of weight and body image in American culture."
Description : Over the last two decades, fatness has become the focus of ubiquitous negative rhetoric, in the USA and beyond, presented under the cover of the medicalized ''war against the obesity epidemic''. In Fat on Film, Barbara Plotz provides a critical analysis of the cinematic representation of fatness during this timeframe, specifically in contemporary Hollywood cinema, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender, race and fatness. The analysis is based on around 50 films released since 2000 and includes examples such as Transformers (2007), Precious (2009), Kung Fu Panda (2008), Paul Blart (2009) and Pitch Perfect (2012).Plotz maps the common cinematic tropes of fatness and also shows how commonplace notions of fatness that are part of the current ''obesity epidemic'' discourse are reflected in these tropes. In this original study, Plotz brings critical attention to the politics of fat representation, a topic that has so far received little attention within film and cinema studies.
Description : Reducing Bodies: Mass Culture and the Female Figure in Postwar America explores the ways in which women in the years following World War II refashioned their bodies—through reducing diets, exercise, and plastic surgery—and asks what insights these changing beauty standards can offer into gender dynamics in postwar America. Drawing on novel and untapped sources, including insurance industry records, this engaging study considers questions of gender, health, and race and provides historical context for the emergence of fat studies and contemporary conversations of the "obesity epidemic."