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 : Using Anthony Giddens’ Structuration theory and rhetorical theory, this book identifies fat acceptance activists’ tactics to end fat stigma. The book covers the benefits and detriments of social media in fat acceptance activism, the importance of symbolism and rhetorical savvy, and the use of narrative in fat activism.
Description : Most women have a nonstop chorus of criticism in their heads — voices not unlike those of the mean girls lurking in the hallways and locker rooms of junior high schools everywhere. The grown-up versions of those teenage taunts — such as “But taking care of myself is sel?sh” and “The world is against me” — zap motivation, sabotage happiness, and keep women in a stressed, “never enough” mind-set. Here, like a best buddy and street-wise big sister, coach Amy Ahlers helps women talk back. Her witty, wise, and cut-to-the-chase format arms women with the “Take that!” insights they wish they had handy when someone puts them down — even if that someone is the person in the mirror. Ahlers doesn’t offer long-winded self-therapy or simplistic happy talk; she serves up straight talk that helps women know, feel, and tell themselves the truths that can transform their deepest inner thoughts — and their lives.
Description : In a culture where beauty is currency, women’s bodies are often perceived as measures of value and worth. The search for visibility and self-acceptance can be daunting, especially for those on the cultural margins of “beauty.” Becoming Women offers a thoughtful examination of the search for identity in an image-oriented world. That search is told through the experiences of a group of women who came of age in the wake of second and third wave feminism, featuring voices from marginalized and misrepresented groups. Carla Rice pairs popular imagery with personal narratives to expose the “culture of contradiction” where increases in individual body acceptance have been matched by even more restrictive feminine image ideals and norms. With insider insights from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Rice exposes the beauty industry’s colonization of women’s bodies, and examines why “the beauty myth” has yet to be resolved.
Description : Childhood obesity in the United States has tripled in a generation. But while debates continue over the content of school lunches and the dangers of fast food, we are just beginning to recognize the full extent of the long-term physical, psychological, and social problems that overweight children will endure throughout their lives. Most dramatically, children today have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, something never before seen in the course of human history. They will face more chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes that will further burden our healthcare system. Here, authors Jacob Warren and K. Bryant Smalley examine the full effects of childhood obesity and offer the provocative message that being overweight in youth is not a disease but the result of poor lifestyle choices. Theirs is a clarion call for parents to have "the talk" with their kids, which medical professionals say is a harder topic to address than sex or drugs. Urgent, timely, and authoritative, Always the Fat Kid delivers a message our society can no longer ignore.