According to public health officials, obesity poses significant health risks and has become a modern-day epidemic. A closer look at this so-called epidemic, however, suggests that there are multiple perspectives on the fat body, not all of which view obesity as a health hazard.
Alongside public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advertisers of the fashion-beauty complex, food industry advocates at the Center for Consumer Freedom, and activists at the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.
Framing Fat takes a bird’s-eye view of how these multiple actors construct the fat body by identifying the messages these groups put forth, particularly where issues of beauty, health, choice and responsibility, and social justice are concerned. Samantha Kwan and Jennifer Graves examine how laypersons respond to these conflicting messages and illustrate the gendered, raced, and classed implications within them. In doing so, they shed light on how dominant ideas about body fat have led to the moral indictment of body nonconformists, essentially “framing” them for their fat bodies.
"Kwan and Graves were successful in challenging conventional beliefs about fat bodies. In so doing, they highlighted weight discrimination as a significant problem worthy of attention, as fat continues to be moralized, medicalized, and politicized. Framing Fat would be of interest not only to researchers and educators with interests in fatness and obesity, but also those with interests in the media, public health, food policy, and social justice more generally. If you seek to better understand contradictory claims in the contested field of fat, then pick
up this book today."
"This well-written, engaging work takes a refreshing and intriguing approach of frame analysis and also offers a refreshing examination of key stakeholders in the obesity debates."
—Shari Dworkin, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing
"Provocative, progressive, and timely, Framing Fat explores cultural discourses about the fat body, challenging prejudice and convention and providing a compelling argument for re-framing fat stigma as the real problem."
—Linda Bacon, PhD, author of Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight
Author / Editor Bio
SAMANTHA KWAN is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Houston. She is the coeditor of Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules.
JENNIFER GRAVES is a professor of sociology at Houston Community College and a sociology instructor at the University of Houston.