Investigating the current interest in obesity and fatness, this book explores the problems and ambiguities that form the lived experience of 'fat' women in contemporary Western society. Engaging with dominant ideas about 'fatness', and analysing the assumptions that inform anti-fat attitudes in the West, The 'Fat' Female Body explores the moral panic over the 'obesity epidemic', and the intersection of medicine and morality in pathologising 'fat' bodies. It contributes to the emerging field of fat studies by offering not only alternative understandings of subjectivity, the (re)production of public knowledge(s) of 'fatness', and politics of embodiment, but also the possiblility of (re)reading 'fat' bodies to foster more productive social relations.
Introduction. The 'Fat' Female Body: Pathological, Political and Phenomenological Imaginings -- Pt. I. Pathologising Fatness: Medical Authority and Popular Culture -- Ch. 1. Positioning 'Fatness' in Our Cultural Imaginary -- Ch. 2. The 'Normal' and the 'Pathological': 'Obesity' and the Dis-eased 'Fat' Body -- Ch. 3. 'Fat' Bodies as Virtual Confessors and Medical Morality -- Pt. II. 'Fat' Backlash: Activism and Identity Politics -- Ch. 4. Fed Up with Fat-Phobia: Coming Out as 'Fat' -- Ch. 5. Fat Pride and the Insistence on the Voluntarist Subject -- Ch. 6. Fattening Up Foucault: A 'Fat' Counter-Aesthetic? -- Pt. III. 'Fat' 'Being': Rethinking the 'Body-Subject' with Merleau-Ponty -- Ch. 7. Throwing Off Discourse? Questions of Ambivalence and the Mind/Body Split -- Ch. 8. ('Fat') 'Being-In-The-World': Merleau-Ponty's Account of the 'Body-Subject' -- Ch. 9. Embodiment as Ambiguity: 'Fatness' as it is Lived -- An Afterword: 'Fat' Bodily Being?