Fat (2nd edition)
Can a thin person write about 'fat'? Academic Deborah Lupton asks this question and others as she puts 'fat' into the context of popular culture. She shows how our views impact weight bias and fat stigma and are the product of our obsession with body size. What is fat, really?
Review by Jeryl Scurr
What is it like to have a fat body?
In ‘Fat’ Lupton provides an engaging, evidence-based overview of fat.
Our experiences of fat, writes Lupton, are unique to us, and we cannot generalise. What we can do is try to understand just how the word fat became so loathed.
She is excellent on the ‘hows‘ and ‘whys’: why the fat body has become scorned, why it is seen as sick and how this hatred of fat has turned into a hatred of fat people.
Lupton’s writing is clear, and this second edition has been expanded to include the effects of digital media. Her updated views on the increasing stigma and controversy over the health impact of carrying extra weight are occasionally provocative but always thoughtful.
She helps us to better understand the complexity and context of being fat in our ‘one-size fits all’ culture.
Lupton takes an objective view of the desire by some to lose weight for health reasons while others reject that for body acceptance. She argues there is room for both views – although she does seem to come down more on the side of fat activism.
“…the representation of human bodies of all shapes and sizes have received greater levels of coverage in new digital media forums.”
“Social media allow the vilification and stigmatizing of fat people to intensify and be more easily distributed to ever-larger audiences.“
Why I chose ‘Fat’
This is a book which goes straight to the point – fat is complex. How we as individuals and as a society feel, regard and treat fat and fatness is a reflection of our prejudices – a timely reminder.