By Jeannine A. Gailey
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Extra resources for The Hyper(in)visible Fat Woman: Weight and Gender Discourse in Contemporary Society
She never said the words, “You are a bad person because you are overweight,” but that’s definitely the message that came with it. (Rochelle, 35, African American) Rochelle made it clear that her mother was (and is) devastated by Rochelle’s weight. Rochelle is the child of a blended family; her siblings from her mother’s first marriage are all thin, and her siblings from her father’s first marriage are mostly fat. ” Her mother tried to manage Rochelle’s weight by telling her that boys would not like her or that she would not have cute clothes to wear, but these threats did not change Rochelle’s weight.
They both feel that they are paid a tremendous amount of attention through the judgment of others, while they are both simultaneously erased. It is not just about attractiveness or physical fitness, though; it is also about how one is treated by others, and many women felt that if they were thinner their lives would be easier. Sara (28, white) said, “It completely goes to people would treat you better, you know. Life in society would be easier if you lost weight, which I think is harder to combat because it’s probably true .
Goffman’s (1963) work suggests that those who are stigmatized employ various forms of resistance. One key way that people cope with adversity is to connect with others who are similarly denigrated. The size acceptance movement, which formed in the late 1960s, has provided one such forum for resistance and community strength. The Size Acceptance Movement The size acceptance movement is a tapestry of organizations and individuals all over the world, but it started with the founding of NAAFA in 1969.