CFP: Is Fat Still a Feminist Issue? Gender and the Plus Size Body (9/11/04; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Sujata Moorti
contact email: 

Is Fat Still a Feminist Issue? Gender and the Plus-Size Body

In parts of the Western world, especially, Britain and the US, issues of
body size and in particular, the obese body, have been dominant thematics
in media discourse for some time, often discussed in the context of poor
health and diet but often more insidiously framed within a rhetoric of
excess and loss of control. But while the expanding waistline of, say,
Michael Douglas, appears to have little impact on his marketability, the
rounded curves of Sophie Dahl or Renee Zelwigger or even Kate Winslett
generate streams of commentary about fat girl politics. Recent feminist
media scholarship has tended to be oriented towards a critique of the
media?s infatuation with the thin-is-beautiful rendition of modern
femininity, concerned with the messages which girls and women consume about
what women should look like and the attendant rise in disease conditions
such as anorexia and bulimia and the mostly American craze for breast
implant birthday presents for pubescent girls. However, the media?s
same-but-different impulse in disciplining our bodies through snide gossip
which resonates with many of our own problematic relationships with our
bodies, for example, the preoccupation with Oprah?s yo-yo dieting regime
which manifests as Oprah-regular in smart suits or Oprah-lite in
tent-dresses, is the flip side of the industry?s insistence on framing us
in their image. And of course the focus on celebrity is markedly different
from the presentation of the 400-lb bodies who are paraded before us on
daytime talk shows where the audience is explicitly invited to read those
bodies as grotesque and in desperate need of downsizing.

This CFP, then, is focused on the media?s imaging and imagining the
plus-size body and we are interested in receiving papers on any aspect of
that mediated representation, in film, TV, news, magazines or new media.
As usual, essays should be no more than 1500 words and should be styled as
opinion pieces rather than short versions of research papers, ie no more
than 6 references! The deadline for submission is 11 September.

If you would like to discuss submitting a contribution to this volume,
please email both Karen Ross and Sujata Moorti at:

We look forward to receiving your essays. Please pass on this CFP to
anyone you think might be interested in contributing.

For details of Feminist Media Studies style guide, please go to:

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Received on Tue Jul 20 2004 - 01:11:27 EDT