Taking What You Can Get and Taking Care of Yourself: Mapping Fat Women’s Sexual Agency Through Television Stereotypes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While fat studies has substantial writing on sexuality, romance, and dating, there remains little written on how sexual violence against fat women is demonstrated through cultural forms such as television. Fat women’s sexual agency is negatively stereotyped at the same time as sexual violence done to them is symbolically annihilated. This chapter discerns a representations system, through a range of television and movie stereotypes, that contributes to sexual violence against fat women by erasing fat sexuality and foreclosing possibilities for fat women’s sexual agency. The author draws on a broad range of television and some movies to isolate themes that develop the centrality of fatphobic stereotypes to fat women’s experiences of sexual violence and abuse. The four dominant themes are (1) fat women are sluts or “easy lays,” (2) they are not sexual (desexualized), (3) if they get sexual attention it is a “favor” to them, and (4) fat women are big enough to “take care of themselves.”

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Forgotten Victims of Sexual Violence in Film, Television and New Media
Subtitle of host publicationTurning to the Margins
Pages101-122
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030959357
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan. 2022

Keywords

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Fat feminism
  • Fat sexuality
  • Fat studies
  • Hogging
  • Postfeminism
  • Rape
  • Sexual agency
  • Sluts
  • Television
  • The Office
  • The Sopranos
  • Violence against fat women

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