Undesirably different: Hyper(in)visibility and the gendered fat bodyShow full item record
|Title||Undesirably different: Hyper(in)visibility and the gendered fat body|
|Author||Gailey J. A.|
|Abstract||In this chapter, the author introduces the phenomenon of hyper(in)visibility. More specifically, she explains the spectrum of visibility, the mechanisms behind the phenomenon of hyper(in)visibility and demonstrates how fat and gender are interlocked social categories. In Western societies, the dominant viewpoint is that fat is unhealthy, unattractive, and undesirable and that it is an increasingly dire social problem. Due to anti-fat beliefs and the gendered social order, which dictates "appropriate" behaviors and appearances for men and women, fat people are often met with hostility and paid exceptional attention while simultaneously they are dismissed and have their needs ignored or unacknowledged. In this system, women are expected to be submissive and attractive (thin) and men are supposed to be dominant and powerful (muscular). In such a heavily appearance-based society, fat complicates and subverts gender-based appearance norms. Fat challenges both femininity and masculinity because fat is read as both ultra-feminine and masculine. A fat feminine presenting person might be seen as too manly because she takes up "too much" space, whereas a fat masculine presenting person might be deemed feminine because his body is soft and curvy. Either way, the fat person is regarded as violating gendered norms which typically results in social sanctions. This often manifests through hyper(in)visibility, a predicament where one is either made into a spectacle or is entirely disregarded. Gailey demonstrates how this gendered social order situates cisgender women, cisgender men, and queer people in this predicament of hyper(in)visibility, which acts as a form of Othering and castigation.|
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