Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRugseth G, Engelsrud G. Staging fatness. Fat Studies: an interdisciplinary journal of body weight and society. 2017;6(3):281-293 http://doi.org/10.1080/21604851.2017.1298930
The authors address the possible transformative role of staging fatness. Using their experience as audience members at a performance of My life as a fat person, they produce three anecdotes to discuss if and how staging the fat body can destabilize the social and cultural discourse about fatness. Elaborating on theoretical perspectives from fat studies and using the staring encounter as the key concept, the authors analyze the fat performance as an emotional, intercorporeal event. It is essential for the performer to affect members of the audience, even while running the risk of reproducing stereotypes about fatness. The authors’ analysis indicates that the actress in My life as a fat person creates a reflective space that allows the audience to recognize their own fear of fat and to discover fatness as a phenomenon created between people in a social context. The authors conclude that the performance My life as a fat person challenges simplistic responses toward fat bodies and contributes to the creation of a new story about fatness.