Disdain for the fat in fiction

In: Uncategorized

14 Feb 2010

I have argued for several years that one reason for the popular obsession with obesity is its symbolic value (see my 2005 essay on “Why people hate fat Americans” on the left hand bar). Human fat is the most visible manifestation of a society which the growth sceptics see as plagued by over-consumption. That in turn helps explain why overweight and obese people are so often looked down on with disdain.

An article by Beth Carswell on the Abe Books website looks at the portrayal of fat people in fiction. As she argues: “If a character is fat, it’s a struggle for them, and often the central theme of the book. It often goes hand-in-hand with unflattering character traits, such as laziness, sloppiness or greed.”

Comment Form