Fat bodies in space: explorations of an alternate narrative




Webb, Natasha K.

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For far too long ‘obesity’ and healthcare have been inextricably linked, both forming and maintaining distinct narratives responsible for the “fear of fat” North American societies have embraced. Largely unrecognized, fatphobia now permeates individual and social consciousness and creates considerable harm broadly and within healthcare practice and policy. The following study seeks to unsettle the pathologization and binary views of weight and bodies to contribute to a building of a more socially just, intersectional system of care. Fat Bodies in Space is a qualitative study situated on the unceded lək̓ ʷəŋən territories and grounded in critical race, queer and decolonial perspectives. The disproportionate impacts of fatphobia in Canadian healthcare are discussed through the stories of five self-described fat individuals navigating their health in Victoria, British Columbia. Storywork, narrative and autoethnographic methods were part of the collection and analysis processes. Findings suggest a longstanding relationship between systemic inequities, social discourse and the treatment of fat individuals within health care systems.



social work