ABOUT THIS BOOK
Winner of the 2020 Gourmand Awards, Food Writing Section, USA
Watching Our Weights explores the competing and contradictory fat representations on television that are related to weight-loss and health, medicalization and disease, and body positivity and fat acceptance. While television—especially reality television—is typically understood to promote individual self-discipline and expert interventions as necessary for transforming fat bodies into thin bodies, fat representations and narratives on television also create space for alternative as well as resistant discourses of the body. Melissa Zimdars thus examines the resistance inherent within TV representations and narratives of fatness as a global health issue, the inherent and overt resistance found across stories of medicalized fatness, and programs that actively avoid dieting narratives in favor of less oppressive ways of thinking about the fat body. Watching Our Weights weaves together analyses of media industry lore and decisions, communication and health policies, medical research, activist projects, popular culture, and media texts to establish both how television shapes our knowledge of fatness and how fatness helps us better understand contemporary television.