Honors student Corinne Fanta is the co-author of a forthcoming book chapter. Deriving from work she did with Dr. Katherine Cooper and Dr. Brittany Harder, Corinne’s chapter is titled, “Reel Curves in the Revolution: Body Politics, Unruly Bodies, and Comedy as Resistance” and will be part of the edited volume, Persistent Resistance: Essays on Resistance Narratives in Media.
Here’s the abstract of the chapter:
This chapter examines representations of bodies in popular culture and discusses the growing public resistance to dominant discourses on body weight and overweightness. More specifically, we argue that contemporary women’s comedy has become a pertinent and prominent site of social resistance. Media are powerful tools in shaping public consciousness on a variety of issues, and dominant ideologies on bodies and body weight that circulate the mass media tend to assert that 1) fat bodies are unhealthy; 2) fat bodies are unproductive; and 3) fat bodies are unsightly. As we discuss, these dominant ideologies remain prevalent in many spheres of popular culture, such as reality television and competitive weight-loss shows, for instance. However, comedy as a particular genre within popular culture is a unique arena for revealing taken-for-granted norms and exposing the social constructedness of social life. In this chapter we discuss how contemporary “unruly women” such as Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer use both their onscreen comedy as well as their offscreen personas to reveal the social constructedness of body expectations and to resist cultural body shaming practices.