Body in transition: cut this fat off of me! research on the visual history of the body image and an attempt to deconstruct the hatred in society towards fat
Güre, Pelin (2010) Body in transition: cut this fat off of me! research on the visual history of the body image and an attempt to deconstruct the hatred in society towards fat. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1304491 (Table of Contents)
This study aims to investigate the issues of fat and obesity and analyze how one perceives his/her body image and how corpulence is perceived in the society. It discusses the changes on the representations of the body and how these changes reflect/affect different socially constructed body perceptions by looking at different images of the body from pre-historic times to modernity. Since my interest to research in such an area is based on my long term problematic relationship with obesity, the study first focuses on how do fat people understand and conceptualize their corporeal experiences. Traditional studies approach the issue of fat using either pathological discourses, which treat fatness as a disease, or psychosomatic discourses, which treat fatness as a symptom of a psychological disorder by recognizing corpulence as a medical or social problem. Psychoanalytic theory proves that perception is significant in the formation of the ego and one's relation to his/her own body. In order to analyze the significant role of perception in defining the body, beauty ideals of different eras in the history of Western visual arts are presented in the study. Consecutive studies on beauty ideals favors that bodies are politically, culturally, and economically constructed. Starting with the late 1960's, the efforts to liberate the representations of the body image from traditional bounds multiply as feminist artists' involvement on the issues of the female body increase. Feminist theories are explained in order to serve as the basis of my artistic production presented in the last chapter of the study. Six artworks I produced along with my thesis research are discussed and exhibited under the name Cut this fat off of me! on August 4th, 2010 at Sabancı University. Cut this fat off of me! deals with fat concerns from a second-generation feminist perspective based on deconstruction of the social norms regarding the body.
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