Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Timothy Havens

Abstract

From The Biggest Loser to Mike and Molly, globally televised representations of fatness are multiplying in reflection of heightened governmental and medical concern that the size of our bodies constitutes a problem of epidemic proportions. This project demonstrates how television acts as a forum for not only the politics of fat visibility and world health policies, but also for debating issues of fatness in connection to weight-loss and self-discipline, self-love and size acceptance, and even disability and discrimination. Ultimately, this project traces public health, medical, and fat acceptance discourses throughout culture, from media industry documents and regulatory hearings to newspaper reports and television texts, in order to understand television's role in enabling and constraining the ways in which we understand bodies, fatness, and health.

Public Abstract

From The Biggest Loser to Mike and Molly, globally televised representations of fatness are multiplying in reflection of heightened governmental and medical concern that the size of our bodies constitutes a problem of epidemic proportions. This project demonstrates how television acts as a forum for not only the politics of fat visibility and world health policies, but also for debating issues of fatness in connection to weight-loss and self-discipline, self-love and size acceptance, and even disability and discrimination. Ultimately, this project traces public health, medical, and fat acceptance discourses throughout culture, from media industry documents and regulatory hearings to newspaper reports and television texts, in order to understand television’s role in enabling and constraining the ways in which we understand bodies, fatness, and health as well as television as a medium of surveillance and discipline.

Keywords

publicabstract, Fatness, Health, Media Studies, Obesity, Television

Pages

vi, 259 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 234-259).

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Melissa Zimdars

Included in

Communication Commons

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