1st Edition

The Future Is Fat Theorizing Time in Relation to Body Weight and Stigma

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    140 Pages
    by Routledge

    Fat bodies of today are commonly assumed to have no future at all. In this line of thinking, a fat life is framed as failure, and a fast track towards death itself. Meanwhile, the histories of modern fat existence, communities, activists, and artists have been essentially unknown, written out of origins and existence. Most medical and cultural evaluations of fat have rendered the fat body more and more visible, and yet the lived experiences of fat people are continually erased.

    At a moment when scholars from various disciplines are contending with the question of who has a future, this book explores the relationship between fat experience and the social construction of time. The works in this volume draw from fields as diverse as social geography, women and gender studies, critical race theory, disability studies, cultural studies, visual art and craft, social work, communication studies, and queer theory, generating renewed understandings of the relationship between fatness and temporality. The Future Is Fat reimagines understandings of time to allow for new expressions of fat experience.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.


    Tracy Tidgwell, May Friedman, Jen Rinaldi, Crystal Kotow, and Emily R.M. Lind

    1. Pregnant with possibility: Negotiating fat maternal subjectivity in the "War on Obesity"

    George Parker and Cat Pausé

    2. Tempo-rarily fat: A queer exploration of fat time

    Jami McFarland, Van Slothouber, and Allison Taylor

    3. Sedentary lifestyle: Fat queer craft

    Allyson Mitchell

    4. "Fats," futurity, and the contemporary young adult novel

    Michele Byers

    5. One summer to change: Fat temporality and coming of age in I Used to Be Fat and Huge

    Margaret Hass

    6. Reconceptualizing temporality in and through multimedia storytelling: Making time with through thick and thin

    Emily R. M. Lind, Crystal Kotow, Carla Rice, Jen Rinaldi, Andrea LaMarre, May Friedman, and Tracy Tidgwell

    7. "You can only be happy if you’re thin!" Normalcy, happiness, and the lacking body

    Ramanpreet Annie Bahra

    8. Imagining body size over time: Adolescents’ relational perspectives on body weight and place

    Jennifer Dean

    9. Against progress: Understanding and resisting the temporality of transformational weight loss narratives

    Rachel Fox

    10. The (fat) body and the archive: Toward the creation of a fat community archive

    Laura Pratt


    Jen Rinaldi is Associate Professor in Legal Studies at Ontario Tech University. She engages with narrative and arts-based methodologies to deconstruct eating disorder recovery, and to re-imagine recovery in relation to queer community. Rinaldi also works in collaboration with Recounting Huronia, an arts-based collective that documents institutional violence.

    May Friedman is a faculty member in the Ryerson University School of Social Work and Ryerson/York graduate program in Communication and Culture. May’s research looks at unstable identities, including bodies that do not conform to traditional racial and national or aesthetic lines.

    Emily R.M. Lind is a college professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Okanagan College in Kelowna, British Columbia. Her research examines the intersections between power, embodiment, and identity. Recent publications explore feminist approaches to pregnancy loss, whiteness and anti-racist feminism, weight stigma in reproductive healthcare, and fat liberation.

    Crystal Kotow is writer, activist, and educator whose research explores fat women’s relationships with their bodies. She got her PhD from York University, and is a self-identified fat feminist killjoy who practices radical vulnerability in her activism, storytelling, and community building. 

    Tracy Tidgwell is a cultural producer working in the folds of queer and disability arts. She is the creator of Fat Work, a photographic series of fat women that explores fatness, class, and labour, a core member of Fat Rose, a fat liberation cross-movement incubator, and the Research Project Manager at Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice, University of Guelph.