YoungGiftedandFat is a critical autoethnography of "performing thin"– on the stage and in life. Sharrell D. Luckett’s story of weight loss and gain and playing the (beautiful, desirable, thin) leading lady showcases an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to issues of weight and self-esteem, performance, race, and gender. Sharrell structures her project with creative text, interviews, testimony, journal entries, dialogues, monologues, and deep theorizing through and about the abundance of flesh.
She explores the politics of Black culture, and particularly the intersections of her lived and embodied experiences. Her body and body transformation becomes a critical praxis to evidence fat as a feminist issue, fat as a Black-girl-woman issue, and fat as an ideological construct that is as much on the brain as it is on the body. YoungGiftedandFat is useful to any area of research or course offering taking up questions of size politics at the intersections of race and sexuality.
Table of Contents
Foreword Bryant Keith Alexander
Introduction: Contextualizing the Conundrum
Chapter 1. Touched
Talk 'Fat' Session: Say it ain't so…daddy issues?
Chapter 2. Disappearing Acts
Chapter 3. Passing Strange
Talk 'Fat' Session: Fractured
Chapter 4. Maintenance
Chapter 5. Weighted Loss
Talk 'Fat' Session: Staging Life
Chapter 6. "YoungGiftedandFat" – (The Play)
Chapter 7. Fat Girl Futurity
Sharrell D. Luckett is Assistant Professor of Theatre & Performance Studies at Muhlenberg College. Her literary and embodied research is situated in Performance Studies, African American Studies, acting/directing theory, and Fat Studies.
YoungGiftedandFat is the best account of the intersection between body size, race, and gender available to the critical reader.
Sander L. Gilman, Author of Fat Boys and Fat: A Cultural History of Obesity
Hilarious and tragic, YoungGiftedandFat is as surprising and unexpected in its emotional candor, as it is familiar in its stories of coming-of-age fat in millennial America. Luckett reveals how "fatness" in US society disrupts notions of value and distorts experiences of childhood, adolescence, womanhood, selfhood, femininity, sex, and sexuality.
Stephanie L. Batiste, Associate Professor of English and Black Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara
Sharrell D. Luckett serves up a book worthy of the "thick peculiarities" its expansive title promises. Weighty in its theoretical complexity, the writing is refreshingly clear and compelling – the hallmark of a masterful storyteller.
Sara Warner, Associate Professor, Department of Performing & Media Arts, Cornell University
YoungGiftedandFat, the book and the performance, belongs in the center of our dialogues on autoethnographic and autobiographical performance because it is not only risky, it also relentlessly challenges traditional views of race, class, gender, power, sexuality, and fat.
M. Heather Carver, Professor and Chair of Theatre, University of Missouri-Columbia