Stocky Bodies — Images for Fat Activism

Posted by Dorothy Lander

As part of their interdisciplinary research into stigmatization of “fat” people, arts-based, qualitative researcher Dr. Lauren Gurrieri  (Griffin University, Melbourne, Australia) and lecturer-photographer Isaac Brown (Queensland College of Art) have compiled positive images of overweight and obese people.  Not surprisingly, more women than men are represented on the Stocky Bodies web site. The searchable categories for these images include: Food; Physical Activity; Self-Expression, Relationships, Work, Hobbies, and Individual Portraits.   The caption for this image from Self-Expression is:

“Adorning my body is my way of claiming ownership of a body often deemed public property. I celebrate, decorate and love the body I am blessed with.”


Excerpted from the Stocky Bodies Web Site

The ‘Stocky Bodies’ image library was created in response to the stigmatised representations of overweight and obese people in the media and popular culture.

Such depictions tend to dehumanise by portraying subjects as headless, slovenly or vulnerable and reinforce stereotypes by presenting subjects as engaged in unhealthy eating practices or sedentary conduct.

Our library of stock photos was created to provide positive and diverse representations of the lived experience of fat that begin to break down the typecasting that heightens weight stigma. This is an important objective as research has strongly associated weight prejudice with widespread social and material inequalities, unfair treatment and heightened body esteem issues.

The photographs for the image library are the outcome of an interdisciplinary project between Dr Lauren Gurrieri of the Griffith Business School and Mr Isaac Brown of the Queensland College of Art. The participants are everyday people who are involved in fat-acceptance communities and keen to see change in the representation of fat bodies.

Our images challenge oversimplified and demeaning representations of weight prejudice by showing subjects engaged in everyday activities, such as bike riding, shopping for fashionable clothes and performing their jobs. The documentary imagery to be shown through the library is a non-stigmatising view of what it is to be fat and live an affirmative life.

‘Stocky Bodies’ is a free resource that can be used by the media, health professionals, social marketers, educators and others.


~ by artpoped on July 29, 2012.

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