Through thick and thin: Storying queer women's experiences of idealised body images and expected body management practices

Rinaldi, Jen
Rice, Carla
LaMarre, Andrea
Pendleton Jiménez, Karleen
Harrison, Elisabeth
Friedman, May
McPhail, Deborah
Robinson, Margaret
Tidgwell, Tracy
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The British Psychological Society

In this study we examine how discourses of obesity and eating disorders reinforce cissexist and heteronormative body standards. Sixteen queer women in Canada produced autobiographical micro-documentaries over the course of two workshops. We identified three major themes across these films: bodily control, bodies as sites of metamorphosis, and celebration of bodies. Such films can be memorable, cultivate empathy, disrupt misunderstanding of queer bodies, and inform medical practice. Our analysis suggests that research and policy on ‘disordered’ bodies must better account for how people negotiate discourses around body shape and size, how shaming is internalised, how regulation can function as resistance, and how variant bodies can be embraced, desired, and celebrated. Community-grounded, arts-based research points to new ways of gathering and producing knowledge.

multi-media storytelling, fat, obesity, eating disorders, queer
Rinaldi, J., Rice, C., LaMarre, A., Pendleton Jiménez, K., Harrison, E., Friedman, M., McPhail, D., Robinson, M., & Tidgwell, T. (2016). Through thick and thin: Storying queer women’s experiences of taking up and resisting idealized body images and expected body management practices. Psychology of Sexualities Review, 7(2), 63-77. Retrieved from