A Place to Fit: Examining the Intersection Between Fat Studies and Disability Studies
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This paper provides an overview of the current state of fatphobia in society; attempts to examine the ways in which disability theory can be applicable to a critical study of fatness; and discusses the pros and cons of fatness being incorporated under the disability banner. It contains an examination of the ways fatness is viewed by the media, society, the obesity industry and the medical system. It draws on the theory of Panopticism to examine the processes of self-surveillance and internalized body policing which are carried out by fat people as an extension of fatphobic social discourse. This paper then examines the ways in which fatphobia can be examined or reflected in a variety of disability theories, then draws conclusions regarding the appropriateness of inclusion of fatness as a disability. A brief examination of the parallels which may be drawn between law and legislation regarding disability versus that regarding fatness will also be included.