Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

Disability and Girlhood

The Anomalous Embodiment of the Chubby Girl in Critical Art Practice

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2015), 9, (3), 313–329.

Abstract

The article examines the intersection of fatness and girlhood, drawing on the artwork of Allyson Mitchell and her acclaim of the “chubby girl” to explore the interrogation of social anxieties about fat subjectivity. Mitchell’s art undermines constructions of shame and humiliation associated with the chubby girl and re-frames fatness as generative rather than diminished embodiment. Disability theorists underline disability as an epistemological approach, a thinking-with practice that considers fatness on these terms. Mitchell’s aesthetic, with its pedagogical impacts and epistemological concerns, could be said to engage a “fat-istemological” imaginary.

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Hladki, Janice