Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Subscribe now for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

‘I saw a knock-out’: Fatness, (In)visibility, and Desire in Shallow Hal

‘I saw a knock-out’: Fatness, (In)visibility, and Desire in Shallow Hal <jats:p> When the Farrelly brothers' movie Shallow Hal (2001) was released, one reviewer suggested that the film ‘might have been more honest if [it] had simply made Hal have a thing about fat women’ ( Kerr 2002 : 44). In this paper, I argue that Kerr hits the mark but misses the point. While the film's treatment of fat is undoubtedly problematic, I propose a ‘queer’ reading of the film, borrowing the idea of ‘double coding’ to show a text about desire for fat (female) bodies. I am not, however, seeking to position Shallow Hal as a fat-positive text; rather, I use it as a starting point to explore the legibility of the fat female body as a sexual body. </jats:p><jats:p> In contemporary mainstream Western culture, fat is regarded as the antithesis of desire. This meaning is so deeply ingrained that representations of fat women as sexual are typically framed as a joke because desire for fat bodies is unimaginable; this is the logic by which Shallow Hal operates. The dominant meaning of fatness precludes recognition of the fat body as a sexual body. What is at issue is therefore not simply the lack of certain images, but a question of intelligibility: if the meaning of fat is antithetical to desire, how can the desire for – and of – fat bodies be intelligible as desire? This question goes beyond the realm of representation and into the embodied experience of fat sexuality. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

‘I saw a knock-out’: Fatness, (In)visibility, and Desire in Shallow Hal

Somatechnics , Volume 2 (1): 60 – Mar 1, 2012

Loading next page...
 
/lp/edinburgh-university-press/i-saw-a-knock-out-fatness-in-visibility-and-desire-in-shallow-hal-5Neu2gxmSM

References

References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.

Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2012.0040
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> When the Farrelly brothers' movie Shallow Hal (2001) was released, one reviewer suggested that the film ‘might have been more honest if [it] had simply made Hal have a thing about fat women’ ( Kerr 2002 : 44). In this paper, I argue that Kerr hits the mark but misses the point. While the film's treatment of fat is undoubtedly problematic, I propose a ‘queer’ reading of the film, borrowing the idea of ‘double coding’ to show a text about desire for fat (female) bodies. I am not, however, seeking to position Shallow Hal as a fat-positive text; rather, I use it as a starting point to explore the legibility of the fat female body as a sexual body. </jats:p><jats:p> In contemporary mainstream Western culture, fat is regarded as the antithesis of desire. This meaning is so deeply ingrained that representations of fat women as sexual are typically framed as a joke because desire for fat bodies is unimaginable; this is the logic by which Shallow Hal operates. The dominant meaning of fatness precludes recognition of the fat body as a sexual body. What is at issue is therefore not simply the lack of certain images, but a question of intelligibility: if the meaning of fat is antithetical to desire, how can the desire for – and of – fat bodies be intelligible as desire? This question goes beyond the realm of representation and into the embodied experience of fat sexuality. </jats:p>

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2012

There are no references for this article.