Date of Degree

2-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Elizabeth Wissinger

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Latina/o Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies

Keywords

Black feminist studies, Latinx feminist studies, disidencia, fatness, body image, Instagram

Abstract

Instagram has shaped how we network and share content with others, making interactions far more accessible for everyone who uses this platform daily. Unfortunately, it has also given space to some surveilling mechanisms that tend to police and norm how users and their bodies should present themselves to the rest of the world.

The body can be understood as a manifestation, a presence, and a performance. As Judith Butler argues, the body is also a political space where ideas of resistance and vulnerability take place, and I will understand the body as a combination of the physical manifestation of it and the many unsaid layers that gender, race, and socio-cultural expectations represent.

This present research combines a feminist analysis of digital studies, race, and gender by taking a closer look at how the non-conforming, dissenting bodies of plus-size, Black women interact on Instagram. Invoking Black studies concepts and Latin American theories of disidencias, I propose that plus-size Black women on Instagram represent resistance to White and European canons of beauty, challenging the ways we understand issues around health, fat fetishism, and the overall experience of what it’s like to live in a fat (and proud) Black body.

This work is embargoed and will be available for download on Thursday, February 01, 2024

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