Blog post

War on Obesity

September 17, 2020
By Rachel Thomas

Shrink is an in-progress graphic novel that chronicles a journey from the ‘morbidly obese’ body into the ‘fit and healthy’ body, and the anxiety-ridden space created by medical and social expectations. At its core it negotiates the experience of fatness, and how Western culture seeks to frame this body type (both in positive and negative lights). Further it discusses the anxiety of either gaining weight or losing weight; options that, in a society of contradictory schools of thought on body size and health, are becoming more convoluted.   

Works Cited in Chapter: 

Eknoyan, G. “A history of obesity, or how what was good became ugly and then bad” in Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease. Vol 13, no. 4 (2006): 421-427

Fraser, L. “The inner corset: a brief history of fat in the United States” in eds Rothblum, E., and Solovay, S. The Fat Studies Reader (2009):11-15 

Sobal, J. “Social and cultural influences of obesity” in Ed. Bjorntorp, P. International textbook of Obesity (John Wiley and Sons, 2001): 305-322


About the author


Rachel Thomas is a doctoral candidate at Concordia's Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC). Her research blurs the boundaries between traditional media, technology and bio-fabrication, centred around the medicalized body with specific focus on women's health. Using heuristic research strategies, she seeks to open discourses between the objective medical gaze and the subjective patient experience. Her current work is a graphic novel exploring the impact of medical and social gazes on obese women as a means to promote accessibility of new research outside of the academic sphere.

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