Fat World/Thin World by Karen Honeycutt

Fat World/Thin World by Karen Honeycutt

Karen Honeycutt’s article Fat World/Thin World:”Fat Busters,” “Equivocators,” “Fat Boosters,” and the Social Construction of Obesity is an extensive look at how societal views on obesity shapes self-perception in women. Honeycutt, a sociology professor, attempts to explore the reason that studies have revealed a “master narrative” of negativity concerning weight in America, especially in women.

In her investigation, Honeycutt claims women who have dealt with their weight fall into three categories: those who dieted and lost weight (Fat Busters), those who, while they were considered overweight, said they were “trying to accept themselves as they were,” (Equivocators), and those who joined a national fat activist organization, NAAFA, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (Fat Boosters). Honeycutt argues that these women are constructing different “alternative realities” that are simply different surface-level responses to the same dominant notions of attractiveness. By interviewing numerous women from each of these categories, Honeycutt draws her conclusions based on the reaction of overweight women to societal discourse.

Honeycutt discusses the themes that arise in her conversations with each category of women dealing with their weight, how they view themselves, and how they view those around them who are considered what society has deemed “overweight.” The only constant among all of the women interviewed seems to be a pervasive weight-consciousness, wherein all of the women are fully aware of their body weight in relation to those around them.

I have a hard time finding what Honeycutt has done with this article other than expand upon a redundant claim that women are obsessed with their weight because society has placed a negative stereotype on obese people. I feel like Honeycutt could have sought more information from medical sources, such as doctors and nutritionists to enhance the article and give it more depth. If Honeycutt...

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