Is Fat Still a Feminist Issue? the Selling of Hope, Fear, and Resistance At the Movies


Fairy tales can come true; it can happen to you. Recently a small number of fairy tale movies have been released that convey you do not need to be thin to be beautiful and to live happily ever after. Two of these movies, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Shrek, achieved phenomenal box office success. This essay presents a feminist critique of these two movies in their claim to challenge the moral and ideological issue that fat is the antithesis of beauty in today’s Western world. These two movies sell hope by convincing the audience that “ugly ducklings” can find love, but they also sustain the fear of being fat in today’s predominately white, Christianvalue, capitalistic, patriarchal society through the images presented of their female characters. As such, resistance to this dominant ideology and morality that equates thin to beauty and health, and fat to ugly and unhealthy, is difficult.


Lorraine A. Friend and Lori S. Westgate (2006) ,"Is Fat Still a Feminist Issue? the Selling of Hope, Fear, and Resistance At the Movies", in GCB - Gender and Consumer Behavior Volume 8, eds. Lorna Stevens and Janet Borgerson, Edinburgh, Scottland : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 13.


Lorraine A. Friend, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato
Lori S. Westgate, Westgate Research & Strategy, Inc


GCB - Gender and Consumer Behavior Volume 8 | 2006

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