New Book Examines How Women Who Have Been Labeled Obese Function in an “Anti-Fat” Society

gailey_lgJeannine A. Gailey, an associate professor of sociology and women and gender studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, has written a new book that documents how women who have been labeled obese deal with a cultural landscape in the U.S. that is increasingly “anti-fat.”

GaileyThe book, The Hyper(in)visible Fat Woman: Weight and Gender Discourse in Contemporary Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) includes interviews of 74 American women who had been labeled obese by medical professionals. Dr. Gailey’s research found that these women occupy a paradoxical social position. According to the author, these women are both “hypervisible” as they endure harassment and abuse from complete strangers and “hyperinvisible” because society ignores their wants and needs.

“When we talk about being invisible,” Dr. Gailey says, “we don’t really mean that people can’t see you. We mean that people are able to see you, but they intentionally dismiss you.”

Dr. Gailey joined the faculty at TCU in 2005 after teaching for two years at Kent State University in Ohio. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Akron.

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