Embodying Modernization: Representations of Fat Women in Modern Greek Culture

Sofia Apostolidou | University of Amsterdam | Embodying Modernization: Representations of Fat Women in Modern Greek Culture | Supervisors: Mireille Rosello, Murat Aydemir & Jules Sturm | 2015-2019

In my MA thesis I explored the relationship between biopolitics, disability studies and posthumanism, using fatness as my concept. Employing Michel Foucault and his theory on the homo economicus as the ideal neoliberal subject I analysed the fat subject, as an irrational, irresponsible and immoral subject, and thus a failed economical subject, condemnable in its entirety. Focusing on the aspect of morality, I bridged into posthumanism and the concept of prosthesis, demonstrating the ways in which, within current biomedical and technological advancements, the criticism directed towards the fat subject is directly transferable to any subject. Using criticism that Disability Studies scholars such a Sarah S. Jain and Vivian Sobchack have on posthumanism, I demonstrated the ways in which within posthumanism, all subjects can be found as lacking, when compared to their potential, enhanced posthuman version. After tracing these biopolitical narratives within posthumanism, I attempted to reconceptualise the prosthetic metaphor into one that utilises current definitions while it incorporates the criticism it receives. Echoing Marilyn Wann’s definition of fatness as something that attaches itself to individuals, I conceptualised fatness as a prosthesis, naming this new concept the fat suit, where fatness is read as a prosthesis on an imagined thin body.