(In)visibility of the Plus Size Body

By: Kathryn Wolfe   Traci Baxley  

Strides have been made to include plus sizes within the fashion industry; yet, the plus-size body continues to be marginalized within a broader context. By understanding the experiences of plus-size female bloggers, and their creation of an online community for alienated individuals, the Body Positivity Movement (BPM) can be understood. This critical look into the public, online lives of plus-size bloggers serves as a counternarrative that relocates them from the margins to the “mainstream media landscape.” This community of activists utilizes blogging to establish and bolster an online platform. According to Cho (2012) blogging creates a “safe place to share your voice and finding a community” (p. 7). Blogging provides an avenue for plus-size individuals to find an audience and community in which to belong. Thus, these bloggers became social activists encouraging cultural representation and inclusion within media. Using a womanist lens (Collins, 1996), we examine the power of collective agency and the consciousness of raising a marginalized group. Womanism, is used to explore how the positionality, intersectionality, and the invisibility of plus-size females is both personal and political. Moreover, this will provide insight into how the BPM can aid girls and women in developing a positive body image.

"Blogging", " Marginalization", " Counternarrative"
Media Cultures
Focused Discussion

Dr. Kathryn Wolfe

-, -, Florida Atlantic University, United States
Florida, United States

Dr. Kathryn A. Wolfe is a Visiting Instructor at Florida Atlantic University in the Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational inquiry. Currently, she teaches courses at FAU in curriculum design, action research, and teacher education. Kathryn has created and designed courses for both the secondary and college level. Her research and scholarship include pedagogy in religious education, curriculum and culture at faith based education, culture and identity, and unique areas within education. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally at various conferences, classes, events, workshops, trainings, and guest lectures.

Traci Baxley

-, -, Florida Atlantic University, United States
Florida, United States