O gordo em pauta
Fat people in the headlines: representations of being fat in weekly magazines
Nara Sudo 1
Madel T. Luz 2
Rede Metodista de
Educação do Sul. Rua Cel.
Joaquim Pedro Salgado 80,
Rio Branco. 90420-060
Porto Alegre RS. firstname.lastname@example.org 2
Instituto de Medicina
Social, Universidade do
Estado do Rio de Janeiro.
Abstract Western culture places high value on slimness, based mainly on the discoveries of biomedicine that have transformed the fat body into a synonym not only of lack of health, but also a pejorative reflection of moral bankruptcy: a ‘dehumanized body’. The purpose of this study was to analyze social representations of being fat through qualitative and interpretative analyses of fourteen cover stories published between 1997 and 2002 in
Brazil by two weekly news magazines: VEJA and
ISTOÉ. Through analyzing the bibliography and field materials, it examines the social representations of being fat today. This paper focuses on the concept of social representation and the ways in which this is used by the social sciences, leading to an understanding of why some issues - in this case the individual fat being – became more visible at a certain moment. These analyses show that the weekly magazines under analysis featured statements based on scientific and biomedical knowledge that legitimize the choice of a body type supposedly rated as ‘ideal’, viewed as synonymous with health, happiness and good cheer: the slim body.
This brought fat under siege, with battle strategies being drawn up and - in the final analysis - falling back on being fat.
Key words Being fat, Social representations,
Weekly magazine, Culture
Resumo A cultura ocidental valoriza a magreza, embasada principalmente pelas descobertas da biomedicina, que acabou por transformar o corpo gordo em sinônimo não apenas de falta de saúde, mas em um “corpo desυmanizado”, um caráter pejorativo de falência moral. Assim, o presente trabalho teve por objetivo