Managing Deviant Identity: “Fat and Proud”

Managing Deviant Identity: “Fat and Proud”
Upon successful completion of this activity, students will be able to:
Analyze social phenomena utilizing theoretical frameworks
Identify ethical problems faced by individuals or communities and identify effective solutions
Explain the concept of social deviance and provide examples of deviant behavior in social context
As you watch the documentary, “Fat and Proud,” which appears in five YouTube Videos, think about the concepts from this
module, especially the seven stages of the deviant career and the strategies for managing deviant identity.
Things to think about while completing this activity:
What are the women in this documentary trying to achieve?
How are these women/groups of women different from or similar to other similar groups of women who suffer from other
eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, and those who are not overweight (other women in dance clubs, other
strippers, other political activists)?
How does this documentary compare to other entertainment/health programming on mass media about obesity (think of NBC’s
“The Biggest Loser,” MTV’s “I Used to be Fat,” VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club,” Oxygen Channel’s “Dance Your Ass Off,” Fox’s
“More to Love”…)?
For this project, describe how the women in “Fat and Proud” work their way through “the seven stages of a deviant career”
in this documentary. Discuss some of their strategies for managing “fatness” as a “master status.” How successful do you
think they are in those strategies? Also, consider some other mainstream television programming featuring overweight
contestants or participants and how these programs differ or are similar to “Fat and Proud” in terms of what the
participants are “doing” with their status as “ fat.”
This project should be 750-1000 words in length and should draw on the readings from this module, the documentary “Fat
and Proud,” and at least one other example of a television show featuring overweight people. Full episodes of “The
Biggest Loser,” “I used to Be Fat,” and “Ruby” are available on their networks’ web pages in the event that you have not
watched any of this programming before.
Project 3 is worth 10% of the overall course grade.

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