Chapter 7: Covering Up Fat Upper Arms

The lived experience of being a fat child, teen, young adult, and woman is blanketed with emotional, political, and physical coverings that range from how one describes oneself to the clothes that one wears. “When we talk of ‘the body’ we are actually talking a multiplicity rather than a single and coherent entity” (Marshall, 1996, p. 254). Writing about it is a hermeneutic phenomenological reflection. This chapter looks at the writer’s experiences of making meaning of the embodied subject and identity on the road to discovery and recovery. The issues of African American women and food; the black church; college life; the workplace; and marriage and beyond, are examined from a view that takes the reader to the intersection of race, gender, class, and size. This work contributes to the research around the issues of sizism, the images of African American women, power relationships, and empowerment for self-definition.