Rachel Girard

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Women's and Gender Studies


In the current popular of America, fat is seen as a very bad thing. Having excess weight is not only a perceived health risk, but is also socially unacceptable. Three major areas relating to fat— medical research, body image and self-esteem, and social justice—are explored in order to explain the current perceptions of excess weight, the impact these perceptions have and what could be done to change them. The overarching goal of this project is to make readers more aware of the conflicting research there is about fat, to show how unnecessary this negative view of excess weight is and how devastating it is to those who are fat.