Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Chicano Studies

Second Department

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Reader 1

Martha Gonzalez

Reader 2

Piya Chatterjee

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Melissa I. Montez

Abstract

Representations of Chicana bodies in dominant popular culture have historically been contested by Chicana feminists’ own self-representations through art and literature. However, few works examine representations of fat Chicana bodies in literature by Chicana feminists. Through a literary analysis of The Panza Monologues and Real Women Have Curves, as well as an artistic analysis of Laura Aguilar’s photography and through the lenses of Chicanx, queer, and fat studies, my research bridges a gap between Chicana feminist work and fat studies. It looks at how fatness is constructed through the self-representation of women’s bodies. Ultimately, I argue that these art objects are sites of fat Chicana artivism—activism through the use of art—that call for body liberation, respond to the “normative body” required by a colonial legacy of symbolic and physical violence against Chicanx women, and pave the way for further creative artistic and literary work centered on fat Chicanxs to be done.

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