Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Second Department

Media Studies

Reader 1

Jih-Fei Cheng

Reader 2

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 3

Carlin Wing

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Rights Information

© 2017 Evelyn M. Gonzalez


The current models for health care hold at their core a pathologization of fat bodies informed by discriminatory methods and ideologies leading to an explicit lack of quality medical care for those who fail to meet normative standards of health and size. This project is interested in examining alternative public health models that provide interventions into those systems. Specifically, this work will seek to understand how the grassroots movement, Health at Every Size (HAES), serves to interrupt current limited understandings of health and weight. HAES individualized, weight-neutral approach to health and wellness exists in seeming opposition to contemporary ideas around healthcare practices. In studying this alternative model, conventional ideas of health care towards fat patients will be understood to be informed primarily by discriminatory structural and ideological practices. In addition, by highlighting the healthcare industries’ investment in the medical industrial complex, this project aims to deconstruct and critique notions of health while increasing access to care that is informed by the realities of bodily difference. In addition, this thesis will argue for zines as important health information dissemination tools by first mapping and complicating its history, expanding on zines as an artistic and politicized medium, and finally emphasizing its capacity to communicate through alternative knowledges and distribution networks.