Body Sovereignty

I’ve been reading the book, The (other) F word, a celebration of the Fat and Fierce and I especially like the first essay by Alex Gino. Alex Gino wrote the book George which I loved. I had the pleasure of meeting them at an ALA conference in Atlanta, Here is a photo from my Teen Librarian days:

Anyway in the essay I mention, Alex talks a lot about body sovereignty and I think this is terminology that I can agree with. I struggle with idea of Body Positivity because I don’t always feel positive about my body and I don’t like the pressure that comes with the idea of body positivity to simply always be positive. I also don’t like how anyone can embrace body positivity. It feels less inclusive because it is so inclusive. When skinny women hashtag body positivity it undermines the effort to include fat bodies in the movement. I like fat activism a lot but the problem I have with fat activism is that often what I read goes against science and I happen to believe in science. I personally do not want diabetes and I like to exercise and I wouldn’t even mind losing some weight because I think it might make me feel better. I’m not sure that this thinking aligns me well with fat activism but I think what it comes down to for me is body sovereignty an this idea that we should be able to control the decisions about our own skins and what is within them.

What does body sovereignty have to do with my art. Recently I have been making art about the fat body, but I plan to expand this subject to broader still topics about body politics related to body sovereignty.

Published by Christine Gaffney Art

Christine Gaffney is a transdisciplinary performance artist from Dayton, Ohio. She is currently attending the California Institute of the Arts where she is pursuing a master’s in Art and Technology. She has studied art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include concepts of identity, gender and religion. Her work embraces ideas around body image, body politics, and feminism.

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