1

votes

Obesity in photography

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 19, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Hi, I remember a while ago seeing a blog post somehere, where there were many pictures highlighting the scope of obesity from a century ago etc. If anyone could link to applicable sort of things I'd greatly appreciate it. I am doing some background reading on history of obesity and any insight, especally re photography/ would be pretty interesting :)

Cheers

08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

(164)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:53 AM

That actually reminded me of Marilyn Wann, the author of Fat?So!, who I interviewed when a student at UCF was discriminated against (unfairly) by SWA because of her weight. She's a wonderful source for anything to do with the subject.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:31 AM

@Happy Now. Yeah, and white, heterosexual, nuclear family etc...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:29 AM

Stuff in literatute that isn't remarakble but now is - I love that sort of stuff. Luckie, any more examples you can think of?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Thanks for the serach tip and links. Is certainly an ahem, broad area...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Scary how envrionments and norms can affect us so!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:25 AM

Norms change; a pity the way they have up to now though... The whole 'society' is not in great shape is it... That's is why a site like this is good I reckon, a subversive niche that isn't completely cooptedby the norm and doesn't have as much care re challenging the the norm...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Yeah, some of the books I read growing up, which I looked at 'the other day' had passing mention of a character being sleepy after a big bowl of porridge or cereal...!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:45 PM

That's a very valid and random thought! But even if we don't have pictures and stuff, I think that literature still gives us clues. For example, I was reading one of the later Anne of Green Gables books, and one of the characters mentioned that she was going to stop eating cake because she had "topped the scales at 150 pounds that morning." 150 pounds now, regardless of height unless you are a midget/dwarf/little person, is not "scale topping" even if it isn't ideal.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 07:27 PM

Random thought, I'm wondering how much of what is recorded visually is affected by media bias to capture glamour and sell products held by attractively lanky people. 100 years from now will think most people had a BMI of 18-23 based on looking at fashion magazines, commercials, and movies?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Agreed, it was certainly more rare and conspicuous back then. I have scared the crap out of myself going to the big box grocery store around dinner time, and been shocked that coming from a line of stout people, we are starting to look down-right svelte in comparison to about 1/3 of the people I encounter there, something has gone terribly awry.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Fat people are not new. I don't think anyone is here saying that it is. (Though I don't know about Dr. Oz or Travis from The Drs, LOL, maybe they do!) But morbid obesity being normalized and common? That is new.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Could he even see his penis under there?

F694fc245d03b64d6936ddb29f4c9306

(2613)

on October 19, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Fat Upper-Pubic Area.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:07 AM

WTF is FUPA? blaah

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 08:19 AM

When you squish the fat around with corset it has to go somewhere, back cleavage is another fun one with corset wearing. I'm pretty sure morbid obesity isn't new either, just much more common now, judging from just a few examples, the family photos, a collection of photos from Tacoma, WA in a book I bought last year about the 1920's and 30's, and the Pima Indians, there were a number of people with a BMI that had to be greater than 40.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:07 AM

Also those women on the corset website have insane FUPAs

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:06 AM

His FUPA scares me

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Morbid obesity is new. Fatties have been around since King Henry (who was probably diabetic as well)

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5 Answers

4
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 19, 2012
at 04:32 AM

you can see a lot of photos that may be of interest to you if you do a
'google images' for something like "fat man circus"

Below is a photo of Chauncey Morlan, i think it's taken around the 1880/1890's.
You can find it at this web site & here's some text from that site;

"This is Chauncey Morlan, and around 100 years ago his obesity was so shocking that people would pay money to see him as he toured the country as a circus ???fat man???. I find the unremarkableness of his size to be a telling sign of how we???ve pushed the limits of obesity in the past 100 years."

obesity-in-photography

F694fc245d03b64d6936ddb29f4c9306

(2613)

on October 19, 2012
at 01:59 PM

Fat Upper-Pubic Area.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 06:03 PM

Could he even see his penis under there?

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:06 AM

His FUPA scares me

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:07 AM

WTF is FUPA? blaah

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:28 AM

Thanks for the serach tip and links. Is certainly an ahem, broad area...

2
8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on October 19, 2012
at 10:31 AM

This blog is great. If you search the site in sure you'll find lots of relevant posts. This was just the first one that came up when I searched "fat photography".

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/07/09/shame-and-pity-headless-obesity-vs-pitiful-starvation/

2
08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

on October 19, 2012
at 02:08 AM

It's funny that you said Cheers. I use Norm, the fat guy from Cheers as my example of how big we have gotten as a country. The funny thing is that Norm is now the norm. If you look at him now, he doesn't seem that big compared to most people these days.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:25 AM

Norms change; a pity the way they have up to now though... The whole 'society' is not in great shape is it... That's is why a site like this is good I reckon, a subversive niche that isn't completely cooptedby the norm and doesn't have as much care re challenging the the norm...

08527df7a704aad2ddf12a840abe7963

(164)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:53 AM

That actually reminded me of Marilyn Wann, the author of Fat?So!, who I interviewed when a student at UCF was discriminated against (unfairly) by SWA because of her weight. She's a wonderful source for anything to do with the subject.

1
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on October 19, 2012
at 01:49 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz0T2ATvXqI is a video from 1950s Britain - a 'fat lady' fashion show. Once again, these ladies look charming and entirely unexceptional by today's standards.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Scary how envrionments and norms can affect us so!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 03:34 AM

I wish I had a copy of the photo albums I saw at my last family reunion, it would be exactly what you are looking for, there were photos from the 1930's and 1940's with some very, very large people. Obesity is not new, no matter how many times Dr. Oz says it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2171338/Leslie-Bowles-Amazing-video-obese-baby-1930s-decades-waistlines-bulged.html

Painting from 17th century: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/obesity.aspx

Corset advertisements: http://www.corsetiere.net/Spirella/stout_woman.htm

If you google turn of the (last) century erotica you'll find a bunch of examples too.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 08:19 AM

When you squish the fat around with corset it has to go somewhere, back cleavage is another fun one with corset wearing. I'm pretty sure morbid obesity isn't new either, just much more common now, judging from just a few examples, the family photos, a collection of photos from Tacoma, WA in a book I bought last year about the 1920's and 30's, and the Pima Indians, there were a number of people with a BMI that had to be greater than 40.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:07 AM

Also those women on the corset website have insane FUPAs

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 19, 2012
at 05:06 AM

Morbid obesity is new. Fatties have been around since King Henry (who was probably diabetic as well)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 09:45 PM

That's a very valid and random thought! But even if we don't have pictures and stuff, I think that literature still gives us clues. For example, I was reading one of the later Anne of Green Gables books, and one of the characters mentioned that she was going to stop eating cake because she had "topped the scales at 150 pounds that morning." 150 pounds now, regardless of height unless you are a midget/dwarf/little person, is not "scale topping" even if it isn't ideal.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 07:27 PM

Random thought, I'm wondering how much of what is recorded visually is affected by media bias to capture glamour and sell products held by attractively lanky people. 100 years from now will think most people had a BMI of 18-23 based on looking at fashion magazines, commercials, and movies?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 19, 2012
at 07:17 PM

Agreed, it was certainly more rare and conspicuous back then. I have scared the crap out of myself going to the big box grocery store around dinner time, and been shocked that coming from a line of stout people, we are starting to look down-right svelte in comparison to about 1/3 of the people I encounter there, something has gone terribly awry.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on October 19, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Fat people are not new. I don't think anyone is here saying that it is. (Though I don't know about Dr. Oz or Travis from The Drs, LOL, maybe they do!) But morbid obesity being normalized and common? That is new.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:22 AM

Yeah, some of the books I read growing up, which I looked at 'the other day' had passing mention of a character being sleepy after a big bowl of porridge or cereal...!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:29 AM

Stuff in literatute that isn't remarakble but now is - I love that sort of stuff. Luckie, any more examples you can think of?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 26, 2012
at 06:31 AM

@Happy Now. Yeah, and white, heterosexual, nuclear family etc...

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