Date of Award

5-2-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Patricia Davis

Second Advisor

Carrie Freeman

Third Advisor

Yuki Fujioka

Abstract

Two years ago, I expanded my growing blog, The Curvy Girl Handbook, into a detailed, hard copy book. As I complete my education, I have yet to present my book for a publisher or consumer. It has been workshopped, revisited, and industry researched. This thesis shows the need for publishers to open their doors to more black female authors.

My study explores the impact of whitewashing in the publishing industry for fitness-related works for women. Following a literature review of the historic portrayals of the curvy figure and the black female body, I employ a quick overview of the publishing industry as well as a textual analysis of the existing works in today’s fitness media through the intersectional feminist lens. The fitness industry is dominated by slender, fit white women, without much attention to other body types, races, and occasionally socioeconomic statuses. This project moves with the intent to expound on racial implications that may create obstacles for publishing my kind of work, as well as the content that is combating them.

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