by Kathleen LeBesco

About Kathleen LeBesco

Kathleen LeBesco is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. She is author of Revolting Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity; coauthor of Culinary Capital; and coeditor, with Jana Evans Braziel, of Bodies Out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression; with Peter Naccarato, of Edible Ideologies: Representing Food and Meaning; with Donna Jean Troka and Jean Bobby Noble, of The Drag King Anthology; and of several journal special issues.


Fatness shares with more traditionally recognized forms of disability what Rosemarie Garland-Thomson calls “the attribution of corporeal deviance—not so much a property of bodies as a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do” (1997, 6). Conceptually, however, fatness and disability are tense bedfellows: many people with more traditionally recognized forms of disability resist being lumped together with those fat people who they feel could (but don’t) control their condition, and most fat people don’t recognize themselves as disabled, preferring to maintain a safe distance from perceived illness and stigma.