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The Dys-appearing Fat Body: Bodily Intensities and Fatphobic Sociomaterialities when Flying Whilst Fat

Colls, R and Evans, B and Bias, S (2020) 'The Dys-appearing Fat Body: Bodily Intensities and Fatphobic Sociomaterialities when Flying Whilst Fat.', Annals of the American Association of Geographers. .


This paper offers an exploration of the embodied experiences of flying whilst fat, based on research with a significantly larger group of people than any previous research on this topic (795 surveys and 28 interviews with fat people largely, though not exclusively from the USA). Theoretically, this paper advances geographical understandings of fat embodiment and the embodied experience of transport spaces which attend to micropolitical encounters and comfort (Bissell, 2016; 2008). In doing so, we develop an approach to understanding the hyperpresence of the fat body within plane space, drawing together Leder’s (1990) work on embodied ‘dys-appearance’ with Ahmed’s work on bodily intensities (2004) and queer phenomenology (2006). The paper explores how material and social aspects of plane space combine to make fat bodies hyperpresent in ways that, for some, limit self-advocacy. We set this in broader political and economic contexts which frame fatness as mutable and which govern access to air travel in ways that are exclusionary for many fat people.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers, available online: The Author’s Original Manuscript of a paper, subsequently submitted to Taylor & Francis for publication in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers( is also provided.
Date accepted:18 November 2020
Date deposited:16 December 2020
Date of first online publication:2021
Date first made open access:16 December 2020

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