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December 10, 2017


Female Bodies on the American Stage

by N@ncy


Author: J. Mobley
Genre: non-fiction (2014)
Rating: B


Review: Ms Jennifer Scott-Mobley  is Assistant Professor – Theatre History & Dramaturgy at East Carolina University. She highlights and thus alters deeply ingrained attitudes about fat.
Ms Scott-Mobley takes the reader through ‘fat actress’ performances across stage, screen and television.


Strong point: the author makes clear that American audiences have become so accustomed to slender beauties as the standard…..that any body that strays outside the parameter interferes with the viewer’s notion of what is believable or what is realistic.


Strong point: Scott-Mobley reveals what many in society feel…
a woman’s body is associated with the base and material….her body is her identity. Man’s identity is connected to his soul and intellect.


Strong point: The book is filled with statements that made me stop and think:
1. As civil rights and freedoms for women increased
in the US.…the acceptable dress-size….decreased!
2. The media capitalizes on cultural fears, at times
obscuring facts and data in order to get
the results a public must hear: fat is bad and dangerous!
3. Those last 10 pounds which have NO significant
health consequences drive a multibillion-dollar diet industry!


Last thoughts:
I enjoyed this book…even though Ms Scott-Mobley
goes down several rabbit holes which were of no interest to me whatsoever. My interest lay in the analysis of plays  by Tennessee Williams. He created female characters that used ‘fat behavior’ to disrupt the stasis (balance in the play) with their immoderate behavior
….driving the plot forward.
I will read plays The Rose Tattoo, Small Craft Warning and The Night of the Ignuana with
these new insights!


I just read in the news that a Dutch super model walked down the  catwalk in New York City.  No, it isn’t  our famous ex-Victoria Secret Doutzen Kroes …but Daniëlle GrondelleFinally the barriers are being broken….. height 1,80 m  80 kg!




Read more from non-fiction, plays
3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 10 2017

    What an interesting route into Tennessee Williams!! As ever your book choices fascinate me! Am struck by that connection between the last 10lbs and multi-billion-dollar diet industry! My daughter loves watching a TV prog called Britain’s Top Model – it’s supposed to be about glamour and fashion but every time I catch a glimpse of it all I think is how desperately thin and hollow-eyed the young women contestants are! It appalls me.


    • Dec 10 2017

      After reading this book I have had to think long and hard about
      the manipulation of women by the authors, playwrights, media, fashion-world to conform to a certain accepted form. Just look at what you see on the TV…movies! Women are gaunt and botoxed to the hilt (Nicole Kidman) I shudder when I see Johnny Depp’s daughter Rose or Cindy Crawford’s daughter (name escapes me)…they are skeletons. What does your daughter thinks of these ‘beauties?’. Also this book did focus my attention on the use of ‘fat behavoir’ (bed-hopping, booze-swilling, prone to the profane and sexually agressive) by women in plays. I will pay more attention to this in future readings! So glad you enjoy reading about my book selections! PS: Cardinal (L. Milligan)…still haunts my thoughts….it will astonish you!



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