Finding the ‘self’ after weight loss surgery: Two women’s experiences.
Young, Jessica; Burrows, Lisette
Drawing on narratives derived from two women’s YouTube vlogs (video blogs), we examine what weight loss surgery offers as a mode of being in the world. In these vlogs, Divataunia and Thebandinme have kept a record of their weight loss surgery ‘journey’. We explore the multiple selves they express, drawing on notions of embodiment and post-structuralist conceptualisations of subjectivity, to examine the contradictory and shifting experiences of having weight loss surgery. We examine the work that subjectivity ‘does’, in how each woman enacts her subjectivity, in what they ‘choose’ to express, and in how their choices are related to their perceptions and lived experiences of their bodies. In particular we investigate one subject position that the women both take up – a ‘fat subjectivity’ – and discuss how each woman relates to this subject position as her body changes. The notion of a weight loss surgery journey from an ‘old’ self to a ‘new’ one is explored and we conclude that the idea of a simple trajectory from ‘old’ to ‘new’ fails to adequately account for the complex vagaries of each women’s experience.
Rights Statement: http://fap.sagepub.com/content/23/4/498
Keywords: Discourse, embodiment, subjectivity, vlogging, weight loss surgery, women, YouTube
Research Type: Journal Article