“I have to go the extra mile". How fat female employees manage their stigmatized identity at work. By: van Amsterdam, Noortje; van Eck, Dide. Scandinavian Journal of Management. Mar2019, Vol. 35 Issue 1, p46-55. 10p.

This study explores how fat female employees engage in identity work to manage  stigmatizing expectations grounded in healthism and obesity discourse that construct fat people as unhealthy, stupid, unprofessional, and  lazy. We interviewed 22 women who self-identified as fat, full-figured or obese. Our analysis reveals how our participants engaged in identity  work strategies in order to project a professional appearance and  highlight their work performances. Many strategies reproduced dominant  notions about fatness such as ‘smartening up’, ‘distracting’, ‘hiding’,  ‘concealing’, ‘humour’, ‘compensating’, ‘explaining’ and ‘defensive Othering’. Yet at times some participants also used strategies that  challenged dominant discourses about size, such as ‘flaunting’, ‘irony’ and ‘self-acceptance’. The identity work strategies our participants engaged in were not just narrative; many involved what they did with their bodies. We therefore argue the need for further theorizing  embodied identity work, specifically with regards to how size matters in the context of employment.