Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Women's and Gender Studies



Publication Title

The Fat Studies Reader


While was doing research at the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection at Penn State, Harrisburg, I came across an entry reading "FAT WOMEN." Hoping to find information on dieting products and schemes, I had not expected such an explicit reference to my research on fat stigma. What I found were two huge notebooks that Marshall had meticulously filled with tourist postcards of fat women, dated from the 1910s through the 1940s, sent from beach destinations or national parks. Pictured on the cards are cartoon images of fat working women, of fat homemakers doing the laundry or getting dressed, of fat middle-class women traveling on trains and ships, and many, many of fat women sunbathing at the ocean.


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