The rhetoric of public bodies: Resisting the norm/other binary



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This dissertation develops a methodology to re-examine how we consider the embodiment of individuals across intersections of identity categories. Applying a constellation of theoretical perspectives that combines rhetorical, Thirdspace, disability, decolonial, and feminist/womanist theories, the methodology, based on Thirdspace theories, decolonizes the binary approach to embodiment by suggesting that we all both/and rather than defined by norm/other categories, particularly categories related to gender and size. Looking at public bodies, who are celebrities with an established ethos related to their bodies, this project applies the methodology to Chris Pratt, Peter Dinklage, Chaz Bono, Laverne Cos, Mindy Kaling, and Melissa McCarthy. Through the application of the methodology, it becomes clear that these public bodies have changed the public perception through thoughtful representation of their embodiment. Rather than fitting neatly into binaries each of these public bodies represents a both/and approach to embodiment. In our modern episteme, we look toward public bodies as forms to be emulated, thus this methodology goes beyond the parameters of public bodies and can be applicable to all bodies in an effort to decolonize the body.



Rhetoric, Embodiment, Intersectionality, Feminism, Thirdspace