Using Jill Dolan’s theoretical framework of “utopian performatives,” I analyze burlesque as a foundational space for envisioning and cocreating fat futures. I argue that fat erotics are critical to the formation of utopian performatives and fat futurity because they challenge what I call “thin time,” a temporality that damages fat ontology because it centers white thin beauty standards. Fat erotics are a form of “pleasure activism” that aims to dismantle the damage that thin time wreaks on fat desires and lives. Using a mixture of ethnographic methodologies, I also analyze how recreational burlesque classes, along with the burlesque stage, are critical to forming a fat erotic consciousness because they force dancers to live the present of fat embodiment. I conclude by asking, Can the future stop being a fantasy of thinnormative reproduction? How do we collectively become allies in this fight against fat phobia?


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pp. 107-129
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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