Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 54

of the morally tinged message conveyed by the food consumed by the fat body (Jutel 116). Because we consider food to be the bricks and mortar that build the fat body, the weakness that the person in the fat body demonstrates toward it requires those who possess the ideal body to “help” the flawed fat body overcome its gastronomic deviance. The removal of gastronomic and bodily agency is a necessity in the eyes of the concerned populace who are devout subscribers to the dominant, thin body ideology so that they may “help” those unfortunate souls trapped within a fat body. It is here, at the junction of fat bodies and agency that a connection between Supernatural and the fat body in society today is found. In the episode “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo,” the leader of the Leviathan, Dick Roman, attempts to remove food agency from the humans, by expanding his holdings from Biggerson’s (an amalgam of IHOP, Waffle House, Huddle House, and other similar establishments), to owning “a list of joints 10 pages long.” This insinuates that he is in control of the fast food industry, thereby giving him access to all of America, specifically its fattest citizens, who are, not coincidentally, the favored food source of the Leviathan. Similarly, in the episode “There Will Be Blood,” it is revealed that Dick Roman has purchased controlling interest in a company called Sucrocorp, the world’s leading producer of high fructose corn syrup, which would allow the Leviathan to put their concoction into most foods eaten by Americans, especially those in fat bodies. In essence, human bodies in Supernatural have their food agency removed because they need “help” from the Leviathan in order to become their best (read: tastiest) selves. In a similar vein, today’s fat bodies have their agency removed because they too need “help” becoming their best (read: thin) selves. This loss of agency is based upon a foundation of a media- supported and -diagnosed fatness epidemic, framed according to a medico-disease state based on the implication of the word epidemic. Epidemic implies an out-of-control disease state that conjures fear-based associations with smallpox, bubonic plague, and influenza from decades and centuries past; the use of the term today is an example of the media’s penchant for misrepresenting the duration and scale of a situation by calling something a crisis that has, in reality, become a fact of life and has been for quite some time (Berlant 760). In essence, the “War on Fat” is against an epidemic that is not so epidemic; it is an epidemic that has become commonplace and accepted by society – except for when it is not. The universal social acceptance of a manufactured evil that exacerbates the deceptive and insidious nature of bodily subordination makes it difficult to detect and therefore to change this unchallenged, and arguably welcomed, removal of agency. 54