Sexualising public health in British tabloids: celebrities ‘flaunting’ weight loss during a pandemic

Coltman-Patel, T. and Wright, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-2300-5915, 2022. Sexualising public health in British tabloids: celebrities ‘flaunting’ weight loss during a pandemic. Journal of Language and Discrimination. ISSN 2397-2637 (Forthcoming)

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This article explores the relationship between weight loss, sex and beauty by analysing a corpus of 285 articles about celebrity weight loss published in the U.K. national press between 23 March 2020 and 06 July 2020. Taking a corpus assisted critical discourse analysis approach, we examine the use of the statistically salient lemma flaunt*. 97% of the instances of flaunt* in our corpus are attributed to female celebrities, and the respective protagonists are reported by the UK press to flaunt their bodies and their weight loss on their social media pages. By critically analysing the use of flaunt*, we are able to demonstrate the manner in which celebrity social media posts are repackaged to sexualise female celebrities and to sexualise the process of weight loss in general. We argue that describing social media images shared by female celebrities as flaunting could at best, misrepresent their intentions, and at worst contribute towards the pervasive unsolicited sexualisation of women, and exacerbate adverse body image and mental health issues during an unprecedented period which in and of itself has exacerbated these issues.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Language and Discrimination
Creators: Coltman-Patel, T. and Wright, D.
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
Date: 4 August 2022
ISSN: 2397-2637
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 09 Sep 2022 08:31
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 14:08

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