Emily Duke is a comedian and identifies as a fat woman. It has been a pretty long journey to come to this language and she discusses the ways in which she internalized the term for herself. Emily began identifying as a comedian, as fat and as a sexual assault survivor within almost a week span after analyzing the many nuances of these identities. Emily describes how her comedy and her writing made a sharp change when she came to claiming these labels. Emily has always used comedy as her way of contextualizing her world and now she has come to carry all of these aspects of her with pride and skill.
Jana and Emily discuss using comedy to clown on diet culture and Emily discusses how she came to comedically verbalize her struggles with disordered eating, dieting and weight fluctuation. Emily talks about her upbringing and the ways in which the diet industrial complex has impacted her life and the life of each of her family members, intergenerationally. She goes into the different diets that she was put on by therapists and pediatricians as a small girl and a teen.
Emily and Jana gossip about how much they both hate the health and wellness industry and everything it peddles. This quickly divulges into the “body positivity” movement and how bopo rarely dives into fat liberation and the genuine discussion around civil rights for fat individuals. The two share their feelings about fitness culture and narratives about health and our culture’s obsession with maintaining good health. Emily also admits that despite continuously working at dispelling the falsehoods that everyone is sold about their bodies, all of these messages pop back in when she least expects them. These messages happen and layer into our self-hatred the stress of being a bad fat activist.
Follow Emily at @emilydukehaha on IG and check her out in NYC when she does standup!