Fantasizing Fatness

Curator's Note

Before Kat was effectively erased from Season 2 of Euphoria, she was introduced in this way: a little girl goes to Jamaica and discovers virgin pina coladas while also nourishing a love for her childhood boyfriend Daniel. Kat’s introduction plays as a subtle foreshadowing of Kat’s journey on Euphoria: overindulgence followed by judgment and the need to define and develop her confidence through her relationship with men. We watch as a young Kat struggles to fit into tight jeans (she dominates in latex and corsets later), as she faces judgment from her ostensibly unbothered childhood love (she internalizes this in her relationship with Ethan later) and develops a personality around these moments. Her character is composed of fantasizing love in the shadow of fatness; she watches Gilmore Girls, True Blood, Scandal in bed as she writes prolific smutty fanfiction of size 0 women in her spare time. 

Fanfiction is beloved as a resistant reading strategy, giving birth to the notorious slash fanfiction of Kirk and Spock. This resistant practice often subverts normative reading techniques, heteronormative coupling, and engages in fantastic analysis of power and equity in a partriarchal heteronomative society. Commonly associated with female writers and readers engaging in a transgressive moment of occupying male power (slash fanfiction engages in relationships with equal power dynamics), fanfiction is a space of ultimate fantasy despite the normative constraints of power, sex, race, class, and (dis)ability (see Jenkins and Cambell, Jones, Green, Jenkins and Jenkins). Kat fantasizes her army of subversive readers will liberate her from her mundane reality and actualize her fanfiction identity, only to subsequently fantasize their abandonment as they realize she is not the normative body she writes about.

No, those bodies are covered in glitter, a fanfiction performed and presented to the student-body alongside its viewers in the penultimate episode of season 2. 

As much as we’d like to scream empowerment at Kat’s rewritten journey, a modern-day Olive from Easy A (another fanfiction), her story finds itself spread thin over the identity of fat female and liberated female, only ending on a note that the two are incommensurable at best, a mere fanfiction. 

Kat leaves her boyfriend, continues her online dominatrix identity, and is effectively written out of the second season. Her character, however empowered, strong, beautiful, and layered, dissipates completely when her plotline can no longer revolve around fat or fantastic romance. One can only wonder if we will ever learn how to fantasize fatness without essentializing it. Can we imagine Kat’s journey not through the lens of normative skinniness, not as a girl resisting and negating her fatness through her relationships with men, but just as a girl who is negotiating and navigating the dynamics of being a teenage dominatrix? Can we fantasize Kat outside of and despite her fatness? Or is the possibility of more mere fanfiction?



“The Sex Lives of Cult Television Characters” - Sara Gwenllian Jones

“Out of the Closet and into the Universe” - Henry Jenkins and John Campell

“Normal Female Interest in Men Bonking” Shoshanna Green, Cynthia Jenkins, Henry Jenkins

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