Fat is Still a Feminist Issue: A Comparative Case Study Into The Creative Works of Spare Tyre and The Roaring Girls and their approach to challenging the body ideal in accordance with Laura Mulvey’s theory of, The Male Gaze.
This study aims to discuss the works of two feminist theatre companies, Spare Tyre and The Roaring Girls, and analyses the ways in which their creative works challenge the feminist theory The Male Gaze, first conceptualised in Laura Mulvey’s essay Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema (1975). Each theatre collective staged the social issue of women’s body image in their respective decades; 1970 and 2020. This study endeavours to explore each companies’ conceptualisation, influences and finally the social impact of each performance work, through a distinctly feminist lens. This study was conducted through an in-depth textual analysis of both Spare Tyre and The Roaring Girls performance works, ‘Bearing The Weight’ (1979) and ‘Beach Body Ready’ (2019). It discusses their creative process in the conceptualisation of these works and then applies feminist theory to further detail the ways in which the feminist theatre collectives used their theatrical platform to challenge the male gaze and stage the social issue of how the female body is viewed in, and by, society.