Article published in:The Power of Satire
Edited by Marijke Meijer Drees and Sonja de Leeuw
[Topics in Humor Research 2] 2015
► pp. 197–206
Satire, the Body, and the Female Grotesque
In this chapter I trace the concept of the satirical grotesque in Absolutely Fabulous. I show how the female body as a materialization of the grotesque in Absolutely Fabulous relates to the power of satire as an instrument of defacement and attack. Absolutely Fabulous is a comically revised sitcom, in its almost women-only cast and its subversion of gender roles. As ridicule of glamour, fashion, and design, one of the main issues in the series is consumption and dieting, incontinence and discipline. I analyze how the satirical grotesque manifests itself in the two protagonists of the show, Edina and Patsy, in between these somatic extremes of incontinence and discipline. More specifically, I show how the satirical grotesque works in Absolutely Fabulous as a disruption of carefully designed images of smooth and firm bodiliness in our culture: a disruption of the real.
Published online: 22 October 2015
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