Romance with Voluptuousness


Romance with Voluptuousness

Caribbean Women and Thick Bodies in the United States

Kamille Gentles-Peart

Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Series

210 pages


October 2016


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

October 2016


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

October 2016


$45.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Offering a unique vantage point from which to view black women’s body image and Caribbean migration, Romance with Voluptuousness illuminates how first- and second-generation immigrant black Caribbean women engage with a thick body aesthetic while living in the United States.
               Using personal accounts, Romance with Voluptuousness examines the ways in which black women with heritage in the English-speaking Caribbean participate in, perpetuate, and struggle with the voluptuous beauty standard of the black Caribbean while living in the hegemony of thinness cultivated in the United States. It highlights how black Caribbean women negotiate issues of body image deriving from both Caribbean and American pressures to maintain a particular body shape and contend with discourses and practices surrounding the body that aim to marginalize and exclude them from economic, social, and political spaces. By focusing on diasporic Caribbean women’s “romance” with voluptuousness, Kamille Gentles-Peart explores the transnational flow of beauty ideals and examines how ideas about beauty in the Caribbean diaspora help to shape the experiences of Caribbean black women in the United States.

Author Bio

Kamille Gentles-Peart is an associate professor of communication and media studies at Roger Williams University. She is the coeditor of Re-constructing Place and Space: Media, Culture, Discourse, and the Constitution of Caribbean Diasporas.


“This book will be attractive to courses in sociology, women and gender studies, Caribbean studies, and migration studies, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. . . . The author’s conception of ‘embodied cultural citizenship’ and the way in which she demonstrates how this works are quite convincing.”—Winnifred Brown-Glaude, associate professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of New Jersey and author of Higglers in Kingston: Women’s Informal Work in Jamaica 

Table of Contents

1. The “Thick Black Woman”: Racialized Body Politics and the Marginalization of Black Women
2. Constructing Diasporic Identity: Black Caribbean Women’s Self-Representation and Cultural Citizenship
3. Unrequited Romance: Black Caribbean Beauty Ideals and Discontent in the United States
4. Transgressive Discourses: Negotiating the Thin Hegemony and Negative Physical Capital
5. Embodying Diaspora: Centering Thick Bodies in Black Women’s Diasporic Experiences

Also of Interest