Five people standing outside in a row, smiling. They are a part of the grant "Through Thick and Thin." Photo credit: Michelle Peek

Five people standing outside in a row, smiling. They are a part of the grant "Through Thick and Thin." Photo credit: Michelle Peek

Through Thick and Thin: Investigating Body Image and Body Management among Queer Women in Southern Ontario

Women’s Health Xchange 2014-2015

Principal Investigator: Jen Rinaldi

Co-Investigator: Dr. Carla Rice

Over the last three years, Rainbow Health Ontario (RHO) has engaged with communities about the very negative experiences of queer people within the healthcare system in relation to their bodies, particularly in relation to body image and body management practices. Queer women have been largely left out of scholarly discussion and research regarding women’s body image and body management practices, with research generally focusing on the stories of women with privilege – white, able-bodied, upper class, cisgender, and heteronormative. By focusing on women of privilege, women who experience differences in their identity are not being represented and are thus being held to standards that may differ significantly from what they desire. In collaboration with Project Re·Vision,  Through Thick and Thin aims to collect and share digital stories of queer people’s experiences with the Southern Ontario healthcare system to help care providers develop a more critical understanding and approach to body image, weight, exercise, and nutrition with queer women clients.