My poster is built around the story of Blanche Grey: The Fat Bride. In the book I read (Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything) her story seemed short and grim, but in some way, I could relate to aspects of her life. I went to a secondary school where I was not considered cool enough to talk to certain people which made me feel a type of way, and of course my reality is nowhere near to what Grey must have had to go through, but I still have empathy for her.
The main theme of my poster was the toxic attributes of society and how one can be pushed out of the ‘in crowd’ for not looking a type of way. This is damaging and I wanted to highlight that in my poster. I can easily say that it was toxic because Grey did not purposely make her hormones imbalanced and the 19th century was not a tolerating society that appreciated diversity as much as we do nowadays. That is why I used the image in the centre to depict how the media spoke about her and how she was used and abused for a profit.
I have learnt about hormones since late secondary school and had some interest in how the body works. A hormone is an organic substance secreted by plants and animals that help regulate physiological activities and maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is maintaining a stable internal environment within the body. Hormones are produced by specific glands and induce responses at molecules on the surface called receptors, that are adapted to react to them specifically.
As I was doing some research on my topic, I investigated the causes of obesity and what could have been Grey’s possible cause of death. It may have possibly been linked to diabetes or thyroid deficiency. Obesity is growing problem in our society and is a touchy subject for most people, so it is hard to discuss. In the book, it describes Grey’s appearance when she died and some of her symptoms.
I also mentioned the advances in science today and the attempts to understand our endocrine system (the name given to the network of glands that produce hormones) through experiments and research from the mid-19th century. I wanted to show the lack of knowledge surrounding what we call the endocrine system today. Since there was no clear autopsy done on her body, we can only make speculations of what she had. There must have been a lot of negligence of her health and well-being for her to unable to see properly, having blotchy purple skin and heavy breathing.