This Might Get Heavy is a collection of essays which explores intersecting themes of body image, mental illness, and sexual identity. Through these personal essays, Mayer explores and interrogates the societal norms and tendencies that have formed the shape into which she has forced herself both mentally and physically. In essays such as "The Point System" and "Refraction," Mayer uses memoir to depict the origins of her struggles with body image and disordered eating. "Tara's Body Quiz and Answer Guide" and "How to Determine Your Sexuality: A Guide to Finding Your Letter in the Acronym" inhabit "hermit crab" forms to break through emotional barriers and question the need for conformity. Other essays, like "Green Tea and Giant Donuts" and "(Potentially Unwanted) Letters from Your Former Self," act as thematic bridges that explore the ways body image and sexuality can influence one another, ultimately helping Mayer to unearth previously undiscovered pieces of her identity. This Might Get Heavy uses several voices and forms to address and break away from the perceived expectations that have ruled the narrator's life. It is both a reflection on the ways in which a body is built and a rebellion against the binding that holds these parts together.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Mayer, Tara, "This Might Get Heavy" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 382.