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Fearing the Black Body
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About the Author

Sabrina Strings is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine, and a recipient of the Berkeley Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship, where she held appointments in the Department of Sociology and the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. Her work has appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, The Feminist Wire, and Feminist Media Studies.

Reviews

Traces centuries of racist pseudoscience up to the 20th century, demonstrating that today's ideal of thinness is inherently both sexist and racist. -- Colorlines
A much-needed examination of the racism and colonialism embedded within society's imagined dangers of fat (black) bodies. -- Library Journal
In Fearing the Fat Black Body, Sabrina Strings fills what has long been a gaping hole in scholarship on fatness and body size. Her careful historiographical exploration of the racialized roots of anti-fat, pro-thin bias should figure prominently in any academic, medical, political, or popular discussion of the contemporary American 'Obesity Epidemic.' In looking at the complex intersections of race, gender, class, and morality in current American framings of fatness and size, Strings does not simply add race to the conversation but shows that any analysis of body size that does not center race is necessarily incomplete. -- Natalie Boero,Author of Killer Fat: Media, Medicine and Morals in the American Obesity Epidemic
[A] thoroughly researched exploration of the historical relationship between race-and weight-related prejudices...This fascinating and carefully constructed argument persuasively establishes a heretofore unexplored connection between racism and Western standards for body size, making it a worthy contribution to the social sciences. * Publishers Weekly *
Once upon a time, fat bodies were celebrated in art, in newspapers and magazines, and in medical journals, but that all changed during the Enlightenment Era of the 18th century when fatness was purposefully intertwined with the idea that people of color were racially inferior savages. Sabrina Strings's incredible book analyzes how that shift continued to plague Black women. . . . Fearing the Black Body makes the convincing argument that the thin ideal has always been racist. -- Bitch Media
As a sociologist with a rich understanding of social history and cultural studies, Sabrina Strings asks and answers new and immensely generative questions about the ways of thinking that rule the world. Her astute analyses reveal the ways in which seemingly innocent aesthetic judgments about womens bodies register the effects of deep historical currents of thought and practice. -- George Lipsitz,Author of How Racism Takes Place
This is an important, deeply-researched study of the racialized roots of fat denigration. It should be a must-read for scholars whose work focuses on the history of race, of gender, and of the bodyas well as by anyone who is interested in our deeply problematic contemporary culture of dieting and body shame. -- Amy Erdman Farrell,Author of Fat Shame: Stigma and the Fat Body in American Culture

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