The racist origins of fat phobia
Vox’s Anna North talks with Da'Shaun Harrison, the activist, author, and 2022 Lambda Literary Award recipient for their book Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness. Da'Shaun explains the ways in which society's anti-fatness is structural, and connected —historically and politically — to the structures of anti-Blackness that took root alongside slavery in America. Anna and Da'Shaun discuss common misunderstandings and myths about fatness, how these pathologies insidiously infiltrate the criminal justice system, and why Da'Shaun envisions a liberatory future in the idea of destruction.
Host: Anna North (@annanorthtweets), Senior Reporter, Vox
Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da'Shaun Harrison (North Atlantic; 2021)
"The past, present, and future of body image in America" by Anna North (Vox; Oct. 18, 2021)
"The paradox of online 'body positivity'" by Rebecca Jennings (Vox; Jan. 13, 2021)
Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings (NYU; 2019)
"CDC Study Overstated Obesity as a Cause of Death" by Betsy McKay (Wall Street Journal; Nov. 23, 2004)
"Correction: Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000" (JAMA; Jan. 19, 2005)
Killer Fat: Media, Medicine, and Morals in the American "Obesity Epidemic" by Natalie Boero (Rutgers; 2012)
"The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI" by Aubrey Gordon (Oct. 15, 2019)
"Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book" by Hortense J. Spillers (Diacritics, 17 (2); 1987)
- Joy James: Captive Maternals
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This episode was made by:
Producer: Erikk Geannikis
Editor: Amy Drozdowska
Engineer: Patrick Boyd
Deputy Editorial Director, Vox Talk: Amber Hall
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