CAHSS Faculty Articles


Author Responds to 'Black Women and Fat'


Department of Literature and Modern Languages

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Grio


Article Excerpt

When Alice Randall’s New York Times opinion piece Black Women and Fat appeared on May 5th, the blogosphere erupted in aggravation over her claim that “many black women are fat because we want to be.”

In her article Ms. Randall references my book, “The Embodiment of Disobedience: Fat Black Women’s Unruly Political Bodies,” in which I argue that, despite the West’s current privileging of slenderness as an aesthetic ideal, the African Diaspora has resisted completely succumbing to the fat anxiety now mortifying most women in the Western world. Yes, within the Diaspora, some women don’t feel the need to go into seclusion because they are larger than a size 12, and some men have no hesitation about asking those same women out for a night on the town.

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