April 26, 2023

EP. 316 — ICYMI: How F$^*#d Up Is Fatphobia? with Dr. Sabrina Strings

What do Enlightenment-era paintings, 19th-century American fashion magazines, and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” have in common? They’re all examples of what fatphobia has to do with race, class, and gender discrimination. This week, we’re re-releasing one of our favorite episodes from the archives, with Dr. Sabrina Strings. Learn all about the origins of anti-fat bias, and how it persists today.

Listened to this one last year? We promise—it’s worth revisiting!

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D. is a Chancellor’s Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Sabrina has been featured in dozens of venues, including BBC News, NPR, Huffington Post, Vox, Los Angeles Times, Essence, Vogue, and goop. Her writing has appeared in diverse venues including, The New York Times, Scientific American, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Her book, Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia (2019), was awarded the 2020 Best Publication Prize by the Body & Embodiment Section of the American Sociological Association.

You can follow Dr. Strings on Twitter @SaStrings and check out her website, sabrinastrings.com. Want to learn more? Here are some books and resources Dr. Strings recommends:

Da’Shaun Harrison’s Belly of the Beast

Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not An Apology

Dr. Joy Cox’s Fat Girls In Black Bodies

Roxane Gay’s Hunger

Tressie McMillan Cottom’s THICK

Dr. Jill Andrew’s work


Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.


Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.


Find books from past Getting Curious guests at bookshop.org/shop/curiouswithjvn; we’ll be updating it soon with more releases!


Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our editor is Andrew Carson. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Chris McClure, and Erin McKeon.


Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness &  Sabrina Strings   JVN [00:00:00] Hi everyone, this is Jonathan and we’re on spring break this week so we’re bringing you one of our favorite episodes from the archives. It’s gorgeous, as you are. We are going to get curious together. We love you so much. Thank you for listening, and let’s dive in. Welcome to Getting Curious. This is Jonathan Van Ness. We have such an incredible guest today. Welcome to the show Dr. Sabrina Strings, who is an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Her book Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, was published by NYU Press—yes, NYU Press—in 2019. Welcome to Getting Curious, should I say Professor Strings, or do you want me to call you Sabrina?    SABRINA STRINGS [00:00:41] Please call me Sabrina. And thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.    JVN [00:00:46] Ohmigod, thank you so much. Okay, so let me just give you, l

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