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[personal profile] riot_nrrrd
So, I've been thinking about the recent controversy surrounding the so-called "too fat to graduate" rule at Lincoln University, in which students with a BMI over 30 are required to take a three credit-hour class on fitness in order to graduate.

Now, like most fat activists, I think the rule is bullshit. I've been thinking about the ways in which the whole BMI system of measurement is bullshit anyway (Discuss: my final in one of my classes involves me writing a Foucauldian analysis of the BMI. Revolutionary idea, or the academic equivalent of having a wank?), and the ways in which body size, physical fitness, intellectual fitness, and fitness for the "real world" are equated in this policy are both obvious and infuriating.


I've also been thinking about how I read the fact that Lincoln University is a HBCU, and the implications of me, as a fat white girl, getting all up in arms over their fitness policy. I'm not saying absolutely that I have no right to be indignant about what I see as a fatphobic policy, particularly if that anger can be somehow expressed in solidarity with the students who are opposed to the policy, and who suffer adverse effects because of it. But the online discussion I've seen so far has pretty much utterly neglected to mention the way race figures into this issue, and/or what this controversy reveals about the ways race and body size intersect.

While I haven't come to any conclusions on this matter myself, I feel that it would be irresponsible to not speak out about the possible problems with the way this controversy is being framed right now. So I'm hoping to open up a space for discussion. What are the intersections between race and body size that are brought up by Lincoln University's BMI policy? As a fat white woman, where does my right to express rage about fatphobic policies end, and my risk of participating in white paternalism begin? Is it at all possible to engage in the former without invoking the latter, and if so, how? Finally, how is the failure on the part of many people in the "fatosphere" to really deal with the possible racial dimensions of this issue contributing to further white supremacy in the fat activist community?

Thoughts, anyone? 'Cause all I've got is questions.
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