Sabrina Strings

Sabrina Strings, Ph.D., [Chancellor’s Fellow and] associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Irvine and author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, credits Francois Bernier, a French physician and traveler, with trying to establish a racial hierarchy amid a dialogue surrounding the legality and morality of slavery. Scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries built upon Bernier's work and concluded that the ideal body type for white women should be slender because African women's bodies tend to be curvier, says Strings. Researchers at the time equated the slimmer bodies of white women with the ideal female figure, she explains. 
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