Sabrina Strings

In Fearing the Black Body, sociologist Sabrina Strings looks at the growth of the slave trade, in order to articulate how European whites became obsessed with dieting and body size, searching for aspects of racial identity that went beyond skin color to build the argument for a “superior race” with the idea that white culture was one of rational self-control. Strings looks at the ways in which previous notions of European feminine beauty favored “softer bodies”; then came the type of articles such as those found in 19th-century magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, that advised American women to eat as little as possible, invoking Christian ideals alongside innuendos of racial superiority, which were expressed in no uncertain terms. Strings traces this history to the ways that modern media continually push the culture that Okoyomon termed anorexic white supremacy.

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