Education & Family

A diverse classroom library includes and respects fat characters, too

If a trainer has to discover a ebook with a fat essential character that falls into reductive stereotypes, it may be a studying alternative. O’Connor inspired academics to have interaction college students in discussions about character portrayal and patterns throughout different books. “Having these discussions builds the critical thinking skills and perspectives we want our students to develop,” she mentioned. “We can teach students to recognize and challenge stereotypes through literature.”

Literature can debunk stereotypes and tropes

Teachers can curate diverse ebook collections that characteristic fat characters in multifaceted roles and that fight anti-fat bias. O’Connor emphasised the ability of language, urging academics to debate phrases as a instrument that may uplift or oppress. She urged repositioning the phrase “fat” as a descriptor, not a derisive time period.

When selecting a ebook with a fat character, Smith really helpful that academics ask whether or not the character’s portrayal contributes to current dangerous attitudes, prejudices or stereotypes. Additionally, it’s essential to evaluate whether or not the character is allowed to develop and change all through the narrative.

Among Smith and O’Connor’s really helpful books for college students are Lisa Fipps’ Starfish, Crystal Maldonado’s Fat Chance Charlie Vega, Susan Vaught’s Big Fat Manifesto, and a group titled The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce, edited by Angie Manfredi. These narratives discover themes of self-acceptance, difficult societal norms and celebrating diverse our bodies. Other suggestions embrace the anthology Every Body Shines, edited by Cassandra Newbould, Claire Kann’s If It Makes You Happy, Paul Coccia’s Cub, and Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath, every contributing to a tapestry of tales that defy stereotypes and promote body positivity.

Where academics can start

Addressing the wants of scholars, particularly these experiencing fatphobia, begins with essential introspection, in accordance with Smith. She urged making a desk with the times of the week and noting what you do to assist college students and colleagues who’re fat. “Oftentimes very little is written down,” she mentioned.

Some academics could not know the place to start and don’t wish to say the mistaken factor when broaching discussions about body measurement. Smith urged educators to familiarize themselves with fatphobia and learn fat literature for adults, similar to The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, which advocates for radical self-love to counteract hurt attributable to bias or fatphobia, and What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon, which covers the way to problem cultural attitudes and advocate for social justice.

Highlighting the historic intersections of race and body measurement, Smith considers Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia by Sabrina Strings a keystone textual content. Thickening Fat: Fat Bodies, Intersectionality, and Social Justice, edited by May Friedman, Carla Rice and Jen Rinaldi, explores fat oppression and activism by way of varied views.

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