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Ivy League school hosts ‘Fat Positive Dinner’

Students who identify as fat can share their experiences "in an accepting and supportive environment". Source: Shutterstock

Princeton University will be hosting an event for those who identify as fat this Thursday.

Termed a “Fat Positive Dinner” and sponsored by the Women’s Center and Health Promotion and Prevention Services, the event will also discuss ideas for fat positive programming for the Spring semester.

“This space is intended for fat identified people to share their experiences as a fat person at Princeton in an accepting and supportive environment,” states a newsletter put out by the school’s Women’s Centre.

Fat acceptance is a social movement in the United States, where supporters seek to change anti-fat bias in society. While some criticise it for encouraging obesity, it is lauded for fighting weight-based discrimination as well as promoting a healthier body image.

Princeton isn’t the first university to host such an event. In 2016, the University of Louisville hosted a Fat Positive Louisville discussion on how issues such as race, privilege and oppression affect the fat-positive movement.

“Fat Studies” is also the title of an Oregon State University course.

Last August, the Daily Mail reported students at Oregon State can now earn college credit to explore how “weightism”, ie. conscious or unconscious bias against fat people, can be considered a “social justice issue”.

The syllabus reportedly aims to teach students about how “body weight, shape, and size” differ among humans due to privilege and discrimination, which are intersect with “other systems of oppression based on gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and ability”.

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