Healing on Credit: Medical Bills and the Politics of Medicine in Eighteenth-Century Pondichéry

Jacques Albert, the surgeon-major of Pondichéry, India, probably thought that Marie Cuperly was “good for it” when it came to paying her outstanding medical bill. He put that belief to the test in 1711 when Cuperly, his patient of more than five years, died. Just hours after she passed away, Albert submitted a petition to… Read more →

COVID-19 Vaccines and Children: What Is All the Fuss About?

On October 19, 2021, the FDA authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11 years of age. With the COVID-19 vaccine now approved for use in younger children, many parents are asking the question: should my child get the vaccine? As we have already seen, many states are beginning to… Read more →

Abortion Rights and the Eugenic and Racist Origins of Having It All

As we await the high-stakes decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, state legislatures have been proposing and passing restrictions on access to abortion knowing that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming months. On May 2, a leaked draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito indicated… Read more →

The Applied Behavior Analysis Controversy: Normalizing or Cruel?

One parent said, “Our involvement with ABA remains one of my biggest parenting regrets.” Another said, “This treatment saved my son from an isolated and non-productive life. ” A third: “The first consultation was trying.” These are just a few testimonials regarding Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a therapeutic modality for autistic children that involves using… Read more →

Holworthy Hall’s The Man Nobody Knew and Facial Wound Narratives after World War I

In his 1919 novel The Man Nobody Knew, Holworthy Hall introduced readers to Richard Morgan, a fictional American soldier who enlisted in the French Foreign Legion during World War I.[1] Disaffected from his hometown of Syracuse, New York and a broken engagement, Morgan fought in the war to prove his worth to society. Authorities reported… Read more →

Maintenance Phase: A Podcast that Wants You to Talk about Fatness

In an episode about Angela Lansbury’s fitness book-video-combo, Positive Moves, Maintenance Phase co-host Aubrey Gordon observed that “it is really difficult to disentangle our motives for weight loss from our attitudes towards fat people.” This small statement captures a central thesis of the incredibly popular podcast. That is, our cultural imagination of “fatness” – or… Read more →

Bodies of Uncertainty

I hadn’t even entered my brief, early-pandemic bread baking phase when other people’s fears about “pandemic weight gain” became unavoidable. I have been fat for my entire life, and as a fat person who does not diet I have become very skilled at avoiding conversations about other people’s fear of weight gain that might cause… Read more →

Anti-Blackness as Anti-Fatness: An Interview with Da’Shaun L. Harrison

Da’Shaun L. Harrison’s recent book Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness is a call for revolution. “Out there is a reality where fat Black folks are experiencing the harms of anti-Blackness as anti-fatness,” they write; “Black liberation is the end goal, and for it to happen, fat liberation must also be… Read more →

Love on Credit: Meditations on Fatness, Queerness, and Transformation

It is a strange thing, learning to love your body on credit. I grew up in Southern California in the 1990s, in a multiracial, deeply loving, and profoundly Evangelical Christian family. This upbringing came with so many wonderful memories as well as a casual, if not ill-intentioned daily dose of homophobia. One of the more… Read more →

Feeding Our Children Fast-Food Ads

TikTok star Charli D’Amelio collaborated with Dunkin’ Donuts to launch “The Charli” drink in September 2020. Charli, notorious for sipping on Dunkin’ while dancing on TikTok, promoted its release to her 85.8 million followers. Charli’s Gen Z fans were eager to try her favorite drink. Within a month Charli’s promotional videos collectively garnered over 294 million… Read more →