And it must be terribly disconcerting to the interdisciplinary luminaries at Bradley to know, or at least suspect, that many fat people also think they could lose fat if they exercised more and chose healthier foods.
Anyway, the academics involved in the program could lose some weight of their own. In their five primary objectives, they could lose some words, use simpler words, resulting in clearer writing. Get a load of point two:
2. to understand that gender is foundational to the functioning of social, cultural, economic, and aesthetic systems;
The above objective takes 16 words. Try this on for size:
2. To understand that gender is basic to society's cultural, economic, and aesthetic essences;
The reworded objective takes 13 words, reducing the sentence's weight by some 18%. (It also capitalizes the letter t at the beginning.)
Almost as importantly, does anyone, other than the intelligentsia at Bradley, know what an aesthetic system is?
It's perhaps not shocking that these folks involved with gender should loom large with language. Look at point one, their raison d'être - for in it they wantonly declare they want to spread everywhere:
1. to integrate knowledge about women and gender into the scholarship of various disciplines and professions across the university by promoting student engagement with feminist discourses and practices;
Hopefully this treatise hasn't lost you, getting bogged down on Bradley U's shortcomings. Let's look at the fat-heavy-obesity assumptions that this Studies discipline makes, to see if some make any semblance of sense. Essentially, the program worries that the fat are stereotyped as "...lazy, undisciplined, unhealthy and gluttonous."
Much as we, who verge on scaling the heights of Mount Political Correctness, hate to admit it, we know stereotypes don't come out of thin air. They're backed by actual or anecdotal observations and research. Many fat people don't walk enough in their spare time, preferring to chow down in front of the boob tube, a pity, because as opposed to watching - walking - however brief in time, or short in distance, is a great way to exercise, a fine way to lose pounds.
To their credit, however, a couple of points in The Body Project - The Skinny on Fat - are pretty well bang on. They warn of chronic dieting and how it can lead, unfortunately in the short term, to weight gain - and can lead - eventually in the long term, for weight reduction to be a physical impossibility. Yo-yo dieters can verify to these happenings as problematically true...
But Bradley University goes too far. To their detriment they itemize a few studies, without linking to same, supporting their suppositions. But where's the balance, where are the contrary findings of other studies, or their links?
Reading The Body Project, one gets the feeling that the authors mean well. They care about the corpulent - yet their overriding bullet points and biases trend toward homeostasis. They prefer that the grossly overweight accept their condition, not only for reasons such as the blunting of fat shaming, but for the ultimate uber-kooky rationale that this may be the healthiest, both mentally and physically, route to go.
Alas, Bradley University is not alone in exalting a "don't worry, be happy" approach to health.
Heard of HAES?
It stands for: Health At Every Size. It essentially, boldly and baldly, states that "body diversity" is cool.
Then it dips its big fat toe into the waters of skepticism, saying scientific assumptions must be challenged. As regards the skepticism about science - and confronting dogmas or politicized papers or positions not truly peer reviewed - for fear of offending the cultural "accepted" positions of the moment - good for HAES.
Science has become politicized, if Global Cooling - NO! Global Warming - NO! Climate Change! are any indications, but while Bradley's best are busy confronting a myriad of scientific and personal essays and entreaties on obesity, have they bothered to observe the subjects being studied? How many over-weight individuals, for example, are limited by their conditions - precluding mountain climbing, horseback riding, marathon clomping, or one-seat fare airplane flying? How many of the adipose, other than Santa Claus, seem to be jolly? Unlike, race or gender (which are now situationally in flux every 15 minutes) being fat - has always been - a non permanent condition.
One can change one's shape. Or not. Or fail or succeed in the trying(s). Bradley and HAES are so wrong in the: what feels right...
What doesn't feel right, if our sensitivity and inclusivity antennas are monitoring for perceived or egregious offenses, are, as of August 25th, 2017, this program's website scrolling pictures. Horrors upon horrors, there is one picture of six white women with no women of color anywhere to be found!
That's not allowed.
Fortunately that faux pas was corrected when another photo shows six black women, with no other races present - but as for clothing - five are being non-inclusive in display, only showing off the color purple, while one has a top of a muddy aqua-blue lilac hue. What the heck gives? Where's the rainbow, if not of people of all colors, of at least clothes in a colorful spectrum?
Phew. For me and you things come to a full holistic circle with a group shot of the black and white women, with another body that so much looks like a guy. And in another shot, they show a smattering of serious, studious, Bradley brainiacs at a smorgasbord, with plates of comely comestibles offered - yet - ironically, or intentionally - not a one of the diners shows a heaping plate of food on their place setting.
No photo shows sushi seaweed lodged between teeth or part of a chicken super-sized wing stuck in one ear. Hmm, oh dear.
Hypocrisy, it's clear - writ large!