• Sophie Yarin

    Associate Editor, BU Today; Managing Editor Bostonia

    Photo: Headshot of Sophie Yarin. A white woman with wavy brown hair and wearing a black dress and gold necklace, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Sophie Yarin is a BU Today associate editor and Bostonia managing editor. She graduated from Emerson College's journalism program and has experience in digital and print publications as a hybrid writer/editor. A lifelong fan of local art and music, she's constantly on the hunt for stories that shine light on Boston's unique creative communities. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her partner and their cats, Ringo and Xerxes, but she’s usually out getting iced coffee. Profile

  • Jacob Chang-Rascle (COM’22)

    Jacob Chang-Rascle (COM’22) Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 20 comments on New Campus Exhibition Explores What It’s Like to Be “Fat on Campus”

    1. I’m delighted by the astonishing bravery of BU academics openly praising such important and controversial work. The personal and professional jeopardy you’re willing to flirt with in order to stand up for justice is truly inspiring.

  1. So many words, and what sort of message conveyed ..

    How about if everyone just acts and behaves as they’d like to be treated themselves – Do unto others as you would .. is it truly ‘more complicated’ than that?

    We could all stand to look at videos from the 1960 .. the Presidential Physical Fitness era that, if I’m not mistaken, was kind of a JFK advanced concept .. people weren’t ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ per se, they were ‘in shape’ or ‘not in shape’ .. to somehow push to normalize excessive weight is to almost attempt to validate heart disease and diabetes .. STOP with the acceptance, and START challenging the food industry as wouldn’t that be the logical place to begin .. it’s absolutely heartbreaking watching adolescent obesity overtake our society – and that’s NOT being insensitive, it’s simply being observant!

    And, what’s next .. ‘finding space’ for this who identify as dangerously skinny .. we’ve GOT to realize that this is a game that NEVER ends – it’s dividing our society into so many different subsets that NOBODY speaks aloud anymore, and that only builds more walls

    Obesity, and morbid obesity, is NOT healthy .. if people choose to be fat, I guess it’s up to them, but to make such a choice and expect to live a full life into your 80s/90s just simply ain’t gonna happen .. just as there is no such thing as ‘casual’ heroin use, you really can’t be enormously obese and not expect consequences

    That’s my $.02

    1. No ones talking about health, we’re talking about treating people with humanity.

      No one even mentioned being “dangerously skinny”, that’s something you’ve brought in on your own.

      Comparing being fat to using heroin is just ridiculous.

      Put your $0.02 in the piggy bank next time and really read the article, instead of making the same judgements you’ve continued to make. Try to recognize the humanity of people who are a little different than you rather than making judgement calls on people you’ve never met.

    2. Um…nobody “chooses” to be fat. Losing weight is extremely difficult, and today’s world conspires against people to do so. There is more and more evidence that being fat is not necessarily a marker of being unhealthy. The good folks at the podcast Maintenance Phase explain it much better than I can.

      Regarding “do unto others,” sure, we should do that. But as this article indicated, prejudice towards fat people is still very prevalent. How about people not comment on other people’s bodies, period?

      1. What a ridiculous claim. It’s really not that hard to eat less, maybe unless you’re the 2-5% of the population that has some kind of medical disorder that causes obesity.

    3. I wear a size 28. Fifteen years ago, I could find 28s easily in stores. Now it seems men’s sizes start at 30. It’s not always true, I’ve just noticed it. You aren’t wrong, things are changing and it’s noticeable even in the material landscape.

      I think what you said sums it up well, everyone knows of the golden rule but I am skeptical if we’re always striving our best to maintain it.

    4. I think you’re missing the point. If everything was accessible there would be no need to divide “our society into so many different subsets.” The point is to highlight different experiences so that we can all be comfortable to exist in the same space. It’s not about creating divisions, it’s creating equality. Everyone in society already has a different identity– the point is to make everyone feel accepted to share their perspectives.

      I agree that childhood obesity and morbid obesity are problems we need to address, but not all people with “excessive weight” are obese and unhealthy. Not all skinny people are”in shape.” Some skinny people have diabetes and heart disease. We can encourage people to love their bodies while working to improve their health instead of letting people experience acceptance only when they “look healthy” — which is a sliding scale because someone who weighs 160lbs may LOOK obese depending on their height and sex, but could have other markers of good health.

      The perception of fatness and association with poor health should not be based on how someone looks– why don’t you check their A1C levels before making assumptions about their health? The point is to accept people as they are. Unless you’re their doctor, it is not your place to judge them for wanting to be comfortable.

      Also, finding space for people is about building bridges, not walls. These bridges allow us to hear each other when someone speaks aloud. They connect us to one space so we can appreciate each others’ existence.

    5. this is a take I’ve heard a lot from my parents and it’s almost valid but I ask you to consider existing health (especially heart) conditions and medications that make loosing weight impossible. Being “fit”, while pretty subjective, is good. But we should also make the space comfortable for all who are here to learn despite their weight. Kinda silly to act as if that should override their right to be at BU. I understand your concerns and I value your perspective much like my parent’s. But I maintain that this is a poor understanding of not only metabolism and external factors, but also the crippling societal pressure some already feel regarding weight. Many young women literally starve themselves (think about how many stick thin instagram models are on mag covers and exclusively muscular men alienate and hurt so many minds) and inclusively keeps the most people healthy and happy. Personally, I think we should establish a healthy view of body weight before/in combination with pushing knowledge for a more healthy lifestyle.

    6. Not everyone is just eating themselves away some of us have actual medical conditions. I have Thyroid disease and have tried starving myself only making it worst. Compassion goes a long way, don’t assume some ones story. We just want to be seen as human beings!

  2. So glad the HTC has brought this exhibit to campus. For years I have cringed at seating available in classrooms, knowing that some of our students may well be uncomfortable in these chairs.

    1. I don’t believe so. I think they making the point that this community has done work to be inclusive in many ways, but has completely missed the mark in regards to this topic.

      1. Agreed, just like sexual orientation, body mass index is fixed at birth. As a society, we have made significant headway towards recognizing that it benefits the whole of society to accept people for who they are. Except when it comes to body size. Why are there no extra large astronauts or Olympians?

        Discrimination is the answer, there must be many qualified obese individuals that are being kept outside the spotlight only because of their body size–a feature they were born with. I praise this exhibit for bringing our plight into full focus.

  3. Honestly, this is not something that I ever considered to be an issue until reading this article. I think that a University should implement changes so that all students are comfortable.

  4. I always felt like I was too big to fit into most places on campus at BU as a student with many many seats with attached desks, lecture halls with fold down tables, and narrow bathroom stalls. Every Tshirt given to incoming students only went up to an XL, so bigger students often looked even more out of place in their plainclothes among a seat of folks in red and white. It can be incredibly difficult to feel like you belong to a community or even focus in class when you literally do not fit in anywhere your peers do.

    I’m really glad this exhibit is being displayed at the HTC, it makes me feel like I wasn’t the only one who struggled with being fat at BU. I have always struggled with my weight, it has never been a choice. Unchecked mental illness and PCOS made it nearly impossible for me to lose weight as a student and thankfully managing those things have made is possible for me to live a healthier lifestyle post-grad, but just being able to comfortably sit in a classroom chair would have made a huge difference for me when I needed it.

    Accommodating people of different sizes and abilities benefits everyone if those responsible for designing and purchasing the furniture and fixtures everyone one this campus uses take those differences into consideration instead of trying to save as much money by cramming as many seats into a classroom like Spirit Airlines.

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