Anthropology / Everything Human

The World Hates Fat People


  • Reflections

    A nurse in a bariatric surgery unit tries on a fat suit to simulate the experience of her patients. As blame and shame around excess weight have become more common, so too have surgical weight-loss procedures.

    The World Hates Fat People

    Being overweight is stigmatized in most countries around the world. But does obsessive talk about excess fat lead to weight reduction—or to cruel, useless shaming?

  • Reflections

    Twinship - Sameness is often seen as the defining characteristic of identical twins, but this impression is a result of Western stereotypes about the meaning of selfhood.

    How Twin Culture Challenges Our Notions of Self

    Researchers have long viewed identical twins as mutants, oddballs, and freaks. Bothered by a biased scientific literature, two anthropologists who are also identical twins go native and conduct their own twin research.

  • Culture Lab

    Between Male and Female

    Can television shows like Orange Is the New Black and Faking It push forensic anthropologists—and the rest of us—to rethink our categories of biological sex?

  • Origins

    Labor Pains and Helpless Infants: Eve or Evolution? (Part 2)

    In Part 1 of this post, we discussed two explanations for difficult childbirth and helpless babies: the Fall and the obstetrical dilemma (OD) hypothesis. Both have their weaknesses. Let’s consider another evolutionary-minded explanation, apart from the OD. For humans, the birth process begins at the same time that pregnancy reaches a critical metabolic threshold. This suggests there is a connection between the two. As a fetus develops and …

  • Viewpoint

    Anorexia’s Deadly Deceit

    Anorexia is not just about striving for an idealized body image. It is an obsessive, relentless—and futile—quest to be pure, perfect, and clean.

  • Origins