Prof Makes Students Design Plus-Sized Swimsuits


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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A professor conducted a “fat fashion” project in her classes by making her students design plus-sized swimsuits, according to a Monday report.

Debbie Christel administered the assignment at Washington State University, where she uses hundreds of customized light points and a 3D body scanner for her research. She discussed her research and teaching in “Fat fashion: Fattening pedagogy in apparel design,” an article she authored in the Fat Studies Journal, reported Campus Reform.

Christel uses “fat fashion pedagogy” to erase fat stigma and “promot[e] activism to erode the thin-centric orientation.” She instructed her students to design “plus-size swimsuits for active swimmers” that maximized comfort, quality, and affordability.

Students interviewed plus-size women and, after conducting their research and design, presented their prototypes to a local fashion business. Throughout Christel’s course, students also read literature on concepts like “weight bias” and “thin privilege.”

The professor observed that students lost bias against heavy women after completing her course. But Christel does not appear to have received approval from Washington State University’s institutional review board before conducting research on her students.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Christel and Washington State University for comment, but received none in time for press.

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