Interview with Nicole Taylor, Author of "Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity"

Topics of conversation:

  • Conducting Ethnographic Research

  • Creating a Healthy, Respectful Relationship with our Bodies

  • Guilty Pleasures 

  • Yoga, Meditation and Walking - Self Care

  • The Importance of Family, School and Community Engagement


Nicole Taylor is an anthropologist who explores contemporary social issues related to education and health through the analytic lens of language practices. Her research includes teasing and bullying in schools, childhood obesity, and body image concerns and social media use among youth. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Following graduate school, she worked in nonprofit and corporate settings conducting research in the areas of substance abuse, education and poverty, childhood obesity, and school climate. Nicole then served for five years as the Director of Scholar Programs at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico before returning to Texas State University, her undergraduate alma mater, to accept a faculty position.

For more information on Nicole Taylor and her book, visit her website at



Winner of the Reader Views Literary Award, Societal Issues and the Reviewers Choice Best Non-fiction Book of the Year, Specialty Awards, Schooled on Fat explores how body image, social status, fat stigma and teasing, food consumption behaviors, and exercise practices intersect in the daily lives of adolescent girls and boys. Based on nine months of fieldwork at a high school located near Tucson, Arizona, the book draws on social, linguistic, and theoretical contexts to illustrate how teens navigate the fraught realities of body image within a high school culture that reinforced widespread beliefs about body size as a matter of personal responsibility while offering limited opportunity to exercise and an abundance of fattening junk foods. Taylor also traces policy efforts to illustrate where we are as a nation in addressing childhood obesity and offers practical strategies schools and parents can use to promote teen wellness. This book is ideal for courses on the body, fat studies, gender studies, language and culture, school culture and policy, public ethnography, deviance, and youth culture.

Read Review of Schooled on Fat: What Teens Tell Us About Gender, Body Image, and Obesity