Behold: the Fat Studies Reader. From the chapter “Sitting Pretty: Fat Bodies, Classroom Desks and Academic Excess” by Ashley Etrick and Derek Attig:
The relationship between classroom desks and disciplinary practices that seek to form and control ‘size and general configuration’ is evident: the hard materials and unforgiving shapes of these desks punish student bodies that exceed their boundaries with pain and social shame. Some fat students are unable or unwilling to subject their bodies to the disciplinary powers of desks and must sit elsewhere. In these cases, desks can threaten fat students’ very identities as students; if their bodies cannot fit into structures that signify their intellectually receptive status, then they are, symbolically at least, unable to learn. Homogenous thinness is rewarded with comfort and various other privileges accorded to those granted identification as both students and normal. In these ways, classroom desks control body size and thereby produce the ideal thin student.
Personally I feel the material overlaps with “Access to the Sky: Airplane Seats and Fat Bodies as Contested Spaces” by Joyce L. Huff.
I’m yet to read “Jiggle In My Walk: The Iconic Power of the ‘Big Butt’ in American Pop Culture” by Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino.