Document Type

Blog

Publication Date

6-6-2013

Department

Women's & Gender Studies

Language

English

Publication Title

Bitch Media

Abstract

"Dear obese PhD applicants: if you don't have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won't have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth"

That tweet from University of New Mexico evolutionary psychology professor Geoffrey Miller ignited uproar last week. Criticism of Miller was swift and powerful—national media and his department chair Jane Ellen Smith (who herself does research on eating disorders and body image) called out Miller's fat-shaming. At first, the professor defended himself, saying that getting a PhD is "about willpower/conscientiousness, not smarts" but he quickly deleted the original tweets, replacing them with "sincere apologies to all for that idiotic, impulsive, and badly judged tweet." He then added that "obviously my previous tweet does not represent the selection policies of any university, or my own selection criteria." He went on to claim that his tweets were actually part of a research project, designed to measure reaction to outrageous posts.

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