Feedists for Fat Liberation is a non-hierarchical international organising group working toward justice, equality, and liberation for all fat people. Our group comprises a core organising team and an active base of around 20-30 participants and members, all of whom are involved in the feedism community in some capacity. We are based globally and have members signing into virtual meetings from the United States, Canada, Australia, England, and Singapore. We typically have weekly meetings and biweekly workshops.
One facet of our work aims to build community and promote fat liberation in feedist spaces. Through our work, we hope to educate feedists on the importance of targeting anti-fat bias and fatmisia within the feedism community to promote safety and inclusion for fat people. We acknowledge the issues of misogyny and objectification that many fat people (especially those who are queer or femme presenting) have experienced at the hands of members of our diverse, decentralised community. We aim to reduce the harm caused by feedists and are in the process of creating a transformative justice process. Another facet of our work is to address negative stereotypes and assumptions of feedists within fat liberation activist communities and wider society.
Those who are unfamiliar with feedism often describe it as a sexual kink for fatness and the act of feeding or being fed to increase fatness. However, some of the people within the feedism community perceive feedism as a sexual orientation that can be all-encompassing and deeply rooted in an individual’s identity. Many feedists recall an early interest in feedism long before understanding sex, while many others are introduced to the concept as adults. Despite being from diverse ethnic, geographic, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backgrounds, many feedists have almost eerily similar experiences of discovering their sexualities.
Though the behaviour of people who identify with feedist sexualities has impacted the prevalent negative stereotypes, there also exists false or incomplete information and inaccurate media portrayals of feedism. Feedists for Fat Liberation intends to subvert these stereotypes, correcting assumptions, and having self-determination over the way our community is represented to the public. While the pain that some fat people have felt from bad experiences with some feedists is valid, we invite the idea that those who disrespect and degrade fat people do not represent our broad community, and in fact, may represent a minority within feedism. The concerns many raise about feedism are not with feedism itself, but with misogyny, fatphobia, ableism, and objectification committed by individual feedists.
We would like to express that the exclusion, villification, and discrimination that feedists often face for having taboo forms of sexual expression and often, for having fat bodies, contributes to identity issues, mental illness, and sexual repression. We want to do the work to minimise the harm suffered by and shame felt by feedists and have our true, diverse experiences and identities understood by the public and social justice activists. This is especially important considering the statistical over-representation of LGBTQIA+ people and sex workers in our community compared to wider society and the intersections of oppression felt by vulnerable groups.
Paramount to our movement is sex positivity. We advocate for sex positivity to counteract our societies’ histories of sexual repression and discrimination. Many members of our community are fat and experience heightened discrimination at the convergaence of living in fat bodies and having taboo sexualities. Our goals to work toward fat liberation are mutually inclusive of our goals to work towards sexual liberation. Everyone deserves to be free in their bodies and experience consensual pleasure in whatever ways they desire. Everyone deserves autonomy.
There has been a history of incorporating respectability politics within body positive, fat acceptance, and fat liberation movements in order to target a mainstream audience. It is often argued that fat people deserve legal protections and equal rights because permanent weight loss is impossible, that weight loss attempts are deleterious to one’s health, and that yo-yo dieting results in higher weight over time. Some fat activists perceive weight gain associated with feedism to be the result of active choices made by feedists, in contrast to the immutability of weight in ‘naturally fat’ people. We point out that if you consider a feedist’s weight gain to be a choice, then you must also consider weight gained from weight cycling a choice. In practise, both have unchangeable factors that influence this choice. We reject the idea that fat people deserve respect only when they are ‘naturally fat.’ We strongly believe that all fat people deserve rights and respect regardless of why they are fat, be it dieting history, genetic predisposition, socio-economic status, medical reasons, mental health reasons, coping mechanisms, gustatory pleasure, or sexual orientation.
Feedists for Fat Liberation wants to connect our passionate fat activist circles so that our collective reach is more impactful and we can benefit all fat people. As a group of fat people and allies, we can further the goals of the fat liberation movement. Not only do we need fat liberation to protect our fat bodies (or the fat bodies of those to whom we are attracted) from fatmisia, anti-fat bias, medical discrimination, limited access to public accommodations, employment discrimination, ableist structures and practises and so on, but we likewise need all who uphold the principles of liberation to uplift our community to prevent further harm. We envision a future where feedists do not feel the need to remain closeted, practising their sexualities in secret or not at all for fear of judgement and discrimination. We see a future where feedists feel unashamed about their sexualities and are empowered to fight for fat liberation and the liberation of all people.
As an organisation, everything we do is informed by our guiding principles. We are dedicated to upholding these in our action work. Our guiding principles are:
- Feedism and fat liberation are fundamentally connected with one another. Feedism cannot be enjoyed outside of fat liberation, and feedists are natural allies to the fat liberation movement. Envisioning a world where there is liberation for all must include those who identify as feedists, and fat liberation offers a framework to support this.
- Health has no bearing or involvement with this movement. We reject the medical-industrial complex and healthism in all forms. Health status has no bearing a person’s humanity and worth.
- The most marginalized fat voices will be centered. This includes superfat people, sex workers, fat QTBIPOC, fat BIPOC, fat disabled people, and fat queer voices.
- In supporting greater understanding between feedist and fat liberation communities, we will take an intersectional approach that considers feedism/fat liberation as they intersect with other justice movements.
- We recognize that each person has a story and that story is sacred. We will meet people where they are in their feedism/fat liberation journey.
- We are committed to creating a space that is free from shame, judgement, hostility, coercion, and fear. We are committed to eliminating anti-fat bias/fatmisia in feedist spaces, while also working toward making fat liberation a feedist-positive space.