On August 14, 2022, Feedists for Fat Liberation held the workshop, “Feedism & Fat Liberation: Let’s Squash Fatphobia!” Designed to be an introduction to fat liberation, the workshop facilitators began by defining anti-fat bias and fat liberation. Then, participants learned a bit about the history of the fat liberation movement, including the work of the Fat Underground, research into anti-fat bias, and the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. The facilitators noted that the history of mainstream fat liberation is rooted in relative privilege and white supremacy, and that fat oppression has roots in anti-Blackness, yet Black voices and voice of POC were never centered in fat liberation organizations. Over the past decade, BIPOC leadership and scholarship have been recognized, but the fat liberation movement has a long way to go in centering the voices of the most marginalized.

fat liberation 101

Why are we using this image? See https://www.fatliberation.org/2022/12/09/fat-animal-images/

Next, the facilitators explored why feedism and fat liberation must go hand-in-hand. Participants then discussed the ways in which anti-fat bias shows up in feedism. Next, facilitators discussed the importance of allies in fat liberation and how allies can show up for fat people. Then, facilitators reviewed how fat liberation efforts can surface as personal transformation, dominant institutional change, or alternative institutions.

If you’re ready to engage in actions toward fat liberation, here are some ideas:

Actions you can take toward fat liberation fall into three buckets:

Personal transformation
Theory: Change yourself to change the world, or the personal is political
In the world: Self-affirmations, finding community, consuming fat lib media

Dominant institutional change
Theory: Change the system
In the world: Passing legislation, changing public policy

Alternative institutions
Theory: Build the change you want to see
In the world: Mutual aid network, feedist commune

Ideas for actions:
Advocating for a fat person (and yourself!) in healthcare settings
Advocating for legislation and public policies that protect fat people
Being fat in public
Building fat community
Building feedist community
Creating fat art
Eating delicious meals
Educating others about fat liberation
Engaging in sexual pleasure
Insisting political candidates take the needs of fat community seriously
Loving yourself
Participating in fat social media groups
Performance art
Posting a selfie
Protesting against fat oppressors
Supporting fat people
Supporting organizations that support fat liberation with your time, talent and/or money
Talking or writing about our lived experience as fat people

If you’re interested in learning more about fat liberation, here are some resources:

(Please note that FFL has not vetted all of these resources. Please use your judgment when exploring them.)

Fat Liberation Study Guide https://students.wustl.edu/fat-liberation-self-study-guide/

What We Don’t Talk about when We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon
Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti Fatness as Anti Blackness by Da’Shaun Harrison
Happy Fat by Sofia Hagen
Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fatphobia by Sabrina Strings
The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
The Body is Not an Apology Workbook by Sonya Renee Taylor
Thick by Tressie McMillan Cotton
The Fat Studies Reader edited by Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay
The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos
Website with resources: https://www.bigfatgaypod.com/resources

Maintenance Phase
Fat. So?
The Big Fat Gay Podcast
Fresh Out of the Cocoon
Fat Lip Podcast

NAAFA webinar with Da’Shaun Harrison https://youtu.be/_bVd0ARnelg
Footage of Fat Underground https://youtu.be/UPYRZCXjoRo
2014 Fat Flash Mob https://youtu.be/ZCMDooZgeYA

Fat Underground from 1998 Radiance Magazine http://www.radiancemagazine.com/issues/1998/winter_98/fat_underground.html
Fat Underground’s Fat Liberation Manifesto https://laurenyay.tumblr.com/post/8711705310/fat-liberation-manifesto

Dances with Fat https://danceswithfat.org/
Vast Magazine

Twitter/IG accounts to follow
@yrfatfriend Aubrey Gordon
@dr_chairbreaker Caleb Luna
@adipositivity Substantia Jones
@fatmarquisele Marquisele Mercedes
@fatgirlflow Corissa Enneking
@hannahtalksbodies Hannah Fuhlendorf
@itstransfat Garnet Williams
@comfyfattravels J Aprileo
@jervae Jervae
@freshoutofthecocoon Dr Joy Cox
@saucyewest Saucye West
@fringeish Shannon Kaneshige