Categories of Fat Access


Feedists for Fat Liberation (“FFL”) began the “Categories of Fat Access” project in June 2022 in an attempt to develop a common nomenclature to help the organization align with its guiding principle of centering the voices of the most marginalized. FFL also wanted to build inclusive definitions to meet people’s needs and to help ensure that the organization’s tailored programming reaches its intended audiences. More broadly, FFL wanted to help folks who aren’t sure where they belong on the fat spectrum.

The project stands on the shoulders of other work, including that of a Facebook group for the largest fats that points out that their shared experience is more than the size discrimination, fat oppression, and internalized anti-fat bias faced by people all sizes of fat. Rather, it’s about the very real barriers to access that the largest fat people experience because of their size. Fluffy Kitten Party’s Fategories provides a helpful framework for the spectrum of fatness, along with a history of how terms like “superfat,” “infinifat,” and “deathfat” came into existence. Like many fat folks, FFL finds that the fat category charts often reposted on social media perpetuate harm by framing fatness in terms of gendered clothing sizes; by centering the smallest fats by listing them first; and by a failure of imagination that places everyone over a certain clothing size in the same bucket of lived experience (superfat, inifinifat, deathfat).

FFL’s approach is different. This effort centers the experience of the largest fat people in two primary ways. First, our categories are based on lived experience, rather than a clothing size. Second, the lived experiences of the most marginalized – those who are most subject to anti-fat bias – are centered while the lived experiences of smaller fats are contrasted. Additionally, our tables reflect the heterogeneous nature of superfat/infinifat/deathfat people by differentiating among the largest fat people – again, based on lived experience.


In this document, we refer to various categories of fat access based on the experience of how a person is impacted by anti-fat bias. Not all people are impacted by anti-fat bias equally. Fatter individuals experience more anti-fat bias and to represent this increase in experience we’re looking to find new category names to represent the levels of anti-fat bias different individuals receive.

Level 1 Inaccessibility
Level 2 Restricted Access
Level 3 Limited Access
Level 4 Basic Access
Level 5 Systemic Access


The FFL “Categories of Fat Access” project members are based in the U.S. and consist of:

  • A 65-year-old cis white queer disabled woman who identifies as Level 3, and experiences Limited Access
  • A 36-year-old cis, white, pansexual woman who identifies as a Level 3, and experiences Limited Access
  • A 31-year-old cis white queer woman who identifies as a Level 2, and experiences Restricted Access
  • A 34-year-old mixed trans woman who identifies as a Level 4, and experiences Basic Access
  • A 39-year-old cis white butch lesbian who identifies as Level 2, and experiences Restricted Access


We recognize that our project members do not represent every intersection of fat person. We do not speak for every lived experience. But we have reached out to various groups and invited feedback and dialogue. We have made changes based on that feedback. We are always learning and unlearning. Please continue to learn with us. If you have feedback, we encourage you to reach out via


Public Accommmodations

Accessibility for fat people in public accommodations (such as hotels, AirBnB rentals, outdoor seating areas, and public restrooms) is influenced by various factors including furniture design, structural considerations, and regulatory requirements. In hotels and AirBnBs, issues like toilet placement, bed sturdiness, and structural integrity may pose challenges. Outdoor seating often lacks accommodation for fat people, and public restrooms may have accessibility barriers such as narrow stalls or inadequate support features.


Fat people often encounter discrimination within medical settings, facing challenges related to biased attitudes, inadequate accommodations, and limited treatment options. Healthcare professionals may exhibit weight stigma, leading to substandard care or dismissive attitudes towards health concerns. Diagnostic tools and medical equipment may not be suitable for fat people, contributing to delays in diagnosis or inappropriate treatment. Treatment plans may prioritize weight loss over addressing underlying health issues, neglecting the diverse health needs of fat patients.


Fat people often face challenges in accessing various modes of transportation due to inadequate accommodations and discriminatory practices. In cars, seats may be narrow and uncomfortable, causing discomfort and potential safety hazards. Public buses and trains may have narrow aisles and seating, making it difficult for larger passengers to navigate and find suitable seating. Boats may lack sturdy seating options and have weight restrictions, limiting access for fat people. Airplane seating often poses significant challenges, with narrow seats and tight armrests preventing fat people from traveling.


Mobility challenges faced by fat people are complex and influenced by factors such as intersecting disabilities, socioeconomic status, and healthcare disparities. While assistive devices like canes, wheelchairs, and scooters can enhance mobility, barriers such as cost, weight limits, and body shape may limit accessibility. Internalized ableism and shame can also deter fat people from accessing necessary mobility aids. Additionally, terrain variations present additional obstacles, impacting mobility even with assistive devices.


Fat people often encounter challenges in finding suitable clothing due to limited size options, poor proportions, and societal stereotypes. Many clothing manufacturers simply scale up straight-sized patterns, resulting in ill-fitting garments for fat body shapes. Access to diverse clothing styles, including casual, business, formalwear, and uniforms, may be limited for fat people, with factors like class, location, and gender identity exacerbating the problem. Custom or boutique specialty clothing can be cost-prohibitive, imposing a “fat tax” on those seeking inclusive options.