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What We Talk About When We Talk About Fat Acceptance

A person wears a "Fat People are More Fun" T-shirt during a rally in New York City
A person wears a "Fat People are More Fun" T-shirt during a rally in New York City

TheFatAcceptance Movement has been around for decades. But in 2021, it’s moved far beyond a fight for more inclusive policies.

The average weight of an American has increased in the last two decades and so have America’s anti-fat biases. A 2019 study based on responses to Harvard’s Implicit Association Test found that implicit weight bias increased by 40 percent between 2004 and 2010. 

From Evette Dionne, a prolific writer on anti-fat biases:

“Fat-shaming is stitched into the fabric of American culture. In fact, it’s so embedded in our everyday lives that we don’t often recognize when we’re perpetuating fat-phobia, or the act of discriminating against someone because of the size of their body. For instance, Michigan is the only state that has passed a law that forbids employers from penalizing fat people in the workplace, which means that in 49 states people of size can be fired, denied promotions, and paid less than their straight-size counterparts.”

Where does the movement go from here?

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