Why The Fat Positive Cooperative?

I recently searched the Internet for fat positive resources, and I quickly found myself awash in fat hatred and anti-fat links. There were no actual fat positive links in pages and pages of results, even though I know there are fat positive articles and blogs out there. This fruitless search was the final catalyst for developing this site: The Fat Positive Cooperative, a resource for connecting people to fat positive materials that already exist and for developing additional materials.

Fat acceptance, in, perhaps, its simplest terms, is the concept that fat people are deserving of dignity, respect, equal treatment, and basic acceptance in society without any obligation to change their fatness.

Fat positivity is the radical notion that not only are fat people deserving of all of the above, but fat people are awesome. Fat people are deserving of happiness, love, sexual pleasure. Fat people are deserving of self love, self acceptance, self realization. Fat people are not only allowed to live their lives, but to thrive.

Looking back, I don’t recall a singular moment that, to paraphrase Lindy West in an interview with Ira Glass on “This American Life,” “changed the shape of my brain” and launched me on my journey into the fat positive sphere. Sometime between 2010 and 2014, I stumbled onto and then into fat acceptance. One of my first exposures to this was the phrase “All bodies are good and valid.” I don’t know who coined the phrase, and, honestly, an Internet search to find out did me no favors.

It’s important to me to begin the work of this site with an acknowledgement that I come at this as a fat, fairly abled, white, feminist, queer, bisexual, pansexual cis woman, currently age 38, who takes medication to treat depression and anxiety.

As part of my journey, I’ve consciously curated my social media spaces so that they are free from intentional weight-loss (IWL) talk, frequently full of images of fat people living embodied lives, and function largely (pun intended) as safe for myself as a fat person. I will do my best to moderate this site in the same way.

Welcome, and thanks for being here.

“The only thing that anyone can diagnose, with any certainty, by looking at a fat person, is their own level of stereotype and prejudice toward fat people.” — Marilyn Wann


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