Geek Feminism Wiki

Fat acceptance (sometimes size acceptance) is an anti-oppression movement opposing discrimination against people who are fat [1] ('sizeism') .


  • thinness and health are not correlated [2], but public health information and commercial interests regularly conflate weight loss with getting fitter and/or healthier in a way that is cruel, shaming, and not evidence-based [3].
  • there is no known evidence-based weight-loss regime that results in long-term weight loss, except for a small minority (less than 5%) of the population.[4] [5]
  • people do not have an obligation to themselves or to society to be healthy in any case, so even if body size is unhealthy for an individual, it is not therefore imperative on them to lose weight or imperative on others to try and convince them to do so [6].

Fat discrimination

In mainstream society

Fat people are targeted for shaming and discriminated against, in particular:

  • They are subject to slurs and harassment. [7]
  • They have difficulty getting medical care:
    • carers may subject them to constant unwanted discussion of their weight and weight-loss plans
    • they may have serious disorders ignored, misdiagnosed or go untreated because their weight is viewed as the root cause of all symptoms they have and losing it a universal cure
    • treatment regimes, especially drugs, may only be tested on thinner people, or dosed for thinner people
  • Fat women are less likely to get jobs or promotions than their thinner counterparts [8] [9]
  • Some companies force fat employees to pay more for health insurance premiums [10]
  • Male jurors are more likely to mistrust/convict fat women than their thinner counterparts
  • Advocacy for eliminating fat people from the population is mainstream, under the guise of "fighting the obesity epidemic" [11].

In geek culture

Discrimination against fat people takes some particular forms in geek culture:

  • many geeks pride themselves on using science- and evidence-based approaches to life, and see being fat as an irrational choice
  • some geeks interpret the findings of evolutionary biology as meaning that people they judge as unhealthy or unattractive should not reproduce or even should die in order to serve the goal of improving the gene pool
  • geek women are often supposed to be "hot" in order to be welcome: thin, young and otherwise attractive

Intersectionality problems

As with many anti-oppression movements, there are sometimes intersectionality problems, where the movement caters mostly to otherwise privileged fat people. Some fat acceptance arguments have been criticised on several axes:

See also

Further reading