Fat Girls in Black Bodies
Creating Communities of Our Own
Joy Arlene Renee Cox, Ph.D.
Combatting fatphobia and racism to reclaim a space of belonging at the intersection of fat, Black, and female.
To live in a body at the intersection of fat, Black, and female is to be on the margins. From concern-trolling--"I just want you to be healthy"--to outright attacks, fat Black bodies that fall outside dominant constructs of beauty and wellness are subjected to healthism, racism, and misogynoir. The spaces carved out by third-wave feminism and the fat liberation movement fail at true inclusivity and intersectionality; fat Black women need to create their own safe spaces and community, instead of tirelessly giving labor to educate, chastise, and strive against dominant groups.
Structured into three sections--"belonging," "resistance," and "acceptance"--and informed by personal history, community stories, and deep research, Fat Girls in Black Bodies breaks down the myths, stereotypes, tropes, and outright lies we've been sold about race, body size, belonging, and health. Cox's razor-sharp cultural commentary exposes the racist roots of diet culture, healthism, and the ways we erroneously conflate body size with personal responsibility. She explores how to reclaim space and create belonging in a hostile world, pushing back against tired pressures of "going along just to get along," and dismantles the institutionally ingrained myths about race, size, gender, and worth that deny fat Black women their selfhood.