Fat Girls in Black Bodies

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Fat Girls in Black Bodies

Creating Communities of Our Own

Joy Arlene Renee Cox, Ph.D.


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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.


Joy Arlene Renee Cox, Ph.D.:
DR. JOY COX is a body justice advocate, researcher, and leader who addresses the intersections of race, body size, accessibility, and "health" She earned her master's in interpersonal communication at the University of Missouri-Columbia after completing a thesis on the perceptions of fat women in media and earned her doctorate at Rutgers University after completing her dissertation on the fat liberation movement, identity, and political action. Dr. Cox currently serves as the Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). She is also the owner and operator of the Black and fat-positive podcast and product-line, both called Fresh Out the Cocoon, and a supportive force behind the scenes for organizations looking to incorporate diversity and inclusion into their practices. Her newest venture, "Jabbie," is an app that seeks to redefine fitness standards and provide users with a weight-neutral platform full of support and inclusivity.

GWENDOLYN CARTER is a voice over artist who resides in Michigan. She is also an educator, and has been recording/reading books to her students for almost 20 years! Gwendolyn has narrated several audiobooks, and has been the voice of many commercials, internet, educational and business videos.