Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating a New Space of Belonging

Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating a New Space of Belonging

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Author: Cox Ph.D., Joy Arlene Renee

Binding: Paperback

Number Of Pages: 208

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

Release Date: 29-09-2020

Details: Combatting fatphobia and racism to reclaim a space of belonging at the intersection of fat, Black, and female.

Even if Black bodies were thin bodies, we'd still be considered ugly and unacceptable. Even if we were slender, we'd be criticized about our wide hips, noses, and lips. Our fatness exacerbates America's already anxious views against race and further demonizes our existence by relegating our roles in society. We're good enough to be mammies, but never to have a family of our own. We can work in the office, but never as the receptionist. We can be the girlfriend...in the dark...that no one sees. Ever.

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.

Languages: English