Skip to Main Content

Explore Body Liberation: History


The Evolutionary History of Fat: Biologists Explain Why It’s Necessary for Our Survival & Why We’re Biased Against It.

There would be no need for fat activism, if there were no biases against fat people. This raises the question: Where did those biases come from? Harvard University evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman explains that these biases are a product of a history that parallels the rise of mass marketing and mass consumerism.


Photo of author Sabrina Springs


Sabrina Strings, author of “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia,”  discusses the stigma of larger, female body types and how deep racial and religious roots led Western society to favor the lean in the article Where does Fat Phobia come from? 

In the NPR interview, Fat Phobia and Its Racist Past and Present, Strings weighs in on how slimness became popular and the centuries-long repercussions of this ideal for all women. 


Woman and young boy dressed as superheroes

Read about the history of the medical community’s understanding of obesity and the public’s treatment of fat people in Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong. 


Printed quote, "Women getting to choose what their body looks like is a feminist act."

In 1978, Susie Orbach said, “Fat is a feminist issue.” Fat is also a queer issue, a racialized issue, and an issue of class—because fatness is inseparable from all other intersections of identity. Learn about The Feminist History of Fat Liberation.