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What Is Fat Activism? An Interview with Dr. Charlotte Cooper

By Dr. Cookie Woolner

Dr. Charlotte Cooper is a British fat activist and para-academic with 30 years experience in this field. She is the author of a new book, Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement. In her book, Cooper debunks various assumptions about fat activism, such as that it is about “body positivity” and “self-love,” or merely focused on issues of obesity and health. Through interviews with fat activists and her own experiences, Cooper charts the rich history of fat activism since its emergence in the 1960s amidst many other social movements for justice and equity. She argues that fat activism is a strategy to help fat people live better lives, which can take on any form, from working at the policy level to create anti-discrimination laws to hosting fat clothing swaps, protesting the diet industry, creating embodied performances and community events

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