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Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


A Close Look at Fatphobia: What it is, Why it Exists, and What it Costs Us

Join us for the second speaker in the CFAES 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Speaker Series! Click here for a list of all dates and speakers

Fatphobia (or anti-fat bias) is widespread and has deep roots in the United States--but it isn't inevitable or innate.  It is learned, and it is particular to specific times, places, and cultures.  Why do some cultures regard fat bodies as positive or neutral while others regard fat bodies as problems to be avoided and solved?  In this talk, we'll explore a constellation of ideas that create and flow from fatphobia, from anti-black racism to patriarchy, from the BMI and the Health At Every Size rubric to core concepts of the fat liberations/body neutrality movements.  We'll consider the uses of fatphobia--what work it does in the culture--and consider what it might be like to have a world free from this learned and harmful bias. 

Black woman with short hairSavala Nolan is an author, professor, and lawyer. She is the author of Don't Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body (Simon & Schuster) and is executive director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she teaches about the role of identity in lawyering. She and her writing have been featured in VogueThe New York Times Book Review, Time, Harper’s MagazineForbes, and more.  Last year, Nolan served as an advisor on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, The Promise.  Born and raised in California, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. 

This event will be presented with automated closed captions. If you wish to request traditional CART services or other accommodations, please contact Laura Akgerman at or 614-292-0622. Requests submitted two weeks in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet every request.

Please direct all other inquiries to Dr. Leo Taylor(.3408).