Weight Stigma Conference 2023: One week left for early-bird tickets!
9th Annual Weight Stigma Conference, Denver, CO, USA, 28-29 June, 2023 [Hybrid]
Register now to get early-bird rates on in-person and online-only tickets. See our website for details of ticket pricing and financial support options.
The Annual International Weight Stigma Conference is an inter-disciplinary event that brings together scholars and practitioners from a range of backgrounds (e.g., public health, government and public policy, psychology, medicine, sociology, anthropology, allied health professions, education, sports and exercise science, social sciences, media studies, business, law, activism, and the lay public) to consider research, policy, rhetoric, and practice around the issue of weight stigma.
This year’s theme is Unintended Harms, Insidious Impact: The Need for Multi-Level Change. Abstract submission for oral presentations and conference sessions are now closed, but we are continuing to accept submissions for poster presentations. Submit your abstract here.
Shilo George, MS (she/they) a Southern Cheyenne-Arapaho and Irish/Scottish international speaker and owner of Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting, which means “a great awakening of the heart and spirit” in the Chinuk Wawa trade language. Her consulting work covers trauma informed practices and how those practices align with and support anti-racist and anti-oppression work within organizations and communities.
Tigress Osborn (she/her) is the Chair of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA). Founded in 1969 in the US, NAAFA is the world’s oldest documented fat rights advocacy organization. Tigress has championed an intersectional approach to fighting anti-fatness through education, advocacy, and support, with work featured in USA Today, Huffington Post, and Newsweek, and heard on BBC AntiSocial and ABC News. They were pivotal in the Campaign for Size Freedom’s recent victory in helping NYC Council pass a new weight and height anti-discrimination bill last week!
Dr Joy Cox
Dr Joy Cox is an organizational communication scholar and social justice advocate. Her work has focused on matters of intersectionality addressing race, body size, accessibility, and “health” within the context of body acceptance and fat liberation. In 2020, Joy published her first memoir and love letter to the fat Black community entitled, “Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating Communities of Own via North Atlantic Books. She also hosted the Fresh Out the Cocoon podcast which showcases the lived experiences of fat Black womxn and femmes and was co-founder of Jabbie, an identity-inclusive, body affirming app that encourages people to move their bodies in their own way.
For more on our keynotes, visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/keynotes-2023/
Bursary Fund – Supporting Accessibility
The Weight Stigma Conference is a not-for-profit event. Although we try and keep prices down, we realise that the conference will nevertheless be beyond some people’s means. Rather than raising the cost of tickets, we will make every effort to raise additional funding through donations and sponsorship to allow us to give bursaries to individuals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. A Donation option is available for both delegates and non-attendees who are in a position to contribute a little extra to help us provide financial assistance where needed. Donations can also be made through our Go Fund Me page – please share this page with your networks. Last year, individual donations allowed us to provide twelve full bursaries and we hope to at least match that again this year. Thank you so much for your generosity. If you are interested in formal sponsorship of the event, please email us: email@example.com.
The 2023 WSC is delighted to follow the 2023 Annual Conference of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). SPSSI is an amazing organisation with a strong focus on social justice and creating change. If you’re not familiar with SPSSI, do check out their website. For more information: SPSSI conference webpage
FYI. CfP Special Issue of Fat Studies: Fat Social Justice Now!
Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society on:
Editor-in-Chief: Carla A. Pfeffer, Michigan State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Time Magazine headline in 2023 shouts: “More Than Half of the World Will Be Obese By 2035.” For decades, fatness has been decried as a global public health scourge, a crisis, an epidemic. An array of dietary, exercise, surgical, behavioral, psychological, interpersonal, and pharmaceutical interventions have been amassed with the aim of diminishing bodily fat, to no long-term avail. Alongside this costly array of interventions are myriad empirical research studies demonstrating the profound consequences of anti-fat social stigma and bias across nearly every facet of social life today-employment, health and healthcare, romantic relationships, public access and accommodations, legal systems, housing, education, families, socioeconomic status, public transportation, politics, religion, and the media. Even as representation of some fat bodies slowly begins to expand, supersize and infinifat people experience increasing social isolation, broad lack of access, care refusals, and public ridicule. Fatness is intersectionally experienced, producing variable outcomes for individuals and groups of people who live at these intersections. Few legal protections exist for fat people and fatphobia, anti-fat stigma, and discrimination have emerged as equal-opportunity antipathies, as common among social and political liberals as they are among conservatives.
In the context of these difficult social realities, I invite papers for a special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, on Fat Social Justice Now! This special issue seeks to encompass a variety of topics around a broad definition of fat social justice. As such, I invite you to consider how fat social justice has been conceptualized in the past, its status today, and how we might more effectively envision and strategize around fat social justice for the future. To be considered for inclusion in this special issue, please send a tentative title, 200-250 word abstract, and current CV to: Carla A. Pfeffer, email@example.com, by June 30, 2023. Any questions about the topic may also be directed to Carla A. Pfeffer at this e-mail address. Those invited to submit full papers (5,500 words or fewer, including references) will be notified by August 01, 2023 and will be required to submit a full paper by November 01, 2023.
Welcome topics include but are not limited to:
- Shifts in fat social justice tactics, strategies, and approaches over time
- Fat social justice manifestos for the twenty-first century
- The role of fat acceptance in fat social justice (provocations welcome)
- Access, accommodations, and the built environment
- Intersections of fat social justice theories, politics, and social movements with crip and disability studies
- The rise of bariatric surgeries and weight-loss pharmaceuticals in the context of fat social justice
- Fat social justice within or across particular social contexts (e.g., relationships, families, legal systems, health and medicine, employment, education, housing, religion, politics, media, etc.)
- Local and global fat social justice
- Bodily autonomy, boundary and bodily surveillance, and bodily transitions in the fight for fat social justice
- Barriers, challenges, and strategies for achieving inclusive and intersectional fat social justice
- The role of Health at Every Size in the fight for fat social justice
- Fat social justice-focused organizations, groups, and social movements
- Building and promoting solidarity for fat social justice
- The state of legal protections for weight, body size, and shape
- The role of resilience, resistance, and activism for fat social justice
- Necessary intersections, solidarity, and allies in the context of fat social justice (e.g., anti-racist, anti-sexist)
- Art for fat social justice
- Technologies for fat social justice
In addition to these topics, I also invite brief reflective essays on the outgoing and founding editor of Fat Studies, Esther Rothblum’s, many contributions to defining, nurturing, and elevating the field of fat studies. This special issue will contain a special section celebrating Dr. Rothblum’s scholarship, editorship, mentorship, and longstanding commitments to advancing social justice.
Fat Studies is the first academic journal to critically examine theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and society. Content includes original research and overviews exploring the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Articles critically examine representations of fat in health and medical sciences, the Health at Every Size model, the pharmaceutical industry, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, legal issues, literature, pedagogy, art, theater, popular culture, media studies, and activism.
FYI. NYC Council passes anti-discrimination bill!
Congratulations to the Campaign for Size Freedom for driving this historic legislation! We look forward to hearing more about this and other policy work being done by NAAFA at this year’s WSC, from NAAFA Board Chair Tigress Osborn.
Announcement by NAAFA:
We are delighted to announce that the New York City Council voted 44-5 to pass bill INT-0209, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of height and weight in housing, employment and public accommodation. This historic vote means New York City is set to become the biggest city in the world to protect people from size discrimination. The bill becomes law when Mayor Adams signs it or when 30 days have passed, whichever happens first.
Thank YOU for your crucial support in this effort – we are so excited to celebrate this victory together!
If you’re in New York City, save the date for Sunday, June 4th for a celebration of this exciting news. Follow us on your favorite social media @naafaofficial for details coming soon.
Our work doesn’t end when NYC’s law becomes official. NAAFA and our partners at the Campaign for Size Freedom are supporting similar legislation in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont. Want to help bring this momentum to your state? If you haven’t already done so, sign the Size Freedom petition to tell lawmakers across the country that you want to see them follow NYC’s lead!
While we coordinate efforts to pass more bills protecting fat people and people of all sizes from height and weight discrimination, we remain committed to all the other important education and advocacy work.. At NAAFA, we fight for fat rights, oppose discrimination in all forms, invest in intersectional fat community, and brazenly celebrate fat joy. Thank you for helping us create more reasons to celebrate!
Tigress Osborn, NAAFA Board Chair
FYI. Petition to US airline authority
Influencer Jae’Lynn Chaney has started a petition to the Federal Aviation Administration demanding change in the U.S. airline industry to protect customers of size across all airlines. You can learn more and sign here: https://www.change.org/p/demand-for-the-faa-to-protect-plus-size-travelers
WSC 2023 (hybrid): Registration OPEN!
Registration for online and in-person tickets to WSC 2023 is now open! For more information and to register, please visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/registration-2023/ Early-bird rates available until 31st May.
Weight Stigma Conference 2023 venue and accommodation
Details of WSC 2023 location and accommodation block are now available on our website. Visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/information-for-delegates/ for more information.
Last chance to submit oral abstracts for WSC 2023
Don’t forget that the submission deadline for oral presentations and conference sessions (e.g., seminars, workshops, roundtables, etc.) is today. Poster submissions will remain open until June. Submit your abstract at https://weightstigmaconference.com/abstract-submission/ #WSC2023 #WSC9
Weight Stigma Conference 2023 abstract submission deadline extended
The abstract submission deadline for oral presentations and conferences sessions will be extended to Friday 24th March. Poster submissions remain open through till June. To submit an abstract, please visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/abstract-submission/
Note, if you submitted an abstract prior to the original deadline, we will be reviewing those in the next week and you will hear back ASAP.
FYI. Position available: Body Justice Fellowship with Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights, and Education
Note, recruitment opened in February, but this position is still open.
Seeking Independent Contractor for Body Justice Fellowship
All people deserve the freedom to thrive, yet very few laws exist that specifically outlaw discrimination based on body size. This is true even though body size discrimination affected 34 million people in 2019 and disproportionately impacts people based on race and other protected characteristics. We see this when a woman gets passed over for a promotion at work because she gained weight; a patient is denied adequate health care because they don’t fit into the MRI machine, or a teenager can’t find an outfit for prom because clothing stores won’t carry their size. This discrimination can lead to loss of wages, depression, anxiety and difficulty getting necessary, life-saving medical care.
Without including body size, weight and height, our current civil rights laws are incomplete. Corporations, legislators and advocates everywhere have the power to minimize the harmful impacts of body size discrimination and help folks of every size succeed in all areas of their lives.
Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights, and Education (FLARE) is a project of the Law Office of Brandie Solovay. FLARE, the only US-based legal project focused on fat liberation issues, is recruiting a body justice fellow to support work to end body size discrimination. The fellow will communicate directly with attorney Brandie Solovay.
Scope of Work:
- Conduct legal research and writing on the issue of body size, weight and height discrimination.
- Support access, advocacy, and legal research projects.
- Draft a comprehensive white paper about the status of legal rights for higher-weight people and the push for making body size discrimination illegal in states and municipalities across the country. The white paper will include real-life stories of people who have experienced discrimination and recommendations for policies that states and cities should pass to protect fat people from discrimination at home, work, school, and in medical care settings.
- Attend civil rights/legal conferences and events as needed to create connections that could support the ongoing work.
- Attend meetings to share ongoing research and insights with partners to support efforts to pass anti-body size discrimination laws in MA, VT, NY, NYC and NJ.
- Participate in media interviews and other campaign activities to help educate target audiences about this issue through an intersectional lens, as well as provide select social media services.
Qualifications and Experience:
- Proven ability to self-manage as an independent contractor.
- Strong background in size/weight advocacy and civil rights law related to body size or weight discrimination, policy and legislative advocacy, accessibility, and/or equivalent.
- Knowledge of weight-neutral health approaches, weight-related studies, and the medical science relating to body size.
- Impeccable, efficient writing and research skills.
- Publication credits and proven track record of successful independent writing projects.
- Deep understanding of intersectionality and its application to body size discrimination.
- Press, public speaking, social media, and communication prowess.
- Ability to identify industry decision-makers, initiate contact, establish connections, be persuasive, and develop ongoing relationships.
- Passion for ending body size discrimination and for improving equity and justice for higher weight people.
Compensation and Details:
This 12-month paid fellowship is a fully remote independent contractor position. The compensation is $42,000 to $50,000 depending on projects completed. Projects and scope will be agreed upon once the candidate is selected.
How to apply:
Interested applicants should fill out this Google Form. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting in February 2023.
The Law Office of Brandie Solovay is an equal opportunity employer that prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee, independent contractor, or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, national origin, genetic characteristics, disability, status as a specific disabled veteran or veteran, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or any other basis prohibited under law.
FYI. NAAFA, FLARE Project and Dove Launch First of Its Kind Campaign to End Body Size Discrimination
NAAFA, FLARE Project and Dove Launch First of Its Kind Campaign to End Body Size Discrimination
Though people of larger size are the majority in America, very few laws protect them against discrimination. Legislators and advocates say it’s time for change. February 21, 2023
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights, and Education Project (FLARE, a project of the Law Office of Brandie Solovay), supported by Dove, are proud to launch the Campaign for Size Freedom to end body size discrimination. The campaign seeks to strengthen legal protections and shift cultural narratives about body size through education, advocacy, and corporate social responsibility. The campaign comes as four states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont) and New York City are considering legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on height and weight. If these bills are successful, these states will join Michigan and Washington in being the only states in the country with explicit protections against body size discrimination.
Though people of larger size are the majority in America, very few laws specifically outlaw discrimination based on body size. Research conducted by Dove showed that nearly 90% of women—and 84% of all adults—living in larger bodies have been shamed because of their body size at least once. Many have also been discriminated against because of their body size, with 78% of women and 65% of all adults living in larger bodies experiencing discrimination at least once. Race also plays a key role, with women of color living in larger bodies more at risk of discrimination than white women. Body size discrimination denies people necessary—even life-saving—medical treatment, contributes to financial inequality, and creates serious mental health challenges.In both pop culture and news stories, fat people continue to be stigmatized and shamed because of their body size. New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that healthcare providers refer children to “intensive health behavior and lifestyle treatment” programs, as early as the age of two. An actor was nominated for an Oscar for their portrayal of a 600 pound man, which critics call a “cruel spectacle.” All of this is adding to an already-hostile cultural environment that is having a devastating effect on higher weight people’s mental health and their ability to find and hold jobs and get necessary medical care.
“Americans know that fat people get made fun of and pressured to change our bodies, but often people don’t fully understand the many ways weight bias limits our lives. It doesn’t just break our hearts. It also drains our bank accounts and keeps us from participating in our communities. It isn’t just personal. It’s discriminatory. My body size shouldn’t determine whether or not people pay or treat me fairly–no one’s should. And 80% of Americans agree! It’s time for our laws and policies to catch up to our values,” said Tigress Osborn, Board Chair at NAAFA.
True equality means everyone at every size has the same freedom to thrive. It’s that simple. The Campaign for Size Freedom seeks to make the promise of equality a reality for people of all sizes and from all backgrounds. “We should not need laws to guarantee fair treatment based on body size, but obviously we do. These laws are critical; they make it clear that discrimination and hostility must stop, and that it’s possible to push back if it happens to you,” saidBrandie Solovay, Director of her law office’s FLARE Project.
“Dove has been leading conversations around inclusive beauty and representation for nearly two decades, and we believe all body sizes deserve care, love and respect. Dove is proud to support the advocacy efforts of NAAFA and FLARE Project to strengthen legislation that protects against body size discrimination,” said Dana Paolucci, Head of PR & Influence for Dove North America. “For years, activists have fought to legally protect individuals living in larger bodies from discrimination, but have been met with rejection in 48 states. This needs to change. Dove will use its platforms to raise awareness of the injustice of body size discrimination while advancing necessary dialogue around beauty and larger bodies. We hope that through the Campaign for Size Freedom, we will be able to create a world where all bodies are treated fairly under the law.”
This year, the Campaign for Size Freedom is urging legislators to pass bills prohibiting discrimination based on body size in the following states and cities:
- Massachusetts: Bill HD.626/SD.392, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of height and weight.
- New Jersey: Bill 2741, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of height or weight under New Jersey’s “Law Against Discrimination.”
- New York City: Bill INT 0209, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of height or weight in opportunities of employment, housing, and access to public accommodations.
- New York: BillA801, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of weight.
- Vermont:Bill S.23, prohibiting certain forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on weight and race-related hair styles and textures.
“In New York City, we pride ourselves on our diversity, we don’t shame people for it. With the passage of our bill, New Yorkers facing height and weight discrimination will finally be safeguarded by the law. Our bill protects workers, tenants, and all New Yorkers who face discrimination in employment, housing, and access to public accommodations. We’re grateful to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance for their over 50 years of hard work to oppose discrimination and invest in the intersectional fat community. Together, we’ll build an inclusive world that celebrates our diversity,” said New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu.
“Body size discrimination is a widespread and serious issue in our society that disproportionately impacts women and people of color. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to it,” said Massachusetts State Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) “I proudly refiled legislation alongside Representative Tram Nguyen to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on height and weight, because our body sizes should not be determinants of our merit, worth, or humanity.”
Massachusetts State Representative Tram Nguyen (D-Andover) said, “I am proud to sponsor legislation that would protect people in the workplace and places of public accommodation from body size discrimination. This has a disproportionate impact on women in the workplace, gives rise to bullying in schools, and often leads to eating disorders. I look forward to continuing our important work with help from the Campaign for Size Freedom, whose members have already been advocating for our bill.”
To learn more about the Campaign for Size Freedom, visit naafa.org/sizefreedom.