Fat Liberation, Fat Liberation activist

As our readers know, there’s nothing we love more than boring white men saying things, and in a recent article, Jason Rantz (a host on a conservative talk radio show) takes aim at the “Fat Con” conference that just occurred in Seattle this last weekend, branding it as supporting a dangerous and backward movement. While Jason attempts to criticize the fat liberation movement, his arguments are riddled with misinformation, flawed assumptions, and the tired attempts of straight sized white men to shame and judge fat women.

Honestly, yawn. But since we went to this amazing event and wholeheartedly support FatCon, let’s get into why Jason is wrong!

Misrepresentation of Fat Liberation

Jason asserts that fat liberation promotes the acceptance of fatness in a radical way that actually harms fat folks. While he is correct that accepting fatness and size diversity is radical in a world where intentional weight loss founded on self hatred grossed over $160 Billion dollars in 2023 (SOURCE: Expected Weight Loss Market Trends)

However, he completely misses the foundational core of body liberation, a movement primarily focused on breaking down the oppressive systems that deem fat bodies less healthy, valuable, and desirable. Lindley Ashline has a great post on this. (SOURCE: What is body and fat liberation?)

Jason continually asserts that “Fat liberation demands that society and institutions pretend there are no significant health consequences of obesity.” Mischaracterizing the movement’s intentions so dramatically creates an argument intended to draw folks away from the true root of this movement rooted in acceptance and freedom.

These are good reads that talk about the history of fat acceptance and body liberation and the true aims and goals of this movement. (SOURCE: Center for Discovery, SOURCE: The Feminist History of Fat Liberation). 

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Inaccurate Portrayal of Refusing Weigh-Ins

Jason uses an anecdote about a contributor refusing to be weighed at a doctor’s office to argue against fat liberation.

However, this oversimplification ignores the broader conversation within the movement about the importance of promoting health at every size and shifting the focus from using weight as a primary marker of health and weight loss as the path to that health, to a focus on the whole person’s well-being.

Health is highly subjective and varies greatly. No one owes anyone health and everyone, regardless of the body they live in, deserves access to unbiased care. And we have plenty of evidence that shows anti-fat bias exists and is growing.

The Harvard Implicit Bias tests show that bias against fat people has increased over the time these tests have been active online, in fact it’s the only implicit bias that has seen a rise.

This doesn’t mean it is “more important” than any other bias, only that it’s the only one to continue to worsen. (SOURCE: How American’s Biases Are Changing Over Time (or Not).

Misunderstanding Health Implications

Jason implies that fat liberation disregards the health consequences of being fat and makes the assumption that all fat people are unhealthy. Something I’m entirely bored of hearing.

If this were the case, every fat person would be ill and every straight size person would be “healthy.” In reality, the movement emphasizes destigmatizing discussions around weight and health, advocating for holistic approaches that prioritize mental and physical well-being rather than solely focusing on weight loss. 

At the end of the day weight normative care (prioritizing weight and weight loss as key health indicators) and anti-fat bias have been shown to do actual physiological and psychological harm (like we need research to tell us that!) See the end of this blog for a handful of articles to support this, there are too many to list here.

In the weight inclusive approach we see in HAES®, study after study can prove that this approach has no adverse outcomes, more people who adhere to the changes recommended, and better improvements in physiological markers of wellness like blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as psychological matters like increased self-esteem and decreased disordered eating. (SOURCE: The Weight-Inclusive versus Weight-Normative Approach to Health: Evaluating the Evidence for Prioritizing Well-Being over Weight Loss)

Unsubstantiated Claims about Longevity

Jason makes a baseless assumption that losing weight inherently leads to a longer and happier life. While weight loss can have health benefits for some individuals, the relationship between weight and overall well-being is complex and varies from person to person.

Additionally, there are no studies that show safe or effective ways for people to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off for more than five years. (SOURCE: Maintenance of lost weight and long-term obesity management). 

We do not have a good way to achieve weight loss permanently. And, we have a plethora of studies to show the damage of dieting and weight cycling on our bodies. (sources below) Blanket statements oversimplify a nuanced issue.

Ignoring the Complexity of Obesity

Jason oversimplifies obesity as a result of lifestyle choices, dismissing underlying factors such as genetics, socio-economic status, and mental health.

This reductionist perspective ignores the multifaceted nature of fatness and the natural body size diversity that exists in all people. These both contribute to the further stigmatization of fat folks.


Every white man with a microphone seems to think they don’t have to cite their sources, a camp Jason certainly falls under.

As we’ve discussed before, scientific research isn’t infallible, neither are the scientists who conduct them, and I think it’d be fun to challenge Jason to review what he claims to be true and force him to (if he’s capable?) to use some critical thinking skills and invest time into reviewing scientific literature before blasting an entire group of folks.

An Ad?

Was his whole article just an ad so he could give a shout out to the company that helped him lose weight? We’ve regularly experienced that there is no one more fat phobic than a person who has previously lost weight. 

Even if one were to entertain Jason’s flawed arguments, the ultimate message this fat person wants people like him to truly hear: fat people are humans.

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Who cares if we’re all wildly unhealthy? How does that impact you? Would you treat an ill person poorly and deny them access to care? Of course not! (Although, Jason might, considering his horrible takes on other human rights issues). But that’s exactly what people like Jason are saying is okay to do, because “fat people bring it on themselves.” This narrative is overused, based on so much debunked myth, and just tiresome at this point. 

Everyone deserves respect and dignity, access to quality healthcare, and to live their lives in peace. The fat liberation movement seeks to create a more inclusive and compassionate society, and it’s time to embrace the natural size diversity of bodies without judgment.

For goodness sake, just let us be fat. 

When I read this article titled, “Dangerous ‘fat liberation’ convention Fat Con in Seattle this weekend”, I felt a ping of sadness, then was a little mad and lastly I just chuckled. I was at this event all weekend and the only time I felt any sense of danger was when the Daily Mail tried to bust through hotel security with a photographer, not even a full-fledged reporter, just so someone could take photos of our bodies, reduce us to flesh, and reproduce our images without permission in what I assume would only be more biased articles. Shoutout to the amazing Dykes on Bikes that came to provide security for the event! 

This weekend I was not in danger. This weekend I was surrounded by a fat community and by heart. I was encircled in laughter and joy. I ate and joked and dove deep with people of all sizes and shapes and abilities, people of color, and queer folks. I ate meals with folks with disabilities (visible and I’m sure invisible), neurodivergent people, and genderfluid folks. I lived my life as a fat person for two glorious days where every single person around me affirmed my existence, just the way I was, in those moments.

Fat Con was a beautiful gathering of souls that celebrated the natural diversity of bodies, and really natural diversity of humans. They hosted presentations by folks who specifically work, support, and play with fat people. People felt free to share lived experience and eat in peace. There were fat vendors selling clothes and pottery and those providing bodywork. There were photographers and artists and musical folks. The creativity was alive and buzzing through each banquet hall and lobby. The panels were heartfelt, educational, and on purpose. I wanted to be in every room at all times because there was so much to learn and so many stories to be shared. 

I wanted this weekend to last forever. I wanted people who don’t understand bias and the harm they perpetuate with weight based hate to feel the vibrancy radiating throughout the convention. I wanted the people who judge me when I proudly say, “I am fat!”, to see the radiant smile I displayed and feel the lightness I carried all weekend. 

What I felt this weekend was not dangerous. It was pure love.

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