What is it about?

Many people think of fatphobia as bullying or calling a fat person a mean name. However, fatphobia can also take shape as encountering too small seating on an amusement park ride, or receiving unsolicited diet and exercise tips from a coworker. These experiences (named microaggressions) may appear to be trivial or even well-intentioned, but we find that they are linked to real harm. This includes worse mental health, including greater feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms caused by discrimination, as well as avoidance of social events or other activities in public, increasing self-isolation.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show how fat microaggressions are harmful for fat people's health and well-being. More recognition of what fat microaggressions look like and how they harm is important for increased advocation for greater accessibility and for challenging fat microaggressions when they arise.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Living while fat: Development and validation of the Fat Microaggressions Scale., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, February 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pspi0000450.
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