Body Sovereignty

Fat Politics and the Fight for Human Rights

by Caleb Luna, Shilo M. George, Elaine K. Lee, and Sondra Solovay


Americans love to scapegoat overweight people for everything from rising healthcare costs to the price of airline tickets.

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Cover image for Body Sovereignty

June 2020


Pages 210
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties
  Current Events and Issues/Health and Medicine
  • Forthcoming!




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An exploration of contemporary fat politics from critical legal, cultural, and historical perspectives, this book is informed by an intersectional analysis of fat as it relates to race, class, and disability in the struggle for equal rights.

Despite an increasing percentage of the U.S. population who are overweight, dismantling the negative framework around fat bodies has been extremely challenging for changemakers who are interested in securing fundamental human rights and equal protection for fat people in the law, in healthcare, and in society.

Body Sovereignty: Fat Politics and the Fight for Human Rights examines not only weight-based discrimination, but the underlying politics that benefit and encourage it to thrive. The authors simultaneously call attention to the fat liberation movement's intersections with race, class, and disability politics and the real people whose lives are affected by their outsider status. They highlight fat injustice from various perspectives, such as health and law, and uplift the often-overlooked voices of people of color, disabled people, superfat people, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Body Sovereignty invites readers to consider fat bodies and the politics of fatness from a nuanced, forward-thinking vantage point that values the voices of fat people as experts of their own experience and people worthy of equal rights.


  • Provides the missing intersectional analysis in theorizing fat liberation movements and is written by movement leaders with significant media experience
  • Fills a timely, critical gap in the current field of fat studies by exploring the politics of fat through a legal lens
  • Humanizes the victims of the war on fat by showing both its known and hidden casualties
  • Includes short interviews and quoted scholarship from intellectual/academic and activist leaders thinking about fat liberation in diverse fields
  • Offers opportunities for changemakers to re-envision organizing frameworks
Author Info

Caleb Luna, BA, is a writer, activist, teacher, performer, and scholar.They are a PhD student in performance studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where they also teach fat studies courses. Luna's writing focuses on fatness, queerness, race, desire, sexuality, and their varying intersections.

Shilo M. George, MS, is an international speaker, trainer, and owner of Lush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting. Her workshops and presentations explore the intersections of race, sexuality, body size, and trauma, both intergenerational and personal.

Elaine K. Lee, JD, is a fat activist, former corporate attorney and computer engineer. She has previously served as co-president of the board of directors of NOLOSE, a national nonprofit organization committed to fat liberation. Lee received a Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Sondra Solovay, JD, is a Berkeley Law–trained attorney, a preeminent scholar in the field of fat studies, and a subject matter expert on discrimination with an intersectional focus on weight, disability, and gender identity issues. She is author of Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight-Based Discrimination and coeditor of the multiple-award-winning Fat Studies Reader.

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