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Looking to learn about fat activism, fat acceptance, radical love and body positivity? Here are five nonfiction books to get you started! 

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

The Body is Not an Apology has been on my to-read list forever, given its intersectional approach to fat acceptance. Taylor discusses race, disability, sexuality, gender, fatphobia and how they intersect, imploring readers to begin a journey into radical self-love with their bodies. 

Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings

If you’re looking for a more history-based approach to fatphobia, then Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings might be the one for you. Strings tracks the origins of fatphobia from the Reniassance to the 1990s, all the while showing how fatphobia has always had a racialized, anti-black foundation. 

Hunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger by Roxane Gay is a compelling memoir on Gay’s relationship with food, self-respect and trauma. Harrowing and powerful, Gay’s memoir shows that acceptance is a hard, well-earned road. 

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon

Aubrey Gordon’s What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat pushes towards fat activism, arguing that body acceptance is necessary for social justice. Gordon shares her own experiences along with others, providing a survey of experiences on what it means to be fat in a society obsessed with being thin. 

Shrill: Notes from a Fat Woman by Lindy West

Lindy West takes a more humorous, essay-based approach with Shrill: Notes from a Fat Woman. Shrill is a great companion read to Hunger, as both discuss coming-of-age in a world that demands women to be small, subservient and quiet. 

These five books are definitely not a comprehensive list, but they are all entry points! Starting a new education always comes with questions and contradictions but also challenges and pushes you in new ways. 

Gennifer Eccles is an alumna at UNC Chapel Hill and the co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Chapel Hill. She studied English and Women & Gender Studies. Her dream job is to work at as an editor for a publishing house, where she can bring her two majors together to help publish diverse, authentic and angst-ridden romance novels.
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