What is the Good News
for fat bodies?
This is a necessary question.
We tend only to hear bad news about fatness. We hear statistics and slurs and jokes and advertisements that all seek to make sure that those of us who are fat believe wholeheartedly that we are failures.
This is why fat folks are very much in need of good news. And it’s why all people need to be saved from their anti-fat hatred and fear of adipose tissue by a gospel of fat liberation.
The power of the Christian gospel has always been its invitation to organize society in a new way.
The church can choose to use this power for either colonization or liberation. Through a gospel of fat liberation, we can reorder society toward communal wellness that does not rely on a hierarchy of bodies. We can end structural health disparities.
We can remove anti-fat judgments of ourselves and others. We can enjoy the bodily delights of food, movement, sex, and even swimming without intrusive thoughts of personal shame.
In this way, salvation comes, not with yet another diet regimen, but with our deep-down belief that there is beauty, dignity, and value inherent in all bodies, of every size, even in our own.
Jiggles and all.
Want to learn more? Get the book!
Whether your body is small or large, aged or young, disabled or abled, toned or soft, lithe or stiff—or somewhere in-between—anti-fatness affects us all, because it is intended to. Fat Church is a book that critiques anti-fat prejudice and the Christian church’s historic participation in it, calling for a fatphobic reckoning for the sake of God’s gospel of freedom.
United Church of Christ pastor and theological educator Anastasia Kidd reviews the history of medicalized diet culture, fat studies, beauty, body policing—and the white supremacist machinations underpinning them—in order to advocate for a society rooted in bodily liberation for all. Fat Church offers a disruption to social habits of shame and remembers the theology of abundance that calls us all beloved by God.
Fat Church includes at its conclusion an extensive, 35-page workbook of thought-provoking personal reflection and small group discussion questions. This reading guide makes the book a great resource for:
The individual reader wrestling with their own fat shame
The parent hoping not to pass body shame and fatphobia along to their children
The social justice advocate unaware of how anti-fatness dovetails with other societal oppressions
The church book group looking for a thought-provoking, engaging, and entertaining read
Less of a church.
More of a movement.
Fatness is not a sin. Nor is it a failing of willpower or a moral evil.
Fatness is simply a much-maligned, naturally-occurring body type that's scapegoated in a society that values thin, white, and abled bodies over all others.
Fat Church is a movement inviting Christians to examine their own biases against fatness, hold them to the light of the gospel of God’s freedom and abundance,
and imagine a society where all bodies are liberated from anti-fat oppression.
It is a movement for fat folks, not-so-fat folks, outright thin folks, and whomever else would like to join. If you are a person of faith and want to know how anti-fatness fits in with the other oppressions in our society (racism, white supremacy, homophobia, patriarchy), come on in. There's plenty of room. Our chairs are ample, sturdy, and armless.
And we’ve got great snacks.
Meet the Author
"This is not a self-help book, though I hope that some might find it helpful. It's also not a simple 'God loves you just the way you are' text. I do believe that is true, but saying or even trusting the truth of that statement does not fix the numerous spiritual, emotional, and physical problems arising from US culture, which has a fanatical fascination with fitness, places moral worth on body size, and demands penance to purge the sin of fatness. . . Fat Church aims to start a new conversation about what it means to be fat and faithful in the church and wider society."
Rev. Dr. Anastasia E. B. Kidd
Workshops & Consulting
FatChurch is available for:
One-on-one or group mentoring around dismantling internalized fatphobia and increasing one's social justice commitments
Virtual or in-person workshops - "ask the author" book conversations, readings, or workshops on how the church can organize itself toward fat liberation, holistic wellness, & body freedom for all
Physical design consulting for congregations and faith communities looking to increase their comfort with and welcome toward fat people