Gulf Coast State College Professor Proposes ‘Fattylympics’ to Fight Body Shaming

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A professor at Gulf Coast State College has proposed the idea of a fat people’s Olympic games to fight body shaming.

In a recently published academic journal article, Gulf Coast State College professor Richard Baldwin proposes a fat people’s Olympic games event to fight “fatphobia.” Gulf Coast State College, located in Panama City, Florida, is a public accredited college, offering bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. Baldwin’s article was originally highlighted by the New Real Peer Review account on Twitter.

The article, which was published in the journal Fat Studies, is titled, “Who are they to judge? Overcoming anthropometry through fat bodybuilding.” The article argues for the creation of “fat bodybuilding,” which Baldwin describes as “a fat-inclusive politicized performance and a new culture to be embedded within bodybuilding.”

Baldwin, a former professional bodybuilder, has dedicated his retirement to “fighting oppression and promoting social justice,” according to his personal biography.

“People who inhabit fat bodies are constantly judged—morally, aesthetically, physically, emotionally, economically, and in other ways that undermine their dignity,” Baldwin wrote in the article. “Most of all, people inhabiting fat bodies are judged for visual and superficial reasons: for the bodies they inhabit.”

Baldwin explains that his idea for “fat bodybuilding” stemmed from an event called the “fattylympics.” Baldwin calls the “fattylympics” a disruptive “fathletic” event.

“The Fattylympics was an act of cultural disruption undertaken as a nonprofit community event in East London in 2012 to satirize the Olympics and offer a different take on ‘sport, bodies, community, [and] protest,'” Baldwin explained.

Baldwin uses the article to argue that traditional athletic events reinforce certain privileges associated with body size. Revolutionary fat sporting events, such as “fat bodybuilding” and the “fattylympics” serve to reshape public perception of overweight individuals, according to Baldwin.


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