Intersections or Roots: Understanding Anti-Fat Bias Through the Lens of Anti-Black Racism and the Applicability to Counselling Practice
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Anti-fat bias is pervasive on a global scale, yet rarely acknowledged as an important intersection of identity that is systemically discriminated against. Moreover, the foundation of anti-Black racism that upholds anti-fat bias is rarely contextualized. Systems founded in white supremacy maintain the separation of these biases so that each is individualized and pathologized to place the locus of control of oppression on those experiencing discrimination instead of the systems that create oppression, thus perpetuating these systems. This cyclical pattern of anti-fat bias is repeated in systems of medicine and mental health, which are intended to promote the health and well-being of all, fat people included. Those in positions of helping are subject to the same societal messaging of anti-fat bias and anti-Black racism. However, counsellors are offered a distinct opportunity to disrupt both anti-fat bias and anti-Black racism personally, professionally, and systemically to decrease the suffering of their clients and communities.