Acceptable Prejudice? Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice

ABOUT Lonie McMichael

Lonie McMichael
Lonie McMichael has wanted to be a writer since age 3. For many years she practiced her trade as a technical writer in the high tech industry. After going to graduate school, she found her calling in fat studies, exploring the fat individual’s experience. Graduating with a Ph.D More...


Fat prejudice is exploding in American society,  yet even social justice advocates tend to deny fat individuals protection because fat is seen as unhealthy and permanently changeable—concepts supported by a great deal of societal belief and very little scientific evidence. Using bell hooks' ideology of domination, Lonie McMichael explores the phenomena of fat prejudice—from inception to resistance—through a rhetorical lens. Looking at the actual experiences of fat people, she argues that fat prejudice is neither acceptable nor tolerable in our society.

"...a useful introduction to a burgeoning movement...will make readers question their attitudes about overweight people."
Publishers Weekly


"Acceptable Prejudice? Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice is an ideal book for people new to the concept of fat acceptance. McMichael writes a book that will answer all questions about this movement; she describes and explains the aesthetic and psychological issues surrounding the movement as well as its political, academic and health manifestations. Thus, this book is a veritable encyclopedia that explains the what, when, why and how of fat acceptance in ways palatable to both the serious scholar and the curious layperson. If you have anything to do with fat acceptance, Acceptable Prejudice should have a place on your bookshelf."
Erec Smith, Ph.D.
Professor of Rhetoric, Fat acceptance blogger


"Prejudices can only appear acceptable so long as we fail to see them (and their connnections to each other) for their true impact in our lives. Lonie McMichael clearly exposes how weight prejudice interacts with racism, sexism, classism, ageism, and healthism—and how a wholehearted challenge to the former also necessarily addresses all of the ways we're excluded."

Marilyn Wann
author of Fat!So?