Equality at Every Size

Welcome to our digital exhibit on Equality at Every Size. This page is a companion to the physical display in the Harvard Kennedy School Library, last available in August 2023. Harvard affiliates can request books via HOLLIS, for pick-up at the library of your choice.

In this book display, you'll find memoirs, poetry, and short stories about the identities and experiences of people who identify as fat. You'll also find books on the politics, activism, and sociology of weight.

A key goal of Equality at Every Size activism is to challenge sizeism. From the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging:

"Sizeism is the mistreatment of and/or discrimination against people based on their perceived body size, weight, or shape. Size discrimination and prejudiced perspectives are informed by our socially constructed beliefs around health, attractiveness, and the causes of size differentiation.  
Sizeism can manifest itself overtly through fat shaming, unsolicited 'advice' about health, and other forms of weight stigma, but it also exists covertly in our laws, policies, and culture. There are currently no federal protections against weight discrimination and only Michigan provides protection against sizeism in hiring and retention. People perceived as overweight are also regularly assumed to be less competent and less qualified, receive lower starting salaries than their non-fat counterparts, and are less likely to be invited for an interview by a manager. And much like other marginalized identities, the negative impacts of sizeism are compounded when intersected with other oppressed identities, with sizeism felt most deeply by women, specifically Black women."


Sarah McLain, Faculty Assistant at HKS, first envisioned this display, led its curation, and offered key insights at every stage in its creation.

Several books in the display come from Aubrey Gordon's "A Fat Reading List," published on her blog Your Fat Friend. Gordon is a co-host of the Maintenance Phase podcast and author of two books: What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat and "You Just Need to Lose Weight": And 19 Other Myths About Fat People. All of Gordon's creations are recommended below.

Several articles in the "Beyond Harvard" section of this display are recommended by the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging.

Around Harvard


Primary Sources

The resources below are held by Schlesinger Library at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.


Beyond Harvard


  • Maintenance Phase - critical analyses of the wellness and weight loss industries.
  • Burnt Toast - conversations on dismantling diet culture and fatphobia, focused on parenting, health, and fashion.
  • She's All Fat - conversations on current events, popular culture, and feminism as they intersect with fat positivity and radical self-love.
  • Weight For It - "unpacks the nuanced thoughts of fat folks, and of all folks who think about their weight all the time."


Articles & Research


Memoirs, Poetry, & Short Stories

Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required).

Politics, Activism, & Sociology

Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required).