Dr. Joy Cox: Fat Girls in Black Bodies with Brandi Michele
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Combatting fatphobia and racism to reclaim a space for womxn at the intersection of fat and Black.
To be a womxn living in a body at the intersection of fat and Black is to be on the margins. From concern-trolling—“I just want you to be healthy”—to outright attacks, fat Black bodies that fall outside dominant constructs of beauty and wellness are subjected to healthism, racism, and misogynoir. The spaces carved out by third-wave feminism and the fat liberation movement fail at true inclusivity and intersectionality; fat Black womxn need to create their own safe spaces and community, instead of tirelessly laboring to educate and push back against dominant groups.
Structured into three sections—“belonging,” “resistance,” and “acceptance”—and informed by personal history, community stories, and deep research, Fat Girls in Black Bodies breaks down the myths, stereotypes, tropes, and outright lies we’ve been sold about race, body size, belonging, and health. Dr. Joy Cox’s razor-sharp cultural commentary exposes the racist roots of diet culture, healthism, and the ways we erroneously conflate body size with personal responsibility. She explores how to reclaim space and create belonging in a hostile world, pushing back against tired pressures of “going along just to get along,” and dismantles the institutionally ingrained myths about race, size, gender, and worth that deny fat Black womxn their selfhood.
Dr. Joy Arlene Renee Cox, PhD is a Philadelphia native, born on the blessed thirty-first day of December. Joy is a claircognizant Capricorn that thrives through connection and love, rooting for the underdogs in life to take their rightful place as overcomers. She is also a doctor; she received her PhD from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2018. Her field of work is centered on fatness, identity, and social change.
Reflective of the name she bears, Joy has the cheeks to outsmile her detractors. Reflective of her work in print, she has the research to back up her claims. While the spotlight has never been a position she’d prefer to stand in, Joy does believe in speaking up and advocating for what’s right. She is the host of the pro-fat, pro-Black podcast Fresh Out the Cocoon and has been featured in articles by the Huffington Post and SELF magazine. Joy has also been on several podcasts, such as Positive Nutrition with Paige Smathers and Food Psych with Christy Harrison. Dr. Cox is simply a conduit through which love, wisdom, and justice flow. Her pride is in her people and her values. Her strength is in her disposition and her intuition.
Brandi Michele is a content creator, cultural critic, fat body/mental health advocate, and community builder who is committed to empowering and uplifting Black non-men. She has birthed community through her group, Magical Fat Black Femmes which serves as a safe space for Black non-men to be seen, heard, and talk about their lives.
Her podcast "Fat Black Audacity" gives you her take on the world, chronicling the struggles of fat bodies through her lived experiences, and highlighting what it's like to exist in a fat Black femme body in the age of body positivity.