Charlotte Cooper (author)

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Charlotte Cooper (born 1968) is a London-based British writer and outspoken advocate for gay rights and fat acceptance. She describes herself as "queer, from a working-class background, white, middle-aged, and have a load of higher education. I have poly relationships and am sort-of femme".[1] Cooper is both an academic and mainstream author. She has published articles in academic journals such as Disability and Society.and is herself a board member of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society[2] She has written many articles on fat acceptance and gay rights issues for websites, magazines and newspapers, including Diva, the U.K.'s leading lesbian magazine and UK national newspaper The Guardian. Cooper is also news editor for, the largest gay and lesbian portal in the UK.[3] She is a prolific author of zines and performs in the queercore band 'Homosexual Death Drive'.[4]

Charlotte Cooper describes her approach to fat activism:

I challenge biomedical discourse on fat through my activism. Many fat activists are interested in countering obesity discourse claims, but my interests are in creating communities and cultures, and in documenting fat activist histories, that are somewhat autonomous and exist beyond the boundaries of medicalisation... It does not answer to biomedical discourse, it is something else entirely that is built on the creativity and sheer badassery of fat people. It shows that there are other ways of thinking about fat, and embodying fatness.[5]


Cooper's 2002 novel, Cherry, about a young woman's experience and discovery of lesbianism, attracted controversy when copies were impounded by Canadian Customs officers.[6] Reasons given were the scenes of fisting and golden showers.[7]

In 2007, Cooper coined the term "headless fatty" to describe negative media representations of fat people Obesity.[8]

In 2010, Cooper was a Government of Ireland Ph.D scholar at Limerick University date[9] where she wrote a history of the fat activist movement in which she argued that it is closely allied with the feminist movement and, like it, has undergone waves of activity.[10]

Cooper has co-produced a number of events with fat activism themes including 'The Fat of the Land', 'Big Bum Jumble' and 2012's 'Fattylympics', a protest against both attitudes to fat and the London 2012 Olympics, held in Stratford, where she lives.[11]


  • Fat and Proud (1998)
  • Cherry (2002)
  • Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement (2016)

Journal Articles[edit]

  • Cooper, C. (1997). "Can a Fat Woman Call Herself Disabled?". Disability and Society. 12 (1): 31–41. doi:10.1080/09687599727443. 
  • Cooper, C. (2003). "'Swing it Baby!'". Journal of Bisexuality. 3: 87–92. doi:10.1300/j159v03n03_06. 
  • Cooper, C. (2010). "Fat Studies: Mapping the Field". Sociology Compass. 4 (12): 1020–1034. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9020.2010.00336.x. 
  • Cooper, C. (2012). "A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline: Queering Fat Activist Nationality and Cultural Imperialism". Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society. 1 (1): 61–74. doi:10.1080/21604851.2012.627503. 
  • Cooper, C.; S. Murray (2012). "Fat Activist Community: A Conversation Piece". Somatechnics. 2 (1): 127–138. doi:10.3366/soma.2012.0045. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cooper, Charlotte. "A Queer and Trans Fat Activist Timeline" (PDF). Self Published. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Cooper, Charlotte. "Profile" (PDF). Guardian. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ White, Caroline (2001-07-13). "Lesbian and gay news sites face 'accidental' censorship". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  4. ^ "Women of the World Festival: Charlotte Cooper". South bank Centre. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Smith, Carolyn. "Under the Radar: Fat Activism and the 2012 Olympics". GamesMonitor - Debunking Olympics Myths. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. ^ "Under Attack: An Update on Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Canada". 2003. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  7. ^ Gallant, Paul (17 October 2002). "Mad Grab: Books Detained/Canada Customs Thumbs Its Nose at Queer Lit". Xtra: Canada's Gay & Lesbian News. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ Cooper, Charlotte (January 2007). "Headless Fatties". Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Cooper, Charlotte. "Fat is a feminist issue, but whose feminism?". The Scavenger. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. ^ Cooper, Charlotte. "What's Fat Activism?" (PDF). University of Limerick. Retrieved February 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  11. ^ "Fattylympics". Fattylympics. Retrieved March 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]