Meet the self-proclaimed "Fat Activist" at the forefront of NY's bill banning weight discrimination

Darla Miles Image
Friday, May 12, 2023
Meet the "Fat Activist" leading the fight against weight bias
As NY passes a bill banning weight discrimination, Eyewitness News talks to Victoria Abraham and Council Member Shaun Abreu to discuss weight bias. Darla Miles has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Embracing the word "fat," that's what Victoria Abraham does on social media, where she's been fighting the stigma via her social media handle "Fat Fab Feminist."

"I prefer fat. I believe it takes away any negative connotation," said Abraham to Eyewitness News.

The 22-year-old has the attention of more than 120,000 followers.

"In most places in the United States, you can get fired for being fat and have no protection at all, which is crazy because this is a very fat country," Abrahams said.

But she's also an NYU graduate with a degree in public policy and has been front and center testifying before the city council earlier this year in support of new legislation that would prohibit "discrimination on the basis of a person's height or weight in employment, housing, and public accommodations."

"This law is designed to help those where weight has nothing to do with the essential job functions of a role," said Shaun Abreu of NYC Council District 7.

The bill, introduced by City Council Member Shaun Abreu, partnered with organizations including the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance to get it passed.

"Just like any other protected category, like race or gender or age, this will be a new protected category and a claim that you can bring before the Commission on Human Rights," said Abreu.

The passage of the bill on Thursday, means New York now joins other cities with weight discrimination laws on the books, like Washington D.C., San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and Urbana, Illinois.

"Are their gaps in this bill? For sure," said Abraham. "But I think it's the perfect first step."


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