“Fatphobia is medicine’s status quo.” This essential read in Pipe Wrench’s Fat Issue explores the history of medical fatphobia.

When you see a fat person, you associate them with ob*sity. What you believe about ob*sity and have internalized from health authorities—its causes, symptoms, consequences, treatment, and more—then guide your interaction with that fat person. You see an affliction to be cured rather than a human being. Fatphobia starts at the top, with scientific authorities who set the tone for how we think about health and illness, then seeps down to shape the lives of every fat person everywhere.

Cheri has been an editor at Longreads since 2014. She's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.