Fat Lad At The Back - Challenging Fatphobia in Media Representations


The task in this case study for Fat Lad at the Back was challenging fatphobia in media by addressing the negative and comedic portrayal of overweight individuals in stock images and Google search results related to physical activity. The objective was to combat fatphobia, promote inclusivity, and encourage positive representations of larger people engaging in exercise.


To tackle the challenge, Be Broadcast, in collaboration with Fat Lad At The Back, a cycling clothing brand, took the following actions:

  1. Donation of Positive Imagery: Ahead of World Obesity Day, Be Broadcast facilitated the donation of a complete bank of imagery and content from Fat Lad At The Back. These visuals depicted larger people exercising positively, aiming to counter the prevalent negative stereotypes and comedic portrayal in media representations.
  2. Research and Data Analysis: Be Broadcast conducted research to understand the impact of negative imagery on self-esteem and the lack of positive representation. They analyzed stock images, Google search results, and surveyed members of the FLAB community.
  3. Media Outreach: Be Broadcast, working closely with Fat Lad At The Back, conducted media outreach to raise awareness about the campaign, challenge harmful stereotypes, and encourage a shift in the media’s portrayal of fat people engaging in physical activity.


The outcomes include:

  • Media Coverage: The campaign garnered widespread media coverage across various outlets, including BBC Three Counties, Siren, BBC Newcastle, BBC Tees, WCR, Gateway, BBC Stoke, and more.
  • Increased Awareness: The case study highlighted the issue of negative media representations and the impact on self-esteem among overweight individuals. It successfully raised awareness about the need for inclusive and positive imagery.
  • Donation of Imagery: Be Broadcast facilitated the successful donation of a bank of positive images from Fat Lad At The Back to stock image sites and search engines. This initiative aimed to promote a more inclusive portrayal of fat people engaging in exercise.
  • Public Engagement: The campaign sparked meaningful conversations and discussions about fatphobia, representation, and the importance of inclusivity in media. It encouraged individuals to reconsider their perceptions and support positive change.

The collaborative campaign by Be Broadcast and Fat Lad At The Back led to significant results in addressing fatphobia and promoting positive representations of larger individuals.

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