Showing posts from July, 2018

This Is My “After” Body

I’m in the gym on the spin bike doing pretty hardcore intervals. There’s a dude in the room who keeps waving at me and giving me thumbs ups. Whatever. He’s finished with his workout before me, he cleans his bike then walks over to me. I gird my loins (I’m honestly not even sure what that means, but I feel pretty sure it’s what I did.)“I’m so proud of you!” he gushes. I roll my eyes, but he is undeterred. “We’ve all got to start somewhere right? You won’t be a before body forever, keep going like this and you’ll have that after body in no time!”Insert record scratch noise.The way he said it was so practiced that I immediately felt like this was not the first time a fat person had been subjected to this little diatribe. For that reason, I really felt like I needed to shut this all the way down in a way that would hopefully ensure that he never says it again.“Don’t make guesses about people based on how they look. I’ve been an athlete all my life, played sports all through school, and as…

9th Turkey Awards: Obesity Eugenics Media Campaigns

A fairly recent article in an Australian newspaper ─ October 2016 ─ had the inflammatory headline, "Call to stop obese women from having babies." The picture below it featured a woman with a slight double chin and said, "Experts warn obese women should not have children."

Well, here we go again with the Obesity Eugenics Wars. This incredibly discriminatory movement is the winner of not one but two Turkey Awards. It's time to call these egregious practices out.

If you aren't familiar with them, the Turkey Awards are the "prizes" I hand out to highlight fat-phobic treatment of people of size from care providers, biased attitudes or studies from researchers, or troubling trends in the care of fat pregnant women these days.

In past years of the Turkey Awards, we've talked about:
#1: fat-phobic care providers#2: scare-mongering and shaming tactics#3: jumping to conclusions about risks#4: scorched earth tactics#5: prenatal weight gain extremism#6: fat-p…

Fat Suits Aren’t Funny

Insatiable is the newNetflix showof questionable premise.A fat girl gets punched in the face, which somehow leads to her jaw being wired shut (I’d like to see the stats on how many face punches end in a wired jaw, but I digress).The jaw wiring leads to her starving herself and losing a bunch of weight (because nobody told her about Ensure or Shake Shack?).This leads to her become thin (temporarily, based on all the research,) which leads to her getting “revenge.”The character’s “transformation” is achieved by a thin actress wearing and thentaking off a fat suit.As has been said by many fat people in many ways: Fuck.This.Noise.The idea that responding to fatphobia by manipulating our bodies to conform to a stereotype of beauty is “revenge” is terrible on its face, more terrible when you dig deeper, and even if it was a good premise (and OMFG it’s not), it’s beenplayed out already. Seriously — playedall the way out.In response to the massive blowback, Alyssa Milano decided that instead …

Getting My Feet Wet: Journeying from HAES® to Social Justice

by Erin Harrop, MSWI have had the privilege of being an ASDAH member for several years. I joined ASDAH around the time of the 2015 conference, thrilled to see a Health At Every Size® (HAES®) organization truly endeavoring to be intersectional in their approach to weight stigma. As a social worker, social justice is a core value of my profession, and integrating weight oppression into social justice work has been a key area of my research and clinical practice.My own learning about social justice has been a long, ongoing, imperfect, bumpy, vulnerable, challenging, illuminating, interesting, rewarding, surprising, and at times, embarrassing, painful, and frustrating process. Learning about the systemic oppressive forces that affect my view of my body from a weight-stigma perspective has been an immensely liberating experience. Acknowledging my privilege has been confusing and exhausting. Confronting my own racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, ableism, and transphobia has been scary, tr…

Health at Every Size and Eating Disorders

My Best Friend Kelrick got this figurine for me in a little shop in Astoria, Queens. Sadly I don’t know the artist. A new study from the Department of Psychology at the University of California Los Angeles, tells us what we would already know if we believed fat people who talk about their lived experience.Fat shaming doesn’t have any positive outcomes, but it has plenty of negative ones.In this case, the study found that fat shaming girls, especially by family, does not lead to healthy behaviors but instead can lead to eating disorders.Oh, look — a big bag full of obvious!The authors looked at data from a large, long-term study that included 2,036 girls.The girls reported at age 14 if they had been called “too fat” by their parents, siblings, best friends, boys they liked, any other teenagers, or their teachers.At ages 14 and 19, the girls completed an assessment of unhealthy weight control behaviors, body dissatisfaction, tendency toward bulimia, and drive for thinness, as well as rep…