It’s Obviously Magic

I read a story once, I wish I could remember where, about a couple from the US who had been living in a very rural part of Africa when their two children were born.  When the kids were around 8 and 10 years old they brought them to the states for a visit.  Upon arriving at the airport in the US, the kids discovered an automatic door.  As the little boy stepped forward and back, opening the door over and over, the little girl stated matter of factly, “Well, it’s obviously magic.”

That made perfect sense to her, despite the fact that it seems like nonsense to the rest of us.  It’s not because she is not smart, but because that is the only conclusion that she can come to based on her current body of knowledge.  One can expect that with education she will understand that something she previous thought was impossible is actually easily explained. When given the information the young girl will have a choice:  She can accept the new information into her body of knowledge or she can refuse to believe it and go on believing that the door is magic. Her belief doesn’t change the truth, and she is the only one responsible for what she chooses to believe.

I think that’s how it often is with the Health at Every Size concept – people aren’t able to wrap their heads around it because there is simply nothing in their frame of reference that makes it seem possible that health and weight are two separate things. But once they have access to the information they can either add it to their body of knowledge or they can go on believing that weight and health are the same thing. Their belief doesn’t make it any more true. And we can’t be responsible for what other people believe.

I think it’s incredibly important to spread the word about Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size.  Every time we post something on Facebook or Twitter, or bring up our Size Acceptance/HAES practice, we are giving people an opportunity to question their stereotypes and add to their knowledge base.  We ARE NOT responsible for what they do or do not choose to do with this opportunity, we can only provide the opportunity.

This blog is supported by its readers rather than corporate ads.  If you feel that you get value out of the blog, can afford it, and want to support my work and activism, please consider a paid subscription or a one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail subscription (available at the top right-hand side of this page) is still completely free.   Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

4 thoughts on “It’s Obviously Magic

  1. Great analogy! I love how courageous you are in just modeling what you want to see in the world. Sometimes, that’s the only thing that works.

  2. Thank you Ragen! It IS so important that the information is available as widely as possible. One way to “let the air out” of the hyper-inflated diet industry is for individuals to make their own health decisions, to refuse to pay for junk medicine and procedures and to trust the validity of their own experience with size yo-yoing.

  3. What a beautifully zen post!

    Funnily enough, whenever I see a commercial for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. I think of a story, too. It’s a short story by Italo
    Calvino entitled The Argentine Ant. If you want to read it for yourself without being spoiled, please skip the next paragraph.


    Is it just us, now? Good. Anyway. The story is about a young family who move to this town in Argentina where these nasty, aggressive ants abound. The husband/father talks to neighbor after neighbor about what to do about the ants, and each one has THE answer to the ant problem and tells him not to listen to someone else down the road. In the end, though, not one of the methods actually solves the problem, and the narrator finally comes to the conclusion that the only rational choice is to ignore everyone’s patent ant solutions and take his family to move somewhere the ants aren’t getting into everything.

    Spoilers over.

    I read the story at least a decade before I discovered HAES and body acceptance… but the day I did, I knew I had found my solution to the ant question.

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