Bad Arguments Against Safe Spaces for Size Acceptance

Nothing to proveOne of the the things that I believe is critical to civil rights work for marginalized groups is the creation of safe spaces.  Those who disagree with us, including those who respectfully disagree, haters and trolls often insist that they have a right to speak in our spaces.  Today I’d like to address some common arguments around this, and why they are so very, very wrong.

If you don’t let me comment you are infringing on my right to free speech!

I’m embarrassed for the people who make this argument, as it is patently ridiculous.  The First Amendment of the Constitution states

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It does not state

Bloggers shall be required to approve your bullshit comments, and people shall be required to allow your bullshit hate all over their Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr pages.

Bloggers work hard to create our online spaces and acquire an audience and the First Amendment in no way requires us to turn that audience over to anyone who can manage to successfully submit a comment.  If someone is upset that you won’t post their comment or allow them to wax poetic about how and why they hate or disagree with you on your Facebook, tell them to write their Congress person.

If you really believed in your cause you would allow open debate

In order to fight and have some respite from oppression, marginalized populations have every right to create spaces where their oppressors do not have a voice.   The insistence otherwise is about further oppressing people, as well as the shock of people who are laboring under the misapprehension that they should get to say whatever they want, anytime and anywhere they want, and have just learned that’s not actually how things work.

Let’s be clear that fat civil rights activism shouldn’t be necessary. Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies regardless of what it means to be fat, how we got fat or if we could become thin.  Our rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and basic human respect are inalienable, we should not have to debate for them.  The reason we have to do that is because people are taking our rights away through an inappropriate use of power and privilege, we are under no obligation to help them out.

I disagree with you and I’m fat so I should get to give my point of view.

Nope.  It’s ok for spaces to be created for Size Acceptance, Health at Every Size, Weight Neutrality etc. and to moderate out anything other than those beliefs, regardless of the size of the commenter.  I believe that my right to choose Health at Every Size is predicated on a bodily autonomy that means that other people are allowed to choose to diet or have their stomach amputated or whatever.  That doesn’t mean that I have to celebrate those options or provide a space for them to be promoted or positively discussed.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t get to have an opinion about those options that I discuss in my space. It also doesn’t mean that I won’t fight the industries that profit from selling those options. That said,  I don’t go to other people’s spaces and argue about their choices, for example I would never go onto a weight loss blog and try to convince the blogger to follow HAES.

I have a right to an explanation of why you won’t post my comment/deleted my Facebook post etc.

While you might be willing to give someone an explanation, that’s your choice.  There is no right to an explanation.  Oppressed people get to choose how we deal with our oppression.  That means that if you create a space then by an extension of the underpants rule you are the boss of that space.  You get to make decisions about what’s allowed in the space, you can change your mind or make different decisions at different times and you don’t have to provide an explanation.  Your rights, comforts and desires come before those of people who want to disagree with you – often much to their shock and dismay.

When you refuse to give haters, trolls, and those who disagree with you an audience, they will sometimes throw what we from the South call a big ol’ tantrum.  This can take any number of forms from baiting you with the crap arguments above, to getting their chat room buddies to help spam you, to reporting your site for bullshit reasons, right on up to death threats.  Why do they do this? Who knows, they seem to have plenty of justifications.   I guess when you don’t have to spend time fighting for your basic civil rights you have to time act like, or actually be, a junior high school bully and then justify your behavior.

Again, oppressed people get to deal with this however we want.  In my case I decided that I want this blog to be a safe space and so I moderate out anything that I think puts that in jeopardy.  In the meantime I’ve created a special page to monetized my hate mail – purchases and donations from my hatemail page help me do fat activism work full time, and fund fat activism projects I’m working on, which fills me with glee. It also helps me look forward to getting hatemail in case it’s interesting enough to add to the page and help me do this work (unfortunately precious little of it makes the grade.)  You get to decide how you want to deal with your haters, and whatever choices you make are fine.

Here is a brilliant example of how to make choices for your space and then enforce them. Check you this vlog by Maria Denee, the Curvy Fashionista (www.thecurvyfashionista.com) about Fashion Bashing!

Like my blog?   Here’s more stuff!

Golda Poretsky, who I have had the pleasure of teaching classes with and she is awesome, has a new 30 day e-course called Thirty Days of Body Love.  You can check it out here!  Thanks to Golda’s affiliate program if you decide that the program is something you want to do you’ll support yourself, Golda and me.  Everybody plays, everybody wins!

My Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

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The Myth of Prioritizing Our Health

One of the justifications for the bullying, stigmatizing, shaming, and paternalism that fat people have to deal with is that it’s because we aren’t prioritizing our health and that’s bad for society.

Of course that’s based on the idea that by looking at someone’s body you can tell their priorities, behaviors and health.  Of course there are people of all sizes who prioritize their health in many different ways for many different reasons.  Of course those are none of our business.  Of course people are under no obligation to prioritize their health in any specific way.  And of course this whole argument is based on stereotypes.  But let’s pretend it’s true – that by looking at fat people you can tell that we don’t prioritize our health.  Then is the poor treatment of fat people justified?

At this moment I am watching late night coverage of the Olympics.  They are showing luge and a man is on a very small sled traveling over 86 miles an hour across a steep path of ice (a speed which I’m not legally allowed to reach surrounded by metal in my car on an abandoned highway.).  Earlier today I watched a snowboarder compete after he broke a rib on a training run, heard from another snowboarder who had pulled out of an event because he was trying to avoid injuries before his next event, and I heard about a female mogul skier who had torn the ACL in both of her knees requiring four surgeries, and we haven’t even begun to discuss the sport of skeleton which is like luge except people go head first.  Head first.  Head effing first.

None of these people are prioritizing their health. In fact, very few athletes do – they tend to prioritize winning, or playing.  People justify their poor treatment of fat people based on the argument that we are putting ourselves in a position to have above “normal” healthcare costs by our behaviors, and based on that logic (with which I don’t agree) athletes are doing the same thing since they are putting themselves in a position to have above “normal” healthcare costs with their behaviors. Does someone want to calculate the healthcare costs of people who participate in sports – not just sports injuries but the effect on the human body for life?  With all the research on the health benefits (and low risks) of walking (for those for whom it’s not precluded by disability), why not have a war on sports?

Lots of research shows that sleep is very important to health.  How many people aren’t getting the recommended amount?  Should we make some guesses about the health problems that causes, do some quick back of the envelope calculations and have a war on people who under sleep?

There are thin people who engage in the behaviors which are used to justify the mistreatment and paternalistic attitude toward fat people – being sedentary, eating a lot of fast food etc. and yet there is no war on thin people who don’t prioritize their health.  So I have to wonder if people believe that if these behaviors don’t make someone fat then they should be defined as healthy?

Health is complicated, it’s multi-dimensional, and it’s not entirely within our control and there are many, many competing theories about how to achieve health.  The idea that if we can successfully stereotype a group of people who look a certain way, then we can justify poor treatment of them is, I would hope obviously, highly problematic.  Each of us gets to decide how highly to prioritize our health and what path we should take to get there and anything other than that is a fast and slippery slope to a very bad place.  Do people who believe that raw foods are the healthiest thing get to have a war on everyone else?  Do people who believe that paleo is the best place get to have a war on everyone else?   Those who want to talk about fat people and their tax dollars can head right over here.

The truth is that this whole “it’s about their health” thing is a sham that has been built up to justify and protect prejudice and create profit.  The suggestion that society is stereotyping and bullying fat people because we aren’t prioritizing our health is ignoring the truth, not just about fat people, but about everyone else as well.

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

Golda Poretsky, who I have had the pleasure of teaching classes with and she is awesome, has a new 30 day e-course called Thirty Days of Body Love.  You can check it out here!  Thanks to Golda’s affiliate program if you decide that the program is something you want to do you’ll support yourself, Golda and Me.  Everybody plays, everybody wins!

My Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Become a member: For just ten bucks a month you can keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

Fit Fatties Virtual Events:  If you’re looking for a fun movement challenge that was created to work just for you, you can check it out here.  There’s still time to get in on Early Bird Rates.

If you have an issue with my selling things on this site, you are welcome to check out this post.

Text a Fatty for $16,352

facepalmThe UK city of Stoke on Trent has decided to spend over $16,000 in a 10 week period to insult the intelligence of 500 fat people.  Fabulous.

The city is running a program to send “motivational” texts to fat people with such amazing tips as:

“Use the stairs more”

“Eat fruit and veg”

“Keep a check on snacks and drinks”

“Breathe 12-16 times a minute”

Ok, I made up that last one but you can hardly tell.  This program is optional, people sign up for it under the guise that it will help them lose weight and become healthier (though, as usual, there is absolutely zero proof of either of those claims.)  I can’t find any information about how they will judge the success of this intervention, but I won’t be surprised if they don’t measure anything about the participants and call it a success if they manage to successfully send the text messages.

Ostensibly these would be healthy habits for everyone but, again as per usual, they’re just going to go ahead and assume only fat people need texts from #ShitMyStereotypingCityCouncilSays

It doesn’t say how many texts each of the participants will get each day- there’s absolutely no research to guide them so I would imagine they’ll be choosing based on rectal pull – but if they want to send one intelligence-insulting text to each of the 500 fat people every day for the whole 10 weeks it will cost them almost $0.50 per text per person.

What could we do with $16,352 that does not include telling fat people to take the stairs (even if they are disabled or taking the stairs is not the best exercise for them for any number of reasons)?  They could pay for 769 months at Pure Gym in Stoke on Trent for those who are interested in going to the gym but can’t afford it.  They could join the Ponies for Fatties Initiative and buy miniature ponies for 80 fat people.  Or, for all the good I think it will do, they could set the money on fire.  Why do I care that a town across an ocean from me is wasting $16,000?  It’s because it’s part of this constant message that if someone is fat it’s a signal that we need help managing basic things in our lives.

Fat bodies are not a representation of failures, sins, or mistakes. Fat bodies are not an indication of health or fitness. Fat bodies are not up for public discussion, debate or judgment. Fat bodies are not a signal that we need help or input to make decisions about our health or life. Fat bodies are not an indication that the city council needs to tell us to eat our vegetables – next year they’ll want to do a fat person “here comes the airplane” intervention and spoon the vegetables directly into our mouths.   There aren’t separate sets of healthy habits for for fat people and thin people, so if texts telling us to limit our drinks actually help people be healthier (and let’s be clear that I have serious doubts that they do) then we should be sending them to people of all sizes, not trying to score political points on the backs of fat people. Until then, I’m blocking their number.

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

Golda Poretsky, who I have had the pleasure of teaching classes with and she is awesome, has a new 30 day e-course called Thirty Days of Body Love.  You can check it out here!  Thanks to Golda’s affiliate program if you decide that the program is something you want to do you’ll support yourself, Golda and Me.  Everybody plays, everybody wins!

My Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Become a member: For just ten bucks a month you can keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

Fit Fatties Virtual Events:  If you’re looking for a fun movement challenge that was created to work just for you, you can check it out here.  There’s still time to get in on Early Bird Rates.

What The Biggest Loser is Really About

Jillian MichaelsThe Biggest Loser has named a new champion.  Rachel Frederickson won the show by losing 60% of her body weight, going from 260 pounds to 105 pounds. This is a Biggest Loser Record. She lost the most and so she walked away with $250,000 because TBL is a game show wherein people manipulate their body size for money. It’s not a health show, it’s a game show. A terrible, terrible game show.

Since the show aired there has been much speculation about Rachel Frederickson’s health, I won’t be engaging in that – when I say that we shouldn’t make guesses about people’s health based on their weight, I mean it.  Besides, The Biggest Loser isn’t about health. If it was a health show and not a game show they wouldn’t eliminate people from the show, they wouldn’t insist that sweets are “unhealthy” and then have challenges where people can earn calls to their loved ones if they are willing to binge on baked goods, they wouldn’t allow people to drink gallons of water in a sitting to game their weigh in, they wouldn’t allow people to dehydrate until they urinate blood to game their weigh-in, they wouldn’t create a weigh in system that could be gamed, they wouldn’t force people to work out until they vomit or until they lose consciousness and the paramedics have to be called, they wouldn’t suggest that people ignore the advice of doctors and nutritionists, and they would take contestants seriously when they say that they are developing an eating disorder and not tell them to save it for the cameras.

The Biggest Loser uses the concept of health as an incentive, a smokescreen, and profit generator.  They use threats about, and promises of, health to convince fat people to be physically and mentally abused for profit.  They use the idea that they abuse fat people “for our own good to make us healthy” to help their audiences justify watching the physical and emotional abuse for entertainment.

Think emotional abuse is too strong a word?

The Domestic Abuse Project defines abuse as a systematic pattern of behaviors in a relationship that are used to gain and/or maintain control and power over another.  More specifically they go on to say that emotional abuse includes:

  • cursing, swearing and/or screaming at you
  • attacks on self-esteem and/or insults to your person (name-calling, put-downs, ridicule)
  • controlling and/or limiting your behavior
  • using the difference in physical size to intimidate you
  • criticizing your thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs and actions
  • telling you that you are “sick” and need therapy

Sound familiar?  The following quotes are from Jillian Michaels to Biggest Loser contestants:

  • I’m bored with the pathetic story!
  • If you quit on me again, you go home and no one is going to chase you!  No one!
  • You’re not getting it here (pointing to her head) that’s for G*#D#@* sure!
  • Get on the F$#&*%$ treadmill!
  • You’re not acting strong, you’re acting pathetic!
  • Anytime you lay down I want you to think Dead Father, that’s what I think!
  • Get on the treadmill now! (Pounding the treadmill to punctuate each word)
  • Get the F*#& up!

If you can stomach it, you can check out this video:

The Biggest Loser is a game show, it’s a game show that physically and emotionally abuses fat people for profit, under the guise that fat people deserve and even need to be treated abusively because we are fat. Studies have shown that watching TBL may actually discourage exercise and increase stigma against fat people.

While people are allowed to do what they want, to me there is no justification for watching it that makes it ok.  It doesn’t matter to me that people agree to go on the show – convincing a disenfranchised, marginalized and stigmatized population that they deserve to be treated poorly on television does not earn you a cookie, or a Biggest Loser branded carrot stick. as far as I’m concerned.

The Biggest Loser isn’t about health, it’s about money.  Money made on the backs of fat people who have been lied to and mistreated and exploited for nothing more than a game show.

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Become a member: For just ten bucks a month you can keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

Fit Fatties Virtual Events:  If you’re looking for a fun movement challenge that was created to work just for you, you can check it out here.  There’s still time to get in on Early Bird Rates.

How to Be Happy with My Body

enoughThis is a repost because one of the most common questions I get from readers is how to go from being able to appreciate everyone else’s body to being able to appreciate their own body as well.  I have been there, so I’ll just speak from my experience.  I’m betting my commenters will have other awesome ideas, because that’s just how we do it here.

I will also say that I know that there are people who prefer to opt out of the concept of beauty altogether and I completely understand and support that for them.  I prefer to think of  the ability to perceive beauty as a skill set – so if I can’t see the beauty in someone, I understand that it’s not a reflection of their beauty, but on my ability to perceive it – it means that I haven’t properly developed that skill set.

For me, the thing that triggered the idea that I could ever be happy with my fat body was the realization that I didn’t feel about other fat bodies the way that I felt about my body at the time. I still believed in the efficacy of dieting and was trying to quit a ridiculous diet program that had me eating less than I had with an eating disorder and wouldn’t allow me to exercise, and I was still gaining weight.  When I told them I was quitting, they made me go into a little room with a little poster about not quitting (literally, a kitten on a rope) and a woman brought in a binder with pictures of fat women, and she started flipping through it silently.  She said “You might not know it, but this is what you look like and these women will die alone eating bon bons in front of the television and is that what you want for yourself? And aren’t you tired of hating your body?”

What I realized in that moment was that I didn’t find anything wrong with those women’s bodies, in fact I thought that they were beautiful.  I didn’t expect that they would never find love (and I didn’t know what bon bons were but that’s another thing.) So it occurred to me: if I thought that their bodies were beautiful… and if I looked like them…then maybe it was possible to think that my body was beautiful.

Of course that was the beginning of a long process.  I started that process by focusing on what my body does instead of how it looks.  I made a massive list of all the things that my body does for me– I included things like blinking and breathing, I included standing, walking, reaching,  hugging and any other action I could think of.  I included that I love my curly hair and my eyes that change color.  I wrote down anything that I could think of that I liked about my body, or that my body did.

Then I committed to really paying attention to my thoughts and every time I had a negative thought about my body I would replace it with a positive thought from the list.  Every time it crossed my mind I would thank my body for doing anything that I could think of  – hey, thanks for breathing! I appreciate you reaching for that!   Whatever I could think of.  Let me also be clear that I was coming at this with all of the privilege of someone who is temporarily able bodied and neurotypical, as always your mileage may vary and if you are someone living with disabilities, chronic health issues, mobility limitations  etc. this process may be quite different for you.  My understanding from speaking with people in that situation is that the key for many of them was learning to look at it as them and their body against issues rather than them against their body and if you have insights that you would like to share I would absolutely love for you to leave them in the comments.

Of all the work I have ever done around this, the process of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones cause the most significant shift and improvement in the way I view my body.

At the same time I made a point of noticing something beautiful about every body that I saw.  When something about someone caught my eye because it was outside the stereotype of beauty, I focused on what was amazing about it.  When I had negative thoughts I reminded myself that I had been spoon-fed these ideas by industries that profit from my thinking them; and that if they didn’t serve me or didn’t feel authentic, then I was free to replace those thoughts with thoughts that I came up with on my own that did serve me and felt authentic.

And I had a lot of compassion for myself.  Changing thoughts and patterns that are ingrained, and often reinforced by the culture around us is really hard work.  It takes time, there will often be backslides and mistakes, and for me the best ways to NOT succeed are not having compassion for the learning process, not having patience, and trying to rush it along. I know for me I decided that I was going to get there, and then I held that thought all the way through, even when I was really struggling.  Patience, persistence, and belief that I would get there were the keys to my success.

So now I’m at a place where I am truly happy with my body and easily able to see my own beauty.  It took a lot of work to get here, and it takes work to stay here, but it’s been worth it.  I was going through dance footage for a reporter and I found this routine that inspired this post today – my coach Rowdy Dufrene and I, in our second year of dancing together, performing to I’m Beautiful (Damn It) by the incomparable Bette Midler.  Enjoy!

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

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Fit Fatties Virtual Events:  If you’re looking for a fun movement challenge that was created to work just for you, you can check it out here There’s still time to get in on Early Bird Rates.

Is Joe Schrank Chris Christie’s New Psychic?

Bad DoctorOn The Fix, a site he co-founded, Joe Schrank  wrote a piece called “Chris Christie, The Addict?”  Based on the question mark in the title you might assume that this is a piece wondering if Chris Christie has some kind of addiction – I know I did.  It’s not. This piece is highly problematic in a number of ways, let’s look at some of them: (thanks to reader Elizabeth for letting me know about this!)

Lets start with the obvious: His apparent-to-the-naked eye eating disorder.

The only thing apparent to the naked eye is Governor Christie’s body size.  Mr. Schrank bills himself as an “addiction specialist”  In further research he seems to have studied clinical social work and  done all of his work in alcohol and substance abuse.  Maybe he’s just out of his depth, but anyone who studied clinical social work and bills himself as an “addiction specialist” should know better than to simply make assumptions about people based on how they look.

 In 2013, Dr. Connie Mariano commented that Christie was vulnerable to stroke, heart attack or diabetes and that his health was a legitimate voter concern should he actually make a 2016 run at the White House. What did Christie do in response? He lashed out at the good doctor, saying, “She should shut up!”

Governor Christie’s response to Dr. Mariano was because she was doing the same thing that Mr. Schrank is doing here – acting like a psychic instead of a healthcare professional.  Dr. Mariano made multiple assumptions about Governor Christie’s health from across the country, she’d never been in the same room with him let alone the examined him.  As we well know, health is not an obligation, or barometer of worthiness, it is multi-dimensional and not entirely within our control, and it is not guaranteed under any circumstances.  That said, studies of health and weight that control for behavior find that behavior, not body size, is the best predictor of health.   Now Mr. Schrank has decided to do the same thing with Governor Christie’s mental heath that Dr. Mariano did with his physical health. I hope Governor Christie’s response to him is the same as it was to Dr. Mariano.

Chris Christie suffers from an eating disorder.

So Mr. Schrank IS a psychic!  Perhaps he’ll comment here and give me tomorrow’s lottery numbers.  His evidence is entirely based on Chris Christie’s weight.  He has absolutely no knowledge of the Governor’s behaviors or thought patterns.  Eating disorders are complicated and varied and there are specific diagnostic criteria.  In case you’re wondering, a cursory glance at someone’s body is not the diagnostic criteria for any eating disorder.

With Christie, we’re at the metaphorical moment when he can no longer deny that the drug test has shown opiates in his system.

Or maybe he just ate a poppy seed muffin.  What the hell?  The idea that Gov. Christie can’t deny having an eating disorder because he is fat is the same thing as having a positive drug test (because those are never wrong *sarcasm*…) is beyond problematic.  As a clinical social worker and an addiction specialist, Mr. Schrank should know better than this.

Many people who suffer from addiction have…

Addicts also like to…

like an alcoholic…

The concept of food addiction is a very controversial one, not least because – unlike drugs or alcohol – everyone would die without food.   Food addiction is not recognized by the DSM V and even if it was,  it could not be diagnosed based on body size.  You simply can’t diagnose addiction or mental illness based on how someone looks.  In the many, many, comparisons of alcoholics and Chris Christie it’s important to realize that Mr. Schrank is actually comparing people’s whose behaviors meet the diagnostic criteria for substance abuse to a man who is simply fat.

I think Mr. Schrank is out of his depth here, prattling on about things that he doesn’t understand The problem is that the discourse that all fat people have eating disorders is damaging, not just to people who are diagnosed with an eating disorder based on how they look and don’t have one, but to people who have eating disorders but have trouble being properly diagnosed – for example fat people with under eating disorders and thin people with Binge Eating Disorder.  There are many issues with eating disorder diagnosis and treatment in this country (a topic for another blog post perhaps) and I think it would be dandy if people who are clinical social workers, and therefore should know better, didn’t make things worse through articles like this.

I’m not a fan of Governor Christie, but I want discussions about campaigns and government to be about policy, not prejudice.

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

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Dr. Oz and His Fat Suit

Wrong RoadDr. Oz (of “I was flabbergasted” by evidence that is clearly in the literature fame) has donned a fat suit.  First I will say that I appreciate any goals he had around gaining empathy for what it’s like to be a fat person in the current culture.  It can certainly be problematic to “dress up” like someone who is part of a marginalized population for a short time to try to understand what it’s like to be them, especially when there are many, many reports from actual fat people about what it’s like to be fat people.  Even assuming that he went into it with good intentions , there are other issues  that are very problematic.

“‘I’ve been in some difficult situations in my life, but this i think will be the most difficult. My arms are heavy, my legs are heavy.’ 

This is the same mistake that he made when he had Glenn Gaesser put on an 80 pound vest and run up some stairs.  Being fat isn’t the same as being thin with a bunch of dead weight attached to you all of a sudden.

It’s sobering to walk past a window and see 400 pounds staring back at you. Even though in my head I know I’m wearing a fat suit and I’m not really 400 pounds, my heart is saying, “you’re not worthy.”‘

That’s not a reaction to being 400 pounds, that a reaction to being 400 pounds in a culture that stigmatizes 400 pound people.  It’s a culture to which Dr. Oz has contributed quite profitably.

He concluded that he is no longer going to display people’s weights in his show’s Truth Tube, claiming that there’s no need for a scale to ‘be proud of who you are’.

It’s a start.  What I think would also be super duper is if he would start focusing on health and not weight, stop exploiting fat people for ratings, and seek out and believe the experiences of actual fat people.  What I think would be fabulous is if he would start talking about the real health risks to people of size that come from shame and stigma and talk about that on the show.

Like my blog?   Here’s more of my stuff!

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Become a member: For just ten bucks a month you can keep this blog ad-free, support the activism work I do, and get deals from cool businesses Click here for details

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Fit Fatties Virtual Events:  If you’re looking for a fun movement challenge that was created to work just for you, you can check it out here.  There’s still time to get in on Early Bird Rates.