Maybe Barbie Should Apologize

Reality and PerceptionIf you haven’t heard, Mattel – the maker’s of the Barbie doll – have paid Sports Illustrated to put Barbie in their Swimsuit Issue.  The move has been criticized, including by those who have pointed out that studies show that Barbie hurts the body image and self esteem of girls with her completely unrealistic and unattainable body. Mattel is shocked – shocked I tell you – at the body shaming of Barbie:

AdAge reports:

“Barbie is a legend in her own right, with more than 150 careers and a brand valued at $3 billion,” a Mattel spokeswoman said. “She is in great company with the other legends such as Heidi Klum and Christie Brinkley, to name a few.”

“As a legend herself, and under criticism about her body and how she looks, posing in ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ gives Barbie and her fellow legends an opportunity to own who they are, celebrate what they have done, and be unapologetic,” the spokeswoman added.

Sports Illustrated also argues that the Swimsuit Issue celebrates women in a positive way. “From its earliest days, Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength and beauty,” Swimsuit Editor M. J. Day said in a statement, “and we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner.”

First of all, when we talk about women and the core values of Sports Illustrated, let’s remember that Barbie’s lack of realistic proportions and humanity (and Mattel’s money) have allowed her in Sports Illustrated that few actual female athletes will ever get, especially female athletes of color. 

Let’s also be clear that Barbie isn’t so much “unapologetic” as she is inanimate. Mattel is pretending that Barbie is a real person with feelings and paralleling the criticism of a very profitable toy that has been shown to make girls more likely to feel dissatisfied with their own bodies as they grow older, with the body shaming that actual women experience (including the shaming done by those who are judging us for not looking like Barbie).  Mattel seems to be taking a page from Special K and half the haters who e-mail me, thinking it’s clever to take the tools of Size Acceptance activists and use them for the exact opposite effect.

I can’t say for sure that Barbie actually makes girls less satisfied for their bodies, I’m sure that there are women who weren’t/aren’t negatively impacted by Barbie, but studies show it’s certainly possible, Knowing that, I’m not that inclined to care about Barbie’s feelings of empowerment, or how apologetic she may or may not be.  As far as I’m concerned, when you find out that the children’s toy you manufacture might hurt children, the responsible thing to do is make a change, not double down, get defensive,  and act like those pointing out the issues should be ashamed of ourselves for hurting a doll’s fee fees.

Body shaming is a real thing, and it sucks no matter who is getting shamed.  It’s also not the same thing as industries that profit by creating unrealistic and unattainable ideals of beauty.  I can talk about the issues with the very specific types of bodies that Sports Illustrated chooses for their Swimsuit Issues – like why the women on the cover are so often models and so rarely athletes despite the fact that it’s a sports magazine – and the way that those bodies are photoshopped to create not just a rarely unattainable, but a completely unattainable standard of beauty.  And I can, and I feel I should, talk about that without ever once body shaming the models who were chosen by Sports Illustrated.

Maybe if Barbie was a real girl who could speak for herself, she would be apologetic.  Maybe she would apologize for the way that Mattel has used her for profitability, not just ignoring the fact that she may be harming girls but suggesting that those who point that out should be shamed for criticizing her, as if she is real. How dare we put the feelings of a plastic toy ahead of the positive body image of us and our kids – what are we thinking?  Thank god Mattel and Sports Illustrated are here to show us what’s truly important and in our best interest.

I for one will be showing them what I think is truly important and in my best interest by not buying their products.

EDITED to correct the fact that Barbie is going to be in the magazine but not on the cover.

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No Justification

DefendOne of the interesting responses that I see when people discuss Health at Every Size are rants about how it’s all about justifying fatness and whatever stereotypical behavior the ranter ascribes to fat people. I want to talk about how to deal with this practically, because the more we put ourselves out there and challenge people’s prejudices, the more this is going to happen.  But before I get to the practical responses, I hope you’ll allow me a quick rant of my own.

As a pre-rant, let me remind everyone that Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size are two different things, and nobody is obligated to participate in HAES – people get to choose how highly they prioritize their health and the path they take to get there and those choices are nobody else’s business.  Now, without further adieu…

How over-exaggerated must these people’s sense of self-importance be to think that we are living our lives as a way to justify ourselves to them? That is some ego run amok right there.  We aren’t seeking the approval of anyone  – we are giving them the opportunity to see that they are operating under prejudice, bigotry and stereotypes, and to make the choice to stop doing that. If you are one of these people and you are reading this, let me break it down:  We are saying “I Stand for myself and others” not “I kneel for your approval”.  Where you got the idea that anybody needs to justify anything to you I don’t know, but you’re dead wrong.

So what do we do about it?  There are several options that I use to handle this type of thing (if you have others it would be awesome if you would drop them in a comment below.)

Ignore it completely. Often I don’t care enough about the person making the assertion to react in any way. I typically choose this if it’s from some fat hate forum and/or if it’s sent to me privately. From my perspective these people have chosen the path away from intelligent dialog and I’m not interested in trying to be the one to bring them back.  I know that other people do choose to engage them and that’s awesome, it’s just usually not for me.

Appeal to humanity:  One of the reasons I think there is so much horrible treatment of us on the internet is the double anonymity – they don’t think of us as actual people, and they are hiding behind anonymity to behave in a way that they never would in person.  Add to that a world that encourages people to treat fat people as less than human (Biggest Loser, I’m looking at you) and you have a recipe for bullying.  Whether or not it changes the mind of the person who made the post, it can help to remind other people who read it that fat people are, in fact, people.  I sometimes leave a comment that says something like “Hi, I’m the person in the picture (or the person who wrote the article or whatever)… and then respond in whatever way seems appropriate.

Education: I use this if someone has confused their opinions with facts.  I say something like “Hi, I’m the person in the picture. It’s ok if we disagree but I wanted to point out that Health at Every Size is an evidence based health practice.  Some places to start are http://www.haescommunity.org/ (created by Dr. Linda Bacon, a Ph.d with three post graduate degrees), http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/35/1/55.full (an article written by five experts).  Again, I completely respect if you don’t choose HAES for yourself but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a valid choice for anyone else.

Gather Reinforcements:  If you see this kind of thing online another option is to let the Rolls not Trolls Facebook group know about it.  We are a group who make fat positive comments on fat negative articles and comment threads.  The goal isn’t necessarily to change the mind of the person who wrote the article or left the negative comments, but for the people who are reading through and might be affected by seeing another point of view. You are welcome to join the group or you can send the link to me and I’ll post it.

Most of all remember that it’s not you, you are amazing and beautiful and worthy of respect and love – I know that for sure.  Whatever their intentions might be, these people are living from prejudice and stereotypes and bigotry that is causing them to be misguided in their actions, but you don’t have to buy into that, and you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.

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

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.

The World is Screwed Up, We Are Fine

enoughI had an absolutely fabulous time in Eugene at the University of Oregon.  One of the questions that I was asked at several of my talks was:  what do you say to people who are having a hard time with our cultural standards of beauty and the bullying that comes along with it?

My answer is that I think the first step is realizing that the world is screwed up, we are fine. This is not our fault, but it sometimes becomes our problem.  We get to decide how we deal with this.  I think that one of the most insidious issues is that we’re told to look all kinds of places and ask all kinds of people to find out if we are worthy, sexy, attractive etc.  I think that one way to address that is to start sorting out what is true from what is foisted upon us for someones else’s benefit.  For example, things that people incorrectly think we should use to determine our worth.  Here’s part of my list,  feel free to put your additions in the comments!

Things that do not determine my worth:

Whether Alex Rodriguez would date me

Whether I fit into a sample size gown

Whether I fit into anything

What people think about how long it takes me to finish a marathon

Whether someone, a group of people, a majority of people, or anyone wants to have sex with me

Whether or not I have health issues

How I choose to prioritize my health

What anybody thinks of how I live my life

What anybody thinks of me at all

We have to live in this world and deal with other people’s beliefs. I think that one thing that can really help us make decisions about how to do that is to take back what is ours. I believe that I am the only person who gets to determine how I feel about myself (I can take other people’s beliefs in account, but who and how much is entirely up to me.)  Many things improved in my life when I stopped believing that my worth, beauty, sexiness etc. were things that had to be assigned to me by others.

Some of this culture of  bullying and shaming is a desperate attempt by people to feel better about themselves by putting someone else down.  Some is about people with a grossly exaggerated sense of self-importance who actually believe that we should care what they think of us. Either way, we can take back what is ours to decide, and then work on dealing with the rest.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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