It’s “Say Something Sunday,” a day dedicated, at least on this blog, to personal Size Diversity activism. I did the math and if everyone who views the blog each week did one piece of Size Diversity Activism a week, it would add up to over 1.5 million body positive messages put out into the world this year. Multiply that times the number of people who might see each of those messages and things start to increase exponentially. To be very clear, nobody is obligated to do activism so if this doesn’t appeal to you that’s totally cool, I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blog post!
Today’s theme is “Tell Us About It!” Let’s inspire each other – leave a comment telling us about some Size Diversity Activism that you’ve participated in. It could be something you did today, or something you did in the past. (Posting something Body Positive on your social media, leaving a fat positive comment on a fat negative article, speaking up about mistreatment at the doctors office or a store, reporting a fat shaming personal trainer to his certifying agency etc.) Big or small, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome was, it only matters that you did it, and we want to hear about it!
If you want to do more of this kind of thing, consider joining the Rolls Not Trolls group on Facebook, it’s a group created for the specific purpose of putting body positive things in body negative spaces on the internet and supporting each other while we do that. It’s a secret group so if you want to join just message me on facebook (I’m Ragen Chastain)
Have a great Say Something Sunday!
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16 thoughts on “Say Something Sunday – Tell Us About It Edition”
Almost every day, I post something on Facebook about size diversity and/or something about the false claims of the diet industry. Recently, I wrote about my personal experience; a received a lot of support from friends, even one who is a Zumba instructor. So I think I’m influencing my circle of friends, at least.
I try to do something body positive every day, but I had a bit of a breakthrough last week.
A friend of ours had been to the doctor, who told him he was overweight and on the verge of obese. Our friend has never listened to me about weight politics before, but he was both shocked and insulted to hear that ‘diagnosis.’ He told us about it with the complaint that he didn’t think he was ‘that fat.’ I told him he wasn’t particularly fat, but that doesn’t matter with the BMI. He actually listened for the first time ever as I explained what the BMI is, how it works, what it was developed to do vs how it is now used, and listed off some famous people who aren’t fat but are obese.
I’ve been talking about this nonstop for about five or six years now, but I think he finally heard what I was saying… and knowing him, he’ll tell more people. If even one of them listens, that’s a good thing.
It’s like I’ve been saying for years: as long as we keep talking, eventually there will come a tipping point where people begin to hear us.
That is awesome that your buddy finally listened, and it clicked for them. But it is a shame that it has to happen to them first, they can’t figure it out before that.
I wrote a letter to the NYTimes calling out Paul Krugman for a recent statement about “self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, prescription drug abuse, and obesity.” I pointed out, calmly and politely, that a body size is not a behavior, and that if Mr. Krugman meant to talk about “unhealthy” diets and lack of exercise then he should talk about those things, since you cannot tell from someone’s body size what their diet is or how much they exercise.
Of course, the NYT has not published my letter, and that was about a week ago so clearly they’re not going to. But I wrote it.
I share this blog! 😀 I make size positive posts on my Tumblr, talk about body diversity with my friends, stop body shaming when I see/hear it, and create a world of fat, beautiful and happy Sims on the Sims 4 haha 😀
As a sociology instructor, I make a huge point in the classroom of talking about my research in fat studies, addressing body politics ad nauseam, and never, ever letting a student use the word “health” without me jumping in to encourage them to deconstruct that word and address its historical and cultural situatedness. And on a more subtle level, I exist as a happy, smart, confident fat woman. I AM activism. 🙂
Oh, and I brought cupcakes on International No-Diet Day.
You rock, Elle Hill!
I tend to stand up against size based bigotry whenever I see it for the most part – unless I’m particularly mentally exhausted that day. So there’s that. Nothing really big, but I think it helps to “chip away” at the idea that some people have that it’s “ok” to treat people with prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry because “OH MY GOODNESS HEALTH!!!!11!”. The hardest is standing up to family. I can point out their discrimination and bigotry to strangers all day, but the absolutely hardest part is pointing it out family.
I used to have a Size Acceptance website that I ran for a couple years. I got so that life was too busy to keep up with it though.
I also made this: http://i.imgur.com/QI14FKp.gifv a few years ago that got fairly popular.
Other than that it’s the daily trudge through life as a “OH NOES DEATH FAT” and daily holding my head up, smiling, and (as Ragen puts it) letting the bullies know they can’t have my lunch money.
This happened April 20th, and I told Ragen about it, but I would like to share it here as well. I got an e-mail from the American Heart Association requesting that I help fight childhood obesity by writing my senator to support a 5 million dollar appropriation bill.
There was a list of not bad things that fund CAN be used for, like retrofitting kitchens to be able to cook food from scratch, but no proof that is what it WOULD be used for.
This is what I sent back:
I most certainly will not sign this for the purpose of ‘fighting obesity’. Kids have enough problems without being shamed for their weight by well-meaning, but foolish adults.
1) I still have not seen any good studies that prove that anyone can reliable lose and maintain significant weight loss for more than five years.
2) Some kids pack on weight before a growth spurt.
3) Being healthy is not simply a matter of weight.
4) Some people are naturally heavier than others.
5) I am more concerned with kids who have to deal with poverty and how that affects them both from a health perspective and academically.
Please stop shaming and bullying people for being fat.
I speak out against body-shaming of any kind, in my gentle and non-confrontational manner, when it seems good to me to do so. I often comment on “real women have curves” posts and “fat people are destroying America” posts.
I compliment people on their dress sense, when appropriate, and I make sure to tell fat people and others they look great when they look great without reference to size.
I’m using Hilda as my FaceBook profile pic. Does that count?
My mother is a lifetime WW member and our relationship has been strained since I was a kid as she was constantly putting me on diet after diet (that failed, predictably). But in the past year or so after her 2nd hip replacement from arthritis, she has started to realize that she has spent her entire life worrying about her weight and there is just more to life. I’ve enjoyed getting to talk to her about health in a weight neutral way, despite my sisters who are influencing her to keep going and keep trying to lose “those last 5 pounds”. Last weekend I had a bit of a breakthrough with my mom. She went out of her way to tell me about her work colleague who just completed a half marathon. “Jennifer, and she is still a big girl! It really made me think about what you’ve said. And you can’t really tell by looking at someone what they can achieve” Somewhere I planted that seed, so I’m glad it’s finally starting to take root. It’s not a huge thing but it’s something that I hope takes hold.
Jen, sometimes the smallest blooms are the most exquisite. And sometimes the sweetest victories are the hardest won ones.
I’m glad you and your mother can finally be friends. It’s a wonderful feeling.
I was at the gym working with a trainer on some new lifting strategies as I was transitioning out of circuit training into free weight training. The trainer told me that I should look at myself in the mirror to watch my form. I mentioned that it was awkward for me to do that because the act felt really narcissistic. The trainer then said, “You’ll love looking at yourself after you’ve been lifting for a while.”
At first I was going to brush it off, but I had to pry. “What are you suggesting?”
He said, “That your body will change and you’ll like the way it looks more.”
I looked at him and said very calmly, “I like the way I look now and I am not here to change my appearance.”
He apologized and got all sorts of red-faced, and now only comments on my form and not on my changing (or not changing) appearance.
Good for you! Although a mirror can help you do a movement correctly…
I agree. I only do Wii Fit, but it took me awhile to figure out how the trainers work.