Reader Ana let me know about a YouTube Channel that focuses on hairstyles and has almost 900,000 followers. In a tutorial about “Hair Hacks Every Girl Should Know” they suggested to those 900,000 people that they should use make-up to contour the back of their necks to make “slimmer graceful looking Updos!”
People are allowed to do whatever they want with their necks and their make-up, but if you feel like there’s no hobby or interest that isn’t safe from body shaming and fatphobia, you’re not wrong and it’s not you. Our cultural obsession with weight means that it’s big business – not just for the people who lie to us and claim that they can make us thinner, but for all the people who leech off that obsession for profit, clicks, and attention.
That means that we run into body shaming and fat shaming everywhere we turn whether it’s knitting, styling our hair, participating in sports, fashion…people know that talking about weight loss – or just about the illusion of weight loss – will get them the attention. Plus people are subject to the body shaming, single stereotype of beauty culture and they start to believe that maybe their neck would look “better” if they applied make-up to create the illusion of a different shape.
We do not have to participate in this. We have options:
Option 1: Boycott/Protest
We can decide that we don’t want to give our time, money and energy to a brand/person/company that body shames us. We can choose to boycott them, we can engage in activism like writing a letter or posting on their social media etc.
Option 2: Create Our Own
This is how the Fit Fatties Forum was born. Jeanette and I were tired of trying to participate in fitness forums that were full of weight loss talk and anti-fat talk, so we created a forum for talking about fitness from a weight neutral perspective. You can use sites like Facebook and meetup.org or start a group in your living room, and remember that you get to make the rules for your space.
Option 3: Deal With it
Sometimes we might choose to just deal with the body shaming because it’s a product/television show/website etc. that we like. That’s a totally valid choice, but it can really help to have some mantras ready to deal with the body shaming, as I’ve mentioned before, my mantra is “Hey, that’s bullshit!” but feel free to use what works for you.
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Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!