There was a “game” my brother and I “played” growing up, in which one of us would grab the other’s arm and use their own hand to hit them whilst saying “Why are you hitting yourself? Stop hitting yourself!” It’s not a game I’d recommend, and it’s certainly not an advertising strategy that I find ethical, but it pretty much encompasses Weight Watchers Australia’s new ad campaign, which is all about acting like they have no idea why women are self-conscious despite decades of ads that they created specifically to make us self-conscious.
The work of Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size Activists is coming to fruition, and the word is getting out that weight loss almost never works. More and more people are realizing that neither our body size nor our health are completely within our control, that we can love the bodies we have, and choose how/if we focus on our wellbeing. More and more people are realizing that diets don’t work and that we can create and pursue health and wellness goals that don’t include trying to manipulate our body size — or consider that to be a goal worth celebrating, or even talking about.
So the diet industry is pivoting, co-opting the language of the people who have been fighting against their greed and lies for year. Now the same companies that have invested billions of dollars into convincing us that we should hate our bodies, unless and until we are thin, suddenly want us to believe that they are all about us loving our bodies (as long as we’re still paying them to make our bodies smaller). They hope we don’t notice that they’ve been the ones holding our arms and making us hit ourselves.
You can read my full piece about this here…
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20 thoughts on “Weight Watchers Tells Us To Stop Hitting Ourselves”
I find it sad that under your article on Ravishly there are several stories promoting/talking about diet and weight loss.. Seems like mixed messages.. I assume you don’t have control of what stories the site promotes under your work.
I don’t have control over that, I just try to make sure a Size Acceptance/Health at Every Size voice is included so that people know that they have options that don’t include body size manipulation and diet culture. Then each person gets to choose for themselves.
Yes. WW is doing that thing that more overt abusers do. You know, like when someone is abusing their spouse and breaks them down emotionally to make them think they deserve it, so they feel like they should stick around for more abuse.
Doesn’t help that pretty much the ENTIRE MEDIA world does the same thing. I just had a conversation with a man who is convinced he has to lose weight or he won’t live a long life. He wasn’t even fat, just a bit plump.
Are you in Texas? Or was this conversation online? Because if neither is true, you can add another young man to the list.
I tried to tell him: Diabetes is largely genetic, and dieting in your youth will NOT prevent you from getting diabetes. I’m encouraging him to not worry about size, but about health, and that counting calories is useless, while counting NUTRITION (vitamins, minerals, etc.) is the way to go.
I told him, count the nutrients, and the calories will take care of themselves. If you focus on nutrient-rich foods, your body won’t be craving nutrients you’re missing, and so you won’t eat more and more, just trying to fill that need. Focus on the health, not on the “diet,” and be aware that diabetes is not a death sentence. It’s highly manageable.
I also told him about my own struggles with suicidal tendencies, until I stopped dieting. Diabetes may kill you slowly, but suicide will kill you WAY faster. And with a family history of people with mental health issues, it’s far more dangerous to him, as well.
On the plus side, this young man loves cooking, and wants (possibly) to become a chef, making really healthy and tasty meals. He said it’s hard to diet alone in the family, when he’s not in charge of cooking. I told him, “So, volunteer to do the cooking for the family. You’ll be eating what you want, and the rest of the family will benefit, and your mother will feel way less stressed, as well!”
I’m rooting for him to go into cooking as a career, because I think he’ll find real happiness there, if he lets himself. Let’s face it: Health At Every Size requires good, tasty, comforting, nutritious food. Not diet food.
It was real life.
LOL! Online conversations are real life. OK, ok, some of them are cat-fishing liars who lie. But mostly, it’s real people, just chatting.
Anyway, face-to-face, means there’s more than one. I wonder just how many poor deluded souls there are out there who believe the lies, and live in fear of an early death, because of the fat-hatred that has been spewed about all their lives.
My dad said recently that he was craving milk, but that he refused to drink it (I don’t think he’s had a drink in a month). So we explained about cravings and that your body is missing some nutrient, but knows a source to find it.
I had a weird craving for DQ ice cream for over a year, and it wouldn’t go away. So I finally had some. After about 2 months of having some blizzards, it finally stopped. Why I craved ice cream when I’m LF, didn’t make any sense to me.
When I was a teenager, I had to go for two weeks without any potassium, due to a certain medication I was on. Lunchtime at the cafeteria was misery, as I watched all those other kids drinking their milk. I wasn’t allowed milk or bananas or a list of other things, and it was ALL I could think about!
As soon as the Dr. gave the OK, I drank milk, ate bananas, and after a day or two, I was back to normal, and could take or leave them, with impunity.
Intuitive eating really is a thing, and if you’re craving something, please listen and give your body what it wants.
If you absolutely refuse to eat THAT THING, then look it up, and see what’s there, and try other sources of those particular nutrients. That might help the craving. But then again, it might not, because we are still discovering new things about foods, and new nutrients. Flavonoids – remember when that news came out a few years ago? So, it’s worth a try, but not guaranteed. It might be that your body truly does need that particular thing.
BTW, what is “LF,” please? Lactose something-that-starts-with-F?
Great article. The weight loss industry is the epitome of “create a problem so you can sell the solution” in action. That WW is talking about “feeling comfortable in your body” whilst creating and delivering promotional material like a shower curtain with a woman on it that becomes fat when you open it and thin when you close it, a dim lightbulb packaged with instructions to use it while having sex so your partner won’t see what a gross un-thin-person you are, and a photograph of a woman you are literally meant to *tear up* until she looks thin would be a joke worthy of Mel Brooks if it was satire. As they’re 100% serious, it’s just disgusting.
When I was in college, I had the occasional (dumb) partner who complained about something while we were having sex. Trust, me it is a turn off. Anybody who couldn’t stand to look at me naked is not worth having sex with.
Wait, like they’d insult your body while they were…
“Oh, I just hate your saggy breasts. Let me fondle them some more.”
Riiiiight. That is really counter-productive, because any person with sufficient self-esteem would say, “Stop right there and goodbye,” because no. Just no.
Although, an abuser may use such a tactic to help scout out a good target. Anyone who will put up with insults about their body from the person who is supposed to be enjoying said body, WHILE they are enjoying it, is a good target for such a mean, manipulative, awful, terrible, no good, very bad person. They like people who will accept the insults, because it flows naturally from there to accepting slaps, beatings, and the like.
I think it’s in their handbook. “Step 1: Find someone with low self-esteem. Test the waters by insinuating yourself into their good graces, and then insulting them. If they take it, move on to step 2. If they don’t, move on to a new target. Step 2: Lower their self-esteem further. Step 3: Destroy them, body and soul. Step 4: Profit!”
Actually, I have read real-life, honest-to-goodness articles online from pick-up artists AND from men’s rights activists, advocating that very thing. Pick-up artists call it “negging,” and say that it makes the woman want to work harder, to prove you wrong. Men’s rights activists say that you should criticize your (female) “lovers,” in order to keep them in their place. They both advocate the exact same method of destroying the self-esteem, however, which is to include insults in the “love-making.”
There are probably other groups who do the same thing, but I’ve only read it from those two, because I was linked to it from a feminist website.
Strangely, the feminist website did NOT link to insults and self-esteem crushing from the diet industry. Too many feminists don’t understand that fat acceptance is a feminist issue.
Not like that, but I had one guy pull out a porn mag to look at while we were having sex so he could finish getting off, and another guy complain I took to long to ‘get wet’. I discovered later he’d been watching porn.
One problem with porn is that it gives people unrealistic expectations. It makes people think that 30 seconds of foreplay is quite sufficient, and that anyone should be up for anything, at all, and if someone isn’t up for something, then there’s something wrong with them.
Exploitation issues completely aside (there’s a lot of debate on that subject, especially with actors who really do want to do it), it totally messes with people’s minds.
The thing is, you can feel the fat. You can feel the size. Why would lighting make any difference, at all?
And anyway, if your partner doesn’t like what they see, why are you even with them?
I decided long ago that unrequited love sucks beach balls, and anyone who doesn’t want me can’t have me.
I’d much rather be single than be with someone who doesn’t love all of me, and relish being with all of me. Glare and headaches aside, my partner should be willing to see (and be seen with) me, in a super-trouper spotlight.
Well, except for the whole “having sex in public is socially unacceptable and illegal in most places” thing.
And the fat woman in ads (as in this one) is wearing a shirt where you can see her skin, and it’s “spilling” out over the pants. After you remove the postit notes, her skin no longer shows. Giving the illusion that all fatties dress like slobs.