diet culture bullshit

Decoding Diet Culture

You know that scene in National Treasure where Nicholas Cage scales the home of the Liberty Bell and gets those super secret special magical glasses that Benjamin Franklin designed and he used them to read the super secret special magical message on the Declaration of Independence?

That’s what it feels like to navigate the world outside of diet culture.

Fat Girl Friday copy

Diet culture is everywhere. Literally everywhere. I feel as if people think I’m exaggerating when I say that, but that shit is fucking EVERYWHERE. The problem is, because they don’t have the super special magical glasses, they can’t see it. But I can. It’s every where I look and so many people are participating in it, possibly without even knowing.

I’m not even talking about the really obvious shit like Weight Watchers commercials or those stupid shapewear ads that keep popping up in my Facebook feed. (Ever notice how they put the women in those commercials in clothes that are obviously too small specifically to highlight the natural lumps and bumps in their body in order to sell you on the magic of the shapewear?)

No, I’m talking about the shit that people don’t even realize is diet culture. I’m talking about things like cheat days. Or phrases like “it’s all about balance, right?” I’m talking about  “I feel fat” and exercising because you ate french fries last night. It’s using words like “overweight” and “obese,” which pathologize bodies and promotes stigma. I’m talking about getting pissed at fat people for spilling over into your airplane seat rather than getting pissed at airlines for making the seats so fucking small in order to maximize profits.

I AM TALKING ABOUT MAKING FUN OF OUR PRESIDENT’S WEIGHT RATHER THAN ATTACKING HIS GODDAMN FUCKED UP POLICIES.

See, when you comment on someone’s appearances like, say, their weight, in a negative manner, that tells me that you believe fat bodies are bad. Y’know, bodies like mine. Because I have a fat body. So, you must think my fat body is also bad, right?

Oh, but I don’t mean you, Jill! 

And a person can have Black friends and still be racist, sooooo…..

Also, let’s talk a little bit about Rachel Hollis, shall we, because I know I have a lot of friends who just looooove her. Me, not one of them. Because Rachel Hollis is fatphobic and when you elevate her messages, regardless of whether or not she’s talking about weight in that particular message, that tells me that you share her beliefs about weight. Particularly my weight.

Oh, sure, in her first book Girl, Wash Your Face she has this really fantastic set-up where you believe she’s being all body positive and by following that it means you are also being all body positive.

But then, see, we have these little gems: I also believe that humans were not made to be out of shape and severely overweight. I think we can function better mentally, emotionally, and physically when we take care of our bodies with nourishment, water, and exercise. 

You need to be healthy. You don’t need to be thin. You don’t need to be a certain size or shape or look good in a bikini. You need to be able to run without feeling like you’re going to puke. You need to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. 

Okay. So, I don’t need to be thin which means I’m allowed to be fat, right? But only as long as I’m not too fat.

That? Fatphobic and ableist AF

Guess what? I do take care of my body with nourishment, water, and exercise. Guess what else? STILL FAT. And I still look good in a bikini thankyouverymuch.

Spoiler alert: Even the fact that I just said I take care of my body in that way is part of diet culture. Justifying my weight by saying it’s okay that I weigh what I weigh because I eat well and move my body and blah blah blah perpetuates the notion of the “good fatty” archetype. It’s dangerous and performative and does harm to fat people who don’t exercise or can’t exercise, hence the whole ableist thing.

Fat people deserve respect even if they don’t exercise. Fat people deserve respect even if they aren’t “healthy.” Fat people deserve respect even if they don’t eat “nutritious” foods.

Despite her whole “You don’t need to be thin or a certain size” mentality, she’s still touting weight loss. She’s still ascribing to the belief that healthy active bodies or better than “unhealthy” non-active bodies. And, again, you do need to be a certain size according to her. Or at least below whatever threshold she’s mentally set as being too fat.

This whole thing? Diet culture. The kind of diet culture that says certain kinds of bodies are good (ie: thin ones) while other bodies are bad (ie: fat ones). People don’t see this, though, because she’s repackaged it as empowerment but me, with my super special magical glasses, I can see what she’s really saying. I can see the hidden messages.

Make no mistake: if you are someone who champions fatphobic and ableist AF people like Rachel Hollis, I am 100% judging you for it.

/rant

Y’all totally missed me, didn’t you?

When I decided to relaunch and rebrand this blog, I promised myself one thing: I would only blog when I had something to say. And, well, apparently I had something to say.

I will also say this: if you ever want to borrow my super special magical anti-diet culture glasses, I will happily lend them to you. All you have to do is ask.

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