I think we need to make something clear: Advocates of Self Love (like Lizzo) and Celebrities who call out the Diet Industry (like Jameela Jamil) and Runners who chastise Fat Shamers are NOT promoting obesity . They are NOT glorifying fatness. They are not making people choose unhealthy lifestyles.
I know people like Bill Maher. (Who made the news for recently promoting fat-shaming.) I’ve gotten into debates with people like him. They honestly think that the only thing fat people are allowed to say about their bodies is: “I want to be skinnier.” They don’t believe that fat people can also be healthy. So trying to argue, “It’s only about healthy and if I’m healthy my weight doesn’t matter,” doesn’t work because they know all of the medical statistics that show that the Healthy Fat Person is an anomaly.
So you have to do what James Corden did and point out that fat people are ALWAYS BEING SHAMED. Just in the check-out line at the store they see magazine covers with before/after photos where the “before” photos look an awful lot like them. They see headlines promoting how weightloss made this person’s life so much better. They see photos of celebrities and their cellulite broadcasted over cruel descriptions in block lettering. THIS IS JUST WHILE BUYING THEIR GROCERIES.
If you’ve ever tried to work on correcting your cultural brainwashing around fatness thanks in not part to the twisted messaging of the diet industry, then you realize fat shaming is EVERYWHERE. From the Facebook advertising determined to make me repulsed by my muffin top, to the latest “I was fat and sad and then I became skinny and happy” pop culture contribution. From your size-7 co-worker who is constantly complaining about the 6lbs she gained on her honeymoon to the instagram influencer perfecting her foot positioning so she can make her waist look like it’s 14-inches. Everywhere around us we see unattainable standards set as expectations and anything beyond that is defined as a “BEFORE” picture. Something you MUST HATE…or else.
With the rise in conversations around self-love and the harms of body-shaming, people like Bill Maher think that we are going to make the obesity epidemic WORSE. And I assure you? That is not the case. Poverty is making it worse. Mental health is making it worse. A diet industry that only survives if we all hate our bodies…makes it worse.
So let us learn to love ourselves, because the hate that society forces upon us will give us enough shame to last a lifetime.