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January 23, 2012

Grump. Grump. Grump.

Filed under: Uncategorized — thirdxlucky @ 11:13 am

Here’s my tiny bit of grumpy activism for the morning. Hm. I was less diplomatic with this than I would normally be. I think I am becoming less and less interested in pulling my punches toward people who propagate fatphobic bullshit:

From: Rebecca
Sent: Monday, January 23, 2012 11:01 AM
To: Administrative E-Memo
Subject: RE: Are you ready to lose weight? Weight Loss class coming to campus!

I’m sending this e-mail to register a complaint about receiving the following advertisement in my University mailbox. As someone currently recovering from a history of anorectic disordered eating, I find it triggering and upsetting to open my inbox in a professional setting to an e-mail titled “Are you ready to lose weight?” followed by an advertisement referencing “obesity” and the assumption that I have “weight loss goals”.

Furthermore, as a person who works hard to commit to the ideals of intuitive eating (http://www.intuitiveeating.org/) and Health at Every Size (http://www.haescommunity.org/) in spite of constant messages from the wider culture that “weight loss” is a path to increased health, it offends me to see the health department of my own employer pushing this destructive anti-body-diversity message on myself and other employees. I’m prepared to mentally shield myself from this kind of thing on the wider Internet, much like I consciously ignore flashing sidebar ads for plastic surgery, libido enhancing drugs, phone sex hotlines, etc. But I shouldn’t have to expect to start my week by finding similar garbage in my professional inbox direct from the University.

I realize that I am in the minority, that perhaps the majority of employees will appreciate being advertised to about successfully making their bodies more culturally appropriate by focusing on “weight loss” rather than improved health. Still, I feel that receiving weight-loss spam should be an opt-in rather than a requirement of employment at the University.

Thanks for your time,
– R

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1 Comment »

  1. All of your recent posting/thoughts on weight issues lately have been really interesting. I sort of struggle with the opposite. Even though I’m not supermodel thin (5’5.5, pretty standard size 10), any expression of a desire to change my body is almost always met with something to the effect of “you’re crazy, you don’t need to lose weight.”

    I know people who respond this way mean well, and I know for many of them this response is automatic, but I also find it frustrating. It’s as if they’re saying they don’t trust me to know what is healthy and fulfilling for me. Or that they’re assuming my desire for change is some indication that I don’t like and appreciate my body as it is now, which in turn must result from a lack of external approval. Both of those, in this instance, are ridiculous. I’ve been every weight from 105 lbs to 175 lbs and I damn well know where my sweet spot is. Even though I’m currently working on dropping about 10 lbs or so, I think I’m attractive now and if I never lost another ounce my life would be just fine. My body basically does all of what I need it to and most of what I want it to. It just happens that it feels better, looks better, and does even more of what I want it to when it’s a tad smaller.

    And granted, frustrating as it is for me, it’s not really all that comparable to fatphobic commentary because I have society backing me up. But ultimately I think it comes down to the same incorrect (perhaps untrained?) behavioral response. In my view, everyone should strive to be either neutral or supportive, and start from the assumption that an individual has made informed choices about their life and set goals that are right for them.

    Comment by katelyn knight (@vexatious_lit) — January 23, 2012 @ 12:54 pm | Reply


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