Tag Archives: spreading weight stigma awareness

The Person Contained Within the Body

Here we are, Round 2 of the Weight Stigma Blog-A-Thon. They’re calling it a carnival, but until I can get some cotton candy, I’m not buying it. You may recall, the Binge Eating Disorder Association is putting on Weight Stigma Awareness Week, with a monthly topic for writers, bloggers, etc to talk about to get the discussion going. It’s being hosted by my friend Kendra over at Voice in Recovery, where you can see all the other write-ups.

Anyway, Augusts’ topic is: How Doe Weight Stigma Increase Body Dissatisfaction? At first I a little daunted by the topic – I think it’s a difficult one to discuss in a broad sense, because it will be different for everyone. I know I’ve experienced it in my own life, especially in my adolescence. Because of my experiences growing up, I’m particularly concerned about the anti-obesity initiatives targeting children, the effects it will have on the rising generation, and the way they understand and view their bodies and health.

I try to avoid using words like “overweight.” I think they get thrown around a lot but that there’s no clear definition, especially outside of a medical context. In the absence of a clear, agreed-upon definition, combined with the negative connotations that society has attached to the term, I think it’s misused as a catch-all to evaluate and label people based strictly on appearance. Common consensus deems that that kind of thing is inappropriate for other kinds of surface judgments, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, but for some reason weight discrimination is treated differently.

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Just What the Heck Is Weight Stigma?

Stream this post by pressing ‘Play’ or download the podcast here.

Maybe the term ‘weight stigma’ isn’t in your vocabulary yet, but it needs to be. Even if it isn’t, I anticipate that the concept is not f0reign to anyone if you think hard enough about it. In fact, I’m sure that basically everyone, at some point in their lives, has been engaged in it.

Truthfully, it’s a hard set of shackles to break free of. It’s a form of prejudice that most people probably don’t realize they are engaging in, because the stereotypes about people who aren’t thin are usually accepted as truths and are not questioned. Well, I invite you to join me to start questioning them, along with the Binge Eating Disorder Association. As part of their National Weight Stigma Awareness Week (the last week in September), they’re encouraging writers to blog en masse on the subject in what is apparently known as a blog carnival. So long as it doesn’t involve clowns, I’m in. Continue reading

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