Monthly Archives: September 2011

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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