I grew up in the time of Kate Moss’s: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I know she has since said she regrets saying that, but the truth is that she didn’t act alone. That statement was upheld and supported long before she uttered those words and quite honestly still exists today.
One of the reasons it continues to be upheld is because billions of dollars a year are made by businesses, corporations and people who profit off our pain and insecurities. Diet culture is riddled with systems of oppression and white supremacy meant to uphold the idea that there is a “norm”. But the “norm” doesn’t necessarily equal the majority. For example, the average woman’s jean size is somewhere in the range of 16. We can’t get an exact measurement because different brands actually make their sizes differently. And yet we are led to believe that size 8 or below are the size in which we should strive for. I don’t know about you, but I have certainly jumped up and down in a dressing room in the past when I was fitting into a smaller size, or walked away feeling completely defeated when my size was up. The powers of oppression and body politics are so strong that we literally wage wars on the pant sizes we wear and on ourselves, upending our entire lives to follow along these rigid and strict diets in order to slide a piece of material over our hips with a specific size on the tag that no one will ever actually see.
And it gets further upheld and fed by all of the positive reinforcement we get when we lose weight. “You look amazing”, “you’re glowing”, “what have you been doing because it’s working”. Many of us have likely either said this to someone or had it said to us at one point. It matters that we all take accountability because we too have been existing in a world where fatphobia lives along the same insidious lines as racism. In fact, fatphobia itself has incredibly racist roots. And as we have (hopefully) been paying attention to and learning this year, we are all complicit. This isn’t said to shame us. I am saying this to set us free. Because the work of dismantling can begin right now and with each one of us. We can recognize our attachment to our own body politics and bias. We can check in with how we speak to others about how they look, most especially our children. We can drop the before and after photos as if we have won something in our weightloss. We can check ourselves and what the real reasons are we are taking on the latest new fad of how we consume food. We can begin to do the work of setting ourselves and each other free.
And of course, you can donate to my Project HEAL National Eating Disorders Awareness week fundraiser. I am so grateful and blown away by the responses I got yesterday. I would love to get to $500 by the end of this week.
Will you help me dismantle the barriers that keep us locked into the idea that skinny is a feeling we should in any way strive for?
is a Mama, Wife, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Coach, Writer and Activist. You can read more about her here.