I am really bothered by a number of responses I’ve been reading, all over the fatosphere and livejournal, to the effect that, if you are exposed to weight loss propoganda while at work, you should just get over it. I am really bothered by the number of people who don’t seem to understand that a blanket invitation to weight loss, in the work arena, is neither appropriate nor inclusive.
While we spend a HUGE amount of time at our jobs and I think it’s good that companies are starting to be concerned about the health of their workers, continuing to equate improved health with weight loss doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t help healthy fat people, it doesn’t help unhealthy skinny people, and it sure as hell doesn’t help unhealthy fat people who may or may not have any interest in improving their health (tip: focusing on weight loss is NOT the way to improve one’s health).
The idea that wanting to lose weight is ubiquitous and that this is OKAY really freaks me out. Because it ISN’T okay that so many people want to lose weight. It is NOT alright that virtually no one, particularly women, is happy with their body. It’s not okay that companies, no matter how good their team-building intentions, continue to support and foster that sort of mindset through a misguided interest in health.
I know it’s still cold in many parts of the country/world, but here in Florida (other than the past few days), it’s pretty much summer time. And so I ordered a bathing suit – I may be dealing with sun sensitivity but I can always swim in the pool at my gym. And already the talk is beginning – random strangers walking around talking on their cell phones or to their shopping buddies or to other random strangers browsing the swim suits about how awful their bodies are.
This is the fruit of a culture that thinks weight loss ought to be suggested to everyone as a “healthy” thing to do. There are other fruits as well, of course.
This is the fruit of a culture that thinks people ought to just, you know, ignore things that strike you as inappropriate because universe forfend you should overreact.
This is the fruit of a culture where women have so internalized the idea that dieting is a virtuous behavior that the right of nondieters to NOT be constantly battered with diet propoganda is virtually inconceivable.
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