For the purposes of this blog, I am using these definitions:
Dieting is the deliberate pursuit of weight loss as a goal in and of itself.
HAES, Health at Every Size, is endeavoring to improve one’s health by means other than weight loss, but which may cause incidental, almost always temporary, weight loss. HAES is about working to make your body as healthy as possible, regardless of its size, hence the name.
I totally stole those from Kate Harding, by the way.
This space is an anti-dieting zone. That means, if you are dieting, don’t discuss it here, please. I totally respect your right to make decisions for yourself, for your body. However, I believe, on a very fundamental level, that dieting and fat acceptance have contradictory goals. You can’t accept fat and still want to destroy it. This is a political view. I am friends with many people on diets. I don’t have to agree with their politics to love them.
Fat/Size/Body Acceptance, whatever you want to call it, vitally needs people of all sizes and all levels of health. If you are a size 00, you too can advocate for fat people – so that people will stop telling fat people that all they need to do is eat less and exercise more. If you are a size 32, you too can advocate for body acceptance – so that people will stop telling people who wear a size 00 that they are so lucky to be anorexic. No one is too fat for fat/size/body acceptance. No one is too thin.
Talking about food and exercise and the weight loss that can be incidental when following HAES is not verboten. All of these things can be discussed without associating them with the intentional pursuit, here defined as dieting, of weight loss. The only thing intrinsically linked to dieting is dieting.
In this space, fat is considered a feminist issue. Gender oppression is perpetuated by body oppression. Many feminists regard fat as a matter of health, not feminism but they are, quite frankly, deeply wrong. As long as women are taught to obsess over their bodies, the perceived flaws of their bodies, and why their bodies cannot possibly be pleasing to men if they are fat then women will not be spending their time obsessing over making truly significant strides forward when it comes to social issues, work issues, and the like. As long as women are taught to value their bodies only insomuch as their are pleasing to men, the self-worth of women will be dictated by men’s evaluations of those bodies. And you and I both know that is a bullshit way to live.
Fat men suffer from fat-hatred, too. Seriously, the fat hatred that permeates our society is not just aimed at women. Fat-hatred may function a bit differently for many men – the intersections of privilege and nonprivilege are pretty complex there – so male voices are totally needed in this movement. Not every male into Fat Activism is here just to hit on fat chicks. That said, Fat Admirers are welcome to participate as long as their understand the movement is not here to provide a larger dating pool for them.
There may be more added to this page as we go along. In the meantime, here are some links:
Reality vs. Relativism
Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?
Is Fat Acceptance Really What You Think It Is?
Need a book? Check this out!
The Fat Studies Bibliography