Thursday, January 2, 2014

Tis the Season to Feel Like Crap About Your Body...

[Content note: New Year weight loss stuffs]

Fa la la la...Sigh. It doesn't really have the same ring does it?

So it's January. A new year. A fresh start. A new opportunity to feel bad about your weight! YAY!

Here's a lovely pertinent gem I've seen floating around:

[Picture reads "Adverts before Christmas" with a happy woman surrounded by treats and the text, "enjoy yourself!" Below is "After Christmas" with a physical trainer yelling, "You're a sack of sh*t." a dress saying, "fit into me" and other messages like, "stop smoking," "join a gym," and "cereal for dinner."]
When I saw this, my first comment was, "Hm. It's almost like they're always trying to sell us something." Because that's exactly what's happening.

As is obvious if you click around here for two seconds, I'm always a critic of our ever fatphobic culture. But there are a few times a year where the fatphobia hits such a fever pitch, that it's on a whole other level.

And resolution season is the worst. What makes the situation even more troubling is how just a few days prior the message du jour was of INDULGENCE. It's like we're set up for failure, and when you "fail" the $20 billion weight loss industry will be there, ready to pounce. That is, if you believe that success is determined by body size.

Luckily, I don't.

But sometimes it's not that simple. The chorus of "lose weight" gets so loud this time of year, it's nearly inescapable, even for the firmly body positive. If you're not inundated with ads on radio, TV, online, and magazines, then it's your friends on Facebook postings statuses with their weight loss goals or your coworkers bemoaning how the holidays wrecked their bodies. It's all too much! (And before someone chimes in with, "There's nothing wrong with wanting to change your they always do...please note: I'm critiquing cultural pressure/messaging, not anyone's individual choice. There's a big difference between making a personal change and making a personal change and then saying, "I just can't eat like that anymore!" when you're friend grabs a cookie.)

So my challenge to you, should you accept it, is to take a stance this resolution season and shamelessly love your body out loud. Post a status about how you're not buying the weight loss hype. Make body positive comments at the dinner table with your family. Tweet a selfie and praise it. If someone food polices another person, ask them to stop.

Be an ally against the shame this season. There will be far too many people playing the fat negative game...let's build some momentum on the side of positivity.

Related reading:
Rethinking New Year's Resolutions
Examining Resolution Season
Speaking Up Online

Please see the commenting policy before replying to this post.


  1. Excellent! I'm not a big fan of the whole resolution thing, but this I can get behind.

  2. There is, of course, nothing wrong with resolving to eat healthy or exercise, but why is the focus always on how we look? When I go to cardio barre classes in LA, I'm always disturbed by how the instructor talks about how certain moves will make your booty look good or give you those six pack abs. All the advertising focuses on how the classes give you the body of a thin dancer. I can only imagine how obnoxious it will be during resolution season.

    1. In my experience, all the talk will turn to "burning off all those Christmas cookies you pigged out on." For serious, one said that in class 2 Januaries ago. Why the hell can't they motivate classes without shame?


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