Hello babes. It is yer problematic fave Auntie and I got beef.
We’re going to be talking about wellness, fatphobia, misleading shit a bunch of people say and how we can do better.
Recently I was doing some research, apparently this whole virus situation has sent me running back to my juices and berries witchy ways. That means I’ve been doing a lot of reading.
Listen wellness people…y’all.
One of the things I’ve been focusing on is stress and anxiety reduction. Those two things are among my highest concerns.
Again, I’m seeing weight loss as the front loaded assumed goal rather than the actual ailments I’m looking to ease. This approach is not only problematic, it is generally misleading and dangerous.
Let’s start with why this is problematic. In the context of researching specific things like herbs and vitamins, especially those that have no connection to weight, you’re screwing up the facts. If you want to know what value adding say a vitamin supplement to your wellness line up could have and what you find is rah rah LOOK lose weight, that isn’t going to give you actual nutritional value.
Also, likely it is going to make you feel like shit. More so if you “should” (we’ll get to that) be doing “something” about your weight but maybe you want energy support or help with your digestion. For instance. I was looking at a multi vitamin and the first half of the list of benefits all had to do with losing weight in a way that was sharply marketed for women.
HEY look it’ll cure your jiggly ass and burn and detox and blablabla. None of those things were true or necessary. It is a multivitamin. Looking through the ingredient list rather than the marketing patter, I could see that it was formulated for women over 40 looking for support in immune health, digestion, fatigue and those wanting to get in more minerals and a higher level of calcium. And interestingly, the dude formula of the same vitamin with a little extra stuff for prostate health, did not mention weight or fat at all.
I’ll drop some resources about why fatphobia is bad below so folks can understand who’ve not learned about the issue.
Now, from my perspective what I don’t need is extra nonsense when it comes to facts about nutrition, herbs etc. There are already so many terrible and untrue things around this doesn’t need to happen. Further, when the marketing for a product with a certain herb or vitamin is focused on frankly untrue weightloss promises, how can we trust the industry to actually have our health and wellbeing in mind?
We know that capitalism ruins everything but in this case, especially in the wellness community it fuels dangerous beliefs and behaviors.
I put a lot of the blame for the rise in the dangers in our community on irresponsible and greedy influencers. If we take to instagram, I would be you my delicious chocolate bar I’m eating, that a lot of those huge influencers so many love to follow, are right now hawking things that are not okay.
Tummy teas are a huge one. Lately I’ve noticed a few companies targeting the Black community promising a flat belly and a big booty. I’ve seen youtuber/instagram influencers use their curated aspirational type of content to sell everything from scientifically questionable diets and supplements to tummy teas so work out programs that are, lets face it not good.
The impact of this can be seen all over. We’re seeing more children with eating disorders, may of us who have an eating disorder history can’t navigate these communities without being triggered and none of this fits into a good view of wellness.
My ideas about wellness include learning to care for ourselves in a holistic and whole way. That also means, putting a critical lens on what we’re being sold, how we’re being sold these things and thinking about ways we can engage with wellness without perpetuating harm. Front loading weight loss, using size or fatness as a morality compass, thoughtless selling of products that can contribute to eating disorders and yoyo dieting need to go.
What do I want? I want to be able to be in the wellness community without the bullshit. I want to be able to engage with wellness in a way that isn’t abusive, greedy or predicated on ONE thing, that thing being my weight.
We’ll talk more about sizeism, fat phobia and body politics later so I’ll leave y’all some links to get started.
Things I’ve written. Items with an * are behind the paywall on Medium but I’m giving you the free to read links. If you are a member of Medium please feel free to share from the page:
Other folks work:
Great reading list at Wear Your Voice.
Before I go some extra disclosure. Once upon a time I was a fat blogger. As I’m diving into wellness and new approaches to my own health I’ve decided to dust myself off and get back into talking and writing more about bodies and fatness. I am not currently a fat person. I was now I’m not. I will defer to currently fat people when necessary and if you want to drop any lectures about how terrible fatness is, this is not the blog for you and I won’t approve your comments.
With that. Go forth. Happy reading and I’ll see you later babe.