1. Fat-shaming contributes to poor mental health. Weight-based stigma was associated with increased scores of depression in individuals with obesity . Unsurprisingly, weight stigma has also been associated with increased body dissatisfaction, and decreased self-esteem .
2. Fat-shaming works against weight loss on a metabolic level, and may contribute to chronic disease. Exposure to weight-based stigma and fat-shaming statements has been shown to increase cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and has been shown to inhibit weight loss. It also works against insulin, thereby increasing blood sugar levels. [3, 4]
3. Fat-shaming makes people exercise less. Research has shown that the more weight-based stigma people experience, the more they avoid exercising [2, 5]. There is no evidence that shaming people for their weight motivates them to exercise, and in fact, it seems to do the opposite.
4. Fat-shaming makes people eat more. Exposure to weight-based stigma leads to increased caloric consumption [6, 7]. This directly challenges the notion that shaming individuals to lose weight will have any sort of positive or motivating effect.
5. Do you really need a reason to be kind? Fat-shaming has been associated with a myriad of negative effects on mental and physical health, and has never been shown to have a positive, motivating effect on individuals. Most importantly, though, all people are worthy of respect and should not be judged, shamed, or pressured to act differently due to their weight or appearance.
The next time you’re thinking of making a comment about someone’s weight out of a desire to ‘motivate them’, or supposed concern about their health, consider the points above. You’re only doing harm to people’s mental and physical health when you engage in fat-shaming behaviour.
References are included below the break, and I’m happy to chat about any of the above in more detail on request.
Abundant Bodies is on Thursday and we cannot wait for it. All of our hard work is coming together to make an amazing day full of great content and connected community. Our session leaders are going to be amazing.
You can find the rest of the schedule for Allied Media Conference at amc2018.sched.com
the plus size fashion movement has everything to do with making sure plus size people can wear the clothes that thin people wear… but like… if fashion is based upon thinness and the clothes are actively designed for thin bodies… maybe we need to design clothes actively for fat bodies…? Re-invent the wheel. Have our own fashion separate from theirs instead of still trying to look and be like them
Take canon fat characters who only exist as extended fat jokes and reclaim them. Rescue them from their awful body-shaming narratives.
Write canon fat characters as having emotional depth, as having feelings that matter. Write canon fat characters as having friends and relationships and goals and aspirations.
Write canon fat characters as being insightful and clever and smart, and not just in ways that “justify” their friendships with thin characters. Write them as being talented in ways that serve their own interests.
Write canon fat characters as being funny in ways that don’t always boil down to physical humor about how they are fat.
Take all canon fat characters who are hated by their writers and their stories and love them because they deserve better.