The Militant Baker Marches On!

Anyone stumbling around the internet has probably seen the UN series underlining just how much misogyny ends up being typed in the search box of Google.

Anyone out of the know should just look up “women are” with Google and you’ll see why the UN proceeded to create this campaign.

In an effort to extend awareness on just how ubiquitous hate is on the internet, the Militant Baker has started her own, similar autocomplete campaign, and a lot of women have joined in by posting their own posters to her Facebook page.

The problem is that, as usual, weight stigma and weight-related bullying are not something that FB can be bothered to take seriously.

In fact, they have gone so far as to not allow Jes to promote images like the one below, based on the fact that they would garner “negative feedback.”

Well, hate garners a lot more than negative feedback, and speaking out against it, even if people disagree and want to rant about the “obesity epidemic” or get all defensive with the “a skinny people search blah blah blah” (what’s sad about that is Jes has never supported skinny shaming or any sort of body shaming, and that those people who jump on that bandwagon do so because they are trying to find something to be offended over instead of simply joining in the movement to improve everyone’s lives… it makes me sad when so much more can be done if people would check their egos at the door for a moment and actually READ) is something that we should all support.

Choosing to bully, insult, and discriminate against fat people based on one’s own perception that they are weak, stupid, lazy, unhealthy or whatever other Maria-Kang-esk “excuse” a person can latch on to is bigotry, pure and simple. It’s bigotry when it is done based on skin color, it is bigotry when it is based on religion, sexuality, ability, and any other “label” which people throw around to try to disconnect themselves from the rest of the human race.

We are all human. Please visit the links and help The Militant Baker spread the word.

In her words, kthx.

 

 

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It’s funny because’s its true…

And it’s also the best argument on why we should all be a “body positive” movement not a “fat acceptance movement”.

Anybody who knows of Gabriel Iglesias probably knows of one of his funniest routines:

And I say “fluffy” because that is the politically correct term, for those of you who don’t remember I used to say that there were Five Levels of Fatness. Reason why I say “Used to say” is because now there are six! Uh-huh, I met the new one in Las Cruces. The original five levels are Big, Healthy, Husky, Fluffy, and DAMN! People ask, “What could be bigger than DAMN!” The new level’s called “OH HELL NO!” What’s the difference? You’re still willing to work with level five. Example, if you’re on an elevator and you’re with your friend and this really big guy gets on and you and your friend look at each other and you’re like, “DAAAMN!” But you still let the big guy ride your elevator. That’s the difference. Level six, you see walking towards your elevator, [Deep growling noise] [Pretends to be a shocked passenger and starts pushing the “close door” button.] “OH HELL NO!” [Growl] “NO!!” [Growl] “NO!!” [Pretends to kick the fat man out] That’s the difference. The guy that I met was six-foot eight, six hundred and fourteen pounds. Uh-huh, OH HELL NO!! And he was offended at my show. Not by anything that I said, but because of the fact that now at the shows I started selling T-shirts and apparently, I didn’t have his size. Keep in mind, I go all the way up to 5X on the T-shirts and he was like, [Deep growling voice] “You don’t have my size.” I was like, “Dude, I didn’t know they MADE you! I have up to 5X, I don’t have [Growl] X!” A picture of a dinosaur on the back of the tag, you know? – From “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy.”

This bit cracked me up the first time I heard it and continues to crack me up. I have come across other women who hate the term “fluffy”, I guess because they’ve been referred to by that title. I really couldn’t give a crap myself. To each their own… But I am sure that I have come across and will continue to come across people who find this line of joke incorrigibly offensive.

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Even NPR can’t discuss the issue without resorting to the language of Stimga

Even NPR can’t discuss the issue without resorting to the language of stigma

It may be because I am a writer, but the biggest hurdle I see, almost on a daily basis now that I have started this blog and started following other blogs or pages devoted to feminism and body positivity, is language.

The words and argumentative structures by which the “obesity epidemic” or “obesity problem” or even “overweight issue” (whatever you want to call it) are all defined by the current power structures and the agenda of that power structure.

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Cracked.com… deeper than you might think.

There are times when everybody needs humor in their life. One of the places I have gone for such humor in the past and still in the present is cracked.com. Not because I always agree or find what they say to be funny in that uplifting, true to human and thus not inherently offensive to any particular group sort of way. No, like most other humor outlets, they have their supremely douchey moments. I go there just because sometimes, you get this:

Celebrity before and after photographs

There is nothing quite as reassuring and, in a lot of ways, body positive than seeing how Neville Longbottom is a much hotter adult than Harry (although I’d have to say that as far as the actors go, Matthew Lewis, Tom Felton and Rupert Grint have ALL MANAGED TO OUT-HOT Daniel Radcliffe… sorry kiddo. Thems the breaks).

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About Face: Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin

About Face: Be Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Yes, just yes.

Another “just yes” is Beauty Redefined’s FB status today:

 

Despite her doctors telling her she was healthy because of her “great” BMI score, one BR fan has come to realize her chest pains, dizziness, shaking, and fear of eating add up to an eating disorder that isn’t at all “healthy.” This week, she checked herself into a treatment facility to recover once and for all! Today she learned she is at serious risk of a heart attack because of her eating disorder and if she remains at her current “healthy weight” she could die. “It struck me when I found this out that the BMI is so dangerous – outright dangerous!” she said. Our new friend has rocked her BR bracelets while sharing our website and sticky notes with all she meets and told us, “Keep spreading this truth! Keep saving lives! People need to be educated!” What a woman! She is most definitely in the thoughts and prayers of BR fans everywhere. 

This is what we know: While extensive evidence proves the BMI cannot calculate a person’s body fat or healthy weight, the government defends it as the national standard due to the fact that it is “inexpensive and easy for clinicians and for the general public” (CDC, 2010). In the meantime, we are sharing the profit-driven TRUTH about the BMI and dozens of ways you can be healthy without ever calculating that crazy number here. Read and share this life-changing truth!: Forget About Fat and Get Fit

Once upon a time, I thought knowledge was power

And then I started researching “obesity”.

You can’t see it, but my eyes are rolling and I am sighing heavily.

What I found is a lot of research, which often provides either contradictory information, or blends so much quantitative and qualitative data, that it is hard to wrap one’s head around. After all, much of the research depends on the suppositions that one, obesity has a heavy consequential link with pure lifestyle “choices” and that two, obesity has a pure casual link diseases and a higher risk of mortality. But you dig deeper and these two ideas, which seem too dependent on our social views of fatness to be effective as a basis for research (ie, one much start with a hypothesis before any true research can be done, but if the hypothesis is formed on generalizations formed from entrenched social stigma, then it seems obvious to me that what will ensue will always be skewed by the narrow-mindedness of the researchers’ first assumptions) and you will miss a lot of the picture.

I guess that’s why I appreciate the Downey Obesity Report now, though I am not sure I like the name. But so many of us who are “obese” sting at that word now. It has been taken from its context as a medical term and is now volleyed about by society and the media as a way to blatantly stigmatize those who are overweight, and in such a way that it is not only socially acceptable, but socially expected. People who defend having it flung at fat people like me the way the word “homosexual” is now often flung at gay people (I am sure you know what I am talking about, as surely you’ve come across someone using that term, which is “correct” but in a tone that suggests they are verbally expressing a sugar-coated version of what they are really thinking, which is some pejorative which, if used, would just make the person using it look like the asshat they are) do so with the idea that if fat people are beat down with “facts” (ie, the skewed conclusions which may only be half-understood by the media who disperse scientific information to others in a simplified and thus “easy to digest” form) we’ll conform to what others expect us to be.

What are we expected to be? Well, we’re expected to change our entire existence to ensure that we are no longer visually offensive to those who are forced to face us every day, those poor souls who find fat people so disgusting that they stare, comment, or otherwise treat said fat people badly for existing.

Because obesity gets tossed around without a greater understanding by many of the people who toss it around (and this includes some self-proclaimed nurses or other lower-level medical personnel, such as lab technicians, etc.) there is a high prevalence of statistics which are used against people, probably on a daily basis, that don’t reflect the actual health and welfare of the individual who is being exposed to these statistics.

Or, to get straight to the point:Image

I got that one from a great body positive page (devoted mostly toward reminding over weight women that yeah, as a matter of fact, we are dead sexy too,) called Voluptuous Vixens (www.facebook.com/Officialvvpg).

Why do I point this out? Simply put, those of us who want to live healthy lives will seek out sources like The Downey Obesity (www.downeyobesityreport.com) or Health at Every Size (www.haescommunity.org/) to find out real information on scientific studies into the causes of weight-gain, actual health studies that can really show a consequential relationship between fat and disease and actual ways to try to maintain one’s own health and well-being without using quantitative measurements, such as weight on the scale, BMI (which in my opinion must stand for “bullshit medical instrument” for all the good it actually does in determining a person’s health or even actual fat mass), or even clothing size and measurements.

I personally feel that studies should be done to determine whether or not fat in and of itself is a symptom of something else. I really believe it is, and can define the way it is in my own life. My weight increases the most during those times when I am having the hardest time negotiating through my depression and anxiety problems. My weight also increases when I am dealing with a lot of stress. Some studies suggest that there is a link between stress and the body’s tendency to retain weight, through the hormone cortisol. But, as I have seen others who are actively trying to change the way our country perceives obesity, seeing someone studying the effect of cortisol on the body is still frustrating because it seems like the real issue is clouded by the fact that medical research will put fat in a “cause” column, and other diseases which could be symptomatic of environment or personal psychology, like fat, in the “effect” column.

So, when you’re fat, knowledge really isn’t power, it’s a continuation of the frustration that many of us feel over our own lives, which seem so out of our control. Every time we diet and don’t lose we feel powerless. Every time we start working out more and don’t lose, or worse yet, make ourselves FEEL worse through injury because we are pushing ourselves too hard and expecting too much in terms of an immediate result, we feel powerless.

I feel so powerless for both myself and for you, the reader, right now, because I know enough to know that so much of our anatomy is just not in our control. So regardless of whether you are fighting weight, or some other injury, or pain, or disease, that disconnect between the way you WANT to feel and the way you actually DO is the worst possible thing we as human beings have to face. There are times when, no matter how much we want our bodies to change, they simply won’t! And knowing this won’t make our lives any easier, it just makes our own internal state more depressed, more frightening, because it reinforces the idea that we have no real power over our health.

What have I personally discovered which may help all of us? I will speak about this in my next post, but as a preview, I will say what I have discovered is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Used to treat depression and anxiety, it can be of great benefit to those who are dealing with health issues, because of the way it makes us think ABOUT OURSELVES.

At the end of the day, we can’t really know what causes obesity as a whole because too many things have been noted as being the “cause.” We we can know is ourselves. We can look at our own habits, what we eat, how we exercise, what we do and say to others and say to ourselves, mentally. We can look at these things, dissect them, and try to come to a better understanding of our own selves. When we do, then we can push forward to create what I will talk about next time, a Health Manifesto, which I think everyone should right as a contract to ourselves, to follow a plan that will enable us to work toward well-being, regardless of what that means on a personal level.

Thank you for reading. Once again, I am Christine and I am illfitted.
FB: www.facebook.com/pages/Christine-M-Burkhart/166090140115913?ref=hl