Dear Today Show,
Did you know that 81% of ten year olds are afraid of being fat?
Did you know that 54% of women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat?
A woman name Katie Hopkins tried her own experiment. (Photo from Google Images.)
The Today Show shared that she wants to tell us how there is no excuse for being overweight.
And here I am again, throwing my hands in the air. Really people? Really? I cover this topic often as it still hasn’t changed.
We know there is an epidemic with the obesity crisis. This is made apparent in the news everyday. We also know some people (not all people) can gain weight from eating too much food. There are many other considerations in this puzzle of weight gain. What many don’t realize is this:
America is suffering from two serious health crises that initially seem contradictory. Levels of obesity have risen to epidemic proportions in recent decades, while the high frequency of eating disorders has become cause for serious concern.” - Harvard Political Review
Obesity awareness can also have the opposite effect. Did you know that, for obese kids weight loss can sometimes lead to eating disorders? Read more here. I am not saying we don’t need to find a balance here, I long for that.
But, these stories only dig us further in the spin cycle of the obsesity and eating disorder paradox.
These stories instill shame and fear. Shame and fear do not motivate people. Shame paralyzes, and this woman who was trying to prove a point only reinforces the overwhelming amount of fat shaming in our culture. Tell me, Katie …have you ever thought that some people have medical issues that make them gain weight? That some people don’t have the money, time, or ability to even eat healthy foods or exercise.
What Katie is doing is perpetuating our cutlure of “weight stigma”.
Weight stigma, also known as weightism, weight bias, and weight-based discrimination, is discrimination or stereotyping based on one’s weight, especially larger or thinner people. Weight stigma reflects internalized attitudes towards body size that affects how those who are the targets of bias are treated.” – Truth About Weight Stigma
Does she not realize that fat shaming doesn’t inspire anyone to change and often leads to weight gain!
Let’s stop the fat shaming! I understand you want to share stories that are “hot” and even “controversial”.
I get it.
There are other stories that you can share that don’t have such a negative effect!
As a woman who is living on the other side of a life threatening eating disorder and walking with patients every day at an eating disorder hospital, who struggle with food and loving their bodies, I see the wounds and destructions our society is constantly reinforcing for them. Fat is bad. Thin is in. Search for it like the Holy Grail.
The message that was clearly conveyed in the story you aired…that obesity is one’s fault and one only needs willpower. YIKES!
And like sands in the hourglass we continue on perpetuating an out of control problem in our society.
So what is the truth here? The truth is…Katy is wrong. And her little experiment in my opinion, is cruel
Most people had argued that obesity is a disorder primarily of willpower. This data suggests that there is an underlying biological problem directly involved in obesity.” Psychiatry Online This research suggests that people with eating disorders and obesity may not have the biological control mechanisms most of us have to keep us healthy. When we tell someone to eat or not to eat, we are assuming that this person has normal hormonal responses and can easily control their appetite. This research also forces us to conduct more research on the medical interventions that could help those with eating disorders and obesity regulate appetite and metabolism and make the journey to recovery more possible.” – ANAD
This author in the Huffington Post has it right.
We are mired in an epidemic of self-harm in the form of body shaming and image bashing.”
Why do we need the media to perpetuate what is happening already in the schools, the workplaces and the homes?
Instead, why not stories of people who have overcome eating disorders (that aren’t sensationalized) or stories of people who are loving their bodies and celebrating them. You can help perpetuate body LOVE…not body shame. Please …won’t you try?
Let’s change the conversation!