My Body, My Needs and Societal Responsibilities: Responding to Fat Acceptance and HAES Critiques

Woah, holy sudden offline disappearance, Batman! If you watch my Twitter, you know that I recently started law school and I have found myself bereft of time and energy as I get used to being in university again as a total novice in my new field. I have started several posts in the past couple weeks, but I haven’t been able to pull my thoughts together enough to finish any of them. Now that things are starting to settle, I want to return to blogging, so I apologise for any post that seems like it is a couple weeks past its freshest relevance. However, I still think I have a few important points to make!

To start, I’d like to address the recent(ish) and continuing brouhaha over fat acceptance in the feminist blogosphere (see this Feministe post and the mountain of responses it has received both on the blog and off, or anything written by Tasha Fierce on Bitch lately).  Admittedly, feminism has not entirely accepted fat liberation ideals. This isn’t particularly shocking as feminism has not accepted a lot of ideas in the areas of race, sexuality, disability, gender and even feminism itself. This is the joy of having a large, supposedly all-encompassing group of people who are allegedly fighting for the same thing; the definition of the same thing changes depending on who one is talking to.

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Fat in the News

In my last post, I delved into my personal body image issues quite deeply. The pressures I faced urging me to be thinner all the time seemed to come from my family and friends. However, this is too simplistic an approach. Obviously, the impetus to be thin has to come from somewhere. In fact, we have an entire cultural dialogue surrounding the perceived need to be thin, sexy and consumable at all times. We have constructed a world in which thin is healthy, beautiful and the only worthwhile state to be in. Every advertisement screams this at us every day of our lives in North America and anyone can see this societal obsession manifested upon opening a newspaper or magazine. And that’s just what I did. The following articles are just a few of the most recent badly written and misunderstood interpretations on fat that I have found in the Canadian media within the past week or so.

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