Your web-browser is very outdated, and as such, this website may not display properly. Please consider upgrading to a modern, faster and more secure browser. Click here to do so.
“Fat acceptance” blogs urging overweight people to shed negative feelings about their body image can lead to healthier diet and exercise choices, a study has found.
The fat acceptance movement, which seeks to foster a support network among overweight people, has inspired a plethora of blogs and web forums such as Corpulent, Fat Heffalump and The Rotund — an online community that’s become known as the “fatosphere”.
In a study published in the journal Qualitative Health Research, researchers from Monash University, the University of New England and the University of Canberra interviewed 44 fatosphere bloggers from Australia, the US and the UK about how their involvement in the movement had changed them.
“There’s been a lot of criticism of the movement that it promotes obesity and encourages people to give up on weight loss and makes their health worse,” said one of the researchers, Dr Samantha Thomas, a Senior Research Fellow at Monash University’s Department of Marketing.
“We saw there was a lot of opinion about the movement but very few people had actually studied it.”
Interviews with the respondents revealed many had experienced feelings of worthlessness, shame, crash diets, cycles of starvation and binge eating and laxative abuse before discovering the fatosphere.
“Having that support and feeling empowered, people slowly found that their health behaviours began to change dramatically. For example, many people suddenly felt confident to do swimming, something they would not have done before,” she said.
“People shifted their focus away from weight loss and more toward health. A lot of people started to take part in physical activity not as a way to lose weight but because they enjoyed it. Instead of pounding it out on the treadmill they start playing with their kids. It’s actually a massive shift in the way they looked at things.”
Shifting the focus away from restricting food and toward listening to the body’s needs could also lead to better food choices, said Dr Thomas.
“There are actually a lot of lessons for public health here,” she said.
“The term fat acceptance is really confronting for people. That’s why we have seen a lot of blame and criticism. Society tells us it’s not OK to be fat for a whole bunch of moral and medical reasons,” she said.
“This study shows that far from promoting obesity and promoting negative health behaviours, the movement is really positive for some people’s health.”
EAT THAT CONCERN TROLLS.
You mean people are generally healthier when you tell them to appreciate themselves for who they are? SHOCKING.
No, but seriously, it’s amazing to see this have validation finally.
6,373 notes (via mizjtoz & re-cover-ed)
Not understanding fat people feeling angry at the excess of diet ads being aired on tv because “everyone has the right to lose weight if they want to.”
As if skinny people want to see diet ads? wtf
Seriously, tumblr… I constantly question if any more than a handful here know what privilege actually is and what it means.
You don’t have to be considered “fat” to feel under pressure to lose weight, or to find diet ads annoying.
Thin privilege is turning on the TV and being able to watch for however long you like without expecting to hear that your body is terrible and needs to be changed.
When fat people watch TV (or read most magazines, or listen to most radio stations, or navigate to most websites with ads) they can expect to hear/see that their bodies are wrong not just once, but multiple times. They can expect to hear/see ads that suggest they’re bad people for having a fat body. That they can’t find love or play with their children or go on vacation the same way thin people can. That they’ve ‘let themselves go’ by virtue of existing in a fat body. If they pick up a newspaper, suddenly they’re also mass murderers (by virtue of ‘taking up health care resources’ from ‘people who deserve them’) and planet killers (by virtue of having a ‘higher carbon footprint’ than thin people).
And no, thin people are not subject to this same message. Thin privilege is not having the whole goddamn culture bleat at you through every available screen that you’re wrong, bad, ugly, less-than. Thin privilege is having the privilege to simple ‘not like’ diet ads, while fat people have to battle with the messages diet ads put forward every day hour, every day. Thin privilege is being able to cavalierly write off a submission about diet ads and thin privilege with, “As if skinny people want to see diets ads,” when diet ad “before” pictures look like me, and “after” pictures look like you.
Thin privilege (and just plain ignorance) is being able to dismiss a fat person’s recognition that when the whole goddamn culture bleats about how her fat body is bad and needs to change, a thin person is inherently not subject to the same message.
95 notes (via thisisthinprivilege & thisisthinprivilege)
Thin privilege is rarely, if ever, seeing someone’s dating profile specify “no skinnies”. Thin privilege is not having to dig through a thousand questions or more before discovering that the person who was highly matched with you would never date a thin person. Thin privilege is people being unashamed to state a preference for your body type, even if they use euphemisms like “someone who takes care of herself/himself”. Thin privilege is not being terrified of a hostile, even disproportionately angry reaction when you tell someone you were flirting with that you are thin.
Dating sucks for everyone, believe me I know. The stuff I put up with dating while fat, you would not believe. I actually came to appreciate the people who stated outright “no fatties” because at least I knew where not to waste my time.
(submitted by anon)
This is seriously the first thing I look for when looking at someone’s profile. OkCupid is the worst when it comes to this, though I have seen similar things on most online dating sites
There is the additional challenge this creates that because these preferences are so often stated in the negative, this makes it that much harder for fat people to search profiles to find partners expressing a positive interest. A search for “fat” or “BBW” or what have you will inevitably yield a wealth of results from everyone who said “no fat people”. This compounds the privilege thin people face in never having to consider qualifying their searches in this way at all.
Reblogging for awesome commentary.
This ^ so hard. I mean, the second sentence in my description is “I am plus sized.” I actually answered some of the match questions that were specifically about this. What comes to mind is, “If one of your matches was overweight, would that be a deal-breaker?” The most common answer I see, and the one that makes me most wary, is “Yes, but only if he/she were obese,” because then you have to wonder what that person considers ‘obese’. If they’re thinking a size 14 is obese, I’m out of the running completely, but if they think a more moderate 20 is obese then I might be in the ‘datable zone’. Even worse, the question, “Can overweight people still be sexy?” When they answer, “Yes,” instead of being reassured I’m sent into a panic wondering if I fit into their paradigm of beauty. Overall, online dating is hard and scary and anxiety-inducing and I would not recommend it… except that it’s pretty much the only way that I meet and interact with anyone who I can easily confirm is available and looking.
I feel the same way so often. I always wonder what people think when they answer that question since most people do not have a grasp at what ‘obese’ looks like. That said, I don’t want to date someone or be in a relationship with someone who would answer that question in a negative or fat shaming way. More often than not they will not be fat positive and will be at odds with the work I do.
1am confessions time: the above reasons are why I’ve basically given up on dating sites and actively looking for someone to date. It’s funny, because some of the most valuable friendships in my life have come directly from the Internet, but online dating is a cesspool of failure and woe. Like, it sucks up so much of my energy for absolutely no purpose because inevitably it leads to higher insecurity, lowered self-esteem, and a pervasive sense of worthlessness and/or utter lack of desireability that I can’t shake off. Why invest that kind of effort into a situation that doesn’t yield anything positive for me?
All of this. I don’t have the confidence to deal with it as someone who is truly, unequivocally fat, with my fat in all the “wrong” places.
182 notes (via lapocketrocket & thisisthinprivilege)
3,987 notes (via beautyofthesoft & adrowningwoman)
Today I had gotten in trouble on a forum for debating with fat health concern trolls. Apparently, I was the only one insulting. Meanwhile the other people, were referring to my claims you can be healthy and fat with things like “Okay, but make sure to put down that soda!” “Fine, if you want to eat 12 burgers a day!” apparently these things are not personal insults according to the mods. What is a personal insult, calling those people out on being fat haters.
Well the whole thing is over, I apologized to the posters I offended, or who thought I was in the wrong. I told them yes I understand, go ahead tell me what you think I did wrong so I can learn from it. Really only out of desperateness to stay on the forum, I know you’re thinking why would I want to participate in a forum like that. I did get a few good points in, some people did understand. Pretty much everyone aside from the mods, who like school teachers, feel that it’s easier to punish the victim of bullying than the bullies, understood where I was coming from.
I feel stronger knowing I can handle myself in the future regarding these trolls. Furthermore, I don’t feel as afraid about being rejected. I can find another community, even if they want me to have a password that is convoluted.
I think one of the more important things is, for at least 2 days, I had the trolls in my grasp confusing them by pretending to be an anonymous poster. That they were made to hear what I was trying to say, and then being able to go at the end “That’s right b***ches it’s me!” and have a good laugh. Okay, not that important, but it was fun.
Have you heard of the 9 year old boy from Ohio who was removed from his mother's care because they said she didn't do enough to keep him from getting fat? I can't give you the link in the ask, but it is on Yahoo! News and I'm sure elsewhere. The comments on it are about to make me sick from their obvious sizism and classism(one person said: "just keep fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks and avoid junk food!"). I thought you'd find it interesting if you hadn't seen it.
It’s pretty scary, and I know that’s happened a few times over here in the UK. It’s just another way to punish poor people for being poor.
Of course you should feed children as healthily as possible, but for some people that literally means getting whatever food into their kid that they can. I have a friend who often skips meals so her child can eat, and sometimes takes her to McDonalds because she can get discount vouchers for there, and almost everytime someone is an ass to her for letting her kid have some fries while she gets a meal that she needs. People just love to judge people when they know nothing about their situation.