Autumnal Date Day and Talking Health(ism)

C and I had the best fall date day/night this past weekend (seriously, checkout these pics). We hiked grassy and leaf-covered trails behind an old cemetery, had hot apple cider and doughnuts, and clinked brown sugar-rimmed glasses in an outdoor beer garden. Getting to talk healthism and why it's #fakenews over breakfast was one of my favorite parts of the day, though—yes, we can be v exciting at times. A close second however has to be thinking we were going to be attacked by a family of white-tailed deer in an open field surrounded by thorn bushes. I'm laughing about it now!


I saw an image the other day on Instagram with a quote by Hilary Kinavey, "The women in my family were very feminist about many things, BUT IT STOPPED AT THEIR BODIES." These words didn't leave my thoughts for a few days and left me bummed that despite fat oppression and body hate being major intersections of feminism, I don't really see them being discussed often in some of the feminist spaces I am a part of. C and I wondered how many people might truly agree with us on these issues or try to address them in a helpful way. We reflected on healthism, which—to quote Melissa Fabello—is a political ideology wherein a biomedical understanding of health is given social power and individuals are held responsible for their ability to uphold their own health, and how the moral obligation to it is overwhelming and oppressive, yet still so prevalent in our day to day lives. It's amazing to think how many people are quick to believe 'science,' if it's about health, wellness, or exercise, but don't do the research to see how reliable or bias that science is. I currently work in a major grocery store and it's extraordinarily upsetting to see the swarms of people coming in to find the next superfood or diet trick.

It makes sense that we would be evolutionarily drawn to the idea of good health and longevity. But prioritizing health (and especially making it a moral issue) still creates a hierarchy wherein some people are deemed more worthy than others—and that’s an oppressive way to think about our bodies. Health, sure enough, is arguably a physical experience of biological beings. But our moral obligation to health is something that we, ourselves, created.
— Melissa Fabello

I have so much more to educate myself on the fat rights movement and how I can be the best ally and advocate for it, but I can't deny that the movement has been around for years. So it still surprises me that size and body oppression in many feminist spaces are not discussed. Despite #bopo being overcome by Instagrammers, #fitfam, and white thin women, it really feels like the movement is receiving more traction these days—see Eff Your Beauty Standards, Big Girl Barbell, and Nalgona Positivity Pride. I can only be more vocal about body oppression and healthism, and why dismantling them is crucial to feminism and hope that other (see: thin) women will do the same. To quote the words of Linda Bacon, "...every body is deserving of respectful and fair treatment."


Join me in a commitment to constantly reading and educating ourselves about body positivity and what it means to play a part in or alongside its movement, by taking part in Michelle Elman's Body Positive Book Club. I'll be starting my first read today: Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon, PhD.

There is no social justice when some bodies are reviled, ignored or excluded. Weight bias is not just worthy of inclusion in social justice movements, but integral.
— Linda Bacon, PhD

xx & donuts