Between the Li(n)es

A few days ago, I made a joke about how I was reporting all the diet ads in my Facebook feed on account of their falling into the category of “spam or misleading.”

Only it’s not a joke.

At least, it’s not just a joke. If the concept made you laugh, go right ahead, whether that was a delighted chortle or a mocking “who does she think she is?” kind of laugh. You do you, boo.

But I really have been reporting those Facebook ads. Totally a tilting-against-windmills kind of gesture: the Zucker-bots keep politely replying saying they’ve reviewed the content and determined that “it doesn’t violate community standards.” Which is entirely unsurprising, considering the cultural hard-on society has for thinness and virtuous January vows to become thinner.

At least I get a few seconds of expressing my ire at this bullshit with every click I make to report an ad. And it has reduced the number of diet ads being shoved at me.

I don’t particularly feel like rehashing all the ways that long-term weight loss is pretty much an outright lie; or how super-duper crappy weight loss “science” is. I also don’t want to tell anyone you can’t make New Year’s resolutions that include intentional weight loss (IWL). Like I said above: you do you, boo.

What I do want to say–briefly–is what your IWL goal tells me about what you think about me and my fat body.

  • It tells me you go along with prejudicial thinking that thinness is better than fatness, even though credible scientific studies show that health is about behaviors and not about size. That you look at my body and see it as automatically inferior.
  • It tells me you prefer the long-term risks and ramifications of yo-yo dieting and weight cycling in order to meet this culture’s fucked-up aesthetic standards. That you look at my body and see it as ugly.


I could go on, but honestly, it’s just more pain than I wish to display tonight. Instead, let me just quote (with permission) something a very wise friend of mine wrote a couple of days ago.

Your body is your own, but please understand two things: 1) When you post about IWL, you are telling your fat friends exactly what you think of us/our bodies; 2) Many of us consider IWL in the same league as conversion therapy for gender or for sexual orientation.

Seriously, folks, this stuff matters, and it makes me trust you less.

There’s someone in my circle of acquaintance who’s been encouraging me to get back into yoga. But I also see her giving all kinds of “you go girl”! feedback around folks’ IWL. What that suggests to me is that, underneath whatever surface platitudes she says about self-acceptance, she’s still seeing yoga as a path for me to become thinner. And seeing that between-the-lines message has made me 100% unwilling to join her at yoga classes.

And that’s as honest and vulnerable as I feel up to tonight.


Image credit: Flickr user Loren Javier, via a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.

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