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Women’s News: Fat Shaming Can Lead To Weight Gain — Now Can We Stop The Bullying?

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The Huffington Post  |  By 

Fat discrimination and prejudice are everywhere — at work, in dating situations, inmedia (we are not over it, Rex Reed), in think tanks, in academia and on the street. (Don’t believe it? Read these women’s stories.) It persists in part thanks to the myth that this type of bullying has an admirable purpose — to shame people into losing weight.

Finally, science is echoing what body image bloggers and other advocates have said for years: shame doesn’t inspire anyone to change.

In 2006 and again in 2010, a new study, led by psychologist Angelina Sutin at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Fla., collected the body mass indexes of 6,157 Americans ages 50 and over who were either normal weight, overweight or obese, Today reported. The research team found that overweight people who faced weight discrimination were over two times more likely to become obese by the end of the study. Participants who were obese when the study began and had experienced weight discrimination were three times more likely to still be obese in 2010. “Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity,” Sutin summarized her findings.

Art Caplan, the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Today that the study is evidence that there is no easy fix for our weight issues, least of all the fat shaming that happens all the time. “Many people, from your sister-in-law to ethics professors, think that the road to weight control runs directly through shame and humiliation,” Caplan said. “Common sense says that this is not likely to be true… Obesity remains a complex problem — part choice and free will mixed in with a smidgen of genetics, sedentary lifestyles and a whole lot of promotion and advertising of fast food, sugary food, high-caloric food and junk food,” he said.

As Today and Caplan also note, it doesn’t help that at least one ethicist — a person who studies right and wrong — has encouraged fat shaming. (By way of an analogy about ageism, the ethicist in question, 83-year-old Daniel Callahan, suggested to Today that fat people imagine weight discrimination.)

What Caplan didn’t mention is the role that what National Eating Disorder Association spokesperson and The Frisky blogger Claire Mysko calls “the Diet Industrial Complex” plays in individuals’ and society’s struggle with weight.

The weight loss industry pulls in $20 billion annually, positioning itself as the solution to our weight woes, but as Geneen Roth, author of “Breaking Free from Emotional Eating,” has emphasized again and again, diets are likely part of the problem. They teach people that they don’t know how to feed themselves and that they deserve deprivation. They’re inherently shaming, and then there’s the inconvenient truth thatdiets often result in weight gain down the road.

What anyone who eats more than he or she needs and feels bad about it needs to do is tune in to exactly what she or he wants and how much. That’s the only way you learn to recognize and honor when you’re full.

Earlier this year, Mysko beautifully summed up what overweight people don’t need:

it is safe to say that a fat woman who struggles with her weight and body image will not find vicious name-calling or cruel jokes to be just the motivation she needs to stick to that magic diet (you know, the one that’s going to screw up her metabolism and make her even more likely to binge and obsess over food)

With any luck, more studies like Sutin’s and the press they receive will finally end the idea that you can shame someone thin. Not that shaming anyone for anything, no matter how justified you feel, has ever actually been okay. If you’re being mean, you’re just being mean.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/fat-shaming-weight-gain_n_3670560.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: Lake Bell, ‘In A World’ Director, Writer And Star, Thinks There’s A Vocal ‘Pandemic’ Among Young Women

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Lake Bell is a little bit worried about young women today. Specifically, their voices.

The actress, who wrote, directed and stars in the upcoming film “In a World,” told NPR on July 25 that she’s disturbed by what she’s coined “sexy baby vocal virus”speech patterns:

It’s like a speech pattern that includes uptalking and fry, so it’s this amalgamation of really unsavory sounds that many young women have adopted. It’s a pandemic, in my opinion. I can’t have people around me that speak that way, and mainly because I am a woman, and I grew up thinking a female voice and sound should sound sophisticated and sexy, a la Lauren Bacall or Anne Bancroft or Faye Dunaway, you know. Not a 12-year-old little girl that is submissive to the male species.

 Bell is hardly the first to notice the way women change their voices, often subconsciously, to sound less threatening or domineering. “What is that voice?,” wrote HuffPost blogger Kate Fridkis in October 2012. “I hear women do it on the street when they are talking to a man they want to quickly placate. I heard one of my college roommates use it every night on the phone with her boyfriend. Girls and women slip into it so naturally, and then out of again, on a daily basis.”

In “In A World,” Bell plays Carol, a woman who wants be the voice behind movie trailers. The only glitch? That voice is pretty much always male. “I was always interested in the idea that the omniscient voice was always considered male,” Bell told NPR. “This sound that’s telling you what to buy, what to think, how to feel about what bank to have, or what kind of car, or what movie to see — so I thought it would be an interesting protagonist to have a female vocal coach who would sort of aspire to take on this world.”

Maybe it’s time to shatter that voice-over glass ceiling.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/lake-bell-in-a-world_n_3671145.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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