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Women’s News: Why Thin Women Should Care About Fat Activism


Isabel Foxen Duke

I would like to think the answer to this question is obvious — that someone’s weight, or even health status, should never be justification for shaming or discrimination, and that we as human citizens are all responsible for protecting the rights of our fellow people.

I further wish it was obvious that someone’s weight is not necessarily “their fault,” but often something we are brought to by the universe of which we are not in control.

I wish everyone knew that weight is not an accurate measurement or determinant of a person’s health status.

But further, that a person’s health status is not an acceptable defense for discrimination in the first place.

I wish these reasons were obvious and case enough for all women of all sizes to stand up and fight for those who face prejudice on the basis of size from our medical, governmental, and professional authorities — not to mention social acquaintances, friends or even loving family members.

I would hope these things were obvious.

But in case you are unconvinced, today, I give thin women everywhere one more reason to fight with and for fat positive activists and take a stance to end weight stigma and the unending emotional and physical harm that it creates:

You — the “thin” woman — are also a victim of fat discrimination.

Remember that time you didn’t want to have sex with the lights on?

The unending roller coaster you’ve been on with food since 7th grade?

The desperate fear of being fat, and endless chase of “thinness” to no end?

The painful binge-eating that seems to follow every “diet fail,” and the subsequent self-loathing that follows?

Yeah, that’s YOU being a victim of fat discrimination. That’s YOU living in fear of being judged on the basis of size and weight.

“Fat” and “thin” women are often separated by fat activists into two distinct groups: largely those “affected” and “not affected.” Thin women often see themselves as “removed” from the issue of fat activism and fat women often see thin women as untouched or unaffected. Neither of these are true.

While “thin” women enjoy privileges that women who are “fat” do not, and “fat” women incur challenges that women who are “thin” do not, thin women nonetheless suffer endlessly due to cultural fatphobia — largely to the extent to which they fear being perceived as “fat,” and battle their weight endlessly in an attempt to avoid it or to desperately grasp for the perceived rewards of being even thinner.

So let’s talk about some of the internal consequences of poor body image that are shared equally by thin and fat women as a result of “fatphobia:”

We diet: We start to ignore our bodies’ needs in favor of foods and amounts that other people tell us are okay. This leads to…

Physical and emotional deprivation: Dieting almost always leads to some kind of deprivation, whether that be physical deprivation and nutrient deficiency OR emotional and mental deprivation, which leads to…

BINGE-EATING (for most of us anyway)! We’ve all heard the statistics: 90-something-percent of diets (depending on the report) end up in weight gain in the long run. That’s because your body and mind compensate by wanting to eat everything that isn’t nailed down. Yeah, it’s a thing. Which leads to…

A world in which how we get to feel about ourselves is determined by what we weigh, or what we ate that day, regardless of how we are perceived by the outside world.

Interestingly enough, binge-eating and emotional eating are behaviors that are almost exclusively experienced by people with a history of dieting or restriction around food, which is a direct response to “fearing” the discrimination experienced by fat women.

In other words, many “thin” women who struggle with their relationship with food — both under-eating, overeating, or some combination of the two — are doing so in proportion to the degree to which “fat” women are being discriminated against. This may seem obvious, but I see too much separation of the issues of these two groups not to remind women that fat discrimination affects women all along the weight spectrum, and there may be no end in sight to the “food issues” that thin and fat women face, until fat discrimination is brought to justice.

When we fight for “fat acceptance,” we fight for our sanity around food and weight, regardless of whether or not we “qualify” as “fat.” If YOU are a woman struggling with your relationship with food or your own body image — regardless of where you exist on the weight spectrum — social activism around body politics can be incredibly healing. You may also want to check out this guide to overcoming shame-eating and the diet-binge cycle atwww.isabelfoxenduke.com.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/isabel-foxen-duke/thin-women-fat-activism_b_4588823.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women


Women’s News: 11 Awesome Women To Watch At The 2014 Winter Olympics

The Huffington Post  |  By 

Double axels, insane ski jumps and half-pipe moves — we can hardly wait for the Winter Olympics to start.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics, we fell in love with incredible female athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, track star Allyson Felix and swimmer Missy Franklin. Needless to say, we were pretty sad when the Games ended. (It didn’t help that we saw a lot less of Ryan Lochte, or as we like to refer to him in our office, “the gift that keeps on giving.”)

Luckily, the Winter Games are bringing us a whole new round of inspiring women to be in awe of.

Here are 11 women to look out for at Sochi:


  • Gracie Gold, Figure Skating
    18-year-old Gold won her first title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 12, and is expected to live up to her last name in Sochi. “The Olympics aren’t just another competition, it’s the ultimate dream,” she told reporter Brandon Penny. “It’s a life experience that I’ll never forget and I’m so excited to be going.” Twitter: @GraceEGold
  • Katie Uhlaender, Skeleton
    Two-time Olympian Uhlaender has competed in national competitions since 2003, twice winning the women’s Skeleton World Cup. When she isn’t training for skeleton, Uhlaender raises cattle on her family’s farm, and works towards competing in the Summer Olympics — as a weightlifter. Talk about a woman of many talents. Twitter: @KatieU11
  • Sugar Todd, Speed Skating
    In Jan. 2014, Todd raised $5,500 to fund her parents’ trip to Sochi to watch her compete — and closed donations once her goal was reached despite the thousands of people who wrote in asking to give more. She wrote on her GoFundMe page: “After paying for 15 years worth of coaching, skating equipment, travel to races, and entry fees for competitions; I promise you that every little bit helps them.” Could she be any more awesome? Twitter: @sugarmotion
  • Sarah Hendrickson, Ski Jumping
    Hendrickson’s Olympic spot isn’t entirely certain since she sustained a knee injury four months ago. But the young skiier is determined to compete, as this is the first time women’s ski jump has been approved as an Olympic event. “This is special and this is what I set my heart on,” Hendrickson told ESPN on Jan. 9. Twitter: @schendrickson
  • Kate Hansen, Luge
    Hansen made the Olympic team despite having raced with a broken foot since October 2013. “I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned a lot about how I work mentally,” Hansen told USA Luge in Oct. 2013. “Obviously, no one wants to break their foot, but I’m capable of things that I never thought I would be capable of. I think that’s the biggest deal in itself.” Twitter: @k8ertotz
  • Hannah Kearney, Freestyle Skiing
    Kearney manages to balance skiing with her undergraduate studies at Dartmouth, which seems pretty incredible to us. In 2012, she told New Hampshire magazine: “A lot of satisfaction in life is cultivated by working towards a goal because you feel organically motivated and truly happy about your choices.” You go, girl. Twiiter: @HK_Ski
  • Heather Richardson, Long Track Speed Skating
    Richardson is a 15-time World Cup 1000m medalist and 11-time World Cup 500m medalist who dabbles in volleyball and softball off the ice. She also plans to go to dental school when her speed skating career is over. We love her ambition. Twitter: @Hlynnrichardson
  • Gretchen Bleiler, Snowboarding
    The halfpipe snowboarder was awarded the Best Female Action Sports Athlete ESPY Award in 2008. She told Women’s Health magazine her tips for staying motivated:

    Goals are the secret. I have at least one goal that I work toward each day. It’s all about taking hold of the day, rather than letting the day run you.

    Twitter: @GretchenBleiler

  • Meryl Davis, Ice Dancing
    Davis and her partner Charlie White won their record-breaking sixth straight U.S. Championship in ice dancing in Jan. 2014, guaranteeing their place at Sochi. “We’re working to earn gold,” Davis told NBC in Jan. 2014. “We’re working really hard for it.” Twitter: @Meryl_Davis
  • Julia Mancuso, Skiing
    The two-time Olympian has a ski run named after her at Squaw Valley — “Julia’s Gold.” But the skiier hasn’t let her success and the attention it’s brought go to her head. In 2010, she told SparkPeople about her focus on giving back:

    I just feel really fortunate for all that I’ve been given, and to be getting paid to do what I do–the most fun thing in my life. I feel like it’s really important to share the wealth and spread the love to people who need it and causes I believe in, like climate change.

    Twitter: @JuliaMancuso

  • Aja Evans, Bobsled
    Evans competed in track and field in college, and only began bobsledding after she graduated in 2010. She scored an incredible 794 out of a possible 800 points on the bobsled “combine test”, so we can’t wait to see what she does at Sochi. Twitter: @AjaLEvans


Who are you looking out for at the Winter Olympics? Comment below, or tweet @HuffPostWomen.

 Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/17/women-to-watch-2014-winter-olympics_n_4604259.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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