Monday, October 19, 2009

Fat Talk Free Week

Delta Delta Delta is holding a Fat Talk Free Week from October 19th to 23rd.

While I have a problem with dialogue promoting unhealthy body image being called "fat talk", I do think the campaign carries a good message. It emphasizes the pursuit of a healthy ideal rather than a thin ideal. It acknowledges that a healthy ideal is different for different women and it occurs when one maximizes one's physical and mental health and quality of life.

Whenever I assess a body image campaign, I use Nomy Lamm's It's a Big Fat Revolution as benchmark. Does the campaign meet the challenges raised in this excerpt?

Really they're thin. But really I'm fat. According to mainstream feminist theory, I don't even exist. I know that women do often look in the mirror and think that they are fatter than they are. And yes, this is a problem. But the analysis can't stop there. There are women who are fat, and that needs to be dealt with. Rather than just reassuring people, "No, you're not fat, you're just curvy," maybe we should be demystifying fat and dealing with fat politics as a whole. And I don't mean maybe, I mean it's a necessity. Once we realise that fat is not "inherently bad" (and I can't even believe I'm writing that -- "inherently bad" -- it sounds so ridiculous), then we can work out the problem as a whole instead of dealing only with this very minute part of it. All forms of oppression work together, and so they have to be fought together.

Does this campaign ignore fat-politics? Maybe, but the simple fact that it acknowledges that a healthy ideal is different for each person is a step in the right direction.

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