As we all know, social distancing has become the new norm, and we have started to quarantine in various spaces. Throughout the past four weeks, I have read comments on social media that exclaim, “OMG…I am going to gain so much weight from this quarantine” or “People really need to be eating healthy, so they won’t gain weight during these times” or “I really hope I don’t gain the Corona-19.” Weight. Weight. Weight.
THIS IS ALL I SEE. For those who are making comments and jokes such as the “gaining the Corona-19,” I encourage you to reflect and consider how these comments can be incredibly triggering and dangerous for some folks who may not have the best relationships with food. Within social media, I see a fear of weight gain, and to dive deeper, I see fatphobia.
According to the academic article, Avoiding Fatphobia and Sizeism in Healthcare, “Fatphobia is the fear and dislike of fat people and the stigmatization of individuals with bigger bodies.” The article continues to mention the role of the media by stating, “Fatphobia is present in almost all kinds of media that we consume, and it teaches us what kind of body type we view as valuable and desirable in our culture.”
Ever since I was young, societal messages reinforced the ideology of the skinnier the body, the better. I would see these bodies on television, in magazines, in music videos…everywhere. The notion of valuing “skinnier” characteristics are even used in the discourses and language that we use in our everyday lives. I am constantly surrounded and consumed by these messages, and I know I am not alone. It’s overwhelming!
I want to give some examples of comments that I have read and give suggestions to bring about a different perspective!
|Instead of saying:||Say:|
|· OMG! You look so skinny! So pretty.|
· Ugh, I really hope I don’t gain the Corona-19.
· I need to get exercise, so I don’t look fat in this.
·I don’t deserve to eat this.
·Since we are quarantined, I must use this time to work out and exercise.
|· You look so pretty!|
· I am going to fuel my body with the nutrients I need to feel my best.
· I want to feel healthy, and I know I am beautiful.
·I am deserving of allowing myself to eat things that make me happy.
·I will allow myself to explore various hobbies that bring me joy.
Ahhh…the power of language. When we change the ways in which we frame our language, we can disrupt and challenge the systems that are constantly telling us that we aren’t good enough. I encourage you to think about if you have said any of these phrases. Think about how you can change your inner and/or outer discourse to be more caring and kind. Repeat after me:
I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM DESERVING. SOCIETY WILL NOT DEFINE ME. I AM ENOUGH.
Remember folks, be kind to yourself and others.