I shared a post on instagram earlier and it struck a nerve. I knew it would. I am appreciative of people wanting to have an open dialogue about this issue. Health At Every Size is a social and political issue, not necessarily a health issue. Let me explain. Health At Every Size is controversial because it goes against what we as a society have been taught.
People are treated differently because of their appearance. Marginalized groups experience treatment that me as a white, cis, middle-class, married, young, average sized, educated woman never will. Being able to pay for health is a privilege. Workout programs, supplements, diet programs, organic/health food, and gyms are all accessible because of privilege and most people do not have this privilege.
What bugs me about diet culture is that so much worth and value are placed on the ability to eat and move bodies in a certain way. People that cannot access “health” products, for various reasons, are further marginalized. My posts and discussions on Health At Every Size is to call out our culture. I want to see a societal change. I want to see people have a different experience. Not all people can move their bodies or can afford “health” products. Some feel like they are not allowed to enjoy these privileges because of their appearance, biology, or ability. So what then? They are further left out and segregated.
Working out and eating “healthy” is a middle-class thing. Health At Every Size has caused me to pause and look at my own privilege. I want to learn more about how other people are seen and affected. Privilege is something that I have been studying and reading about a lot. I am going to get it wrong. I am going to step on toes, but I am willing to learn. I speak out against diet culture because I need to reach out to and speak to marginalized women. I need to reach her and let her know “I see you and I want to try to understand how I can help you”.
When we shift how we view health and wellness in our culture we make it better and safer for people who do not have the privilege that I do. This is what Health At Every Size is about to me. It is about helping people see what culture has been teaching us about “health” is a perspective that is skewed and can be harmful. I want to see us change the way we look at health and start to listen and learn about individuals and what is best for the person, not what has been best for rich white people.