Fat people can’t win in popular culture. Either they are the subject of reality TV shows about often-extreme weight loss (“The Biggest Loser,” “Heavy, “I Used To Be Fat”), they’re headless bodies in news segments about obesity (or chunky cheerleaders), or they’re the butt of some hack’s lame joke. Fortunately, one new documentary currently raising funds on Kickstarter is looking to add something more thoughtful into the cultural discussion about size. “Fattitude,” an independent documentary by Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman, will explore the warped sizeism within our culture, from TV shows and movies to Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. It will also address misunderstandings around health and BMI (body-mass index) and misinformation surrounding the “obesity epidemic.” Watching the trailer for “Fattitude,” it occurred to me that even being someone who is generally aware at how society privileges thinner bodies, there is still so much prejudice against larger people that I don’t even notice. If this project sounds as important to you as it does to me, consider giving it your support. [Kickstarter]
“I’ve gone up about 20 pounds. I think I’m at my perfect weight!…I work out an hour, six days a week. I love classes like SoulCycle, I also loosely count calories, but sometimes I might eat an Oreo. It’s not the end of the world.”
“Biggest Loser” winner Rachel Frederickson talks about her 20-pound weight gain in the latest issue of US Weekly. This still seems to be a bit of a non-acknowledgement about finishing the season of the reality show at an alarmingly low weight (either on her part or the part of “The Biggest Loser’”s publicity team), but Frederickson does mention that the backlash over her weight loss was a “gift” because “it started a discussion about body image.” I can’t argue with that. And I have to support anyone who feels good about their body … and eats Oreos. [US Weekly]
I’m currently in the process of losing some weight. While the experience has been less life-changing than I expected, I’m proud of myself for eating healthier and exercising more often. I feel good. The one downside so far? I’m at the stage of weight loss where my clothes mostly still fit, but they all look kind of…weird. My jeans are now saggy in weird places. My blouses billow in the most unflattering way possible. My bras straps slip and provide no support. Every time I get dressed, I feel awkward and unattractive, and it has nothing to do with my body, just the way my current wardrobe fits my changing body. It’s clearly time for me to update my closet to reflect the new number on the scale. Here are a few tips for anyone else who’s struggling with shopping for clothes during a period of weight loss: Keep reading »
I blinked a couple times in disbelief, jiggling the sliding weight marker on the old school scale in the corner of the YMCA. An inch to the right or left, and it would clank down, but the weight it was balanced on couldn’t be right, could it? If I was doing the math correctly, I’d lost 13 pounds since the last time I weighed myself, two months ago.
I hadn’t been trying to lose weight, exactly. I had tried more consciously to lose a few pounds last year, getting up at 5:30 every morning to work out for an hour, but I hadn’t changed my diet much, so, to my disappointment and frustration, the scale never budged. A few months ago I decided to ditch the goal of weight loss and just start eating intuitively. I still exercised because it made me feel good, but I didn’t go crazy about it.
And now here I was, staring at proof that I was shedding pounds, and I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I was surprised, happy, but more confused than anything: how could I have lost more than 10 pounds without really noticing? And why didn’t it feel like a more momentous occasion? Keep reading »
“The Biggest Loser” winner Rachel Frederickson is finally ready to talk openly(ish) about her controversial 155-pound weight loss, revealed on the show’s season finale. In this week’s People, Frederickson admits that working out six hours a day in the three months before the finale might have been overkill. Ya think?!
In a video posted on their website, People’s Michelle Tan reports that she looked “much more healthy” a few days after the finale and that she “really was taking responsibility” for being “too enthusiastic” about her workouts. Reportedly, Frederickson was “really shocked and overwhelmed” by the negativity resulting from her weight loss and really wants to put a positive spin on it. Keep reading »
“I was stunned. That would be the word. I mean, we’ve never had a contestant come in at 105 lbs…What people don’t understand is, when the contestants leave to go home … they’re in charge of themselves. So, I had not seen her until that night, and so when she walked out, I was just kind of like, whoa. And I’ve been on the show since the beginning, forever.”
– Bob Harper kind of, sort of, not really admits that he found Rachel Frederickson’s weight loss a bit disconcerting on an upcoming episode of “The Rachael Ray Show.” Yeah, me too. [People]
This morning, a friend asked me what I thought about all “The Biggest Loser” finale drama. I hadn’t watched it yet, but I had a feeling.
“Can I guess?” I said. “Rachel lost too much weight, didn’t she?”
I was right. I didn’t want to spoil the outcome of finale as I’m an avid fan of the show, but I had to look at the pictures of Rachel Frederickson, who is now weighing in at 105 pounds after losing a whopping 155 pounds. People on social media and the blogosphere are freaking out about her weight loss — including Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper — a screenshot of their faces when she walked out on stage says it all. The girl lost 60 percent of her body weight, which can’t look any other way but shocking. Keep reading »
I think we can all agree that the society’s issues with weight and body image have reached rock, rock, rock bottom when women are purposefully ingesting tapeworms to shed pounds. An Iowa woman had to seek medical attention last week after purchasing a LIVE tapeworm off the internet and swallowing it. She was advised to get on anti-worm medication as soon as possible to avoid illness or possible death. The woman’s lapse in judgment prompted the Iowa Department of Public Health to issue a statement warning against using tapeworms as weight-loss aids. Keep reading »
Andrea is taking a much needed week off from her Hitched column this week, after spending the last few days reporting live from the Texas State Legislature as they attempted to rid the state of nearly all its clinics that provide abortions. (Thanks to Senator Wendy Davis and the rest of the “feminist army,” they failed.) So this week, I’m rerunning one of Andrea’s first Hitched columns, originally published on November 2, 2011.
Wedding dress shopping. Here’s what happens to me: I walk into a bridal salon and tell the nice maternal saleswoman that I want a tea-length gown with no flowery accents. I am ushered into a dressing room where I am told that they have one tea length gown, it is covered in flowers, and did I want to try on, say, this $1,500 satin gown with a 14-foot train? For funsies? Repeat nine times. Nine. Nine.
“This is your one chance to be a princess!” one saleswoman told me. When I explained to her that my “princess” vision actually, like, seriously really did include a tea-length dress and she was just going to have to see if she could manage to wrap her mind around that, this total stranger looked at me like I had just shot her kitten point-blank in the face in the middle of the dress shop.
So, I went to the custom dressmaker. I told her what I wanted. She said she could totally do that, but she wouldn’t start the dress until next year, even though we’re getting married in April. Why?
“So you have time to get your weight where you want it.” Keep reading »
I was a full-blown feminist by the time I started college. I also had a full-blown eating disorder. As a teen I marched on Washington for women’s rights. I put out a zine called Wonder Woman. I played drums (and by “played” I mean I aggressively and skill-lessly beat the shit out of a floor tom, a snare and a cymbal) in a punk band whose songs included “Penis-Shaped Missile” and “Cute Band Alert.” I prepared all varieties of soy-based hippie stews for Food Not Bombs, though I don’t recall ever sampling any of them. And it wasn’t because of the soy. Or the hippie. While my dog-eared copy of Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth was proudly displayed on my bookshelf, my equally well-worn calorie counter book was hidden out of sight in my desk drawer.
I was terrified of gaining weight. I restricted. I binged and purged. I hated my body. Keep reading »