Other people's perspectives and experience have been my greatest teachers. Below are some of the ones I have found.
Professional help resources are at the bottom of the page.
NHS Surgical Doctor and author Dr. Joshua Wolrich joins Jameela this week to discuss going from an “un-fattening” influencer to an anti-diet ally, his own experience with food insecurity and weight gain, why fat people receive worse medical care, the nuanced science behind weight gain, the dangers behind popular diets like keto and intermittent fasting, and more.
On I Weigh, Jameela Jamil challenges society’s definition of worth through weight.
Click on the picture to listen.
With humor, sensitivity, fun, and thorough research, Michael Hobbes (You're Wrong About) and Aubrey Gordon (Your Fat Friend) debunk the junk science behind health & wellness fads, and decode their cultural meaning. Episodes include topics like "The Obesity Epidemic", "The Body Mass Index", "Great Protein Fiasco", "Eating Disorders", :"The Keto Diet",and "Celery Juice".
Listen for free on your apple podcast app.
On I Weigh, Jameela Jamil challenges society’s definition of worth through weight by asking different thought-leaders, performers, activists, influencers, and friends about how they are working through their past shames to find where their value truly lies.
Actor and model Jillian Mercado joins Jameela this week to discuss Jillian’s experience growing up with muscular dystrophy, going from a child obsessed with fashion to an adult woman working in the fashion industry, how she became a Diesel model, that “different” isn’t bad, advice on how to date a disabled person, and the need for more representation of disabilities in media.
Click on the picture to listen.
Girls grow up hearing both implicit and explicit messages suggesting that the most important attribute they can strive for is beauty. The chronic focus on beauty directs cognitive, financial, and emotional resources away from other more important goals. Dr. Engeln considers whether there is hope for treating the epidemic of beauty sickness and what it might be like to live in a world where women feel free to spend less time in front of the mirror and more time changing the world.
Dr. Engeln is a psychology professor and body image researcher at Northwestern University. She is the author of "Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women" (Harper, 2017). For more information, go to beautysick.com
(description by TEDx Talks)
Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya is a highly sought-after award-winning Performance Poet, activist, and transformational leader.
Bodies as Resistance: Claiming the Political Act of Being Oneself is a spoken word piece done on the TEDx stage in Marin, CA. Other performances, work, and information about Sonya Renee Taylor is on her website - https://www.sonyareneetaylor.com/
She is the book author of "The Body is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love"
This episode starts with Jameela's rant about women being allowed to brag (very fun).
Then Jameela talks with actor, host, and instagram icon Busy Philipps about hollywood’s fat-shaming culture.
If you keep listening, she also talks about why she chose to get an abortion. An interesting perspective from a woman and something important to hear, whether we all agree or not ;).
A struggling young journalist is determined to change her life without changing her body. While dealing with an unreliable boyfriends, sick parents and a perfectionist boss, she begins to understand that she's just as good as everyone else.
(description by Hulu)
Debut novel "If I Had Your Face" set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, by author Francis Cha, is about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossibly high standards of beauty, secret room salons catering to wealthy men, strict social hierarchies, and K-pop fan mania. "Even as a girl, I knew the only chance I had was to change my face... even before a fortune-teller told me so."
description by goodreads
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio (Morrison's hometown), and tells the story of a young African-American girl named Pecola who grew up following the Great Depression. Set in 1941, the story tells that she is consistently regarded as "ugly" due to her mannerisms and dark skin. As a result, she develops an inferiority complex, which fuels her desire for the blue eyes she equates with "whiteness".
Morrison was an African American novelist, a Pulitzer, and Nobel Prize winner whose works are praised for addressing the harsh consequences of racism in the United States.
(description from Wikipedia)
Aubrey Gordon became well known writing under the pseudonym “Your Fat Friend,” is a columnist for Self magazine, and a co-host of the podcast “Maintenance Phase”. In her new book, "What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat", Aubrey addresses 'anti-fatness'. She unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people’s experiences. She pushes for authentic fat activism, which includes ending legal weight discrimination, giving equal access to health care for large people, increased access to public spaces, and ending anti-fat violence.
Read her NY Times Article "Leave Fat Kids Alone" here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/13/opinion/sunday/childhood-obesity-health.html
Listen to her podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/maintenance-phase/id1535408667 or on spotify
ONLINE OPNION ARTICLE
Last year, Rep. Ilhan Omar sponsored an amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives to increase funding for the CDC to study the health impacts of mercury exposure from commercial skin-lightening products.
"For decades, the beauty industry has sold the narrative that lighter skin is more beautiful. Movies, television, print magazines, and nearly every other medium convey the subliminal message that your value is tied to your skin tone. We’ve seen the media lighten and retouch images of celebrities of color.
This message sends ripple effects around the globe that lighter skin is more desirable, and this leads to real-life consequences."
In this article published on Feb. 16, 2021 in Cosmopolitan magazine, Rep. Ilhan Omar explains why this issue is so deeply personal.
Juliet Milagros Pilante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. When Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again. A snap shot of her own life during the summer of her 19 years with a little magic and imagination thrown in, Gabby Rivera has written a coming-of-age novel full of powerful ideas about sexual, racial, and political identity.
Gabby is the first Latina to write for Marvel comics. You can follow her on Instagram at @quirkyrican
For almost thirty years, Susan Burton (editor on "This American Life") hid her obsession with food and the secret life of compulsive eating and starving that dominated her adolescence. This is the relentlessly honest, fiercely intelligent story of living with both anorexia and binge-eating disorder, moving past her shame, and learning to tell her secret.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, and self-image,
With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.
Stephanie Yeboah is a plus size activist and book author of "Fattily Ever After" - part compassionate manifesto for plus size Black womxn, part survival guide and part memoir based on Yeboah’s own experiences.
"The word ‘fat’ has a complicated place in our history. As an adjective, it joins words like tall, short, hairy, white, black, athletic and fluffy. Unlike these descriptors, however, ‘fat’ is framed as a negative descriptive word, and associated with ugliness, laziness, and is often used as an insult." -Steph
In a blog post published to her website on June 14th, 2020, Stephanie Yeboah examines what the word 'fat' really is.
Based on Dr. Robyn Silverman's groundbreaking research at Tufts University, and filled with searingly honest young voices, this book decodes the ripple effects of actions that damage our girls—and provides tools to help stop them, shines light on the positive influence of women who embrace body types of any size—and explains how to model the right behavior., and shows how girls, whatever their size, can own their strengths, trust their power and accomplish amazing things.
In her book, TuTu Thin, Dawn tackles the topic of eating disorders in the dance world in a way that has not been handled to date. She helps dance teachers, parents and dancers understand how an eating disorder can take over and how to prevent the kind of thinking and behavior that will lead to a serious problem.
-From the Foreword written by Carolyn Costin, MA, MEd, MFT, CEDS Chief Clinical Officer, Monte Nido & Affiliates. Author of Your Dieting Daughter The Eating Disorder Sourcebook 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder.
Make a list of what you are made of that gives you "weight" including personality traits, pursuits, beliefs, hobbies, things you are doing, things you have done, and things that have nothing to do with a number on a scale.
Save the list in your journal. Tape it to your mirror. Memorize it. Keep adding.
Record your voice saying your list beginning with "I weigh..." and send it to Jameela Jamil to include anonymously on her podcast http://iweighcommunity.com/join/
Psalm 139 13 "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
What does this mean to you, if anything at all? Do you have a spiritual life? What does that source say about your beauty?
Write the quote down at the top of a piece of paper or memorize it. Set a timer for ten minutes and let your mind wander.
Write down whatever comes to mind without picking the pen from the paper. Continue writing a stream of consciousness without editing yourself. If you are meditating, simply repeat the quotes and watch your thoughts. If your mind gets quiet, continue repeating the phrase.
You can start every day with this exercise if it helps you.
Pick one thing you love about yourself, or one thing you wish you believed about how beautiful you are. Write it down, memorize it, paste it on your mirror, or nightstand.
Practice saying it to yourself first thing in the morning without any editing or commentary from your mind.
Good morning _______. You are _______ today.
It takes 30 days to form new habits according to psychologists, and many believe the first thirty seconds of your day have a large influence on how you experience the rest of it. We can practice intention this way in the morning and encourage our minds to repeat truths to us about our beauty first thing and always.
From Psychologist K in her "Embrace Your Beauty Blog" interview posted July 27, 2020.
SOLO OR GROUP ACTIVITY
Are there any products or services you use that market with images depicting models and actors of a narrow demographic and oftentimes airbrushed or impossible physicality? Consider writing a letter directly to the company and asking for change.
Locate the company contact info on their website. It will typically be an info email address. To begin your letter, introduce yourself and explain what you like about their products. Then you can explain what you wish were different about their marketing campaigns and why. You can even let them know if you will continue to support their company by purchasing their products or if you will have to postpone use until their marketing is updated. Remember to thank them for their time and consideration.
You can gather a group of friends to participate and all write letters to the same company. Host a letter writing party event even!
There is no wrong or right way to compose a letter. Keep it simple, positive, and honest. You've done a good thing regardless of the outcome.
Would you like further help working through past trauma or present pain? Consider consulting a therapist for professional help or finding a support group to continue healing. Here are some resources below.
Katie is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and Certified Clinical Partner Trauma Specialist-Candidate (CCPS-C). The majority of her clinical experience has been with clients who have gone through trauma. She is EMDR trained and received her M.A. in Professional Counseling from Central Michigan University
She encourages readers and interviewees of this blog to reach out if they are experiencing #metoo related reactions to content. Katie offers telehealth appointments during this time and is licensed in California. firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Group Search Engine - US only
Enter your location into the search bar and then go to drop down menus to search for the type of therapy and issues you would like support on. They offer categories such as trauma, self esteem, sexual abuse, eating disorders, and depression to name a few..
The groups have been started by credentialed therapists, PHDs, and doctors and should be free.
24 HOUR HOTLINE
If you need to talk to someone, call 1-800-273-8255.
A trained crisis worker at your local center will answer the phone. You are not alone.
The Lifeline number provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. Alternatively, there are resources and immediate help available to you in the chat box on the website.
DAWN SMITH THEODORE
Dawn is a certified eating disorder specialist. She has a private practice near Los Angeles, CA. She is co-owner of “Carousel," a transitional living home for women with eating disorders and chemical dependency.
Dawn is a former professional dancer and owned her own dance studio for 25 years. She holds wellness workshops for dancers, and is the author of the book, "Tu Tu Thin". https://www.dawntheodore.com/
She has advised peripherally on this project.