During NEDA’s second annual Weight Stigma Awareness Week (#WSAW2020), on September 28 - October 2, 2020, we want to End Weight Hate!
Weight Stigma Awareness Week is a week to bring awareness to the stigmas that have been created around body size and to end weight hate!
Weight stigma is the discrimination of someone based on the size of their body. Over the years, diet culture has told us that in order to be healthy we must be a certain weight and fit into a specific size. This has created negative stereotypes for people who live in larger bodies. People will assume someone in a larger body is unhealthy just because of the way they look, when health is not determined by how you look at all. Stigmas around weight have created disadvantages for those who are larger, and have grown the idea of fat phobia, which is the dislike or fear of becoming overweight. This fear causes people to develop disordered eating patterns, low self-esteem, and many other issues harmful to the mind and body.
Weight stigmas can be seen in all types of environments including healthcare facilities, social media, transportation services, and public settings. Examples of weight stigma in these environments include:
Healthcare providers telling a patient that they just need to lose weight to alleviate/fix chronic issues/illnesses
The media only promoting smaller sized models
Bus doors being too narrow
Movie theaters or restaurants that have too small of chairs
These examples make a person who is in a larger body feel like they are the problem when really the problem is the way society expects us to look. Shaming someone who is in a larger body or telling them to lose weight does nothing except make that person feel bad about themselves because they don't fit society's ideal body type. Health at Every Size (HAES®) is an ethical model for thinking about health, that doesn’t revolve around weight or body size. There is not a one size fits all roadmap to health, and it looks different for everyone. All bodies can be healthy bodies as long as you are doing what is right for you and what makes you feel good. Let’s end weight stigma and promote the importance of overall well-being!
Upcoming Courageous Conversation with Body Positive Arizona- THURSDAY Oct. 1st from 6PM - 7PM via ZOOM
Click here to register for the post podcast and weight stigma focused discussion