Diet Culture: We Are At A (Fat) Crossroads

Everyone knows about the horror of yo-yo dieting and fad diets and most people have been on diets for years, on and off. Even BMI, the holy grail of “health” vs “weight” used by the NHS, was really designed in the 19th century only to measure statistical averages in the population, and people are starting to doubt its usefulness for individuals.  Meanwhile, Weight Watchers still has a turnover of $267.4 million a year, despite being a treadmill that’s almost impossible to stay on…

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So where are we really at?

Let me paint you a picture of how confused and conflicted our society is becoming about the F-Word (…fat!), diets and beauty.
Research suggests that up to 50% of the population (US) take part in disordered eating, whilst only 1-3% are diagnosed with eating disorders. Not surprisingly, as being fat is rated as more horrifying than cancer by school aged girls in the US. In response, Barbie becomes fat, tall, and short to try and move with the times and promote positive body image.

 

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From www.app.com

Meanwhile, in the “adult” world, models are shamed for their stick figure looks, or for being plus-sized, in the name of their health. Size 12 women are hired as plus-sized models, and supermodels are told both that they are too fat and too thin in the same day. Misogynists become the most honest people in the game, using PhotoShop to shrink down plus-sized models and undermine their body positive messages.

A size 14 Meghan Trainor insults thin women and uplifts everyone else with her rallying body positive anthem “All About That Bass”...or does she?

all-about-bass thin

An advert for protein powder promoting weight-loss sparks feminist backlash, then adverts for junk food become the enemy of the state, as London’s mayor proposes a ban on tube “junkfood” advertising.

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People are terrified of looking bad whilst exercising, so campaigns are launched specifically to break down that fear. The nation’s favourite meal is the classic roast dinner (nearly 700 calories), in a world that is increasingly designed for (sedentary) work and sitting down. Yet in the midst of it all, health advice about different food “baddies” and food solutions remains as stable as a drunken giraffe, and starts to look like a joke…

So where do we go from here?

Do we go with the body positive, lazy and weak turncoats who have rejected all hope of finally becoming thin? Do we instead side with the Instagram gurus and fitness advisors and hope that this time, we will finally be strong enough and informed enough to get the body and the health that we deserve?

It’s not an easy question to answer. Which is why I am splitting my answer into more parts! Come back next week, when I’m going to explore the mechanisms of the diet and beauty industry from both angles, covering both a history and where we are today with our opposing clans.

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In the meantime, thank you for reading, and consider subscribing to my email list or following me here on WordPress or on Facebook. Thank you!


Reading List aka The Links That You Should Actually Read Though:

On BMI: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/bmi-stop-measuring-weight-height-health-measure-fitness-fat-a7894951.html

Barbie’s New Look: http://time.com/barbie-new-body-cover-story/

Size 12 Women used as Plus Sized Models: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2835253/How-plus-size-models-really-skinny-girls-padding-size-12-size-16-three-easy-steps.html

The Protein World Ad: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/are-you-beach-body-ready-protein-world-backlash-grows-as-thousands-sign-petition-calling-for-removal-10204601.html

Living in a sit-down world: http://www.raptitude.com/2015/01/why-we-spend-our-lives-sitting/

 

 

 

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This Debate is EMBARRASSING: Jordan vs Cathy

As of 12 February over 6.8 million people have watched a “debate” about gender politics between clinical psychologist (and YouTuber) Jordan B Peterson, and Cathy Newman, a Channel 4 news presenter. Jordan is a clinical psychologist in Canada who 4 years ago started putting his lectures on YouTube, whereas Channel 4 News is a mainstream broadcaster, known for having more “lefty” beliefs. Together, Cathy and Jordan cover the gender pay gap, Jordan’s recently released book, and the politics of campus protestors.

Yet this was no debate, and it does not deserve the views or the acclaim that it has been getting. It is an embarrassment.

 

First; Oxford Dictionary Online says a debate is:

debate defintion

So this formal structured discussion, featuring arguments from only one side, Jordan’s, and questions only from the other side, wouldn’t count. Not only this, but in the description itself the segment is described as a “fiery interview”, despite Cathy confusingly calling it a “spat” and a “joust” on twitter.

Continue reading “This Debate is EMBARRASSING: Jordan vs Cathy”

Born Sexy Yesterday: Gender Flip Reaction

Born Sexy Yesterday is a trope building on the born yesterday naïve character, normally found in sci-fi and almost inevitably the main character’s love interest. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it, which excellently presents and explores this concept:

One of the issues raised in the video is that this trope is rarely reversed; rarely does a naïve male creation become an object of desire based on his pathetic-ness or childlike-ness. This is what I wanted to explore more.

Continue reading “Born Sexy Yesterday: Gender Flip Reaction”

You’re a Hypocrite! What about MY free speech!

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Again, I’m borrowing from the amazing NaoiseDolan, this can be found at naoisedolan.com/freeze-peach/

What’s going on in the Hypocrisy/FreezePeach Argument?

If you’ve ever tried to have a meaningful conversation with a casual bigot on the internet ever you’ve had this conversation:

Them: *bigoted casually harmful thing* Just my opinion though!
You: That opinion is trash and perpetuates stereotypes and harmful thinking towards a group of people.
Them: Excuse me?! FREE SPEECH though!! You’re oppressing my opinion!
You: I’m not “oppressing it” I’m just telling you it makes you look like an arsehole. I’m not stopping you.
Them: But you SJW’s don’t want me to judge anyone ever though, you think you’re free from criticism, so this is #oppression, this is unfair, this is the real tragedy here.
You: You’re aware that you are literally judging me right now right?!?

So what’s going on here? Are they trying to bait you? Are they living on another planet? Is this actually reality and have you been deceived the whole time and good is actually bad and you yourself are in fact worse than Stalin?!? (Probably, probably not, and probably not.)

Essentially, most people start out as whiny babies with no concept of other people outside of themselves. They can see themselves being criticised, and feel hurt, alienated, maybe even isolated and confused, and think, damn this is awful, how is this even allowed? If you’re never challenged on anything or taught to think for yourself, this doesn’t change as you grow up. People who are most insulated by privilege are the most likely to fit this description, because the world around them is quite literally, catered to reflect them. There’s no need to think for yourself if everything around you agrees with your own narrative.

The Moment You Inadvertedly Create a Police State in Your Comment Section

When you come across them online with a contradictory viewpoint, they are threatened on a level they probably don’t quite understand. They know that you’re presenting something different and therefore #wrong, but also that you are quite happy and confident in what you believe, despite your blatant Wrongness! How, when they are Right and you are Wrong can you be so composed??  Clearly, you must be under some illusion that you are perfect and actually Right, and that no one can disagree with you! So bam, look what you’ve got coming your way now, you got some DISAGREEMENT. Some DISSENT. Ooooohh how you going to handle THAT now, come on!

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Actual image of what Mra’s and other casual to semi-pro bigots think they are dealing with

They turn against your opinion in the hope that it will shock you just as much as having their opinion challenged has shocked them. Unfortunately for them the playing field isn’t quite even here; if you’re touting an alternative viewpoint, not only are you used to having your opinion shouted down and disagreed with, but also, you are used to thinking for yourself, and not needing the approval of others to have conviction in your beliefs.

So it’s completely boring. Once you’ve had a couple dozen of these conversations, you know exactly how it goes, and no, you’re not surprised that they think you are an “evil totalitarian dictator from hell”, like you always thought you were the opposite of, because of course you are, it’s obvious and immediate, it’s the easiest possible insult there is for someone who’s trying to fight for fairness and freedom, to try and hit us with the “not fair!” card. It’s simple and its aim is to be paralysing, but you can think for yourself, and know that’s not how fairness works.

Like a child who incessantly shouts this though, the people who call you out on this have no idea how fairness works, they barely have an honest concept of what “fair” is, outside of their own hurt feelings. They genuinely believe that justice is all about feelings, because to be fair to them, they’ve never been taught anything else. They’ve always been taught that you shouldn’t be racist or sexist or homophobic because it hurts people’s feelings; a simplistic model that doesn’t address the greater systematic context of harmful actions but it’s easy to explain to kids and gets them to stop propagating said actions. It’s great for a start, but the problem is that once you’ve learned to shut up about the right things at the right moments with the right people, that’s when most people stop learning about what fairness in society means.

So you are actually Fair…now what?

No, you can’t convince them that you are being fair. You can’t convince them that your challenging viewpoint wasn’t built around criticising them and making them feel bad and that therefore it’s not allowed in the constitution or whatever they believe in.

That’s not fun. If they are a troll, they exploit that to try and guilt people into taking it back, or just waste their time trying to convince said troll of their good intent and pure meaning. If they aren’t a troll, they probably will sound the same, but either way, it’s a waste of your time. It’s not truly you who hurt them, it’s the shock of other viewpoints, one of which you happen to hold and you happened to voice.

Now maybe it’s a bit patronising to call it a “shock”: these other views are hardly unheard of, radical ideas like “equal pay” and “stop police killings” are everywhere in media. But the shock comes in realising that other people believe in this, and there’s not much you can do about that except trust in the process of awareness that worked on yourself. No one suddenly became aware of social inequality after one comment by a friend or anonymous message, but equally, no one became aware without those initial interactions. Allow yourself to be that first hurdle, or even the fith or the tenth or the hundredth. You’re not taking something away, you are adding a hurdle, and certain people don’t like being challenged. You could stop challenging them, but does that really help anyone in the long run? You could try and tell them this isn’t a personal challenge and it really shouldn’t be a challenge, but nonetheless, it will still be a challenge to them if they haven’t had to find away around it yet.

Ultimately, the only way people will realise that Dissent is okay, and that it’s not a threat to their Free Speech, is once they learn to think for themselves in the way that so many others have been forced to since birth. It is not your responsibility to do that for them, partly because you literally cannot, it’s in the phrasing “for themselves”. The most that you can do is lead by example, and hope that one day, they’ll find a better way through this hurdle than yelling at it for existing.

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Don’t shove your opinion down my throat…let people get over the stage where they are just yelling variations of this at you.

 

*Disclaimer: It is better to publish something than let it sit in drafts forever. xx*

The Horde

New term for the politically apolitical generic white dude who is not privileged “bro i am completely broke how can i be privileged???”

You hate being called mra. You hate being called redditors. You hate being called redpillian or manosphere or dudebro. It’s disrespectful. You’re all the same though, so you’re the horde.

You’re all various levels of racist, various levels of sexist, massive levels of ignorant. On some levels, the politically correct messages have got through to you and you can sound like a normal human being, but it’s only surface level behavioural conditioning; like training a dog not to poop on the carpet. You’re not really trained to think, and you don’t understand why you can’t just say the word (cos words are just words, right?).

You think that the SJW’s and the politically correct crowd are the thought police and are going to lock you up unless you fall to their incessant growing conflicting and confusing set of demands (sjw’s, as one of you, i say they have a point; we have got to stop treating the horde like they are video game enemies instead of human beings, it’s only helping them think like this. more on that later)

This is cos you don’t understand the motivations, so you think everyone else is motivated like you are, through fear of sounding offensive and gauche. You wish all this fear would just go away though, why they gotta be so sensitive. You’re so far off the point I think you are facing backwards maybe really. Please think about turning around someday please.