Fat, Feminism & Your Unlived Dreams

Fat, Feminism & Your Unlived Dreams
by Kylie Ryan /

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how weight loss and the diet industry relates to feminism. It’s a deeply complex issue how women relate to their bodies.

Sometimes I live in a bubble doing my work, looking after my baby, spending time with my family, exercising, catching up on sleep, and remaining largely ignorant of everything else. So I was thrilled to come across this movement that has been happening for years and I never knew about it.

Dr Susie Orbach

Through reading this fabulous article on The Hoopla – Body Battleground, which my gorgeous Communications & PR lady Steph recommended to me, I have found the work of Dr Susie Orbach and her Endangered Bodies Movement.

I can’t wait to read Dr Susie’s seminal work Fat is a Feminist issue, I’m sure it will help me coalesce all the thoughts that are currently streaming around my head.

Merchants of Body Hatred

I think her statement “the merchants of body hatred” is a perfect description for the glamour, diet, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic surgery and advertising industries. The 20th century really has been a perfect storm for body-hatred.

 

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The Secret toll.

This hatred of self obviously has a massive internal toll, as each woman, and now men too, are dissecting, judging, comparing, squeezing, sculpting, shaping, and vibrating, and freezing their fat, in an effort to be more desirable and fit the skinny aesthetic we see nonchalantly strolling down the catwalk. And I believe this has a much larger toll too, I believe that when our minds are consumed with these surface issues we do not have the space, time and confidence to follow our true dreams and allow our creative and intellectual potential to flourish. Think of the wasted time you’ve spent thinking about dieting, getting thinner, or the respective calories of this versus that? Imagine if you had dedicated that time and energy becoming a master at whatever you’ve really talented at, following your passions. Imagine if you finally had the confidence to create and follow your secret dreams?

Yes obesity and the body image crisis has a financial toll on society, billions of dollars in healthcare etc, but it also has an incredible intellectual and creative toll. There is a kind of secret dark ages going on as we’re falling into a technological void, spending every obsessive second with our smartphones, documenting every tiny moment, not truly living with presence in any of it, and never allowing ourselves the space and time to think deeply about anything much at all.

The change that you really seek.

The thing that I love the most about the work I do with women is that invariably once they have shifted the emotional baggage and the self-hatred, and begun a romance of self-loving kindness with their bodies, yes of course most of them do lose weight, because they are nourishing themselves , BUT they also begin to have the confidence and drive to go out and begin actively working towards their larger missions, their purpose in life. That is what I really do it for. To help other women re-discover their passions, their drive and begin the empowered, creative life they were destined to live.

I’m so excited to finally discover Dr Susie’s work and this amazing movement – the Endangered and encourage you too check it out as well if you feel the call to help redefine how women value themselves and are defined by society and the media.

What are your thoughts on this?

Have you read some of Dr Susie’s books? What do you recommend?

Here’s some more to read too:

http://www.endangeredbodies.org/blog

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/9695796/Bryony-Gordon-why-fat-is-still-a-feminist-issue.html

 

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