Sunday, July 12, 2020

#RealDeal Applauds #FatIsNotAFeeling

@MentalFitness and #RealDeal’s very own Caroline Rothstein has been part of launching an international movement.  In just a few days, her #FatIsNotAFeeling video had over 1 million hits after this BuzzFeed article was released.

This week, HuffPo writer, Hannah R. Winsten outlined the counter-movement being formed (#FatIsAFeeling) and described how “Endangered Bodies, the feminist, body-positive activist and support group based in New York City, partnered with to circulate a petition asking Facebook to remove the “feeling fat” emoticon from its list of emotional options. 16,000 people signed it, and the hashtag #FatisNotaFeeling went viral. … Almost immediately after Facebook removed its “fat” emoticon, the Endangered Bodies Facebook page exploded with angry, hateful comments. Sadly — but unsurprisingly — most of these comments were left by men.”

Having traveled the country for the last 8 years filming nationally acclaimed researchers in multiple areas of science and to design educational tools that build primary prevention and resiliency for mental health issues like eating disorders, exercise addiction and depression — I have seen firsthand how fat-hatred among educators, parents, and kids alike can literally kill people.

In fact, my husband and I created a documentary film in collaboration with the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) and the National Association for Anorexia and Nervosa (ANAD).  Beneath the Floorboards looks at weight stigma research in our country and the phenomenon of — simply — hating people, hating ourselves, because they/we are in larger bodies.  The 20 minute Floorboards (now available as an online educational training tool) shares the true story of Chevese Turner who struggled with a serious mental illness (binge eating disorder) and was never properly diagnosed.  The bullying, shame and tragedy that she suffered is immeasurably painful.

One of the first things we teach individuals in treatment for eating disorders is “fat is not a feeling” — it literally is NOT one of our feelings.  Rather, we encourage patients to specifically pinpoint the feelings they ARE actually having, in an effort to uncover the root causes and deeper issues that are often disguised by their struggle.  In the above video, Caroline Rothstein and Chevese Turner bravely share their stories about their journeys with mental illness, trauma, depression and other deeply rooted truths.  THESE were the things that were hidden behind phrases like “I feel fat.”  Removing “fat” from the “feelings vernacular” not only supports human rights and discrimination movements, it helps us heal individually, socially, spiritually, emotionally.

According to recent research from Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, weight stigma, fat-hatred and bullying of individuals in larger bodies increases risk for depression, suicide, obesity and addictions.  The clinical implications of weight and obesity stigma are staggering and yet we continue with this war on fat, fat people and on being fat.

THIS is why the #FatIsNotAFeeling movement is important and timely.  To Caroline and the entire Endangered Bodies gang, #RealDeal supports and salutes you.

Robyn Hussa Farrell
Editor and Author, WeAreTheRealDeal


Additional Resources:

Academy for Eating Disorders Guidelines for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit

Health At Every Size

Comments are closed.

WordPress SEO
Get Adobe Flash player Plugin by wordpress themes