A Note of Clarification

Published May 13, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

It was stated on Today Tonight last night that there were Fat Acceptance activists calling for the sacking of Mia Freedman as Chair of the National Body Image Advisory Group.

I would just like to make it clear that I do not, and have not ever, called for Mia to be sacked/removed from this position or any other.

What I am asking for is for Mia to re-think her tone and method of reporting on extreme body sizes, be they they very fat or very thin.  I am asking for her to be mindful of the power of her words, the position she holds in the public eye and the responsibility she has in her position as Chair of the National Body Image Advisory Group.

Ultimately I would like to see Mia as a spokeswoman for all women on the subject of body image, and to show compassion, respect, inclusion and understanding towards every person who has body image issues, regardless of their size and/shape, even when she finds their behaviour shocking or disturbing.

I am disappointed that it has been suggested that I or any of my fellow Fat Acceptance bloggers have at any point called for Mia to be sacked, or suggested that she be removed from any position, as this is simply not true.

I am proud of my work as a fat acceptance activist and still stand by everything that I have actually said about this issue.

I am also so proud of my fellow fat acceptance activists Elizabeth from Spilt Milk, Bri from Fat Lot of Good, as well as Dr Samantha Thomas who appeared in the Today Tonight and Herald Sun pieces today.  What gracious, articulate, intelligent, inspirational, wonderful women I have to learn from.

8 comments on “A Note of Clarification

  • While I find Mamamia.com.au to be a fun, usually light blog, that it used to be, I don’t agree that she should be a body image expert and that’s based on her previous position as a women’s magazine editor, of a particular magazine, that would prefer a particular body type.
    I feel that women representing women, especially body issues, need to have related professional qualifications related to the issues that affect women in relation to their bodies (e.g. doctors, psychologists) not former women’s magazine editors, just because of their ‘fame’. That being said, I don’t think she should be ‘sacked’, but I do think that she could have handled the matter better, and by that, I mean by planning her blog post better, to highlight the issue and, of course, took a more active role to moderate the comments on her blog (as well as format them in a way so they’re not so confusing to read, and on topic).

    • Let’s not forget that MP Kate Ellis who actually initiated the National Body Image Advisory Council recently posed in a leather dress and high heels for Grazia magazine.

      “…her reason for modelling for Grazia was to “spark a debate on body image” (she said similar when posing in a bikini for The Daily Telegraph not too long ago). She wanted to draw attention to the results of the body image survey in Grazia. But something just doesn’t sit right.

      When Ellis was asked whether or not her images were airbrushed, she dodged the question, replying that she had made her views about airbrushing “clear” to the magazine editors. Ellis avoided disclosing whether or not the images were airbrushed, yet disclosure of airbrushed images was one of the key recommendations put forward by the National Advisory Board on Body Image – a board Ellis initiated.”

      I think the idea behind the council is great but I suspect that some members of the group need to understand the issues a little better and present a better example to the wider community with their actions.

  • Y’know, I’m not at all sure that someone who responds to critics by saying they must have eaten “a big bowl of crazy for breakfast” really should be in a position of authority and power.

    While this has largely been about fat acceptance, it’s also about ableism and Mia Freedman’s insensitivity toward people with disabilities.

  • Yeah, the “calling for sacking” comments seemed to have been completely invented – nobody has said that. You’re doing a great job – and I second you on the kudos to Elizabeth, Bri and Sam.

  • Actually, in the real world, there are a lot of bitchy people who I can make the choice to remove from my social circle whenever I so please.

    As I so please to do right now. Goodbye.

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