USA

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I Stand…

Published January 23, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

I’m sure you’ve all seen those horrible fat-shaming ads from Georgia, USA advocating the bullying of fat kids.  If you haven’t, have a look on Heather’s post at Fat Girl Posing (because I’ll be damned if I’m giving that campaign any link love).  It’s disgusting that anyone thinks that this kind of public shaming and bullying is acceptable.

How this campaign could possibly be called “Strong 4 Life” – I have no idea.  Since when did shaming and bullying people make them strong?  I know what it will do for life for these kids – because I was a fat kid too.  It will be SHAME for life.  Low self worth for life.  Bullying for life.  Avoiding medical care for life.  Hating yourself for life.  It will not be strong, happy, healthy, empowered for life if we allow this to continue.

Well I’m happy to say that we’re not just letting this one slide.  A whole lot of fat activists have taken up the sword and are fighting this one in a whole lot of ways.  There is a website, called Stand 4 Kids, which is directly in response to the campaign, and is aggregating a lot of information on the campaign and ways to combat the shaming and bullying.  There is a petition on change.org that you can sign to demand the end to weight stigma and the cessation of this campaign.  There is a facebook group you can request to join, to get information and share news on how to combat this horrible campaign.

But my favourite so far is the series of response posters Marilyn Wann is making that mimic the repulsive fat loathing propaganda from Strong 4 Life, but share a whole different message – one of positivity, respect, strong self esteem, dignity and kindness.  Here is Marilyn’s:

How fabulous is that?  There are a whole bunch of them, from fat activists of all shapes, sizes and walks of life.  Many of them you’ll find on Marilyn’s Tumblr.

Another favourite of mine is this one from Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size (which is currently on sale for $1.79 in Kindle version on Amazon – works on Kindle, and the Kindle app on iOS and Android):

Seriously – how awesome are these?  What fantastic messages to send out to ALL people about their bodies and optimising their health.

Well, you know, I couldn’t let this fantastic campaign go by without contributing myself.  So I sent Marilyn a photo and a statement, and she made one for me!

I’m totally chuffed with it.  I really wanted something joyous and happy – since those images from Strong 4 Life are so miserable and shamed.  I want people to find joy in their lives and joy in their bodies.

So, will you all stand with us?  Will you join us in standing against fat stigma and body shaming, especially for kids?  No matter how you choose to participate, every action helps and is welcome.

We can and ARE making a difference.