A content series that dissects the personal, social, and political issues that matter to our Yellow Beauty community. This week, we're talking about anti-fat bias.
Anti-fat bias describes a negative attitude toward fat bodies. Often, the bias includes a range of assumptions, like that people with higher body weights are mentally and physically inferior. Let’s learn more about this prejudice and how to create a more inclusive conversation around body image.
why does anti-fat bias exist?
Throughout history, weight has been tied to class. During periods of food scarcity, having a larger body signified that you could afford to eat well and was thus seen in a positive light. But, in our modern times, cheaper foods tend to be more processed and calorie-dense. So, fatness has become associated with poverty and thinness with wealth.
Diet culture has also created the illusion that we all have complete authority over our bodies. People assume individuals with higher weights have failed to manage their bodies effectively. But, the truth is that weight is controlled by over 50 different processes— most of which we have no control over.
changing the narrative
More and more people are using Instagram, blogs, and even podcasts to advocate for body positivity and acceptance. Here are just a few 🤩.
- Via Reyes is a content creator living on Prince Edward Island. She grew up in the Philippines where she was ridiculed for not meeting the local beauty standards. When the pandemic hit, her body insecurities were exacerbated by constant insta scrolling. Then, she made a change: unfollowing accounts that offered a singular image of beauty and following more that supported body diversity. When lockdown restrictions were partially lifted, she felt positive about her body for the first time in a while. She’s started using Instagram to share her self-love. For her, it’s been life-changing to accept that all bodies deserve equal respect.
- Jessamyn Stanley is a body-positive advocate and yoga instructor in Durham, North Carolina. Over the years, she has struggled with body image issues. But, in college, she found a fat-positive community and tried yoga. Although it was challenging, she found it made her feel good; it felt like medicine. She grew her practice and along the way has challenged the idea that yoga is for the thin and white, or that fat people can’t be strong.
- Aubrey Gordon is a writer, speaker, and podcaster based in the Pacific Northwest. She started her career writing anonymously about the realities of life as a fat person under the pseudonym “Your Fat Friend”. She has shed light on a range of topics from fat acceptance to anti-fat bias. Her popular podcast, Maintenance Phase, focuses on the shaky science behind diets and wellness trends. Her profile and website are great places to go to learn more about the pervasiveness of anti-fat bias.
We don’t believe in beauty standards. Drop the labels and think about what makes you feel good from the inside out. While you’re at it, check your anti-fat biases so we can create a more body-positive future.