Melissa Fabello returns! The activist and scholar shares why dieting and restriction reduce our sex drive, how beauty can be reimagined and reclaimed, how the need for affection and intimacy differs from the need for sex, what "skin hunger" is all about, why the Netflix movie To the Bone is so problematic and triggering, how she navigates complex issues in feminism, and a whole lot more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how co-occurring mental-health issues can affect people's hunger and fullness cues.
Melissa A. Fabello is a body acceptance and eating disorder activist, scholar in the field of sexology, and Jurassic Park enthusiast based in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, Melissa works as a Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism, the largest independent feminist media website in the world, and is a doctoral candidate in Widener University’s Human Sexuality Studies program, where her research focuses on how women with anorexia nervosa experience skin hunger. You can contact her through her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @fyeahmfabello.
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Melissa’s career and life trajectory the last two years
The intersections of disordered eating/eating disorders, sexuality, and food
Melissa’s experience in her doctoral program in human sexuality, and the general taboos we have around discussing sex
The five circles of sexuality
Skin hunger: the extent to which we crave non-sexual touch (also known as touch nurturance)
Sexuality, sex drive, touch, and skin hunger in people with anorexia
Loneliness and being in an environment devoid of physical touch
Sexual patterns in relation to eating disorder behavior
Fatphobia, weight stigma, and internalized weight bias in relation to sexuality
How body image impacts sexuality
Pleasure and embodied experiences
The overlaps between body acceptance and body positivity
The sociocultural influences that impact how we see the world
The limitations with eating disorder diagnosis criteria in a diet culture world
Restriction as a coping mechanism
How American beauty standards spread through media
Engaging in the pursuit of beauty outside of the patriarchy
Breaking down the nuances in choice feminism and autonomy
Femme phobia, misogyny, and the negative ways we treat femininity
To the Bone, eating disorder media, and the problem with consistently showing one type of eating disorder experience
Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.
Melissa’s first Food Psych Podcast episode
Survival of the Prettiest by Nancy Etcoff
Jes Baker’s Food Psych Podcast episode
“Netflix’s ‘To the Bone’ Isn’t the Eating Disorder Film it Wants to Be” by Melissa Fabello
How to Disappear Completely by Kelsey Osgood
“Why We Need More ‘Hunger’ and Less ‘To The Bone’” by Melissa Fabello
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Melissa’s dissertation study survey
Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!
My free intuitive eating quick-start guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food
My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes listener Q&As and access to my private Facebook support group. (Get in there now because the price goes up on August 1st!)
Listener Question of the Week
How do we navigate intuitive eating with mental health conditions that interfere with our ability to listen to our internal cues around food, such as OCD? How do we challenge our disordered voices and open ourselves up to the intuitive ones instead? What does nutritional rehabilitation look like?
(Resources Mentioned: Intuitive Eating, 3rd ed., by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch)