Food Psych #86: Body Positivity & Social Justice with Dianne Bondy

Dianne Bondy - Yoga Teacher & Body Image Activist

Yoga teacher and body-positive activist Dianne Bondy shares how a body-shaming father led her to develop an eating disorder in childhood and adolescence, how yoga helped in her recovery, why the yoga industry needs to be more welcoming of all bodies, why body positivity is a social justice issue, and lots more! 

Dianne Bondy is a celebrated yoga teacher, social justice activist and leading voice of the Yoga For All movement. Her inclusive view of yoga asana and philosophy inspires and empowers thousands of followers around the world – regardless of their shape, size, ethnicity, or level of ability.

Dianne contributes to Yoga International, Do You Yoga, and Elephant Journal. She is featured and profiled in International media outlets: The Guardian, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, People and more. She is a spokesperson for diversity in yoga and yoga for larger bodies, as seen in her work with Pennington’s, Gaiam, and the Yoga & Body Image Coalition. Her work is published in the books Yoga and Body Image, and Yes Yoga Has Curves. Find her online at DianneBondyYoga.com and YogaSteya.com.

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We Discuss:

  • Dianne’s relationship with food growing up, including a contentious relationship with her father that twisted food into a negative experience, and her exposure to eating disorder treatment in the early 1980s

  • How pervasive the messaging is around women’s bodies, and how we are frequently told we are not good enough

  • Dianne’s conflicts around being a yogi and someone in recovery from an eating disorder in relation to vegansim and vegetarianism

  • The ways in which yoga can feel dogmatic and triggering when practiced in a diet framework

  • Why we must put self-care, self-love, and our own needs first when certain ideologies may put our recovery or safety in jeopardy

  • Why the classic aesthetic of yoga (white, able-bodied, thin, woman) is so damaging to those who do not fit within the cultural ideal

  • Diet culture’s sneaky hiding places, and the ways in which the diet mentality is just a product of the capitalist machine

  • The pervasiveness of fatphobia within the medical community

  • The importance of educating people on Health at Every Size and true body positivity

  • Dianne’s a-ha moment in her eating disorder recovery, including the big part that yoga played in recovery

  • Dianne’s journey to find yoga for all bodies

  • The co-option of the body positivity movement, how frustrating it is to live in a world that tries to bar all bodies from healing practices such as yoga, and the ways in which we can use true body positivity to fight against the diet mentality

  • The ways in which diet culture acts as tool of the patriarchy and limits women in their political and cultural power

  • Dianne’s vision for the downfall of the diet industry, and the amazing work being done in the social justice community to push back against diet culture

  • The power in embracing self-love and self-healing

  • Why social media is helping in the fight against diet culture

  • Body positivity and size acceptance as a social and political movement, and how pushback indicates progress

  • HAES as a civil rights movement

  • Dianne’s experience with the 2016 U.S. election as a Canadian

  • Millennial hate, the impact of Baby Boomer policy, and the ways in which the American experience has paved the way for a hateful, bigoted ideology

  • The impossibility of the young, white beauty ideal and its oppressive impacts

  • Oppression, white supremacy, and the ways in which the world is simultaneously changing and regressing

 

Resources Mentioned

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