Researcher and activist Joy Cox joins us to talk about how we can fight back against internalized weight stigma and body shame, how intersecting identities can affect body image, why refusing to conform to cultural and societal expectations can help change the world, the racist roots of diet culture and why fighting it is an important part of creating a more inclusive society, the problems with framing larger body size as “obesity” and labeling it a disease, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about intuitive eating for athletes.
Joy is current doctoral candidate and self-professed fatty in the Department of Communication at Rutgers University using her dissertation to study the impacts of identity and social change within the Fat Liberation Movement. Through interviews and content analysis, Joy has been able to unearth answers to questions around member identification, micro and macro discourse, and political action outcomes for movement members. When not conducting research, Joy serves as the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion team for ASDAH, and hosts her own podcast, Fresh Out the Cocoon, which highlights the lived experiences of Black fat women. She is an avid lover of justice and a fierce defender of those who cannot defend themselves. Find her on Instagram.
Joy’s relationship with food growing up, including how coming from a black family created a culture of community and celebration around food, and how her family instilled a sense of body acceptance and body diversity from a young age
Joy’s process of learning self-advocacy and facing body shame from her doctor at a young age
The role of race in the development of Joy’s body image, and how her intersectional identities placed pressure on her to adhere to diet culture
Joy’s experience with weight stigma and medical fatphobia
The toxic nature of weight-loss related compliments
Joy’s experience going to culinary school, how it contributed to yo-yo dieting, and her struggle navigating the male-dominated restaurant industry
The pressure that Joy felt to stay at her suppressed weight and to maintain her extreme weight loss
Joy’s move to go back to university in West Virginia, and her realization that there was systemic oppression around her and affecting her experience
Joy’s experience with the Atkins diet, and how it reinforced her desire to be in a smaller body
Joy’s re-discovery of joyful movement
How so-called “obesity” being categorized as a disease led to Joy’s exposure to Health at Every Size and fat liberation
The power of research and literature in fighting against fatphobia and weight stigma
Why we need to move away from beauty standards and cultural norms
How Joy’s intersecting identities of being a black and being a woman and being fat informs her research and doctoral work
Why not conforming to cultural and societal expectations is a political act
The structural ways in which society excludes people in marginalized bodies
What it means to truly be committed to diversity and inclusion
Joy’s research into organization communication styles and how they perpetuate structural inequality
The ways in which society minimizes the trauma we as a culture inflict on larger bodies
Why shame and personal responsibility don’t lead to long-term change
Navigating the struggles around fat acceptance
The racist roots of diet culture, and why studying history is so important in the fight for social justice
How we can combat internalized fatphobia and other internalized oppressions through education and visibility
Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.
Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!
My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group
Listener Question of the Week
How do we combine intuitive eating with competitive sports? What does intuitive eating tell us about “healthy” vs “unhealthy” foods? How does diet culture sever the connection between our brain and our bodies? What does “health” even mean? How do we recognize and break down the diet mentality? Are there ways to alleviate compulsive behaviors around movement?
Get the Transcript of This Episode
Join my email list to get the transcript delivered to your inbox instantly!