patriarchy

Food Psych #137: How to Navigate Diet Culture with Evette Dionne

Evette Dionne

Writer and editor Evette Dionne joins us to talk about how to fight fatphobia and advocate for yourself in healthcare settings, how to navigate difficult conversations and challenge weight stigma in close relationships, why the body-positive movement needs to be intersectional, how oppression is learned and can be unlearned, why it’s important to acknowledge our privilege, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with friends and family who are stuck in diet culture.

Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, she’s the senior editor at Bitch Media and regularly contributes stories about race, size, gender, and popular culture to Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Refinery29, Harper's Bazaar, MIC, and other print and digital publications. Find her online at EvetteDionne.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

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We Discuss:

  • Evette’s relationship with food growing up, including connecting food with family and love

  • Evette’s experience with food and body shaming from authority figures

  • Fatphobic school environments, Evette’s experience with harassment, and how it led to the development of agoraphobia

  • Evette’s transition into the workforce and obtaining her GED, and her experience with food policing from a manager

  • Navigating food choices with newfound independence

  • The pressure on college students to avoid weight gain

  • The connection between emotional eating and restriction, and using food as a coping mechanism

  • The traumatizing effect of weight concerns

  • The threshold of acceptable fatness

  • Medical fatphobia, weight stigma in healthcare, and the need for self-advocacy at the doctor (refusing to be weighed, asking for pillows at the gynecologist, and insisting that any specialist tests are pushed to the yearly physical)

  • Fat shaming getting in the way of proper medical care for people in larger bodies

  • Compassion and Health at Every Size as effective intervention strategies

  • Patriarchy, sexism, racism, ableism, and why the body-positive movement must be feminist, political, and intersectional

  • The radical origins of body positivity in fat acceptance and the need to push for a more equitable world

  • Empowerment vs activism and the need for systemic change

  • Learning and unlearning our own oppression, building the body of knowledge around us so we can fight back, and learning how to have these difficult conversations in order to challenge someone’s fatphobia within close relationships

  • Giving people the space to grow while also barring yourself against toxic relationships

  • How we are all complicit in this culture that makes it unsafe for marginalized bodies

  • The problem with staying in the comfortable stage of the body-positive journey

  • Moving away from black-and-white thinking

  • Acknowledging privilege, moving beyond shame, and grappling with feeling defensive

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

 

Listener Question of the Week

How do we create distance between ourselves and diet culture? What do we do it diet talk is permeating your relationships with friends and family? Is there a way to push people towards anti-diet ideas before they’re ready? How does “planting seeds” work? Can New Year's’ Resolutions fit into this distancing process? How do we make our boundaries around diet talk clear to those around you?

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Food Psych #131: How to Reclaim Pleasure In Food and Your Body with Substantia Jones

Substantia Jones

Activist and photographer Substantia Jones joins us to discuss recovery from chronic dieting, taking pleasure in food, using photography to find body love, the patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals, the role of romantic relationships in our body image journey, the power of the diet industry, coping with hatred and online trolls, and much more! PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about how to deal with fatphobic “workplace wellness” programs.

Photo-activist Substantia Jones created, manages, and is sole photographer for the fat acceptance campaign, The Adipositivity Project. The website, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, hosts a diverse and growing collection of hundreds of her photographs of fat people of all genders, mostly women, mostly nude. She describes the project as “feminism, fuckyouism, and fat.”

The mission of Jones’ work is to combat sizeist bigotry and weight-related misinformation, to promote recognition of an individual’s body autonomy, and to encourage critical thinking and enlightened discussion of body politics. Jones lectures in schools and universities (with slideshow!), but her work is done primarily with photography, subverting this tool commonly used in promoting body shame, and using it instead to demystify the fat body and give it the respect and visibility too often denied it by the media and popular culture. The message is to love your body, and to allow others to love their own.

Her photography has been featured globally in books, magazines, and news outlets, and has been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally. She is a happily fat woman who lives in New York City and quotes Monty Python a lot. Maybe too much. Find her online at adipositivity.com.

Grab Christy's free guide, 7 simple strategies for finding peace and freedom with food, to start your intuitive eating journey. You can also text "7STRATEGIES" to the phone number 44222 to get it on the go :)

Get Christy's BRAND NEW online course for fellow health & wellness pros, Master Your Anti-Diet Message, at christyharrison.com/message.

 

We Discuss:

  • Substantia’s relationship with food growing up, including struggling with picky eating and gaining access to highly palatable foods like sweets

  • Substantia’s experience in her developing body, including her reaction to being sexualized at a young age and learning about the thin ideal, and how that led to chronic dieting

  • The effect of diet pills, and the dangers of using them

  • The science of intentional weight loss and weight cycling

  • How effective the diet industry is at blaming the victim and encouraging repeat business

  • Holding compassion for those who choose to lose weight

  • The need for fat acceptance on a global, societal, and systemic level

  • The power and money behind diet culture

  • Patriarchy’s influence on beauty ideals and body image

  • The effect of body hatred on sexual development

  • How positive romantic relationships can help us to move towards body neutrality and body love

  • Substantia’s use of photography on her body image journey, and how positive depictions of fat bodies can foster fat acceptance on a cultural level

  • Body preferences and biases

  • Shifting the focus of The Adipositivity Project from changing the opinion of fat people in the culture at large to using it to help fat people make peace with their bodies

  • The process of finding “adiposers” for The Adipositivity Project

  • The issue of internet trolls, online fat hatred, and threats of violence

  • Charlottesville, and the ways in which different oppressions compound and relate to one another

  • Coping with voices of hate and the power of "fuck-you-ism"

  • The pleasure aspect of eating, and it’s role in recovery from disordered eating

  • Reclaiming your relationship with food and body through anger

 

Resources Mentioned

 

Listener Question of the Week

What do we do if our workplace is buying into diet culture through wellness programs? How do we assert our desire to not be weighed? Is there a way to challenge the program at the administrative level, or to get around it through working with doctors? How does discrimination factor into these programs? Can Health at Every Size research bolster our position? Does diet culture affect even those who consider themselves to be recovered? How does “planting the seed” work?

 

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