Category Archives: HAES

4th of July Reprise–A Declaration of Body Independence

 

Enjoy your independence my little chickies!

NOTE: This is a rebroadcast of a post I did in February. I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies and the rights we have to love them and care for them in any way we choose. I want to reiterate that health and happiness can be defined any way we wish and that nobody has the right to dictate what those terms should mean and how we should pursue them (or not). Enjoy your freedom my dear chicklettes.

Love,

The Fat Chick

The Fat Chick in front of Independence Hall

So on my recent trip to Philadelphia, I saw Independence Hall.  Besides being a gorgeous building, this was a site where some pretty amazingly radical things happened.  For one, the Constitution was created here.  For another, the Declaration of Independence was both written and signed here.  This along with an excellent blog post by ASDAH Secretary, Fall Ferguson, JD, MA.

All of this together got me thinking about the notion of body independence and how our current national obsession with the size and situation of bodies is so very antithetical to the ideas the founding fathers scribbled down in this building.  And being the type of person who will follow an idea to its furthest reaches, beyond all reason, and with a preemptive request for forgiveness from our founding fathers, I’ve decided to lay out a draft of a
Declaration of Body Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all bodies are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
My body is my own to care for in whatever way I wish.   No one has the right to tell me what to eat or how to move.  If I want a cookie, I shall have one.  If I want broccoli, I shall have it.  I shall boogie down with my bad self, or not as I choose.
I have the right to compassionate, competent and equitable health care.  This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care.  Whenever any Form of Medicine becomes destructive of these ends, it is my right to alter or abolish it and institute a new form of medical care–seeking a form that will seem most likely to effect my Safety and Happiness.
I have the right to look the way I look.  I may wear tiny prints or vertical stripes.  I may expose my fleshy arms as I embrace my freedom.  Fashion shall dictate no law that keeps me from dressing and expressing myself as I darn well please.
I am endowed with the unalienable Right to walk down the street unmolested by individuals (well-meaning or not) wishing to ply me with “cures” purported to change the size of my body to meet their ideal.
I am allowed to create my own definition of health and seek it (or not) as I see fit.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce me under the absolute Despotism of size oppression, it is my right, it is my duty, to throw off such Forces, and to provide new Guards for my future happiness.
So, my little chicklettes, cast off the chains of oppression!  Launch a body revolution!  Viva la resistance!
Love,
The Fat Chick

Spring Cleaning: Wiping out Negative Body Talk

Let's do some "spring cleaning"!

In honor of spring, I’m initiating a little spring cleaning.  But instead of cleaning closets and windows and cars, this year I’m going to try clean up some of my habits, and assumptions and attitudes.  When cleaning closets or the garage, I’m pretty brutal about tossing out things that I no longer need or want.  So this year, I’m going to throw away a few habits and attitudes that just aren’t working for me any more.  I’m going to pull out the big trash can, and I’m going to start with negative body talk.

Does this sound familiar?

“I hate my thighs!”

“Does my butt look big in this?”

“I can’t believe she’s wearing that.”

“Why can’t I have hair like hers?  Mine is too flat.”

Yup, those phrases represent negative body talk–those little phrases we say inside our heads or share with friends in conversation that put down that most magnificent and beautiful and personal gift, our bodies.  Negative body talk is everywhere.  Our friends do it.  Our families do it.  And most of us do it from time to time.

So what’s wrong with it?  Plenty.  Negative body talk has an immediately detrimental effect on our physical and mental health.  A recent article highlights some studies that indicate that “fat talk predicts changes in depression, body satisfaction, and perceived pressure to be thin across time.”  According to one study, the more fat talk a person talked, the worse they felt–resulting in lower body satisfaction and increased depression after 3 weeks.

Negative body talk is bad for us, and it’s everywhere.  So why do we do it?  I imagine sometimes it’s to fit in and sometimes it’s because we feel bad.  But a lot of times, I think we do it because we don’t even recognize we’re doing it.  You see, negative body talk can be kind of sneaky.  Sure, we recognize a phrase like “I hate my butt” as negative body talk.  But negative body talk can also be much more subtle:

“I’m exercising so I can tone up and look good in a swimsuit.”

“I can show my arms because they look okay, but not my thighs.”

“That dress just doesn’t look good on certain body types.”

“I don’t need to look like a supermodel.  I just want to look good in shorts.”

This kind of negative body talk can be harder to recognize, but it’s negative body talk all the same.  It’s still damaging.  It’s something that “doesn’t work for me any more.”  And this spring I’m working to throw it all out.

So my little chicklettes, how about you?  Ready for some spring cleaning?  Let’s get out some big cardboard boxes and the super big industrial-sized trash bags and get ready to clean house!

Love,

The Fat Chick

Independence Hall–A Declaration of Body Independence

The Fat Chick in front of Independence Hall

 

So on my recent trip to Philadelphia, I saw Independence Hall.  Besides being a gorgeous building, this was a site where some pretty amazingly radical things happened.  For one, the Constitution was created here.  For another, the Declaration of Independence was both written and signed here.  This along with an excellent blog post by ASDAH Secretary, Fall Ferguson, JD, MA.
All of this together got me thinking about the notion of body independence and how our current national obsession with the size and situation of bodies is so very antithetical to the ideas the founding fathers scribbled down in this building.  And being the type of person who will follow an idea to its furthest reaches, beyond all reason, and with a preemptive request for forgiveness from our founding fathers, I’ve decided to lay out a draft of a
Declaration of Body Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all bodies are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
My body is my own to care for in whatever way I wish.   No one has the right to tell me what to eat or how to move.  If I want a cookie, I shall have one.  If I want broccoli, I shall have it.  I shall boogie down with my bad self, or not as I choose.
I have the right to compassionate, competent and equitable health care.  This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care.  Whenever any Form of Medicine becomes destructive of these ends, it is my right to alter or abolish it and institute a new form of medical care–seeking a form that will seem most likely to effect my Safety and Happiness.
I have the right to look the way I look.  I may wear tiny prints or vertical stripes.  I may expose my fleshy arms as I embrace my freedom.  Fashion shall dictate no law that keeps me from dressing and expressing myself as I darn well please.
I am endowed with the unalienable Right to walk down the street unmolested by individuals (well-meaning or not) wishing to ply me with “cures” purported to change the size of my body to meet their ideal.
I am allowed to create my own definition of health and seek it (or not) as I see fit.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce me under the absolute Despotism of size oppression, it is my right, it is my duty, to throw off such Forces, and to provide new Guards for my future happiness.
So, my little chicklettes, cast off the chains of oppression!  Launch a body revolution!  Viva la resistance!
Love, 
The Fat Chick