Tag Archives: fat stigma

Prof with poor impulse control wishes he hadn’t tweeted about will power, part the second

Cat Pause, who recently created a new tumbler feed featuring fat PhD's. Nyah!

Cat Pause, who recently created a new tumbler feed featuring fat PhD’s. Nyah!

So, yeah.  I’ve been continuing to follow the saga of Dr. Geoffrey Miller and day two of what just might be his worst week ever.  In case you missed it, this whole thing started when Dr. Miller tweeted:

Dear obese PhD applicants: if you don’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth

Cue the poo storm of epic proportions. It’s enough to keep writers at Jezebel, HuffPo, Jane and Bitch magazines happily scribbling for weeks.  I mean we are talking about worldwide calls for Game of Thrones-style retribution here.  But amongst all the yelling, are some very interesting developments.

First, there’s this video response from Miller’s colleague and UNM Psychology Department Chairwoman, Prof. Jane Ellen Smith.

It is interesting to note that Professor Smith seems to take this whole tweeting business pretty darn seriously.  But right in the middle of the video, she reveals the third-act-dramatic-twist! Professor Smith says that Dr. Miller is now claiming that the whole tweeting business was part of an “research study” he was running.

Riiiiight.

So were his initial support  tweets of his original hate tweet followed by his hasty apology about his original hate tweet followed his frantic tweet declaring that of course neither he nor the university actually follow any practices that might be implied by his original hate tweet all part of the “social experiment” as well?  Was it part of his experiment to close down his twitter feed to all outside viewers who are not confirmed followers part of the experiment?   140 characters isn’t a lot to work with, but somehow I think this dude still doth protest too much. I am encouraged that Prof. Smith says she’s going to look into the validity of his claim.

It’s amazing just how much passion has been stirred up over this whole thing.  I am really, really excited to tell you about a new blog started by Dr. Cat Pausé called Fuck yeah! Fat PhDs all about being fatlicious in academia.  In this blog she is posting images of fat people in academia, many of whom somehow managed to get accepted into a program, complete coursework, finish their dissertations and walk up to the platform to receive their diplomas all while sporting bodies above a BMI of 25.  Imagine that!

Look, I don’t know Dr. Miller.  I can only comment on the things that I see.  And what I see is a guy that didn’t have enough will power to wait 30 seconds to consider his life, his career and his responsibilities as a human being before hitting the send button on a hateful one hundred odd characters all about, wait for it, will power.  His apologies and the subsequent “social experiment” defense, seem a little suspect to me.

So, if Dr. Miller wants me to believe in his sincerity, he’s going to have to put some actions behind those hundred character mea culpa statements.  Let me know that he’s read some of the brilliant writing about Fat Stigma from such visionary teachers, researchers and writers as:

Amy Erdman Farrell, Dickinson University, author of Fat Shame: Fat Stigma and the Body in American Culture

or

Abigail C. Saguy, UCLA, author of What’s Wrong with Fat?

or

Dr. Linda Bacon, UC Davis, author of Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About your Weight

of course, if he’s still confused about Health At Every Size or Fat Stigma, I would be happy to come and speak on the topic at any of the universities he’s affiliated with.  Or they could hire any of my many amazing colleagues like Ragen Chastain, Golda Poretsky or Marilyn Wann to speak.  If he actually makes some kind of attempt to learn from his mistake by spending just a little time listening to those of us who have spent decades doing actual, you know, science around this topic, I might be inclined to believe him.

Maybe.

Or maybe I’ll just tweet about it.

Love,

The Fat Chick

 

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Paging Doctor Good…

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Sometimes fat chicks have to shop a little harder to find a good doctor…

 

Well, yet another study has come out indicating that fat stigma is alive and well among medical students.  Even NPR (with it’s RWJ-fueled, anti-fat slant) released a story about this study conducted among medical students in South Carolina.  Over one third of the students tested, demonstrated moderate to strong bias against obese people.  What’s more two thirds of those students who demonstrated fat bias were even aware that they had any bias against overweight and obese subjects.  And while the study only checked bias among students in one school, it is clearly in line with other studies that demonstrate fat bias among doctors and med students.

None of this comes as much of a surprise to overweight and obese people seeking health care in this country.  Many of us have experienced not only a flat refusal to treat the illness or injury for which we are seeking care, but also outright and overt disdain from our doctors.  I have spoken extensively about my own story in the past.  And as I have reviewed the videos that have been submitted for the Resolved Project created by the Size Diversity Task Force and ASDAH, I’ve cataloged so many distressing stories.  We are compiling a veritable library of cases of little kids put on speed, doctors refusing care and medically supervised fat shaming.

It’s so hard to find a good doctor that will treat us with respect.  It can be a long and arduous search.  So it’s probably not a shock that another report was released last week that shows that overweight and obese patients are more likely to engage in “doctor shopping”.  If one in three doctors coming out of medical school are displaying recognized or unrecognized bias against people of size, it makes sense that we have to look a little harder.  What I find interesting about the study however is the way it connects doctor shopping with quality of care.  One of the lead doctors from the Johns Hopkins study, Dr. Kimberly A. Gudzune, stated:

“There’s something going wrong in these doctor-patient relationships that make these switches so frequent for this group of people… The real problem here is that the health of overweight and obese patients who doctor shop is being compromised. Because they do not remain with their doctors for very long, they are ending up in the emergency room, likely for things that could have been taken care of in a primary care office.”

I wonder, does this point to yet another reason why fat stigma may be causing health problems that are currently blamed on fat?  I’ve stated before, and I’ll state again, there is no proof that weight loss improves health.  (For one thing, we can’t get enough people to keep enough weight off for long enough to do a real test.)  We also know that people who engage in healthy behavior live longer, regardless of body size.  What would be very interesting to me would be to see what impact medical training to reduce weight stigma would have on the health of fat patients.  That’s the study I would like to see.

In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to keep searching for Doctor Good…

Buy my book: The Fat Chick Works Out! (Fitness that is Fun and Feasible for Folks of All Ages, Shapes Sizes and Abilities)–available in softcover and e-book versions

Buy my DVD: The Fat Chick Works Out! (A Safe, Easy and Fun Workout for Klutzes, Wimps and Absolute Beginners!)

Buy a book or a DVD for a friend and save $5!  Just enter FRIENDBLFT in the discount code box!

Check out my Training Programs–both in person and via Skype (Starting at just $25!)

or

Book me to speak at your special event!

Dealing with Diabetes: Episode 004 of the Right Now Show with Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

Are you coping with diabetes?  Is your doctor shaming you because of your weight?  Do you wish you had some body-positive advice for coping with this disease?  I’m pleased to share with you episode 004 of The Right Now Show. In this episode, I answer a viewer’s question about dealing with Type 2 diabetes. Tune in for helpful hints for taking a Health At Every Size (R) approach to coping with this challenging disease. I offer tips for integrating exercise (even when coping with chronic pain), managing stress, and how to keep loving the skin you’re in through it all.

There are more tips available about coping with diabetes in a special article I wrote for the Association for Size Diversity And Health available here.

And there’s a really fun music video I did with Ragen Chastain all about managing family boundaries during the holidays available HERE.

You can learn a lot more about The Fat Chick on my website.

And you can buy Jeanette’s progressive workout DVD (with that 10 minute beginning workout) on the shopping page or at Amazon.com HERE.

Thanks so much for watching and don’t forget to subscribe!

Love,
The Fat Chick