Loving this response to the Maria Kang meme:
After many people gave their “excuses” in that thread, an interesting thing happened. People started asking Kang what her excuse was."I have 3 degrees…what’s her excuse?""Can she play tuba? No? What’s her excuse?"
"I had my kids closer together than she did. What’s her excuse?"
This is hilarious, but it also sheds light on something that isn’t normally visible. No one would ever expect to see a tuba player’s picture with the words “what’s your excuse” atop it. And if they did see a picture like that, they’d most likely laugh their asses off. Because that’s ridiculous. Not everyone wants to play tuba, so they don’t need an excuse as to why they can’t play it. Not everyone wants three degrees. And the people that do want three sometimes have the legit excuse as discussed above of not having the funds or the time to achieve them. And no one is posting pictures of themselves with their prizes and achievements in those areas asking others to justify themselves. Because that’s silly.But somehow it’s not silly when someone does this in the working-out realm. Because ‘fitspiration’ is not just a subgenre, but is part of our general culture, and as such is open to these criticisms. Because the people hitting back don’t find it silly or absurd. Shaming in this arena is such a part of our mainstream culture that people do get insulted when a random meme picture like this shows up on their social media. They get it enough everywhere else. They don’t want it from a complete stranger, too.
The tuba player goes on to say, “Maybe it’s not important or interesting to her… Gasp, you mean different people have different priorities?!”And that’s the crux of the matter. Looking like she looks a year after having her third child is not a priority for most people. And yet somehow, when seeing a picture like that, with a shaming message atop it, people do feel shamed for it not being a priority for them. And then they get mad. Because it’s a dominant theme in our culture. One that needs to go away.She has every right to be proud of herself, and every right to motivate those who are looking to be motivated in her arena, in her area of expertise. But she does not have the right to attack those who would fight back against her message. Because while she intended to say this: “I know you think you don’t have time if you have kids. But if I can do it, you can do it, too,” she actually said this: “what’s your excuse?” And those are two different things.
Also this article from Baby Dust Diaries: "Maria Kang, Here Is My Excuse."
When our children start hearing messages about body image starting in preschool or earlier, how do we instill a positive outlook?
So what do we do? What can we do? In a world where a Victoria’s Secret commercial asks, “What is Sexy?” and proceeds to answer its question with images of women who are all tall and thin with long legs and breasts that are somehow both large and perky, how do we teach our children that sexy is different things to different people, and that more importantly, sexy isn’t the only thing matters? Is it even possible to raise children, girls especially, who grow into adults who feel good about their bodies, even if they don’t fit the “ideal” image that is thrust in their face at every turn?
Via the Jezebel article on “How to Lose the Baby Weight in Just Three Lighting-Fast Years,” Michelangelo’s Night is also the figure of a woman who’s borne multiple children. I love that the postpartum body was at least at one time normalized and honored.
I’m loving the musings in this article titled "How to Lose The Baby Weight in Just Three Lightning-Fast Years" at Jezebel about the postpartum body and how our culture doesn’t know how to deal with it.
It is a strange state, indeed: neither pregnant, nor out of shape, but showing a visible history of pregnancy. In spite of weighing more and looking different, I was never healthier than when I was pregnant and just after, in large part to the dynamic shift in lifestyle toward eating well and moving more. But we don’t connect health to physical appeal per se, as any healthy person who isn’t thin can tell you. And when a body shows signs of use beyond the sexual or athletic, we don’t seem to know how to respond to it.
In fairness, it’s worth noting that all this is just as shocking to the woman it’s happening to. Pregnancy is an intense transformation, childbirth an even more intense act. The recovery time is complicated and multi-layered. And what we are left with is a body that has created a child and often nourished it for a period of time afterward too. It’s easy to be proud of the act, but we follow that nod with an intense effort toward eradicating all signs of it.
Insightful and frustrating conversation with a dietitian.
And that is what floored me. A dietitian who makes her living advising people on what is healthy for them is so convinced that people will not actually eat health foods (and are basically too stupid to be taught how important real food is) that she will only give real food an honourable mention before moving on to recommend the processed stuff.
Actual nonsenical dietary advice to women who dare to be fat while pregnant.
And even when women comply with these ridiculous restrictions, their care providers often don’t believe them. In the care providers’ eyes, if you are “obese,” then OBVIOUSLY you are overeating, mainlining ice cream and bread, and consume a TON of sugar. And if you don’t admit to it, well, then obviously you are lying.
You might still be in the habit of saying things that contribute to the very real abuse of and discrimination against fat people. In case you’re a good person who wants to stop doing those things, I’ve tried to put together an inventory of ideas that contribute to the oppression of fat people. Some of these are big, some are small, but they all add up to a serious web of stigma that affects the quality of life for fat people.
As a plus-size woman who’s had two mostly intervention-free, healthy births, I wish that every birthing woman, no matter her size, could find a provider who’s supportive and reasonable. These are some helpful ways for birth professionals to provide optimal outcomes in women of size and could give women looking for a professional tips on what language and support to look for.
After years of having every bite nit-picked, pregnancy food diaries can be very triggering for women with long histories of dieting or eating disorders. In addition, many providers don’t believe women of size no matter what they say. As one mom shared, “[My midwife] refused to believe what I recorded. She flat-out accused me of lying, telling me that I ‘must be living on ice cream and donuts.’” This can be very disillusioning.
Yes. Sadly, this is true, and I experienced it last pregnancy, to the point that I was barely eating anything throughout my third trimester out of stress and guilt.
Further reading: Part 1 is on making childbirth education classes size-friendly.
Down with bullying. People are allowed to exist — and be seen — at whatever size they are.