I wanted to briefly clarify ViR’s lack of statement on the Marie Claire fat hate blog. I had originally decided not to do a blog post, but I know many come to ViR for thoughts on issues such as these, especially because they concern eating disorders. I also know by me posting this it may be seen as hypocritical because I said I won’t comment, and now am bringing attention to this. But life isn’t so easy and black and white, and sometimes I have to do things that are challenging. I aso feel transparency and honesty are a HUGE part of ViR.
I was recently asked if I would be addressing this and this was the message I sent:
As much as I am upset with this, I have decided that ViR will not be making a public statement, nor blogging on it. I feel while she had anorexia – of course she doesn’t represent the ED world, and I would hope people know she is using it as an excuse to be hateful. I have a HUGE problem with the lack of research portrayed in her message. I absolutely hate the blame, shame, mean, fat hate message in this blog. But for me – I want to work to change those attitudes. I am trying to keep ViR as proactive vs reacting – and that is proving difficult on a daily basis (because so many things are angering me lately). If I do blog about this – it will not be about this author or the magazine, but it will be about the overall general fat hate we have in society. And create discussions on how we can change this, how we can work with FA advocates, get the HAES message out, and what we need to do next in order to help change the messages being fed to our children (on more of a preventative level for me).
I feel the obesity campaign has gone terribly wrong in the media, as being a blame game, and creating judgment . I think research studies are also being twisted in the media. One study doesn’t equal fact, and often if a study has a bias of blaming the person, or parent, the media LOVES to run with this. I feel we need to address the prevalent themes in the media, in this culture about fat hate, misunderstandings of obesity in general, and people honestly DON’T have the knowledge of research, health not equaling weight, etc. So for me, from a ViR standpoint, I have to look at themes, bigger pictures, and try to approach it from a “what do we need to do as advocates now to change this?”
I overall am a very opinionated person and get reactive instantly, but with regards to advocacy, I feel what is right for me is to focus on what we can do now, what are the next steps, address the themes I see as issues, and provide hope and inspiration that each person matters, their voice is important, and fate hate is unacceptable by ViR. So in that regards, those themes I will discuss, and will talk about, but I feel there are many voices, many blogs acting in outrage and I think that is right for them, and I believe my boundaries are changing all the time, and am trying to approach things in a certain way. I don’t know, I learn, grow, and while I am APPALLED by this blog, the authors comments & her fake PR apology, I needed to take a step back, see the big picture and do some planning a fight in a way I feel is right for ViR.
It is hard – I debated this a lot. I also listen to feedback on my page when people saw it – and this comment stuck out to me:
“I agree that addressing the overall the topic is important and that there needs to be support for the opposite of what they’re putting out there…but I know that they know that the minute they put something like that out there, they’ll get hits and comments and advertisers love that! They’re thinking short-term gains…not long-term impact. I remember reading something once about the opposite of boycotting…instead of rallying and fighting against something you don’t like or agree with, you support and promote those things you do like and agree with (and AVIR is very good at that :-)”
Just wanted to explain a bit as to my reasoning. And who knows – I am flexible, constantly revising how I want to represent ViR, and the bigger I get, the decisions get tougher 🙂
I also would like to add – I know there are MANY people in the activism world who have more knowledge on this area, especially Fat Acceptance advocates. I would recommend also reading Dr. Samantha Thomas’ blog The Discourse.
I hope this explains further ViR thoughts, concerns, because I think it is important as a public voice to explain the reasoning behind what I do here. I also want people to see that my mission is constantly evolving in practices, and is open to discussion, feedback, opinions, etc.