Kellogs, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lawrence - Help Promote Genuine Body Acceptance by Showing the World That "Fat" is Just an Adjective
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Kellogs, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Lawrence - Help Promote Genuine Body Acceptance by Showing the World That "Fat" is Just an Adjective

    1. Petition by

      Feminist Cupcake/Extraordinary Being

 

In December 2013 we’ve seen some amazing women and a corporation use their means and platforms to raise awareness and attempt to change the mainstream message that perpetuates constant bodily surveillance and bodily hate. 

 

In particular, Tyra Banks has joined forces with Special K cereal (Kellogg Company) to promote the “Fight Fat Talk” Campaign and Jennifer Lawrence told Barbara Walters that “It should be illegal” to call somebody fat on television.

 

It is clear that both these women and the Kellogg Company have their hearts in the right place, because they are trying to help women shift their critical perspectives about their bodies in world where corporations and the media create powerful consumers by promoting self-hate and then supplying flawed solutions in the form of fashion, beauty and diet products.

 

This petition asks Kelloggs, Lawrence, and Banks to consider their use of word “fat,” and what it means when we only recognize this term as a disposable insult – particularly for people who are legitimately fat. 

 

Both Lawrence’s comment and the “fight fat talk campaign” consider “fat” and insult. To their credit, it is true, that many in our culture use the word fat as an insult and often this word is hurled at bodies that are not really all that fat. It’s ridiculous to call thin people fat because they’re not, but when some one does call someone thin “fat,” the name caller is trying to insult the thin person – by saying they are fat. In this context “fat” is the thing that we don’t want to be – it is the thing to be avoided at all costs.

 

Despite this negative use of the word “fat,” it’s just a word, like thin, short and tall. Fat is an adjective. It’s a descriptive word, which has been taken out of context and made an insult – much like the negative use of the word “gay” – to mean uncool.  Clearly, we should stop using both “gay” and “fat” as insults – but we can still call gay people gay and we must continue to call fat people are fat because that’s what they are. We feel bad when people call us fat because we think that being fat is unacceptable and because we have been shamed. Currently, you can’t walk up to a stranger and call them fat because our culture recognizes being fat as a state of shame. 

 

Fat is a word that we must use and love if we are ever going to see fat people as acceptable. If you use other words for a fat person you are being pejorative. For example, euphemisms like chubby, voluptuous, curvy are words that look to hide or make acceptable a reality of fatness. Obesity is a pathological word that ties fatness to disease and plus-size clearly means more than "normal" sized. The word “Fat” is actually the cleanest term and it’s the term that speaks to the reality of a bigger body type.

 

In this context – supposedly positive ideas, like Jennifer Lawrence’s idea to “outlaw” the use of the word Fat or Kelloggs and Tyra Banks “fight fat campaign” become body acceptance campaigns that exclude people with fat bodies because “fighting” or “outlawing” the use of the word fat, inherently underscores that being fat is shameful and embarrassing.

 

Some people are fat and that’s okay. Recently, Amber Riley used her fat body to win Dancing With The Stars – proving that bodies of all shapes and sizes can be graceful, powerful, capable and amazing. We can promote body love without continuing to shame the fat body. 

 

Genuine body positivity would mean that even if someone was fat, they wouldn’t have to feel body shame. This petition will raise awareness about the invisible but pervasive nature of fat shaming and help shift perspectives and create a world that accepts people of ALL body types. We can accept all body types and still fight the corporate/media machine that perpetuates messages of body hate.

 

Please sign this petition to help raise awareness about the negative use of the word “Fat” in campaigns that are attempting to promote body positivity, and to specifically ask Tyra Banks, Kelloggs and Jennifer Lawrence to leverage their celebrity in a way that empowers every body. In particular, we would like to see this change begin by watching Kelloggs make a big deal out of changing the name of the "fight fat talk" campaign.

 

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    1. Reached 250 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Allei Kyles FLORISSANT, MO
      • about 1 month ago

      I know that i always feel so bad about my body ( i'm overweight technically but i feel as if i'm fat, also i'm a teen) and talk very bad about it too, but now i am trying not to talk bad about my body and it's really really hard to do mainly because it is very weird for me to just say something positive about myself physically. I don't want that happening to anyone else because they feel that they don't look right or match up to what's shown around them. i want every single other person to feel good about themselves at any size and age. :)

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    • Allei Kyles FLORISSANT, MO
      • about 1 month ago

      I'm signing this petition because I myself is overweight and i feel bad about my self because of how I don't look like those other "Hot" girls on the internet yet I'm trying to make myself feel better about my body. I mainly want to do this because i want other young children, teens, and even adults to feel better about themselves throughout the whole world.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sophie King LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 months ago

      I am recovering from an eating disorder and constantly bombarded with advertisements suggesting I should do otherwise

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Fern Ghauri CHERRY HILL, NJ
      • 8 months ago

      Fat is not a curse or even a number. It is a shape. People can be healthy or not, at any weight. Fat is a descriptor, not an epithet.

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    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 8 months ago

      Feminists have identified women’s bodies as the locus of patriarchal control and power, for example in the medicalisation of reproduction and reproductive rights, physical and sexual abuse, in the sexualisation of the female body and the ‘beauty’ standards which women strive to achieve. Discuss how this process of objectification of the body may or may not work to weaken the position of women in society.

      In many cultures and historical periods women have been proud to be large--being fat was a sign of fertility, of prosperity, of the ability to survive. Even in the U.S. today, where fear of fat reigns in most sectors of the culture, some racial and ethnic groups love and enjoy large women. For example, Hawaiians often consider very large women quite beautiful, and studies show that some black women experience more body satisfaction and are less concerned with dieting, fatness, and weight fluctuations than are white women. However, the weight loss, medical, and advertising industries have an enormous impact on women across racial and ethnic boundaries. These industries all insist that white and thin is beautiful and that fatness is always a dangerous problem in need of correction. The popular notion that some communities are less influenced than others has meant that women of color in particular have a hard time being taken seriously when they have eating disorders. A black woman suffering from an eating disorder says:

      After all, don't black people prize wide hips and fleshy bodies? Isn't obesity so prevalent in our communities because it is actually accepted? Don't black women have very positive body images?...Anorexia and its kin supposedly strike only adolescent, middle- and upper-middle-class white girls...Women like me are winging it, seeking out other sisters with the same concerns, wondering if we are alone on this journey.

      Fat women daily encounter hostility and discrimination. If we are fat, health practitioners often attribute our health problems to "obesity," postpone treatment until we lose weight, accuse us of cheating if we don't, make us so ashamed of our size that we don't go for help, and make all kinds of assumptions about our emotional and psychological state ("She must have emotional problems to be so fat").

      Yet, as many of us have long suspected, it is now being acknowledged that it is cardiovascular fitness and not fatness we need to look at if we are concerned about health. Some of our ill health as fat women results from the stress of living with fat-hatred--social ridicule and hostility, isolation, financial pressures resulting from job discrimination, lack of exercise because of harassment, and, perhaps most important, the hazards of repeated dieting. Low-calorie dieting has become a national obsession. Many of us are convinced that making women afraid to be fat is a form of social control. Fear of fat keeps women preoccupied, robs us of our pride and energy, keeps us from taking up space. I don't like myself heavy, I want to feel thin, streamlined and spare, and not like a toad. We can be more relaxed about our weight

      "We need a widespread rebellion of women who are tired of worrying about their weight, who understand that weight is not a matter of health or discipline but a weapon our culture uses against us to keep us in our place and feeling small. We need to quietly say no to ridiculous weight standards, reassuring ourselves that we're good and worthwhile human beings even if we aren't a thin size, and further, to protest those standards more demonstrably, on behalf of others as well. Both decisions require a change in attitude which, while not necessarily impolite, is rather less tolerant of the everyday demeaning comments about body size that women now accept as their due. In other words, we need to begin to throw our weight around."

      A better self-image doesn't pay the rent or cook supper or prevent nuclear war. Feeling better about ourselves doesn't change the world by itself, but it can give us energy to do what we want and to work for change.

      Learning to accept and love our bodies and ourselves is an important and difficult ongoing struggle. But to change the societal values underlying body image, we need to do more than love ourselves. We need to focus our attention on the forces that drive wedges between us as women: racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, and our national obsession with size and shape. To truly create change, to create a world in which all women can make choices about our appearances for ourselves and not others, we must incorporate all women into the heart of how we see ourselves. From this expanded horizon of sisterhood, we may begin to value the lives of women who previously meant nothing to us. We may begin to realize that understanding their lives is essential to understanding our own lives and realizing our full potential as women. If we can begin to eliminate the hatred and ridicule levied against women who don't fit the ``state-of-the-art'' ideal, we can lessen the stress of ``not fitting in.'' We also open the possibility of building a social-change movement that links all women who seek a world where each of us can celebrate and delight in our physical bodies. Working together to change the attitudes and conditions that restrict us, we feel proud and more able to take control of our lives. We need each others' help to change the deeply entrenched attitudes that make us dislike our own bodies and that interfere with our relationships with other women.

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