Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Et tu, New York Times?

Funny--I just spent an hour on the radio talking about the stigma of being fat, and lo and behold, this incredibly mean-spirited snarky piece appears in the New York Times.

I'm happy to see that Jezebel called the Times out for this offensive story, which includes paragraphs like this one:

The petites section features a bounty of items for women nearly as wide as they are tall; the men’s Big & Tall section has shirts that could house two or three Shaquilles. And this is really, remarkably smart.

The writer, Cintra Wilson, seems unfamiliar with the concept that fat people wear clothes and spend money too.

I think this is a job for the Times' public editor, don't you? You can email Clark Hoyt at

Fat acceptance on Radio Times

I just finished doing a call-in show on Radio Times, a public radio show on WHYY, on fat acceptance and on our relationship to food and eating and weight. It was a good show, and included some excellent comments from Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale.

You should be able to listen to an archived version of the show here eventually.

I thought it was interesting, and somewhat sad, that pretty much all the callers espoused the "thin-is-healthy" and "thin-at-any-cost" idea. For those of you who may be finding this blog after hearing the show, I'd love to direct you to a couple of good resources.

I hope you'll check out Ellyn Satter's wonderful website and books. Satter, a nutritionist, therapist, and researcher, advocates for what she calls competent eating--meaning, eating in a way that satisfies your hunger and your appetite. She writes about the need to develop a joyful relationship with food and eating--a radical concept in our current culture, and one worth considering.

One of the callers mentioned anger and snarkiness among the Fat Acceptance blogs. I don't know how you define snarkiness, exactly, but I quite like some of the FA blogs, including Shapely Prose, The F-Word, and The Fat Nutritionist.

Finally, in my recent book, Feed Me: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image, I published a Love-Your-Body pledge, which is also available here. I hope you'll consider signing it. Paste it up where you'll see it everyday, and remind yourself about what you love and appreciate about your body.