WEIGHT DISCOURSE AND HUMAN RIGHTS<br />Jenny A. Armentrout, PhD Student, BGSU<br />DESIRE Scholars Workshop:<br />
Link (5:40)<br />Link (all if there is time)<br />My research interests/background…<br />Weight is a multi-faceted topic t...
PART 1: Weight Effects Every Medium & Message<br />
Weight Discourse? What?<br />A few immediate, politically-charged examples...<br />Michelle Obama<br />Chris Christie<br /...
Current US Weight Discourses<br />The mainstream media tells us…<br />obesity= “lazy, gluttonous, shameful, wrong, deviant...
Current US Weight Discourses<br />The CDC tell us…<br />approximately 67% of people in the US are now either overweight or...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1990<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1991<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1992<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1993<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1994<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1995<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1996<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1997<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1998<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1999<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2000<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2001<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2003<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2004<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data       ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2005<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data      ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2006<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data      ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2007<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data      ...
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2008<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data      ...
PART 2: The Human Rights Issue<br />
The Status Quo<br />For the aforementioned reasons we allow weight to effect US culture in the following ways…<br />it has...
Size/Weight Stigmatization<br />Anti-obesity attitudes begin early <br />in childhood<br />Weight stigmatization can be ca...
Size/Weight Marginalization<br />Self-perception, other-perception, acceptance, denial, and misrepresentation all perpetua...
Size/Weight Discrimination<br />Discrimination is seemingly innate… <br />the unfair treatment of one person or group usua...
PART 3: Is Weight Acceptance Possible?<br />
Communication <br />As individuals of size we must question our personal communication tactics…<br />Nonverbal artifact di...
Personal Coping<br />We must consider our psychological tendencies and body image…<br />Accept your size. Love and appreci...
Reframing<br />Let’s rethink our word choices. Instead of…<br />overweight, fat, plump, large, round, voluptuous, rotund, ...
Rehumanization<br />As a society we must be attentive to the needs of EVERYONE…<br />“Size diversity is a valuable aspect ...
The media and health care system must show ample willingness to address these issues, for individuals of size are the majo...
Express Yourself<br />Read and participate in ongoing discussions…<br />Big Fat Blog<br />The Rotund <br />Fat Activist Ne...
Take Action<br />Consider researching, supporting, joining, or donating to the size acceptance movement…<br />NAAFA<br />s...
PART 4: Conclusion<br />
Peace-building Initiatives<br />We must contemplate the possibility for resistanceandchallenge the status quo<br />We must...
Final Thoughts & Questions?<br />“Scales are for fish, not people.” <br />-Susie Orbach 2004<br />&quot;The Church says: t...
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  • Read prologue and intro to COMS 600 paper
  • Desire Scholars Workshop Presentation

    1. 1. WEIGHT DISCOURSE AND HUMAN RIGHTS<br />Jenny A. Armentrout, PhD Student, BGSU<br />DESIRE Scholars Workshop:<br />
    2. 2. Link (5:40)<br />Link (all if there is time)<br />My research interests/background…<br />Weight is a multi-faceted topic thatMATTERS and effects EVERYONE…<br />Intro… The Colbert Report<br />
    3. 3. PART 1: Weight Effects Every Medium & Message<br />
    4. 4. Weight Discourse? What?<br />A few immediate, politically-charged examples...<br />Michelle Obama<br />Chris Christie<br />Candy Crowley<br />Marilyn Wann<br />Kevin Smith<br />
    5. 5. Current US Weight Discourses<br />The mainstream media tells us…<br />obesity= “lazy, gluttonous, shameful, wrong, deviant, one’s own fault, unsexy, unproductive, and physically unattractive”<br />obesity = the last socially accepted stigma<br />obesity= low agency in the public sphere<br />
    6. 6. Current US Weight Discourses<br />The CDC tell us…<br />approximately 67% of people in the US are now either overweight or obese<br />it is ok to perpetuate “epidemic” and “disease” ideologieswithin American culture<br />obesity is unhealthy and costly, driving increased rates of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease<br />we must wage war against and eradicate obesity (map)<br />
    7. 7. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1990<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14%<br />
    8. 8. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1991<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    9. 9. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1992<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    10. 10. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1993<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    11. 11. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1994<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    12. 12. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1995<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    13. 13. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1996<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% <br />
    14. 14. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1997<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% ≥20%<br />
    15. 15. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1998<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% ≥20%<br />
    16. 16. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1999<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% ≥20%<br />
    17. 17. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2000<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% ≥20%<br />
    18. 18. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2001<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% ≥25%<br />
    19. 19. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2003<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% ≥25%<br />
    20. 20. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2004<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br />No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% ≥25%<br />
    21. 21. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2005<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%<br />
    22. 22. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2006<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%<br />
    23. 23. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2007<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%<br />
    24. 24. Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 2008<br />(*BMI ≥30, or ~ 30 lbs. overweight for 5’ 4” person)<br /> No Data &lt;10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%<br />
    25. 25. PART 2: The Human Rights Issue<br />
    26. 26. The Status Quo<br />For the aforementioned reasons we allow weight to effect US culture in the following ways…<br />it has been exacerbated as a spectacle-creating, fear-invoking, medicalized, political, dialectical, capitalistic, consumer-driven, economical, socially-accepted, sexual, Puritanical (right/wrong)tension <br />it is a type of cultural violence that is influenced by systemic, structural, and institutionalconfigurations<br />it is both pervasive and constitutive, resulting in the stigmatization, marginalization, and discrimination of individuals of size<br />
    27. 27. Size/Weight Stigmatization<br />Anti-obesity attitudes begin early <br />in childhood<br />Weight stigmatization can be categorized as an abomination of the body that blemishes the individual character, and it may be heightened by race, gender, or economic background <br />family members, doctors, <br /> classmates, sales clerks, <br /> friends, and coworkers all participate<br />Individuals of size are “othered”<br />
    28. 28. Size/Weight Marginalization<br />Self-perception, other-perception, acceptance, denial, and misrepresentation all perpetuate obesity marginalization<br />Sense of self and body satisfaction become intertwined<br />Individuals of size contend with a<br /> symbolic, innate, and <br /> concrete state of limbo<br />
    29. 29. Size/Weight Discrimination<br />Discrimination is seemingly innate… <br />the unfair treatment of one person or group usually because of prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, and/or size/weight<br />Individuals of size physically do not “fit in” at work, in cubicles, in theaters, in restaurants, in social situations, nor in various public transportation situations; they have trouble finding clothing that fits, sometimes have weight-related nicknames, and are shamed privately and publicly<br />12% in 2004–2006 (increasing)<br />Education, health care, and employment<br />Michigan remains the only state with an anti-discrimination law that includes sizeism<br />
    30. 30. PART 3: Is Weight Acceptance Possible?<br />
    31. 31. Communication <br />As individuals of size we must question our personal communication tactics…<br />Nonverbal artifact displays<br />Relationship management<br />Humor use (sarcasm, self-denigration, etc.)<br />Humor function (identification, clarification, enforcement, and differentiation)<br />Adopting the “jolly fat person” stereotype<br />
    32. 32. Personal Coping<br />We must consider our psychological tendencies and body image…<br />Accept your size. Love and appreciate the body you have. Self-acceptance empowers you to move on and make positive changes.<br />Trust yourself. We all have internal systems designed to keep us healthy – and at a healthy weight. Support your body in naturally finding its appropriate weight by honoring its signals of hunger, satiety, and appetite.<br />Adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Develop and nurture connections with others and look for purpose and meaning in your life. Fulfillingyour social, emotional and spiritual needs restores food to its rightful place as a source ofnourishment and pleasure.Find the joy in moving your body and becoming more physically vital in your everyday life.Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and seek out pleasurable and satisfying foods. Beattentive to the experience of eating and to which food choices truly help you feel good. <br />Embrace size diversity. Humans come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Open to the beauty found across the spectrum and support others in recognizing their unique attractiveness. <br />-Health at Every Size, 2009<br />
    33. 33. Reframing<br />Let’s rethink our word choices. Instead of…<br />overweight, fat, plump, large, round, voluptuous, rotund, curvy, podgy, fleshy, big, corpulent, etc.<br />Obesity is “a complex occurrence caused by the interaction of genetic, cultural, socioeconomic, racial, behavioral, physiologic, performative, metabolic, cellular, and molecular influences”<br />Fat is similar to “coming out of the closet” if one is homosexual. Many reclaim the term as a badge of defiance in the same way that gays/lesbians associate with terms like &quot;queer&quot; and/or “dyke&quot;<br />People of size andindividuals who are overweight/obese are phrases that can be used to allow for our acknowledgement of a person’s individuality, agency, and satience<br />
    34. 34. Rehumanization<br />As a society we must be attentive to the needs of EVERYONE…<br />“Size diversity is a valuable aspect of our lives, and we continue to strive for a world in which people will honor that diversity, value their own looks, and judge others based on the content of their character” <br /> -The Council on Size & Weight Discrimination (2008) <br /><ul><li>Our goal must be to provide the same level of agency for individuals of size equivalent to what everyone receives
    35. 35. The media and health care system must show ample willingness to address these issues, for individuals of size are the majority</li></li></ul><li>Question Power Structures<br />Challenge various culturally violent institutions such as drug companies, the diet industry, the food industry, the world of fashion, and Congress. For instance: travel providers…<br />Southwest Airlines<br />policy<br />United Airlines<br />policy<br />Alaska Airlines<br />policy<br />
    36. 36. Express Yourself<br />Read and participate in ongoing discussions…<br />Big Fat Blog<br />The Rotund <br />Fat Activist Network<br />Joy Nash’s Fat Rant Blog<br />Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose<br />
    37. 37. Take Action<br />Consider researching, supporting, joining, or donating to the size acceptance movement…<br />NAAFA<br />site<br />ASDAH<br />site<br />ISAA<br />site<br />
    38. 38. PART 4: Conclusion<br />
    39. 39. Peace-building Initiatives<br />We must contemplate the possibility for resistanceandchallenge the status quo<br />We must consider the political implications of changing one’s attitude<br />We must address our own attitudes toward difference andDIVERSITY<br />We must begin to imagine and support the changing of a world where issues of weight, size, and shape are possibly the last existing socially-accepted forms of prejudice<br />We must be comfortable with the awareness that this moment of struggle is an ongoing internal conflict rather than one specific moment of discursive rapture<br />We should question such divisions instated by a culture that champions human rights and the democratic ideal<br />
    40. 40. Final Thoughts & Questions?<br />“Scales are for fish, not people.” <br />-Susie Orbach 2004<br />&quot;The Church says: the body is a sin. Science says: the body is a machine. Advertising says: The body is a business. The Body says: I am a fiesta.&quot; <br />-Eduardo Galeano 1997<br />“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”<br />- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince<br />
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