Stop saying that weight loss doesn’t solve anything.

A black-and-white photo of a fat woman's face with the title of the blog post.

Here’s one concrete action you can take to help end weight stigma: Stop saying that weight loss doesn’t solve anything. And I’m going to need you to read alllll the way to the end of this post before you @ me, because I am not jumping on the diet wagon here.

Does intentional weight loss (by any means whatsoever, including “lifestyle changes” and weight loss surgery) work for most people in the long term? No. Will losing weight make you a better, happier, more confident person? Probably not. (See Kate Harding’s life-changing essay The Fantasy of Being Thin.)

But there are benefits to living in a smaller body, including:

๐Ÿ‘‰ All the benefits of thin privilege
๐Ÿ‘‰ A wide range of clothes that fit you
๐Ÿ‘‰ The ability to navigate public infrastructure
๐Ÿ‘‰ Sitting down in waiting rooms
๐Ÿ‘‰ Being respected and valued

And there are benefits to losing weight in the short term:

๐Ÿ‘‰ Access to both quality-of-life and life-saving surgeries
๐Ÿ‘‰ Access to joint replacements
๐Ÿ‘‰ Access to gender-affirming surgeries
๐Ÿ‘‰ Being respected, accepted and considered worthy
๐Ÿ‘‰ Among others

Should the world work this way? No! But it does, and telling your followers that a smaller body won’t fix anything is toxic in a few ways:

โ˜ฃ๏ธ It gaslights your larger-bodied followers about the oppression they face every day, that they can clearly observe thinner people not being subjected to
โ˜ฃ๏ธ It assumes that all your followers are in bodies small enough to take full advantage of thin privilege as they are
โ˜ฃ๏ธ It shows that you haven’t done the thought work around fatphobia, oppression and weight stigma

So give it some more thought and nuance before you make these kinds of claims, please.

Let’s dig deep.

Every Monday, I send out my Body Liberation Guide, a thoughtful email jam-packed with resources on body liberation, weight stigma, body image and more. And it’s free. Let’s change the world together.

Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at bodyliberationphotos.com.