Yesterday, I posted a Twitter thread to tell the story of when I lost my ever-loving mind and almost got a huge Health at Every Size® healthcare provider group shut down.
That group is owned by @jennifer_rollin.
I wasn’t going to name names. I’m already exhausted from the last two weeks. Whistleblowing is zero fun, y’all.
And who knows what kind of career and other consequences I’ve already opened myself up to?
But a friend recognized the group from my description, knew who the owner is and linked me to this absolutely horrifying story from @asoberjewishgirl:
Barbara was a therapy client with Jennifer Rollin, who USED HER JEWISH THERAPY CLIENT FOR UNPAID LABOR.
You can and should read Barbara’s entire post, but here’s an excerpt.
“In 2017 and 2018, I was a client of Jennifer Rollin.
Yes, that one.
With all the followers.
And all the HAES aligned recovery messaging.
And while I’d like to say that it was as great and amazing as it would seem… it wasn’t.
I edited her blog posts.
I helped her research potential employees.
I double checked her Instagram posts.
And by the end (because of podcasts) I knew more her trauma than she did about mine.
But the real thing that I want to address here is something that happened during our termination session.
When I pointed out all of these things, she had 2 responses.
One was that “you like to help people. So I was letting you do that”.
Which is… problematic.
But the second is that when I pointed out that I found it kinda strange that my friends knew so much about my therapist…
Her response was that “I guess I didn’t take my current clients into consideration when making branding decisions”.”
There is no world in which one single piece of this is appropriate. Jennifer *knew better* and did it anyway, and did it to a Jewish woman.
My understanding is that after Barbara published her post, Jennifer contacted her almost immediately and offered a half-hearted apology.
Then a friend of Jennifer’s contacted Barbara and tried to coerce her into a “mediation.”
One of the reasons I didn’t name Jennifer in my earlier thread was that the issue mostly wasn’t her actions towards me (and the other fat people in her group), but the lack thereof.
She failed to set any rules or boundaries for a large group dominated by multi-privileged people.
She failed to keep even the slightest eye on that group, respond to tags, or bring in moderators, for *years.*
She failed to respond to harm being done to fat and BIPOC people in her group over, and over, and over.
When she finally bothered to respond, it was to put me on the spot and make me “responsible” if she decided to close the group rather than lift a finger to run it.
But when people tell you who they are, *believe them.*
When you see a chunk of ice sticking out of the ocean, maybe it’s not the tip of an iceberg…but there’s a good chance it is.
Someone hurting marginalized people in one area is probably hurting them in others.
While I and a few other fat group members were doing thousands of dollars’ worth of unpaid labor for free in her group, Jennifer was cynically using a young, vulnerable Jewish THERAPY CLIENT WTF to do unpaid marketing, social media, human resources and administrative work.
Hmm. Who else finds vulnerable, marginalized people and cynically uses them as far as possible, then discards them?
Yeah, made me think of Lindo, too.
If Lindo’s behavior concerns you, then Jennifer’s behavior needs to concern you just as much. If we react to racist acts in #HAES, we react to anti-Semitic acts, too. (As we obviously should).
I’m in spoon debt, so I’d like for some thin white providers to take it from here. This is your colleague. Time to step up.
My face right now:
March 25 update: I’ve been informed that Jennifer Rollin is also Jewish, which I hadn’t known and appreciate knowing. Doesn’t change what took place and that a fellow marginalized person got mistreated, but now you know.