{Listen} What Happened in the HAES® Spaces—a conversation with Lindley Ashline and Shelby Gordon

I recently went on the RD Real Talk podcast with Heather Caplan and Shelby Gordon to talk about what’s been going on in Health at Every Size® this year, and where we go from here.

Here’s the episode description from Heather:

A LOT has happened in the Health at Every Size® and weight-inclusive communities since Marquisele (Mikey) Mercedes published an essay outlining oppressive and harmful interactions with Lindo Bacon on her Patreon. Lindley Ashline shared her own experiences, as did the ASDAH leadership team. You’ll find links below to get started, if you missed these essays and posts!

Lindley Ashline and Shelby Gordon both joined me on this episode to review what’s been happening, and where we go from here. We’ll continue to discuss this through community prompts (provided by Lindley) at the June WIND Community Hangout (a free event!).

This episode is sponsored by the WIND Summer Series, where Shelby Gordon is a featured speaker on anti-oppression and white supremacy in nutrition and dietetics. Register here to join us: https://weightinclusivenutrition.teachable.com/p/wind-summer-series-2022

Things to read:

WIND Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WINDwork
HeatherCaplan.com, @RDRealTalk on IG

Transcript

RD Real Talk 2022-05-27

RD Real Talk 2022-05-27

[00:00:00] Heather Caplan: You’re listening to RD real talk. And this episode is brought to you by the weight, inclusive nutrition and dietetics summer series.

[00:00:16] In case you’re not in the wind Facebook group or on our newsletter, you may have missed that. We are hosting a summer series, which means that almost every Tuesday, this summer, we have something for you. We’ve got free community Hangouts, group supervision sessions, and monthly trainings. We’re featuring the work of Carly.

[00:00:32] Go lightly. Shelby Gordon, Rihanna, Peterman, Angie Goins, and Kara HARB street. We’re also featuring a session on how dietician can use F B T in their counseling sessions. You can find all the information about our schedule for this summer and how to join us at weight inclusive, nutrition.teachable.com, or by joining us in the weight, inclusive nutrition and dietetics Facebook group.

[00:00:55] This is open to dieticians RDS to be students, allied health [00:01:00] professionals and fellow activists. We want anyone and everyone to join us who is looking to learn more and feel supported in their weight. Inclusive work. I’m Heather Kaplan, your podcast, host and friendly internet dietician. If you’re liking what we do here on these episodes, you’ll find a lot more of it with me on Instagram at Heather D C R D.

[00:01:18] You’ll also find the podcast on Instagram at R D real talk. You’ll find more of my work and how to work with me on Heather kaplan.com. Today, we are talking to Linley Ashline and Shelby Gordon about. Some of the things that have been happening in the health at every size and weight inclusive spaces over the past few months, we haven’t quite touched on this, on the podcast yet, but I think I have mentioned it before, and we’ve definitely had threads about it in the Facebook group for wind, but there has been a lot going on in the hay space, largely thanks to Mikey Mercedes who first published an essay at the beginning of March about her experiences and harmful interactions with Lindo bacon [00:02:00] Linley also published an essay outlining her harmful and oppressive experiences with Lindo bacon.

[00:02:05] And Shelby has been active in this conversation. So Linley Ashline and Shelby Gordon are joining me today on this combined episode. I know it’s long, but there’s a lot of good stuff here. So I hope you stick with us through the whole thing. Let me first introduce Linley who joins me in the first part of this episode, Linley Ashline creates photographs that celebrate the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside of conventional quote unquote beauty standards.

[00:02:32] She fights weight stigma by giving fat people a safe place to explore how their bodies look on camera. And by increasing the representation of fat bodies in photography, advertising fine art and the world at large Lilly is the creator of body liberation, stock, body positive stock images for commercial and website uses, and the body love shop a curated resource for body friendly products and artwork.

[00:02:56] Find Lynn’s work and get her free weekly body liberation [00:03:00] guide at bit dot Lee slash body liberation guide. The body liberation stock collection includes images focused on inclusion and diversity in all walks of life. Perfect for bloggers and graphic designers and priced for small business owners, Linley lives outside Seattle, Washington with her spouse and feline overlord.

[00:03:19] And a house plant jungle. Let’s go ahead and turn this first part of the conversation over to Linley. All right. Hi Linley. Thanks for being here with me.

[00:03:28] Lindley Ashline: Oh, thanks for having

[00:03:28] Heather Caplan: me. Yeah, I’m so excited. Share a little introduction about your work in the fat liberation space and the fat body photo space. Like all the things that you’re doing right now, share, share a little bit about.

[00:03:41] Lindley Ashline: Sure. Well, my name is Lin Ashline and I have my fingers in a lot of different pies because my attention span is really short . And so I like to be involved in a lot. I am primarily a body liberation photographer and, and really quickly what that means is that unlike mainstream [00:04:00] photography, my work is very invested in capturing people as they are without worrying about whether they are currently needing beauty standards as society, or like our cultural beauty standards.

[00:04:11] I do BIR and portrait photography. I work with small businesses to create professional photography for them. And I also create stock photos. Primarily of people in fat and very fat bodies. When I use the word fat, I’m using it as a neutral descriptor, like tall or blonde or, or shorts, and it’s not an insult or being self-deprecating, it’s just a descriptor, but stock photos are the photos that people use for their marketing.

[00:04:38] And so when you see photos on billboards or photos in magazines that are often stock photos or on social media. So I create those and sell those as well. I have a little web shop called the body love shop, and I also do health at every size writing and consulting. Yeah.

[00:04:54] Heather Caplan: All right. Thanks for sharing all that.

[00:04:56] I have a lot of questions about the business. So if we have a little time at the [00:05:00] end of today, I wanna just get kind of business nerdy with you if we can do that. yeah. Okay. So we are here to check in on what’s been going on in the, he, the Hayes spaces help at every size trademark spaces since the beginning of March, which of course is not just since the beginning of March, but like what’s happened in the aftermath of Mikey, Mercedes publishing her essay.

[00:05:24] You publishing your own experiences with Lindo and many others in this space and like, and on and on and on we go, right? Like all of these things happening and starting a conversation around like who really is hoarding power and privilege in these spaces. And who’s taking up a lot of space and who’s being considered like the thought leader versus, or not versus, but who is being considered the thought leader and kind of getting some of these professional opportunities.

[00:05:52] At the kind of expense of marginalized folks not getting those opportunities. So it’s been [00:06:00] two months of that kind of like major public posting of things like that, although I’m sure to you, and to me it feels like a lot longer than two months. Yeah. And again, that’s just like, since it’s been out in the world, but this has been happening, I guess, sort of behind the scenes for many, many years, if not decades.

[00:06:17] So first I just wanna check in with, you, see how you’re doing. like, how are you feeling this week? Cuz I feel like if we had had this conversation last week or two weeks ago or three weeks ago or four weeks ago, like all of those answers could be really different, but I wanna get a pulse on how things are feeling in your world this week.

[00:06:35] Lindley Ashline: Yeah. Well, when everything, when, when sort of the initial news broke it, did, you know, to be very vulnerable personally, I was in a crisis state for a while. Um, not, not like mental health. Needing a higher level of care kind of crisis, but yeah, not that severe, but, but in, in a period where I wasn’t getting anything else done, it was small to traumatic.[00:07:00]

[00:07:00] I, I was spending a lot of time staring into space and just, and just coping and being absolutely flooded with messages and commentary and, and emails, mostly supportive, which I really appreciated. Most of the people who, you know, were going to be critical or were going to reach out to be critical. I think got aimed at Mikey because I am an extremely white woman and, and Mikey is of course a black woman.

[00:07:28] And I think the responses that we did get, not that I didn’t get any criticism at all, mind you, but a lot of it was out of my sight, um, in spaces that I’m not in. And a lot of it was also, it might be like snarky on Twitter or something, but wasn’t. People weren’t showing up in my inbox as much with it.

[00:07:46] Whereas I think Mikey got a lot of hatred and threats and, and I’m sure is still getting absolutely flooded in a way that I never was. So I want to be very clear about the difference in response has been very [00:08:00] much related to the difference in privilege mm-hmm . But, but for me, it was coming out with all of this publicly and not just, not just, you know, in my interactions with Lindo, but, but with other people within that space, it was earth shaking.

[00:08:16] It’s very difficult to talk about. Abuse and bad treatment publicly. Yeah. It’s very difficult to lay that out in the public eye and hope that things change. And so my therapist and I spent a lot of time together in the last couple of months. Yeah. And, and since then, it has also been a grieving process because this is an industry that I have invested 4, 5, 6 years of my life into mm-hmm and spent hundreds and hundreds of hours.

[00:08:47] And to watch a lot of that crash and burn because I spoke out publicly was very difficult. There were, it’s not that, you know, speaking out has been consequence free for me or anybody else. [00:09:00] So it has been a grieving process. And at this point it’s been long enough that I can talk about it without sort of crashing into that.

[00:09:07] Mental space again, but it’s not easy. Yeah.

[00:09:11] Heather Caplan: Yeah. Thanks for sharing all of that. I think I appreciate the vulnerability there. I appreciate the honesty. I appreciate like the layers of what’s happened too. And just how. Each person is being responded to differently and is like on the receiving end of things, very differently based on privileges and internationalities and marginalized identities.

[00:09:33] I’m curious how your work is feeling right now. And maybe like what sort of shifts have ha have happened in your business as a result of this? Or like maybe they were already happening and this sort of like sped things up. I don’t know. Yeah. Curious what that looks like on kind of the work side for you.

[00:09:51] Lindley Ashline: Yeah. There have been a couple different facets to it to be very clear. You know, I’m invested in health at every size, from a [00:10:00] personal and an activism standpoint because I am a very fat person who believes that people like me should have equitable access to healthcare. And that is, you know, that, that. I also have lots of other, fairly radical fat liberation, beliefs, and areas of activism that I’m involved in.

[00:10:19] And so for me, health at every size is specifically about healthcare access and primarily on a systemic level because health at every size does also give us. As individuals, encouragement to work towards whatever health looks like for us. But for me, I’m, I’m more concerned with the systemic level. And to that end from a personal and activism standpoint, like I said, I’ve spent hundreds of hours advocating for fat patients in hay spaces.

[00:10:46] But also my business is within this space, Hayes folks are my target audience, particularly with my stock photography. And, and so when I decided to go public, you know, it’s hard [00:11:00] not to feel in sound mercenary when I talk about this, but just like everyone else who has a business, I, you know, like everybody else, I have a target audience.

[00:11:08] Yeah. Yeah. And so, so I had to think about how is this going to affect my business? And the thing is that. Through all this time, people have reacted differently to a super fat person with a business in this space. Then they, then they react to thin white women in, in this space who have businesses because.

[00:11:32] Marginalized people are simply seen differently. And the more marginalizations you have, the more differently you’re seen and you’re red. And so doing what I felt was the right thing here affected my ability to make a living. It affected my ability to do my photography work. It affected my ability to earn money and, and on a personal level, it affected my ability to continue to advocate because I did end up leaving [00:12:00] some of these provider spaces where I had been a guest.

[00:12:03] There are other spaces that I have stayed in, uh, honestly, out of spite while I’m being vulnerable here. Let me just say that I am, I am a salty person and go for it. I am, I, I have been very salty about some of these responses and, and I have stayed in these, stayed in some of these spaces out of saltiness to be totally honest.

[00:12:23] Heather Caplan: I love it. I

[00:12:23] Lindley Ashline: love it. But, but I have not been. The way that people have responded to this in the aggregate has made me feel like I can no longer be an effective advocate for fat folks in these spaces because of the way that I personally am perceived. And so I am doing a lot of reevaluating of am I going to continue to put my personal energies into spaces where I am personally.

[00:12:54] Mistreated for being an advocate for fat patients. Am I going to, [00:13:00] is that work still worth it to me? Because up until now, I would’ve said yes, that is one of the ways that I can use my white privilege. Yeah. And my, my privilege of access, because I am usually in these spaces, the only person who’s not a clinician, who’s not a provider.

[00:13:17] And so I have access in a way that most fat people don’t and, and up until now, I would’ve said yes, it is absolutely worth it. No matter how I personally am treated, but I have just gotten to a point where I, I think we’ve reached that tipping point of, of. Uh, I may be done with doing unpaid labor in these spaces just to be personally punished for it.

[00:13:38] in part, because I feel like I am not effective when I am such a lightning rod.

[00:13:44] Heather Caplan: Yeah. I think there’s so much, I’m like taking little mental notes. There’s so much I wanna talk about in that. I remember that when I first read Mikey’s post, that was public on Patreon and then your essays that followed [00:14:00] the first thing that occurred to me, um, not the first thing, but one of the things that occurred to me was like the time and energy that went into just putting those together, pulling direct quotes from the zoom call, pulling direct quotes from emails, like making sure that all the details were there.

[00:14:17] When, like what should be really obvious to a lot of us in this face is like, this has been happening for years. And yes, like some of those are private exchanges that we couldn’t have seen, but that’s, if that’s happening more than once, it’s not like isolated to those emails with you or those emails with Mikey, like that behavior was normal.

[00:14:41] Right. And yet it went like totally unchecked and UN like tended to, because those faces are so crowded with folks like me who hold a lot of privilege. And maybe like at the time, I mean, I’m not on the, as a Lister, so I’m not seeing a lot of that, but I’m part of [00:15:00] as E but somehow, I don’t know, that’s a separate thing.

[00:15:02] like, listervs confuse me anyway. It’s but like, I remember just thinking like this, there is no way that this behavior is new or that it hasn’t been happening for years. And yet, like here we are, You and Mikey and many other people having to like, take so much of your time and energy to put it out into the world and to like risk a lot of professional work for yourself.

[00:15:27] And to even again, like take that time to spend that energy to then like have weeks later where you’re still having trouble focusing and like doing the work that’s really important to you. And then like coming full circle, like not having as much energy to put into like your own fat liberation work in various spaces.

[00:15:45] Right? Like this is oppression right. Like not, we don’t need to, like, that should seem really obvious, but I just feel like calling out and kind of like outlining those layers is really important, especially for people who are maybe listening to [00:16:00] this and hearing about it for the first time and like, Just see all of it.

[00:16:04] Don’t just see the essays that got published on medium and Patreon and your website and Twitter threads. Like this is years in the making and then so much time and energy and professional cloud, et cetera, like being risked because none of us. Felt like we were gonna say anything or like saw it as a problem.

[00:16:29] Do you know what I like? Yeah. Yeah. Just a brain dump as a brain dump from my

[00:16:33] Lindley Ashline: side. I think I mentioned this in one of the pieces that I wrote, but when I had my email exchange with Lindo, which was nothing compared to what Mikey experienced, but, but when I had that exchange, I was really upset because this was somebody that I had really looked up to.

[00:16:48] And somebody who was a leader who has been considered a leader in this field, and I was quite upset. And I, I went and told a friend who was also in the hay space about it [00:17:00] and the friend laughed and I mean, not unkindly. Yeah. But, but laughed, laughed kind of Riley and said, yeah, welcome to the club.

[00:17:07] Everybody’s got a Lindo story and, and I stopped and I said, wait, it’s not just me. Again, this was well before I knew what Mikey story was. Yeah. And she said, oh no, no, this is very, you know, experiences like this are very common. And, and since then, you know, I haven’t been the only one to come out with a supporting story.

[00:17:26] There have been, if you go look at my original post on my blog, which I’m sure we can link in show notes. Yeah. Yeah. Um, a, a whole bunch of other people, some of whom have marginalizations of their own have come forward with stories of various guys that, that are along the same lines. It’s the same pattern.

[00:17:44] And, and Heather, if we have time, I wanna, I wanna just touch on really briefly some of the common responses that I have seen to this, because I think. I think it’s important, especially for folks who, who have not either are being exposed to this for the first time with this [00:18:00] episode, or are, have not been able to follow the discussions around it closely.

[00:18:04] Yeah. Yeah. But, but some of the, some of the pushback that I have seen is really interesting because I think it speaks to power and privilege in a way that and discomfort in a way that, that we’re not necessarily gonna have time to go into deeply today. I don’t think, but, but just to touch on them briefly, one of the responses that I have seen pretty commonly is this feeling that Mikey or I, or anyone else who’s come forward about, anything should have, should have given the person in question more chances to fix things privately mm-hmm why did you come forward publicly when you could have dealt with this privately?

[00:18:42] And of course the, the answer to that is we tried. You know, my, my whole experience with Lindo was because I was trying to address some really racist language and, and concepts in, or an essay. Lindo wrote mm-hmm privately so that we didn’t have to talk about it [00:19:00] publicly. You know, Mikey did a tremendous amount of education and reasoning attempting to reason privately, you know, so many people have tried to work with these folks, privately people generally don’t go public with things.

[00:19:15] Unless they’ve, unless they’ve tried other avenues first, when Asda came forward, you know, they had, they had, uh, particularly Veronica who was another black person had tried to work with Lindo public. I mean, privately right before going public. I think this ties really closely into another objection that I’ve seen that a lot of thin white folks who are not used to being uncomfortable in the ways that marginalized people are uncomfortable all the time, but some of this discomfort is coming out in well, if you had just talked about it differently, it didn’t matter what words we use.

[00:19:49] There would be people annoyed about it. So , so I’m not really gonna dignify that with a response. Yeah. but, but also this discomfort of, well, it, now I can’t say anything, especially on the [00:20:00] internet anytime forever. I, I just have to shut up and go away because if I make one good faith mistake, then people are gonna cancel me and call me out.

[00:20:07] And my life will be ruined mm-hmm uh, Lindo’s life hasn’t been ruin. Jennifer Rollin’s life. Hasn’t been ruined Shira Rose’s life. Hasn’t been ruined Amy Jefferson’s life. Hasn’t been ruined Maria. I apologize. I’m still not sure how to pronounce her last name. I believe it’s parades her life has not been ruined.

[00:20:25] All these people still have perfectly functional careers. Uh, you know, that have, that are probably not going to be all that affected in the long term, by what a couple of fat people on the internet said. And if they did, you know, if that were to happen again, this has been taking place over years in decades of some case.

[00:20:43] For decades, in some cases, this is not one simple earnest mistake in good faith that, that, you know, that was just this incredible overreaction. Yeah. That’s not, that’s not, this is bad faith over years and years, that was tried to [00:21:00] address privately that just didn’t work. And so, so this sort of, well, I just can’t say anything ever, cuz I’ll just get canceled.

[00:21:08] Is, is something that, that I think people are just gonna have to sit with, honestly. Yeah.

[00:21:13] Heather Caplan: I again, so much. So I did go back and read your original post. So it’s body liberation, photos.com we have, of course we’ link to this in the show notes movements, missing stairs in Lindo bacon and the further reading section at the bottom, I’m like, oh wow.

[00:21:29] like a lot is here. And some of it I had seen and some of it, I actually hadn’t. So I’m definitely gonna encourage folks to do that, but just the like deal with this privately comment. Gives me like so much anger, like one, as you mentioned, that was attempted so many times to no avail, to no change, to no like actual, decent response.

[00:21:55] And two, why are we suggesting that you and Mikey and [00:22:00] Veronica and numerous others who have had this treatment from Lindo continue to try to engage with them?

[00:22:05] Lindley Ashline: What that too?

[00:22:07] Heather Caplan: Why? Like, why would you suggest that? I mean, I think like the victim blaming and victim shaming that happened here was just, I don’t wanna say unbelievable is very believable and like so standard, but it’s also just like, so, so I mean, frustrating doesn’t really seem to do with justice, but I’m just seeing this.

[00:22:27] I did. I see a lot of those responses that happened in the wind group too. There were some people who asked like the question of, well, why can’t they just continue writing the book? That’s what you’re taking away from this really? They will continue to write the book. The book will be published. The second edition of Hayes by Lindo bacon will be published.

[00:22:47] I have no doubt about that. Like the ego can’t handle anything else. Right. But it’s like the fact that that’s what folks got hung up on, I guess, is just like [00:23:00] sign number one of 150 of like, why this happened, right? Like why this had to come out the way that it did in your original post, you mentioned the concept of missing stairs.

[00:23:12] And I would love for you to expand on that being honest. That’s the first time I had read it and I like clicked over to Wikipedia and was like, what? . So I found that to be like an incredibly helpful metaphor, but also just hadn’t heard it before. So could you elaborate on that and how that came up in that

[00:23:28] Lindley Ashline: piece?

[00:23:29] Yeah. And it, this ties really neatly back into talking about, well, why, why can’t we resolve all our problems privately, too. Right. So, so the concept of a missing stare, it was coined in 2012 by a blogger named cliff Provo, who at least at the time, I’m not sure if they’re still doing that exact work, but was a blogger about sex and BDM.

[00:23:49] Yeah. And so a missing stare it’s like having a physical, like a loose step or, or a step with a hold in it, in your house. And rather than [00:24:00] fixing it. You just get used to walking around that stair or stepping over it. Yeah. Um, and it’s kind of a pain and you have to warn other people about it the first time they come to your house.

[00:24:11] But you know, beyond that, you just it’s easier than fixing it. So you just ignore it. And so this becomes this metaphor for people and communities who are predators, rapists, harassers, abusers, just a real freaking pain in the butt. You know, people who are sometimes people who are just mean to everybody , but nobody wants to like disin invite them from parties.

[00:24:33] And so they keep showing up and being nasty to people or they keep harassing people. It’s a big problem in geek communities. And so it has become if you Google for the geek social fallacies, it’s one of those okay. Which is, which is a great, there’s all kinds of great concepts in there that are applicable outside of just.

[00:24:51] Nerd spaces. Yeah. I say this lovingly because I am extremely nerdy by the way, but, but this concept of a missing stare is [00:25:00] it’s important and it’s, and it’s a problem for several reasons. One is because then that missing stare is just there and generally. If you were in a community, you don’t know about these missing stairs, unless someone tells you mm-hmm so you have to be in the right.

[00:25:18] You have to know the right people or, or you have to people, somebody has to tell you about it. And if you don’t know about it, you’re gonna fall through that weak step and get hurt. So it depends on you knowing the right people within that community who will tell you about it. It also depends on the silence of otherwise good people.

[00:25:39] And so it enables that that missing stare, that metaphor, that person to keep hurting people mm-hmm and it also, it also allows people to blame the people who were hurt for getting hurt, because it, it, it, well, it’s your fault because you, you didn’t avoid the missing stare, right? Like we, we told you not to talk to that guy and you let [00:26:00] him corner you.

[00:26:01] Yeah. You know, and, and so, so it’s a way to avoid responsibility because it’s easier to keep letting people get hurt in your community than it is to fix the stair. And it’s also important because it allows people to keep doing crappy things to other people for years in the background while they reap benefits publicly.

[00:26:23] So while Lindo was taking advantage of black people in the background for years and other marginalized people, and I do want to, as an aside here, I do want to be clear that Lindo is also a marginalized person. Um, Lindo is trans uses. They them pronouns and, and I have seen some reactions from people who.

[00:26:44] Have been acting like Lindo, it does not have any marginalizations of their own

[00:26:48] Heather Caplan: or using the wrong pronouns, which have been public for at least five or six years. At

[00:26:54] Lindley Ashline: least. Yeah. Yeah. At least since the last Asda conference. Yeah. Yeah. And so I’ve been going [00:27:00] around correcting people on their pronouns cuz I’m like, yeah, react to this however you want, but don’t miss.

[00:27:04] No,

[00:27:04] Heather Caplan: we’re not doing that. Yeah.

[00:27:05] Lindley Ashline: Yeah. So I, I want to be clear that Lindo is also a marginalized person, but just being marginalized, doesn’t keep us from hurting people. Yeah. And from, and from people being able to react to that hurt, but it is also be in this missing stare allows you to keep hurting people in the background in private while reaping benefits publicly look at every politician, you know, who has come out that they’ve growed people or, or, uh, you know, or they’re a rapist or they’re incredibly racist.

[00:27:35] And nobody said anything for years and years and years, but everybody knew it in the background. That’s a missing stare when we don’t fix our missing stairs, it lets us, uh, you know, it lets us just let this, whatever the harm is, go on and on and on. And that can be anywhere from that kind of kind of shady guy showing up at parties all the way to, to, you know, rape and worse.

[00:27:59] [00:28:00] Yeah. And I am not, again, I’m not saying that Lindo was a rapist, obviously, and, and I’m not comparing Lindo to rapist. I wanna be very clear what I’m talking about here. This a metaphor yeah.

[00:28:10] Heather Caplan: Yeah. But I think the metaphor in this case is even more powerful because I, and it, maybe this is included in the description kind of later on.

[00:28:18] I just like read the origin story of that, but which is what you shared the, the blog from the BDSM community. So as I’m thinking of it in this context, and again, this is maybe here as well, but I think about like the ascent to power. And it almost feels like that missing stare is really intentional on Lindo’s behalf because if people continue to fall through it, metaphorically speaking, and they hit that, that block as they try to maybe, you know, change some of the things in the haze and wait inclusive spaces and have enough recognition that they get invited to speak at conferences and write [00:29:00] books, et cetera.

[00:29:01] If Lindo’s sitting way up here at the top among many others and that missing stair is there, and they’re all not talking about it that stops other people from getting to that level of work and recognition and. Power and like having access to resources to continue to shape and mold these communities and what health at every size should be really focused on, which as you mentioned earlier, is that increased access to equitable and respectful care in healthcare spaces, right?

[00:29:30] Like if we think about it as like, this is actually like, as we climb up and we build on our work and we, you know, make movements in this space, then we just, there’s a limit to where people can go because of that missing stair.

[00:29:46] Lindley Ashline: Yeah. Yeah. Another way to think about it is it’s like having, uh, say you live in an area that’s built out of, or the, where the rock underneath, where you live is limestone.

[00:29:56] And you never know if you might fall into a sinkhole [00:30:00] mm-hmm, , uh, where the ground is just really thin and you don’t even know it. Yeah. And, and so if you think about it, like, like being in health at every size, in any capacity is like living there. And it’s not a perfect metaphor, but, but say, but say there’s, some people have to walk through that area to get to the other side and some people can use a bridge and, but only some people are allowed on the bridge.

[00:30:24] And, and this is part of why you don’t see people who are, who are in very marginalized bodies in positions of power, within healthcare in general, and within health, every size, because we have to walk through that sinkhole written territory, and maybe, maybe one time your ankle just goes through. You just go through, up to the ankle.

[00:30:45] Yeah. And, and it hurts, but you can keep walking and then maybe, sometimes you hit a missing a piece of missing ground. a missing stare, a missing, you know, a whole sinkhole and you fall into it. Yeah. And nobody hears from you again, because you got, you [00:31:00] know, because you’re injured because you didn’t survive it because you got sick of falling through sinkholes.

[00:31:07] When I talk about reevaluating, my own role within health at every size, you know, it, I’m pretty tired of sinkholes. I’ll be honest. And, and I’m pretty tired of the folks up on the bridge going. Why do you keep falling? Right? that’s weird. Yeah. You know, why didn’t you step around that stair? Wow. You seem really clumsy yeah.

[00:31:27] You know? Yeah. As I’m like clinging from, you know, clinging to the edge of a, a stink call going, Hey, could you throw me a rope? Yeah. I’m still here. Oh man. And, and you know, and so the other day, someone who is, who is arranging speakers for a conference asked me if I knew anyone who would be a good speaker candidate who met a certain, a certain set of professional criteria.

[00:31:52] And in addition to a certain set of marginalization, Criteria, if that makes sense. Yeah. They, they wanted someone [00:32:00] who was in a certain demographic and, and they were asking in perfectly good faith. I, I highly approve of them seeking out someone, but I just, I, maybe that person exists, but I don’t personally know them.

[00:32:12] You know, it’s so hard for us to attain positions of power for these reasons, because say, I decided, you know, I’m a photographer, I’m not a clinician, I’m not a provider, but say, I decided to go back to school to become a dietician. I wouldn’t fit in the desks.

[00:32:29] Shelby Gordon: Mean

[00:32:29] Lindley Ashline: literally physical barriers. Every time I went to a classroom, I would have to, to negotiate that every single time, every day, I would have to try to find a seat I could sit in.

[00:32:42] And that’s not that that’s to say nothing of the rest that’s to say nothing of it being an incredibly fat phobic field to be in. Right. Do I want to spend every day of my life fighting in that particular way? No so what happens is activists in this space, particularly, but also marginalized, [00:33:00] provi providers and professionals.

[00:33:02] We drop out of sight eventually because we just get tired of falling in holes. Yeah. And so, so it becomes really difficult to find people, even when you do want to pay for a consultation or pay for a speaker and not paying for consultations and not paying for speakers is another sinkhole. Yeah. Because we only have so much time and effort to do that stuff for free.

[00:33:22] So then when you look for somebody who is. Who is qualified by your, by your qualifications to, to do something. And you can’t find somebody, that’s why, because you wore them out and they went away.

[00:33:36] Heather Caplan: right, right. I mean, something that’s come up a lot, like in the wind space specifically, which is primarily dieticians, not exclusively, but nutrition and dietetics is part of the name I’ve been thinking through that.

[00:33:49] We’ll come back to that later. but there was a conversation started in the Facebook group at least about like, who are we learning from and how are we learning in these spaces? Right. Because. [00:34:00] Traditionally in dietetics. And I can’t speak to other healthcare communities though. I assume it’s very similar.

[00:34:04] Like you learn from the other certified practitioners in that space, and it’s not prioritized to seek consultation, supervision and, or professional trainings, whatever professional means in whatever space from folks who don’t hold those certifications, because you might not get your continuing education hours.

[00:34:24] It might not get approved. Like we put out a wind event. And the first question we get asked is how many CEOs maybe look at the lineup? And we do, like, most of our events do get preapproved for CEUs. But look at the lineup. Are these topics that are important to you in your practice? Do they align with your continued anti-oppression trainings?

[00:34:44] Do they align with you continuing to seek out learning from fat activists who have lived experiences? Sometimes it may not get you your CEUs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking those lessons and those trainings, right? Like the way that that gets prioritized, just like. Is [00:35:00] clearer to me now than ever.

[00:35:01] When that’s not to say that we couldn’t get those approved for when folks who are presenting don’t hold certifications. But that just is like the knee jerk reaction in dietetic spaces. Like, am I gonna get my hours? And I’m gonna be honest. We have five years to get 75 hours. It’s not that difficult. It’s just not, it’s not that hard.

[00:35:21] Like five years is a lot of time. I’ve had three babies in five years and I managed like, that’s a different conversation. I know that there are like some barriers there, but it’s to speaking to your point, like in these spaces, there is a lot of priority put on the certification, the academic credentials, the letters behind your name.

[00:35:43] And we’ve gotta see a shift in who we’re learning from who we’re paying to give these presentations to give these trainings to consult, to et cetera, et cetera, or this. Like massive problem that we’re facing right now is just going to continue [00:36:00] because the people who hold the highest power have had a lot of privileges to get to that space, to, to that, to hold that power.

[00:36:07] Right.

[00:36:07] Lindley Ashline: Yeah. And that’s not to say that it doesn’t take a lot of personal effort and struggle to get to that. Sure, sure. Yeah. Like, just because we have, we, we have a certain amount of privilege in a certain area of our lives. Doesn’t mean that life isn’t hard for us to. Yeah. And I, and I do a lot of talking, especially right now about with business business people, you know, people who run any kind of business, but especially small businesses about incremental changes.

[00:36:35] That that can be made. But I think, I think my challenge to dietician would be who are you mentoring? Cause we, we talked about, you know, I talked a little bit about like, if I decided to become a dietician, like the, the barriers that I would face, maybe an incremental change that you can make is spending three hours, like maybe one hour a week, mentoring someone who’s going through.

[00:36:57] Dietician school, whatever you call it. um, [00:37:00]

[00:37:00] Heather Caplan: training, internship. Yeah. Whatever. Yeah. Maybe,

[00:37:02] Lindley Ashline: maybe you’re helping. Maybe you’re, you’re helping somebody find an internship with either a haze affirming or, or, or at least a less fat phobic, you know, internship. Maybe you are as an alum who have quite a bit of power.

[00:37:17] Maybe you are going back to your Alma mater and you’re saying, Hey, let’s get a fully accessible chair in every classroom. Yeah. How, how do we do it? Who do I talk to? You know, may maybe, maybe it’s any of those things. And, and there are, there are dozens, dozens of things that, that every one of us can be doing, because this is a systemic issue.

[00:37:38] Yeah. We cannot change this. You know all by ourselves, but we can make one change if each one of us makes one change, you know? Yeah. What, and I have a whole different talk that I give about this, but like what chairs are in your waiting room? Yeah. There’s your first change right there.

[00:37:52] Heather Caplan: Yeah. And are you a person who goes to other spaces and notices that.

[00:37:58] Like not just your own [00:38:00] space. Right? Like I go to my OB GYN practice and I look around and I can, I can notice that in other spaces and say something right? Like it’s. Yeah.

[00:38:10] Lindley Ashline: But an invisible hula hoop around you and imagine a hula hoop as you move through spaces. You know, and I, I don’t know, I’m looking at my own hips.

[00:38:18] I don’t think I’m a hula hoop wide, but, but, but you know, it, it gives you an imaginary point to reference as you’re moving around spaces, you know, and, and back to what Heather was saying, who are you inviting? And, and maybe you’re not finding people who are degree qualified for CEU type, you know, presentations, but maybe for every three that you pull in or that you attend, whether you’re arranging speakers or you are.

[00:38:48] Taking CEOs, maybe for every three, you seek out one training. That’s not, mm-hmm maybe, maybe for every two, depending on your personal level of resources. Yeah. Like there’s always something that you can be doing to seek out [00:39:00] voices. Maybe it’s following. I have on my blog, I have a list of 40, some larger fat people on Instagram that you can follow.

[00:39:08] And, you know, maybe you can’t go give all of those people money. Yeah. Right. But if you can’t do anything else, if you were completely resource strapped, go follow those 40 people on Instagram. If you’re an Instagram user. Yeah.

[00:39:19] Heather Caplan: And respectfully

[00:39:20] Lindley Ashline: engage. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They’re, they’re not, you know, they’re not pets.

[00:39:25] They’re not tokens. They’re people that you can be listening to and, and elevated. Right. If you cannot do anything

[00:39:31] Heather Caplan: else, right. Yeah. I will course correct a little bit. I didn’t need to be flippant about the 75 CEOs cuz I do recognize the time and sometimes a lot of financial resources that go into getting those.

[00:39:42] But I just see so much of that, like initial reaction to learning and I’m like, we can learn outside of our CEUs. We can. We can learn for our CEUs and we will be far better practitioners if that’s not the only continuing education that [00:40:00] we prioritize. One last thing I wanna mention before we go with a few minutes left is something you said earlier about that fear of being called out and folks who are listening here, who may be hold a lot of privileges like I do.

[00:40:13] And haven’t experienced a lot of that discomfort in many spaces, including online spaces. I’ll just share a little anecdote on my side. When I first started sharing your work, Mikey’s work Veronica. And as his post, there was one male, R D to B who kept hounding me about it and saying that Lindo was going to be deeply affected by this et cetera, et cetera, cetera.

[00:40:37] And was like, what if it was you that they were calling out? And I’m like, yeah, what if it was. I fucking apologize. I accept responsibility. I reflect on what happened. I seek consultation and I fucking apologize in a way that actually matters. We, we didn’t even get to that. like, like this isn’t that hard.

[00:40:59] It’s [00:41:00] uncomfortable. Yes. I get that. Like, I feel that too. And as a person who has had a lot of work out in the world publicly for many years, like there’s some shit I wish I could take down for sure. And even if I do the internet, keeps it somewhere. I don’t know how that works, but the internet keeps everything.

[00:41:16] You accept responsibility. That’s just what you, you know, like sit in the suck as my friend, Bri Campos would say like, this is not that hard.

[00:41:26] Lindley Ashline: well, well, and, and the thing is that I don’t think we actually really needed to go into apologize in any way. Cuz you can go Google that. Yeah. I mean you can literally Google how to apologize, right?

[00:41:35] Yeah.

[00:41:36] Heather Caplan: And do way better than any of the responses we’ve seen so

[00:41:39] Lindley Ashline: far. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, and, and do better than, than me trying to summarize that would be anyway. Yeah. Yeah. Like, cuz it’s, it’s it’s, it’s not an, it’s not easy emotionally to apologize, but it is simple in that. Yeah. The steps are pretty simple.

[00:41:55] It’s simple enough to do correctly and no, we, we haven’t seen that from anyone and that’s a shame, but. [00:42:00] Being called out sucks. Being corrected sucks. Having someone tell you you hurt them. Sucks. And I, I absolutely mess up. I mess up all the time. I didn’t do. like Heather said, if you go to my original piece about Lindo and you go to the bottom after you’ve read it, there’s a ton of follow up post because I basically spent a month just getting out all the stuff that I needed to say.

[00:42:25] And so there’s a bunch of analysis there. There’s a bunch of, there’s a lot of relevant stuff there. There’s also a whole post about how to move forward from this, with a whole bunch of things that you can choose to do. Yeah. And most of which are low cost or free. So it’s all there, but I didn’t do those posts perfectly.

[00:42:42] Yeah. You know, because I’m a human and I’m imperfect to you. Would I rewrite some of those differently if I had the chance? Yeah, probably might I respond to criticism on Twitter differently if I. If I weren’t in the midst of my own trauma there probably. And the thing is that I mess up in other [00:43:00] contexts too.

[00:43:00] I’m white, I’m cisgender, you know, I, I have all kinds of privileges in addition to my marginalizations and I mess up. Sometimes I say racist crap. And because I, that, because that is the world that I exist in. Yeah. And, and if somebody says, Hey, whoa, that was racist or, Hey, whoa, that was hurtful. Or, Hey, you need to stop.

[00:43:22] It’s my job. Especially the more power that I have, because I also have a moderate online following, which is power, you know, it’s, it’s my responsibility to say, oh, let me go think about that, come back, apologize, address it and do better. The thing is that. Even if you’re not online, even if you don’t do social media, even if you, you know, you don’t do the internet at all, you’re gonna mess up.

[00:43:50] And at some point, and somebody’s gonna say, ouch, that hurt mm-hmm . And so doing that on the internet is a lot more public. Yeah. But it’s the same thing. Yeah. Uh, and, and so [00:44:00] learning, learning that you’re not going to be perfect is very freeing because it helps us move through that stuckness of oh no, I’m gonna make one simple earnest mistake and get called out and never be able to do anything ever again.

[00:44:14] yeah. Yeah. It lets us work past that fragility to just be prepared. To be improving and be prepared to apologize and learn and grow. Yeah.

[00:44:23] Heather Caplan: Yeah. I’ve had many of those opportunities over the years.

[00:44:26] Lindley Ashline: and I will have anymore. You will have opportunities and they suck, but they’re also important. It’s important.

[00:44:33] Heather Caplan: It’s part of the process. Yes. Thank you so much, Lynn, for your time, your energy for all of the work you’ve done in this space and hopefully continue to do at whatever capacity. Feels right for you. Can you share a few places that folks can follow your work purchase photos, find you whatever comes to mind, pay you all of the above.

[00:44:55] Yeah,

[00:44:55] Lindley Ashline: absolutely. You can find all of my work at body liberation, [00:45:00] photos.com. I’m on Instagram body liberation with Linley on Twitter at Linley Ashline and then on Facebook at body liberation with Linley Ashline and I give away free stock photos every month and free weekly resources and, and some kind of note from me on body liberation every week in my body liberation guide.

[00:45:21] And you can find that at bit dot Lee. That’s B I T dot L Y slash body liberation guide.

[00:45:29] Shelby Gordon: Cool.

[00:45:30] Heather Caplan: Thank you so so much. It was so great to have you. Yeah, thanks for having me, Heather. Now we’re gonna shift gears a bit and talk with Shelby Gordon. Shelby is actually featured in our wind summer series and is giving a training on white supremacy and anti-oppression in the nutrition and dietetic spaces.

[00:45:47] As I mentioned earlier, she’s been active in all of these haze conversations. And I was so glad that she was willing to join me for a conversation here on the show. Shelby is a retired world champion professional Dieter who broke the chains of [00:46:00] restriction, excessive exercise and body hatred by embracing body trust.

[00:46:04] She now works with helping professionals and organizations to ignite and elevate their awareness of the intersection of fusion of systemic racism and dehumanizing diet culture. She is an awesome daughter, prolific social media disruptor, and a future puppy owner. Let’s turn this over to Shelby. Hi Shelby.

[00:46:22] Thank you so much for being here and joining me in this conversation.

[00:46:26] Shelby Gordon: So happy to be here, joining you on this conversation.

[00:46:30] Heather Caplan: share a little introduction for folks who are listening about your work in this space and kind of how you got here. I’m Shelby

[00:46:38] Shelby Gordon: Gordon. My. Social media handle is fit flexible and fluid.

[00:46:45] I am a retired professional diet. I did this work to the best of my ability at a, at a very high level for about 50 years. And once I was [00:47:00] freed from the rigors of diet culture, it opened up a lot of brain space for me. And it allowed me to think about things in a different way. So let’s see, that would be 2018.

[00:47:20] Mm. Two things happened that year one, I used a group on and started dancing burlesque, and that was probably. A quantum leap for me in reconnecting my head to my body, as someone who had been told since they were six, that there was something wrong with their body, particularly that there may be too much of it.

[00:47:54] Most of my brain energy and relationship to [00:48:00] what was happening from my shoulders to my toes was basically how do I change that? Mm-hmm how do I make it look different? How do I make myself feel better in it? And it was very cerebral, very emotional. And it was very hurtful and harmful for me. And what burlesque dancing does for me is it gives me permission to look at myself in the mirror.

[00:48:39] It gives me permission to be highly aware of how my legs, my arms, my head, my belly, my boobs, my feet, my ankles are moving [00:49:00] in tandem to Aretha Franklin or Al green or prince. And finding burlesque gave me permission to reconnect some things that had for a long time been disconnected. Mm-hmm one was. The power of my 3d ness, the power of my 3d femininity and womanhood.

[00:49:33] Because again, I was so busy trying to change mess mm-hmm that I had totally disconnected. So that happened in the summer of 2018. And then by October of 2018, I officially retired from diet. I had been, I had found Dana and Hillary at body trust. Mm-hmm all elements of body trust [00:50:00] resonated with me until they got to the point.

[00:50:03] And they said, and you cannot still be dieting. Cause guess what? Girlfriend was still dieting. So in October, when I finally was able to file divorce papers, Cut that final thread. Then that’s when I knew I could really embrace body trust, body peace. Doesn’t resonate with me because I’m spiritual and churchy and peace means something very precious to me.

[00:50:41] Mm-hmm body love didn’t resonate with me, cuz I had spent 50 years Haiti in my body. I was not on, on a turn of a, I’m gonna love my body, but body trust resonated with me because I knew I needed to trust my body. I knew I needed for all of my systems. [00:51:00] To work, circulatory, digestive, reproductive, lymphatic.

[00:51:06] I needed all of those systems. I was trusting all of those systems to work. And if I could do, if I could trust my body to make all those systems work, then I could trust my body in the 3d state that it was. And that’s when I really, so burlesque was a quantum leap for me, embracing body trust and really diving into that work was another quantum leap for me.

[00:51:36] And then me beginning to really understand how Antifa and anti-blackness. Works in tandem. That was the final quantum leap for me. So that’s how I got into this work. I am a marketing manager by trade. I work at a museum in beautiful Baco park, [00:52:00] but I have a really thriving consultancy business. And I primarily work with dietician and nutritionists and a lot of eating disorder treatment folks, as they try to navigate through what they see happening in their industry, as they try to reconcile the harm that has been done in those industries, how they, how they, as they work to reconcile that.

[00:52:33] And as they really begin to understand the depth of. Antifa bias, even in those sectors, nutrition, dietetics and eating disorder. Mm-hmm . And so I really, if you ask me what I am, I certainly am a, an innovation. I call myself an [00:53:00] innovation and racial equity consultant. I work with individuals. I work with, I, I teach a lot mm-hmm and now I’m really getting into working with boards as they really turn the spotlight on themselves.

[00:53:21] And what I’m hearing this, this thread that I’m hearing and it’s really come on strong on these last couple of weeks is folks are, are tired of reading books. They are ready to start talking. Mm. They are ready to start having platforms where they could ask questions and ask for clarification and ask, did I, is this, did you?

[00:53:54] And so what I’m lucky enough [00:54:00] to be able to do is open up those con those conversation threads so that people can ask the questions and so that we can talk them through. And so that I can say. Yeah, honey, that’s not really white saviorism by giving them examples to what white saviorism really is. Mm-hmm and you know, it, I think the, the biggest thrill for me is when I see the light bulb go off.

[00:54:36] And when I tell them, you know, that really anti-racism work is a super highway y’all and we are all looking for on ramps. Mm-hmm , we’re looking for the rest areas and we are trying to figure out if we are a hybrid or sports car, if we are a minivan or an SUV, whether we’re a [00:55:00] Amazon truck or 18 Wheeler.

[00:55:03] Yeah. If you are a hybrid, just hybrid. You do not need to try to be being a, a minivan if you are a hybrid. So a lot of my work is really helping folks disconnect from the perfectionism. That many feel is incorporated in this work. Mm-hmm , we don’t have all the answers. This is a, a journey. We need a good roadmap, but sometimes you have to get off and refuel.

[00:55:41] I had a client call me last week. He was literal, absolutely depleted. Mm. And he called me to apologize. We had something set up and he called me and he said, Shelby, I just can’t do it. I’m like, honey. [00:56:00] you can only serve when your cup is full mm-hmm . We serve with the overflow and where we are right now. So many of us, our cups are not full.

[00:56:15] Our cups are not halfway full. Our cups are depleted. There’s not a drop left. And a lot of what I do is repeat the phrase. You have permission, you have permission to not understand it. All. You have permission to steal sometimes not get it a hundred percent. Right? You have permission to do that. You have permission to practice your scripts.

[00:56:49] You have permission to get off the super highway at the rest area. It’s scenic. Sometimes it’s very pretty. You can rest up, you can [00:57:00] refuel and then you can get back on the highway. Mm-hmm . So a, a lot of what I do involves issue of comfort and language, making people feel comfortable that they have chosen to understand this work better.

[00:57:17] Mm-hmm that they have chosen to understand what systemic racism is that they have chosen to understand that for many of us, the industries that we work in do not have a very good track record. As far as equity and inclusion is concerned. You have permission to want to know more. You have permission to be uncomfortable about that.

[00:57:44] You have permission. And the other, my other key point is around language. Some people will call me and say, Shelby, I need for you to do a DEI, fill in the blank with my group. And I say, I don’t do DEI [00:58:00] work. And I, and they say why? I said, do you know what race is? And they can’t tell me, they can’t tell me that race is a social construct.

[00:58:12] They can’t, they, they don’t even know. They don’t even know that or feel comfortable talking about that. So I say, now, if you wanna start there happy to help you. So a lot of it is dealing with discomfort and dealing with folks really being highly sensitive and highly concerned that they’re gonna save the wrong thing.

[00:58:39] That they’re gonna say it the wrong way and that it may be perceived the wrong way. Mm-hmm and I teach that you have permission. You have permission to work through the language? That’s what I’m doing after traffic light. Y’all in between singing with Michael [00:59:00] Jackson about Billy. Gina is not my lover.

[00:59:01] I’m also practicing my scripts for when I talk to people. It’s one of the reasons why I engage with trolls on social media. Because dealing with the troll, you really get the language down. Hmm. You really get it down. Yeah. So a lot of times I’ll spend a couple of days with somebody just going back and forth and back and forth.

[00:59:27] And it’s an exercise for me, my goodness, to be able to modify my language and get it right and tight, get it right and tight. So I, I it’s my passion. I really enjoy it. I am taking a sabbatical from teaching at the university to universities here in San Diego. I’ve taken a sabbatical because teaching during the pandemic, ain’t for the faint of heart y’all oh my God.

[00:59:55] It’s really not. And I taught one of the, [01:00:00] the, um, universities that I teach at is an international university. And I teach in an MBA tourism class. I teach MBA tourism marketing, and. You know, I had students that had to evacuate in the middle of the term. They had to get home to Spain before the borders closed.

[01:00:20] Mm-hmm they had to get here. They had to ensure that their folks got out, they got home on and on of course, then my French students, they take a Hawaii vacation in and zoom in from classroom Hawaii, you know, bless their hearts but so I’m not teaching, but I still have access to the, to the libraries. So a lot of what I do is pulling research and I also will call myself.

[01:00:58] A DIA culture [01:01:00] historian. So for me, fearing the black body by Dr. Sabrina’s strengths is my old Testament and belly of the beast written by Deshaun. Harrison is my new Testament. And I frame all that, the work and those two books with all the research that backed it up. So I’m the one pulling all of the indivi individual research studies.

[01:01:28] So I can be sure that I’m sharing the most accurate information to really come back at the trolls who say, well, this study says that these people had a 99% success rate with this diet and Regan Chastain has taught me how to read the studies so that I can go back to the trolls and say, look here, don’t talk to me about our research study.

[01:01:58] with 10,000 [01:02:00] elderly men living in elder health homes in Western Sweden. Don’t talk to me, black woman in California. Don’t talk to me about that. Mm-hmm so, you know, I, that’s another brand that I’m really proud of. I’m really able to dig into the history of diet culture and show the parallels and show how it manifests itself today.

[01:02:33] So yesterday on Twitter, somebody actually, she posted back to me and said, girl,

[01:02:40] it’s not about politics. I’m like, look here. Mm-hmm it’s about healthcare policy. It’s about employment policy. It’s about insurance access policy. So, oh, oh, it’s a lot about politics. So my natural [01:03:00] curiosity really fuels a lot of this. I really enjoy it. The folks that come to me, they’re ready. You know, by the time you’ve called me, you know, you may have been through some things , mm-hmm yeah.

[01:03:14] You may, you may feel, you may feel some certain ways. Yeah. And so a lot of what I’m saying is you have permission and it’s gonna be okay. And we’re gonna figure out if you are an SUV or a smart car or a Tesla, we’re gonna figure it out

[01:03:32] Heather Caplan: in the conversation I had with Lin. We also talked a lot about that.

[01:03:37] Fear of saying the wrong thing, getting called out, you know, not knowing what to say, not knowing if, you know, for someone like me of holding many privileges, if your voice, what does your voice do in that conversation? Is that helpful? Is it not helpful? And sort of like staring that right in the face and saying like the other option is silence.[01:04:00]

[01:04:00] Right. You know, and that’s not, that’s not the option. That’s not the

[01:04:04] Shelby Gordon: option. Right. I think we are living in a hyperdynamic era right now. Mm-hmm , there are so many issues going on that mandates some kind of action and. Whatever your issue is whether it’s climate change or parental leave, or I work on the museum industry.

[01:04:34] And there’s so much about repatriating article artifacts and documents that were wrongly taken from indigenous peoples mm-hmm . So you pick, pick, pick your protests y’all because there’s one for everybody. And the other thing that I really teach is [01:05:00] you have permission to really find your space and activism.

[01:05:07] I tell everybody that I did not become an anti-racism consultant until the second George Floyd called out for his mother. And in that moment, everything in me from a cellular level changed, but I’m not one to make a sign and go downtown in San Diego and protest at the county administration building.

[01:05:35] I’m I, that’s not my way toward activism. I will support groups, whether they’re monetarily or with resources, I will elevate others who may speak about my issue in a different way that that aligns with my [01:06:00] thinking, but they may have a platform that needs to be raised. I may manipulate the other relationships I have in my life, whether it’s parental.

[01:06:17] Whether it is. I mean, my boss will tell you that he sees things different than before he met me. Hmm. And I went to work for him in February of 2020. I went to work at that museum three weeks before we locked down. Yeah. George Floyd was killed in may and as a marketing person and messaging being my responsibility, I was emphatic about some things.

[01:06:53] And he would say to me, but Shelby, and I would say, this is how it’s got to be, but [01:07:00] Shelby, no, sir. This is how it must be. Yeah. So you have permission to really explore and investigate where your activism meets your personality. And your, your power or privilege and your energy level and your timeframe. So I’m an early riser, right?

[01:07:32] I’m an activist from 6:00 AM to about nine. Then I’m a marketing manager for that museum from nine until about two. And then guess what? I’m taking a nap, cuz I’m tired. It’s been a long day. It’s been a long day and I have to be sure that my cup stays full because I serve with the overflow so I stop and [01:08:00] rest to ensure that my cup can stay full, take a little nap, do a little more marketing work.

[01:08:08] From about four 30 on I’m an activist. So how does it work within your day? Are you a weekend activist? Do you really actually go out and protest? I really admire those people. Yeah. That’s what I aspire to be. One day is go out with my sign and protest. I aspire to be that, but right now I know that that does not align with my personal safety issues.

[01:08:36] Mm-hmm with my comfort issues and where I am on my activist journey. Yeah. Folks have permission to investigate, explore, and determine where their skills, their talents, their riches, their treasures, their influence, their network, their privilege works best, but we are in a hyper [01:09:00] Uber. Culture right now where you can just pick your protest.

[01:09:07] Yeah.

[01:09:09] Heather Caplan: That makes me think of how responses showed up. When we, ah, when Mikey published her essay, when Linley published her essay, right. When Asda published their update. And I mean, in some ways the floodgates opened, right. Like, oh, okay. Right. We’re talking about this now. Like here’s my story. Here’s my experience.

[01:09:33] And from so many marginalized folks with various marginalized identities, mm-hmm . And then again, people like me who hold various privileges in this space, either not knowing how to respond, not knowing what the quote unquote right response was. I’m thinking like having had your wisdom in that time, would’ve been so powerful for people to know, explore like your [01:10:00] activism, right?

[01:10:01] Where, where can you speak up? You know, if it doesn’t feel like a social media post is right for you or a tweet thread is right for you. Like. Do something you don’t have to do the same thing that other people are doing

[01:10:15] Shelby Gordon: or do nothing and know that that’s okay for you. Mm, right. Mikey posted, I didn’t say anything for five days.

[01:10:21] Yeah. Cause I was trying to process what the hell just happened. Yeah. It wasn’t necessary for me to, to get something out fast. Yeah. I wanted to, I wanted to mourn with Mikey for what she went through. Mm-hmm I wanted to grieve with Linley for what she went through. And then at some point I was like, okay.

[01:10:51] And then, you know what I did, I didn’t even use my words. Someone else wrote a brilliant post, [01:11:00] said everything. I wanted to say, great, here you go. Y’all this is what I think. Yeah. And I could recycle. My energy to supporting Mikey. Mm-hmm you see what I’m saying? Yeah. I did not need to come out and be, you know, and, and shake my wave, my fist and, and compose these posts.

[01:11:27] And, you know, I, I was recycling energy. Yeah. I found somebody who said what I wanted to say, posted it. Great. Let me empty out my sofa cushion. Cause I know I’ve got some ducks to send my girl, you know what I’m saying? That was, I was recycling that. Yeah. And then the other thing that I, I really did was a, a after about a week.

[01:11:59] Then [01:12:00] my role became troll, troll

[01:12:05] oh. And, and I was happy to do that. Yes. And so I would sit in these spaces and I would see the stuff going on and then I would start asking questions. Oh, so you mean to tell me that it is okay. Oh, but help me understand. So my role became control patrol and I love, I love the role control patrol. That’s like one of my favorites, but you know, each of us, we have a different, we have a different role for folks who, you know, are sitting on as the boards and sitting on as the subcommittees and, you know, they had a role to play there.

[01:12:49] The other thing that I think. I’ve seen happen even in the last week. One of the issues that became really [01:13:00] glaring through this whole episode was that there were no systems of accountability set up, right? There was no whistleblower hotline. And what I have seen happen, even within the fat liberation activism space, post lb, we are holding each other accountable.

[01:13:30] And someone in that space has overstepped has done harm. Somebody else will say. Not call them out necessarily publicly, but open a conversation with them. Yeah. And I’ve seen folks then come back and, and say, I [01:14:00] overstepped, I was wrong. I caused harm. This is who reached out to me. We had a conversation, they helped me understand this.

[01:14:10] And so, and, and so, and I am sorry. Mm-hmm so are, are you the, are you the right? Are you the, the quick poster? Are you trolling the trolls you will find your own space. I think. I think what we learned and, and I’ll use a museum example again, what we learned particularly after George Floyd with all of the black box postings on social media is that folks at many times were in such a hurry to get a message out that the message was incorrect.

[01:14:52] Mm-hmm that it may have been inappropriate that it was not well thought [01:15:00] out and that it was not a, and they had to do six times as much work to repair that damage. I rewrote the equity message for the museum probably three times. So was literally five weeks later and a friend of mine texted me and she said, You need to tell me that that museum is gonna be posting something soon.

[01:15:33] I said, look, what I wanted to do. I needed it to be right. Mm-hmm I needed to be appropriate. I needed for it to be understood and embraced by everybody involved. I was not going speed to market. Yeah. I was going with what, what was gonna be best? What was the most sensitive, heartfelt, [01:16:00] well thought out and it institutionally appropriate.

[01:16:03] And from that experience, because some very large museums made some very bad mistakes and they had to then call in crisis messaging experts for a single post mm-hmm . And I. That’s the, the lesson I learned with this whole lb thing, you don’t need to get it after fast. Yeah. Like I say, I was over here processing and even a couple weeks ago, lb came out with another statement and I was over here drinking coffee.

[01:16:42] I was like, what the hell?

[01:16:45] Heather Caplan: So I want, I wanna speak to that a little bit because you dissected their first response and you know, I’m thinking about. You’re teaching around, like finding your [01:17:00] space of activism. Take your time. Like, don’t rush into this unless you, there are the people who are the quick posters, right?

[01:17:08] Yep. Not lb, not a quick poster.

[01:17:11] Shelby Gordon: Not a and not a good poster. Not a good, not of themselves. Right? Dig in the whole deeper. Just keep

[01:17:20] Heather Caplan: curious, like with that, with the approach that you take to all of this, knowing that it took a month, lb Lindo bacon a month to respond, was there any part of you who felt like this might be a legitimate

[01:17:37] Shelby Gordon: response? No, I posted three weeks before that. I’m like, look y’all ain’t no apology coming. Mm-hmm that’s what I was posted.

[01:17:47] Yeah. Look, save your hearts. Save your minds. Save your angst. There is no apology. Because I don’t think they [01:18:00] understand that they did something wrong. Right. And two, I don’t think that they understand that they need to apologize for doing that wrong. They are incapable of doing that. That’s what I was posting.

[01:18:15] Yeah. I was trying to help the community. Look, y’all, don’t wait for it. Save yourselves, save yourselves. But I, the, the response for me, what I wanted to pull it apart, I’m a, I’m a professional communicator. and, and I teach communication. Right? So in, in lbs, Facebook community, there was actually a university instructor who talked about how great lbs statement was.

[01:18:49] And you know, me I’m trolling the trolls over here. So I broke it. I broke it down. I’m like, Lb [01:19:00] statement is a case study in crisis management, brand management and response manage and response marketing mm-hmm . And if you wanna take just that single post and teach that to your students, you are ethically failing them.

[01:19:17] You need to bring this in to the entire context of how this brand was built. The flimsy paper tiger that this brand was built upon mm-hmm and then you need to call out the crisis in particular, the response in particular and okay, is this brand, can you remake this brand? I said, if you are not doing that, you did in no way, should you ever be calling yourselves a university instructor and that post got deleted from Lindo.

[01:19:51] That instructor deleted that post. Cuz I broke it down. I’m like, look here. You can’t pick and choose. You got to tell the whole story. Yeah. [01:20:00] So that response for me did a couple of things. One, I wanted to break it down statement by statement. I wanted to reinforce because this was really the prime objective.

[01:20:16] A and this was the basis of the work that we were doing, that I was doing with lb supporters was basically saying, so you think it’s okay, so you can justify in your head mm-hmm that it’s okay to treat people like this. So you think that is that, I mean, that was my position. Yeah. So I always try to reinstate that, you know, to just come back to you understand that this is.

[01:20:50] Malicious. This is manipulative. This is bullying. This is this. This is, you know, thus. And so I also wanna sprinkle a little [01:21:00] education in there. You understand that many of these items fall right into the characteristics of white body supremacy, powerful, see power hoarding, deflection distraction. We I’m, I’m gonna teach you a little bit.

[01:21:17] Yeah. And then my last goal with that was to sprinkle little black girl magic because everything sounds better when a black girl interprets it. So their statement was moving forward. And I said, no, you’re done. You are done. We’re done. Yeah. So that was really my, and I chose not to dissect the last one.

[01:21:44] But that does not mean that there will not be future dissections coming because I think sometimes it helps to do some forensic work yeah. [01:22:00] It, it helps to do some forensic work. In these cases.

[01:22:03] Heather Caplan: I remember Mikey posting, after you had shared your dissection of their first response, Mikey saying like this brought me joy so thank you.

[01:22:14] So that was a gift to some of us and it was a huge, I hope like teaching moment for other folks who were still struggling to see,

[01:22:24] Shelby Gordon: I break ’em down into three, I break ’em down into three segments and I, you and I may have talked about this before. You’ve got the folks in the red zone. Nothing you can say or do is ever going to break them outta their silo.

[01:22:39] Mm-hmm or take lb off of that pedestal that they put them on. Yeah. Yeah. And I do not waste my word count on them. You’ve got folks that are in the green zone, who totally get it. Who totally understand and who are totally saying, right. They’re they’re asking. Okay. [01:23:00] And they’re providing information. The, and this isn’t what I’m seeing more.

[01:23:04] Yeah. These are some additional resources for you to use. If you are haz aligned. If you use hazing, your, your work, these are some additional non lb resources. So you can keep doing the work mm-hmm . My concentration is on the people in the yellow zone. They could go either way. they may or may not have enough information to go either way.

[01:23:37] Yeah. And then I always say, you know, if you wanna talk about this, or if you wanna know more from a black fat liberation perspective, I’m happy to talk with you about it. I don’t try to shove it down their throat. Right. Then, you know, if you wanna talk about it, [01:24:00] let me know. Yeah. And then I started posting about classes.

[01:24:03] Right. Y’all wanna talk about this, I’m talking about it. Yeah. And you know, I had the other day, I had 15 people under my class that was convergence. So again is the one I’m doing for a win, right? 15 people, 14 of them were eating disorder, treatment folks. And I, it was eight o’clock in the morning. I had maybe three sips of coffee and my eyes slammed open.

[01:24:28] I was like, wow. Mm-hmm . So now that is where my activism sits. Yeah. So through this period, again, what I’m seeing is people are tired of reading books. They’re ready to start talking. And so I give ’em a layer of convergence, and now I’m building a second layer. I’m calling it reconvergence. [01:25:00] So it’s talking about cultural humility is talking about white acceptance.

[01:25:09] You gonna go through a morning period, but you really have to understand that that privilege you have is unearned mm-hmm , but it’s reflective in every step you take every move you make, every dollar you’re spent, every dollar you spend and just about every interaction you have. Yep. And then the third piece of that is really helping people elevate from allyship.

[01:25:36] And I call allyship standing side by side, elevating from that to co-conspirator ship. Mm-hmm where you link arms. You are joined, you are forming a wall, whether it’s a wall of information, whether it’s a wall of active AC advocacy, whether it’s a [01:26:00] wall of accountability, you are linked and joined with your other co-conspirators to make change.

[01:26:08] Yeah.

[01:26:09] Heather Caplan: One of my, the things I think I’ve learned the most about when I think about allyship is the way that Dr. Yaba bla talks about allyship and co-conspirator, and like the emotiveness of the co-conspirator word, what that evokes in you like, right. I will put myself into a situation where I, you know, I think the way she’s described it is like, I will get arrested.

[01:26:35] I will get in trouble. I will like go that distance. Instead of, like you said, kind of standing next to like, I’m

[01:26:41] Shelby Gordon: here. I see allyship as internal. Mm. You doing the internal work? Mm-hmm , you know, I’m understanding my privilege. I’m understanding how. My physicality and the straightness of [01:27:00] my hair and, and the symmetry of my body has played into oppression.

[01:27:10] for others, right? Mm-hmm mm-hmm, coconspirator leadership is action. Yeah. You know, and, and like I say, I aspire to be a physical protestor. I aspire to do that in the interim. You know, my co-conspirator ship is sharing with others to give you an example. I got an email this week from a, a high school student in Boston, and she said, miss Shelby, I’m really trying to understand the role that racism plays in eating disorder, diagnosis, and treatment.

[01:27:56] Can you help me? So, you know, me, I got a Google [01:28:00] drive with 75,000 articles. So I pulled the best ones, told her to read Dr. Strings and Deshaun told her to listen to this podcast, that podcast, this podcast, that podcast follow these people on, on social that is allyship. Mm. And then I said to her, and then if you got any more questions or if you still are finding a gap, we’re gonna talk then.

[01:28:28] Mm. That was coconspirator ship. Yeah. And the way I see it, you can’t get to coconspirator ship until you do the allyship piece, because that is internal. You’ve gotta do some reconciliation with what’s going on with you. And then you can get to the coconspirator ship.

[01:28:49] Heather Caplan: Yeah case. And would you say in that allyship space, you know, you said earlier people are reading books, but they wanna have the conversations, right.[01:29:00]

[01:29:00] Like conversing in your in group. Yep. And then the co-conspirator is like, you’ve done, you’ve learned enough or not enough, but you’ve learned you’ve done some work. Take it the next step.

[01:29:12] Shelby Gordon: I think the, the allyship in group work is having discussions because somebody’s gonna ask a question that you had.

[01:29:25] So in this group work, we have the opportunity to do the forensics mm-hmm and, and talk about gray areas. There’s so much discussion with me and eating disorder treatment around. Language, and I don’t wanna say the wrong thing. Mm-hmm or me white blonde girl gonna start talking black girl. And I don’t wanna do that.

[01:29:56] Mm-hmm how, what questions should I ask my [01:30:00] clients? Right. So me as the ally, I’m like, have you read this book, treating black women for eating disorders, just a whole list of questions in here that I think would really be helpful for you. right. It’s it’s about resource sharing. Mm-hmm allyship is about resource sharing to ensure that your internal work is done.

[01:30:24] Then the co-conspirator ship then I see is that when you are actually having discussions with non-white clients and you’re having these experiences and you’re having these breakthroughs and these breakdowns, you are joined with a group of like-minded people mm-hmm , and you can form a stronger network of co-conspirators people who wanna have done the allyship work.

[01:30:58] And they’re talking about, [01:31:00] I had this client come in she’s she is having these unreal bouts of pain and going to the emergency room and they are not treating her pain. How do I communicate to her? That it may be the color of her skin that is causing her to leave the ER, in as much pain as she walked in.

[01:31:24] And then you’ve got this network saying, I’ve got this resource, I’ve got this resource me. It’s about language. I say, you might say to her and I give them the statement. Yeah. You know why? Because I sit at the traffic light and in between singing, imagine with John Lennon, I’m practicing my scripts. Yeah.

[01:31:50] When I commuted 50 mile, 50 miles a day and I was in rush hour traffic for two hours a day, I would practice my scripts. [01:32:00] So I could get the word. That’s why I troll trolls. So I can you, but I don’t know how you do that. I’m like, well, for me, I, for me, it’s not emotional for me. It’s educational. Okay. I, I’m not, I’m not emotionally involved with you, Mr.

[01:32:17] Troll person. I’m just trying to have you really say what you should be saying is that I’m white, I’m racist. I’m a phobic person who lost weight. And now think I have the solution for everybody on the face of the globe losing weight. I just want for you to say that. Yeah, just be honest. Right. And until then, I’m gonna hammer you.

[01:32:42] Because it helps me get my language better. Mm-hmm it helps me refine my messaging. Oh, you didn’t understand that word? I, you, you will see me say thank you for asking for clarification. What I really meant to say [01:33:00] was boom.

[01:33:04] So I, I am not emotionally involved. Yeah. I I’m sharing information. It’s like gossip, right? Not really gossiping. You’re just sharing information. Yeah. And it’s,

[01:33:17] Heather Caplan: you’re not emotionally

[01:33:18] Shelby Gordon: involved. I’m not, I’m not, I don’t have any emotional investments. Yeah. I save those emotional investments. When my peer group like Mikey, like Lin are breaking down the other night, I was talking to her.

[01:33:35] I was like, look. Nobody should ever, ever, ever go through what you went through. Mm-hmm ever again, and we are gonna set up mechanisms so that this doesn’t happen to anyone again, right. That that’s where I get emotional mm-hmm but the little troll, I’m just trying to work out some language issues, [01:34:00] working on that message and working on the messaging gives me great pleasure.

[01:34:05] Oh my

[01:34:06] Heather Caplan: goodness. Oh, Shelby. I’m so grateful to you for having this conversation with me.

[01:34:11] Shelby Gordon: I hope it helped. I hope again, that folks know they don’t have to have all the solutions. They don’t have to be perfect and that if they really want to do their best work, really invest the time to see where their skills, talents, resources, and treasures.

[01:34:32] Best fit and the act and the activism world mm-hmm . And if you are, if you are a Prius, it’s okay to be a Prius. The highway needs Prius’s yes. If you are an 18 Wheeler, the highway needs 18 wheelers. Mm-hmm . If your kids is strapped up in the minivan, the highway needs the minivans. [01:35:00] Yeah. There’s a place for everybody here.

[01:35:04] And if you find where you are, like I say right now, I think, you know, I’m a Kia right now, but I wanna be a land Rover. You know, I wanna make the sign and go protest. yeah, for me it was it’s aspirational. Yeah. I’m comfortable where I are, where I am, but I know where I wanna go. Yeah.

[01:35:25] Heather Caplan: Yeah. That gives, I think all of us, a lot to think about is where we are right now.

[01:35:30] Where do we wanna go? What is our style of activism?

[01:35:34] Shelby Gordon: And there’s no rush. Yeah. Like I say, we’re in a super Uber hyper culture where we can protest everything. Yeah. So find where you are comfortable, find where you also feel most appreciated and and go and go [01:36:00] from there and know that there are, you don’t have to be dropped off in the fast lane.

[01:36:08] You can unwrap in the slow lane, you can check your mirrors. And when it’s appropriate to make a lane change, you can make a lane change. Mm-hmm . If your cup gets empty, check your mirrors, you can get off at the rest. Stop, fill up again and get on your way. There is plenty of activism work for everybody.

[01:36:35] There, there are plenty of activism spaces for everybody and some folks. And I’ll just give another shout out to Reagan. Reagan says my name, name in places that I never would have my name said. And that’s because she knows that while we both teach, teach [01:37:00] boundaries, we come at it from two different perspectives.

[01:37:04] We teach it in two different ways. Mm-hmm and she is okay with. Us working in tandem. We’re actually collaborating on a, on a project right now, but she under, she understands that there’s room for everybody. And I understand my role. I will never position myself as a nutritionist and eating disorder treatment person or, or our dietician.

[01:37:34] That’s not my lane, but if you wanna, but I know enough about those sectors because people are calling me and, and telling me Shelby, we need some help. Mm-hmm Shelby just based, you know, we’ve decided that now is the time now is the time. So [01:38:00] there’s room for us all. There is space for us all. And I think as we rebuilt the, the movement.

[01:38:10] It’s gonna be collaborative. It’s gonna be a really broad spectrum. We are gonna have processes for accountability. And if I don’t fit, you know, people, people call me and I said, I’m not the one call Whitney Trotter. Mm. Folks, call Whitney. And they say, this is what I need. Yeah. And she she’ll say call Shelby and then she’ll call me and say so, and so’s calling you, this is the help they need.

[01:38:43] Yeah. I think we’re gonna see a lot more of that.

[01:38:46] Lindley Ashline: Yeah.

[01:38:47] Heather Caplan: Can you share a few places that folks can reach you get with you if they, if they want more? Oh

[01:38:55] Shelby Gordon: yes. I have embraced Instagram. [01:39:00] It is a wonderful place to talk about. Anti-racism about equity justice. and about cauliflower. It is a great place to talk about those things.

[01:39:14] We do all of those things in one place. and I absolutely love it. Right. But I’m a Twitter girl at heart. I like the real timeness of it. Mm-hmm and I love having literal conversations with people over his Twitter. Yeah. So on Instagram, I am fit dot flexible dot the hashtag. That is mine is diet. Culture is racist.

[01:39:46] So if you can’t remember my handle, if you do hashtag diet, culture is racist, then you will see, you will see me there on Twitter. I am fit flex fluid. [01:40:00] And Twitter for me is a little snarky it’s is it’s fast moving. Yeah. And I love it. I love it in particular with issues like this whole lb scenario that, and the Oscar slap this year.

[01:40:21] And Steve Schmitt’s epic takedown of Megan McCain this week is Twitter gold it’s. But now it is so good that I’m saving them. I’m gonna use some of his statements on some trolls. I mean, cuz it is fricking brilliant. It’s brilliant. But if you wanna have really dynamic conversations with people about stuff happening in the moment for the moment, Twitter’s really to hang out, to give you an example, the night of the, of the Oscar slap, like, cuz I don’t watch the Oscars, but I watch it on Twitter.

[01:40:59] [01:41:00] Yeah. And when start, start stuff started happening. I was like, okay. And then, because you know, we are, we are who we are. Then I started getting links for clubhouse rooms. And I was literally up until 1:00 AM, California time and clubhouse rooms talking about the Oscars lab. I mean, in, in real time, like real time was happening.

[01:41:26] Yeah. Okay. And, and I think that was the advantage that we had with all of these instances with Lindo bacon is that we had a place to go where we could talk about it in real time. And, you know, hearing from folk, you know, like Hayes Australia, they’re a hot mess too. Then we have this whole mess with the UK eating disorder treatment folks over the weekend.

[01:41:53] I’m like, oh yeah. So Instagram and Twitter is really that those are my [01:42:00] two, my two sweet spots and people DM me with everything. And I have a lot of resources that I just put in a Google drive. It’s not organized. There’s no rhyme or reason. I’m just like, go there. It’s there. So if you’re looking for op, I think I’ll reengage it this weekend.

[01:42:18] If you’re looking for something particular. Great. I do do work with, I do do work with groups, so I will come and zoom into your organization and talk about whatever you need for me to talk about. I am now doing some individual coaching, because like I say, people are tired of reading. Yeah. And they wanna come in and have conversations and we talk about aha moments.

[01:42:46] And so the other day I was talking to a client, I gave her assignment. I’m like, there’s how you go to the grocery store. Look in, look in the basket of a thin white woman in the grocery store line. I know [01:43:00] she thought I was crazy. Right. Two days later I get a 500 word email from her talking about her revelations from standing in the grocery store checkout line and watching white women.

[01:43:18] My gosh. And it was about all the pinch, but it was about privilege. It was about the, the publications at the. The stand, it was about housing. It was about food desert. I’m like she hit all the points. She got the assignment. She, she understood the assignments. Yes. So I’m doing that more can reach out to me.

[01:43:43] And, and now I’m getting, I’m getting asked to do more board work. Mm. So for organizations, equity audits, and then, so I’m doing a pretty broad one equity audit, and I’m [01:44:00] looking at all their documents and I’m looking at all their messaging and then I’m a house of recommendations. Love it. So that’s where I am now.

[01:44:11] But in the meantime, if jokes about keto and cauliflower do not offend you, you could certainly find me on Instagram. ,

[01:44:20] Heather Caplan: it’s so true that Twitter is much more of like a conversation space. I hadn’t really thought about that. Like I do enjoy Twitter. I know some people don’t, but it really is like, It lends itself a lot more to a dialogue when things are happening.

[01:44:33] Yes. In real time. Yeah.

[01:44:35] Shelby Gordon: But, but Instagram for me has been very, very successful. And it’s a quandary for me because personal from a personal level, Instagram has done really, really well for me and for my museum, I cannot get it to move. So, so folks are like, but Shelby you’re, I’m like, yeah, but I’m talking about cauliflower.

[01:44:59] [01:45:00] So, you know,

[01:45:02] Heather Caplan: you gotta know what’s where you, where you’re,

[01:45:04] Shelby Gordon: you gotta know where you gotta know where you fit. Are you a Prius or are you a minivan? You gotta understand your role, but, um, happy to chat with anyone. And certainly my main role in both of those spaces are really to hold up. The folks that are really doing the hard work, right?

[01:45:27] Mm-hmm Veronica and Mikey, you know, and Monica, they are doing the hard work. I am merely the cheerleader. I am ensuring that they take care of themselves and that they have resources to take care of themselves and that I can cheer them on mm-hmm and that’s in, in both spaces, but there are so many resources available for people who are wanting to know more and wanting to know better and wanting to do better.

[01:45:59] There are [01:46:00] tremendous amount of resources out there. And I always say, I’m not a flame thrower. If you want a flame thrower, I can send you to a couple. And if you want, if you want somebody who’s gonna spoon feed it to you. That’s great. My role there as a provoker, I’m really gonna provoke you to think about it in a different way.

[01:46:20] Mm-hmm and ask some questions and want to seek more information. Yeah.

[01:46:27] Heather Caplan: Well, thank you so much for being here and you know, if you’re listening and you’re with us in the wind group. Shelby joining us for

[01:46:37] Shelby Gordon: training next, coming in when, when guns AED.

[01:46:43] Heather Caplan: Can’t wait, I’ll share more about that before we sign off today. But thanks again, Shelby. This was so

[01:46:48] Shelby Gordon: great. It’s my pleasure. Anytime you take care, be safe now.

[01:46:51] Heather Caplan: Thank you.

[01:46:56] That, and that’s all for today. Folks, a quick reminder that the wind summer series is [01:47:00] happening soon. Our first community hangout is the first Tuesday of June. We have Carly go lightly in a group supervision session the second Tuesday of June, and we have Shelby Gordon leading us in an anti-oppression training on the.

[01:47:11] Third Tuesday of June, you can find all this information, how to join us CEUs and how to register at weight inclusive, nutrition.teachable.com. You can reach out to weight, inclusive [email protected] If you have any questions. And I wanna say, thanks, of course, to Linley and Shelby for their time, their energy.

[01:47:30] And of course the work that they’re doing. Thank you for listening. If you wanna support this work, share this episode on Instagram and tag at RD real talk tag, Linley and tag Shelby. All of this information is in the show notes or share it with a friend or both and leave a review of the podcast. If you haven’t done that yet, I know this is the final season, but we are still open to some respectful feedback.

[01:47:52] And we’d love to hear from you reach out to say hi and hello. Anytime RD real talk, gmail.com. I’m so glad you’re [01:48:00] here and I hope I’ll catch you next time.

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.