Race, Weight and Oppression: Lindley on the Mindful Miri Podcast

An equalizer graphic, a thumbnail photo of Lindley and an audio excerpt from the podcast.

It was a pleasure to appear on the Mindful Miri podcast! In this episode, we discuss issues of race, weight, and systems of oppression.

Other themes:

Β» Embracing our true selves

Β» #bodypositivity for larger bodies

Β» How systems are not built for all sizes

Β» weightstigma as an offshoot of #racism

Transcript Excerpt

“It’s so important to recognize that there are reasons behind that. And this is where, this is where it can, you can start feeling like, like a conspiracy theorist, like racism is keeping me from kayaking.

And I wanna be clear, I wanna be clear that I am very white . Exactly. I’m extremely white. And I, I experience fat phobia. I experience weight stigma. I do not experience racism. And people who experience both have a lot harder time than I do. So I wanna be really clear about that. and the reason I’m bringing up racism here, is because fat phobia.

Weight stigma is an offshoot of racism. And, and that is a whole, that’s a whole lecture in itself, , mm-hmm. . Um, but there, there’s quite a bit about that on my website if you wanna go look. and if you are up for a bit of an academic read, the sort of definitive read on this is a book called Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina.

and so, so yeah, I do talk a bit, you know, a lot about the systems of power. but these systems of power aren’t just these big, sort of overarching vague things. They’re also interpersonal. Mm-hmm. . Um, we gain or we feel like we gain, power in our personal lives by. Our power over other people, whether that is something that we perceive or something that we feel, or something that we are acting on.

for example, uh, I’m gonna pick on the healthcare profession right now because, because with fat bodies, our access to healthcare and h whether we are perceived as being healthy, et cetera, et cetera, that’s a whole, that’s a whole other lecture, but, If a doctor, if I walk in, to pick a story for my own life, I walked into a doctor, a doctor’s office on my college campus, and I had, I had the flu

I just, and I was miserably ill, and I had lost my voice entirely. And that doctor, while being a very nice person, like he was nice about it, nice is not the same as kind or good . but he was nice. And I’m sitting there on his exam table and he’s lecturing me about my weight. and I have literally lost my voice.

And so he’s making all these, I’ve never met this man before in my life, He’s making all these assumptions about what I eat and how much I exercise. I lived in the mountains. This, this college campus is , it’s hill. It’s very hilly. I was doing a lot of walking, let me tell you. but he’s making all these assumptions about my, my diet and my exercise level, and I literally cannot respond because I have lost my voice.

And also, I was there because I had the flu . And so in that moment, he had, of course, as a healthcare provider, he already had the social power over a patient, but beyond that, mm-hmm. , he was choosing, he was making choices to exercise that power, and at a certain level, not being in his head, but at a certain level, that probably felt pretty good.

and so there are all these different levels of power.”

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.