A group photo of the crew at One Connection Healthcare, a Health at Every Size®-aligned primary care office in Ballard, WA. Learn more about my small business photo sessions »
Last week, I had the joy of attending this year’s Weight Stigma Conference. I tuned in remotely – the conference itself was in Denver this year, but for the first time the conference ran on a hybrid model, which I appreciated both from a cost and COVID safety standpoint.
I spent a while listening to sessions and trying to pin down my emotions, and finally identified the primary one as…relief.
It was a relief to be in a space centered on bodies like mine. It was a relief to have the oppression of and discrimination against bodies the size of mine be the primary concerns of a group for a couple of days.
Not reluctantly mentioned, not considered only as a subset of another oppression, not given equal time with the concerns of others who would use us for their own ends, but front and center.
I’m still tearing up a little now and then from that feeling of relief.
Now, to this week’s letter:
Over six months ago, we last looked at ways to make your business more body positive. (Here’s the previous installation.) We’ll start wrapping that series up this week and next.
For this week, here’s what you can do:
Examine your marketing materials.
Are all the bodies on your website thin and white? What about your brochures and your social media channels?
As Emily Nagoski says, “The images we see—or don’t see—matter. They tell us what’s possible.”
Your business might be small, but it’s part of our larger culture, and what you share and post affects both your existing customers and the wider world.
If you’re only displaying one type of body, you’re telling potential customers that that is the one body you find valid and worthy.
What would happen if you told the world that you see and honor many different types of bodies by putting images of those bodies in your marketing?
Quick Fix: Add one image of a person who’s fat, a person of color or uses mobility devices to your website this month.
Put your public presence where your mouth is.
If your business is body positive, say so! In public, as loudly as possible.
Put it on a sign on the front door of your brick-and-mortar location. Put it on the front page of your website. Tell your family and friends. Talk about it on social media.
Where possible, clarify what that means. Does it mean you serve all bodies with respect and dignity? Does it mean that you carry all possible clothing sizes? Does it mean you refrain, and ask others to refrain, from body-negative talk like weight loss discussions?
Quick Fix: Add a paragraph to the “About” page of your website this week that talks about your commitment to body positivity and acceptance.
P.S. Share this week’s letter or save to read later here. It’s only possible to offer the Body Liberation Guide and all its labor for free because people like you support it. $1 USD per month helps out, and $5 and up gets you access to the full Conversation, full event listings, my body liberation library and more.
Thank you to new Patreon supporters Samantha Thoms, Shelly, Lauren Chase, Robin Laycock, Jeannette Craigfeld, Lisa Sharpe and Jana Cerny!
Here’s what’s being discussed this week in the world of body acceptance and fat liberation:
Coming up: In This Body Virtual Conference (more)
Call me land whale and marvel at my glory (see)
Now available: The Contemporary Reader of Gender and Fat Studies (more)
Here’s just a glimpse of how history and the media has influenced our perception of the word “fat” and fat people. (watch)
Steps for Practitioners to Advocate for Higher-Weight Patients/Clients (read)
Let’s talk about NEDA’s new CEO (read)
Unicorn chaser: “Force of nature”
- » Fat Yoga @ Pine Studio Jul 5 (every Wednesday)
- » Fat Lake Day Jul 9
- » Hikes & Ice Cream Jul 9
- » The FAT Conference (UK) Jul 10
- » 4 Week Mindfulness & The Body Workshop Jul 11
- » Big Splash! Jul 15
- » In This Body Virtual Conference Jul 17-21
- » Capitol Hill Block Party Jul 21-24
- » Hikes & Ice Cream Jul 22
- » Using Activism as a Self-Care Practice Jul 28
- » Fat Pool Party Jul 30
Quick Resources: For Chronic Illness
- » Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition
- » Navigating Body Image With Chronic Illness
- » When Healthy Isn’t An Option: How I Learned To Love My Chronically Ill Body
- » What Does It Mean To Live With A Body That Can’t Be Fixed?
- » Women with disabilities and chronic illness talk self-love and embracing their bodies