David Sirota recently wrote this article in Salon.com about, among other things, how the inclusion of fat men in ad campaigns for weight watchers is a welcome change in the sexist demand that women must be thin but men can be fat.
The response I posted to Mr. Sirota :
I agree with Sirota’s condemnation on the double standard re: men can be fat and women can’t. But, despite Mr. Sirota’s good intentions at leveling the playing field, he is still playing into the hands of the mainstream media that perpetuates a culture that creates and sustains eating disorders. When the camera lens shifts from how fat or thin we are, to whom we are and how healthy we are, only then will this issue be resolved. For anyone that doubts that fat people can be healthy and thin people can be unhealthy, please read Dr. Linda Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size. Yes I know her last name is ironic considering the topic! Also check out the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH). The focus needs to be shifted to size/self acceptance and not ridicule, shame, and who is privileged and who isn’t.
Warmly, Dr. Deah Schwartz