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After all that body image and media talk yesterday, do you feel heavier? I know I do.

So let’s drop some weight!

Here we go: my 2-step, foolproof, quick and easy detox cleanse that totally works:

Step 1: Media Detox

Think about your input channels: the sources that show you the images and messages that you consume. Who are most of the people you see?

Even the “normal” people on TV have perfect hair and makeup and a flawless manicure, and are wearing clothes I can’t afford. When I see people who look like me, they are usually the punch line of a joke, throwing themselves at a man who isn’t interested, stuffing their face, sloppy, pathetic.

And if I’m watching TV or scrolling through social media I see an ad every few minutes telling me what to nitpick about my appearance and how to fix myself.

It’s time to go on a media detox! When you take an inventory of your “channels”, use the questions we learned in the media literacy video to analyze messages.

When you look at an image or message, check in: do you feel better or worse about yourself?

If the answer is worse, unsubscribe, unfollow, unfriend, mute, or do what you need to do to get that out from in front of your face.

Many times we can’t control the things we see, hear, or read as we move through the world. So take back some power where you can!

Curate your own input channels to be free of damaging images and harmful messages. Detox those media inputs.

Step 2: “Fat Talk” Detox

Stop participating in body bashing, fat talk, and public performance of diet culture.

I’ll explain what I mean.

If I approach any group of women in a corporate office or a store, and I can pretty much guarantee what most of them are talking about: bodies, weight, and diet. Who was “good” and who was “bad.” Who’s gained weight. Who went to the gym. Who’s eating clean and who is maybe too skinny and has an eating disorder.

This type of talk is used as bonding with many women. It pretends to align people towards a common goal but in reality it turns them into competitors and it’s a public display and performance of fatphobia.

Fat talk includes statements made that reinforce the ideal of thin superiority, whether that’s positive comments (you look so skinny have you lost weight?) or negative statements (look at her muffin top, nobody wants to see that).

Sometimes it comes from other people saying things about your body or weight (maybe you have food police at your family table). Sometimes it comes in the form of folks bashing their own bodies (OMG my thighs are gross, but yours look great). Either way, this type of talk is contagious.

In my opinion, it’s one of the most insidious parts of diet culture’s system of oppression, because it makes sure we police one another and ourselves.

Author, activist, and expert on fat discrimination Virgie Tovar says,

Women are disproportionately negatively affected by diet culture because diet culture maps onto sexism. Like many parts of diet culture, there is a significant performance component. You have to show others that you are being “good.” Controlling how much you eat is part of what it means to be a “good woman.” You get to establish your moral superiority and also enlist other women into falling in line. It’s pretty atrocious patriarchal stuff, but it is perceived as fairly innocuous when in fact it isn’t.

So I think it’s time we kick this piece of diet culture to the curb.

If you’re feeling weird about the fact that you participate in fat talk or body bashing in the distant or recent past, don’t beat yourself up too much. Realize that you live in a society that is dedicated to and benefits from our dehumanization.

Remember when people who hold the privilege stay keeping it, then none of us can get free.

But you don’t have to keep participating in their plans! Smash that system!

What are we really hungry for?

I believe that bonding over diet talk is a way that people try to meet a basic human need for community or connection.

Since patriarchy has fed us lies about what we are supposed to be concerned about (our appearance and weight, other people’s appearance and weight), we’ve gotten swept up in this type of talk.

What we really crave is the community of other humans who are likeminded and like-hearted. Diet talk is such a shell, false ghost of what real, true community feels like. When we lift one another up. When we feel seen, held, and heard.

Self-acceptance is so much harder than diet culture because it’s a radical path.

Being basic and going along with patriarchy’s plan for us is easy and comfortable, and you’ll get rewarded by society for it.

As far as I can tell, building radical community is the secret sauce to staying on this radical path.

As we come near the end of the week, I wanted to let you know that I’ve created a community container with the type of support most of us are craving. I’ll be telling you more about that in the next couple emails, but for now, take heart.

If you kick diet culture to the curb, you don’t have to walk this path alone.

What’s next? If today was about detoxing and removing negative inputs, tomorrow is about replacing those negative stimuli with positive influences. We’ll also talk about some practical, everyday ways you can feel better about yourself and your body.

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