There’s a really rich and wide-ranging conversation about bodies, food, culture, power, gender, and anti-fat bias over at Ten Percent Happier thanks to Virginia Sole-Smith and her new book, Fat Talk: Parenting In The Age Of Diet Culture.
Don’t miss it if you have a body or feed a body or even more importantly, want the small humans in your life to grow up with a good relationship to food and their bodies.
There are so many smart moments to shout out, but highlights for me included:
The wonderful work of Evelyn Tribole on intuitive eating
A sociological and historical look at how body size (and race and gender) correlates to power
Why you shouldn’t force your kid to eat five more bites of cucumber (aka teaching consent and a sense of internalized bodily trust!)
Why finding a way to move your body that gives you joy (and that you don’t dread) is way more sustainable than forcing yourself to do a workout you hate
Why the word “fat” shouldn’t be a slur — and how it can/should be reclaimed in the same way “queer” has been
I’ve been following and appreciating Sole-Smith’s work for years. Her 2018 book, The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image, and Guilt In America was a smart, thoughtful read (although I admittedly didn’t agree with her on everything), and it’s definitely worth adding to your list.
While you’re at it, check out Aubrey Gordon’s 2020 book, too: What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat. I love listening to Aubrey’s podcast Maintenance Phase and super appreciate her voice on social justice as related to anti-fatness, bodies of all sizes, health, power, and calling bullshit on much of “wellness culture.”
January can be such a shitty time for cultivating body acceptance and/or body neutrality, as there’s so much cultural noise out there telling people to control, regulate, Botox, manipulate, and shrink their bodies in service of the new year.
So it’s a great chance to counter the narrative. Just borrowed both of these from the library on my Libby app.