Fat Shaming The Facts
Well it would appear that my article yesterday has upset a very small, yet vocal community in the hypnotherapy world which clings to the notion that the best way to deal with weight control is by shaming people of size until the change. Or to put it in English, bully them. Today, I thought I would write about the dangers of Fat Shaming, especially by those who hold no nutritional qualifications.
The first point, is stated above. Fat Shaming is bullying. I am sure that there are those who believe that a little shame can make a person change. I am sure that there are many in the LGBT community who would attest to the fact that bullying does not change who you are, but rather it makes you feel worse about yourself. Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking that being LGBT and being fat are two different things. They are, obviously, being LGBT is not a choice it is who a person is and fat people are fat due to a variety of factors many of which can be changed. However, the tactics of bullying have been used on both groups with no positive results. People who are psychologically vulnerable can take this bullying to a very bad place which can lead to death. Indeed, younger people who suffer with weight issues are far more likely to suffer with conditions like depression, thanks to bullying.
There is a trend to think that being healthy at any size encourages people to be fat. There is simply no evidence to back this up. Being fat or thin should be about more than aesthetics it’s about health. People who tend to engage in dangerous or unproven dietary programmes often do so from a position of shame. They are trying to fit in rather than trying to be fit. Fitness is not a fixed point, there are large people who are quite fit and thin folk who aren’t. Fat Shamers tend not to consider these factors.
Third, as my article yesterday stated, Fat Shaming can cause eating disorders. I would think that this is an obvious point, but it appears that those who are hell bent on Fat Shaming seem not to care about this possibility. Whatever happened to empathy and unconditional positive regard.
Finally, and most obviously, FAT SHAMING DOES NOT WORK. The research evidence bares this out. UCL has recently published research into this area. For those of you who are interested in REAL facts rather than rants and opinions can click HERE. Weight, as I have been saying for the better part of my 28 1/2 career in hypnotherapy is about more than food. Indeed, socioeconomic concerns, a sedentary lifestyle and various psychological and emotional issues lead to weight gain and retention. How on earth does making people feel worse about themselves take any of this into consideration.
Now, I am sure that this will not please those who make their living by spouting off about fat doctors and nurses being shameful and that there should be Slimming Acceptance rather than Fat Acceptance. I propose a radical idea, how about we all accept that people are doing the best they can to be happy healthy and well. Therapy can be a tool to assist people to actualise, I am ashamed that there are those who use therapy as an opportunity to bully people into conforming with the worldview of the therapist in question.