Monday, June 27, 2016

"Tell Me I'm Fat", A Spectacular Episode of This American Life

I'm going to start with the bottom line - you need to listen to this episode of This American Life.

It's a podcast in 5 acts.

Act 1 is Lindy West's inspirational tale. She covers the freedom and power she gained from "coming out" as fat and eschewing society's desire for her to be on a never ending quest for thin.

Act 2 is Elna Baker's explanation for why she believes that her life could not be the same were she to regain the tremendous amount of weight that she's lost and why she still tortures herself to keep it off.

Act 3 is Roxane Gay's discussion of why she's not able to get to that Lindy West level of self-acceptance and her thoughts on the difference between "super morbidly obese", and "Lane Bryant fat".

Act 4 is Daniel Engber's recounting of the Christian evangelical take on weight loss

Act 5 is Lindy West again, telling us about how her husband proposed and its significance in terms of her weight and self.

If you can't listen to it today, please bookmark this and come back to it.

While I'm not going to go into a lengthy post on the details of the podcast, it did leave me with one question. What's a less common unicorn? The person who successfully loses a pile of weight and keeps it off (and for a prior blog post on the idiotic weight loss goalposts society has set and why we need to change them click here), or the person who manages like Lindy West, to fully slough off the shackles of societal expectations leaving themselves truly free from the weight biased shame and guilt the world constantly foists on them?

(And though I have yet to read it, Lindy West's new book Shrill is definitely going on my summer reading list.)

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