Combatting Fatphobia in the Counseling Room
Updated: Feb 5
Let's dispel some cultural myths today. Specifically, the myth of the perfect body. You know the one. The one that will finally bring about that happiness and wholeness we all long for, if we can only measure up... Of course, it's thin, able bodied, and white...
Okay. Now, throw it in the trashcan (if only).
We have been taught some junk- that differently sized bodies, particularly bigger bodies, not only represent a moral failing but a medical sickness. The truth is, fatphobia, the fear and / or hatred of fat bodies, is the insidious sickness in our culture; it's based in faulty science, it hurts people, and it's got to go.
Let's be clear- people of all genders are hurt by fatphobia and body policing alike- but, like so many things in a sexist / misogynistic culture, fatphobia disproportionately negatively impacts women and femmes. We internalize the toxic messages about our bodies and carry this burden with us into the bedroom, kitchen, boardroom, and more... Into the very core of our closest relationships with our selves, our families, our friends, and our relationship partners...
What a shame that fatphobia gets in the way of our health and happiness in our most intimate moments. Based in inaccurate information and oppressive ideals as it is. But, it doesn't have to be this way. Let's speak a better world into being, with our words and with our work... A world that cherishes ALL bodies.
Here's just a sampling of some fine reading on the subject:
We combat fatphobia in the counseling room together by identifying it, shining the calm light of our compassionate awareness on it, and finding kinder, more accurate ways of looking at ourselves and others. In doing so, we cultivate a new (or perhaps rediscover an original) inner attitude- one of self love and acceptance (ahhh, doesn't that feel good...?)- that you take with you out into the world... And, share with others.
Because we're all in this together, aiding in our collective healing.
I can imagine a radically different world... Can you?
Your Friendly Neighborhood Feminist Therapist,
PS This blog is not to imply that it's easy! But, rather to share an alternate view. I'm here if I can support you in walking this path... The path of learning what in the actual hell self love looks like for you in the context of a fatphobic society... ;) Let's (un)learn together.