As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of learning how I might have ADHD. No one has ever suggested I might have it until this year. A friend suggested it. Another friend mentioned it in an unrelated conversation. Then, when I mentioned it to my therapist, she made the familiar, “You knowwww . . .” comment that told me she’d been thinking about it.
This article, however, details one of a few reasons why it probably went unsuggested to me.
In addition to being a woman (ADHD is underdiagnosed for us as well), I’m a person of color. I’m also fat. Put all three of those together, and I’m only now starting to learn of my true medical concerns, and only because I’m asking about them and pushing my medical providers more than I ever have. Spoiler alert: Some doctors don’t like that.
Have you experienced this in your life? What went undiagnosed or unaddressed for you by the medical industry? What was falsely diagnosed for you? What do you have suspicions about? Do you feel treated differently by the medical industry because of some label you have? Talk to me in the comments!
I appreciate the apparent intentions behind this piece; however, it’s rife with examples as to why it’s so hard to burn diet culture (re: anti-fatness and patriarchy) to the underground. CW: Obesity, eating disorders
First, it’s not that women hate their bodies, as if it’s something we opt to do. It’s that people are influenced to hate their bodies. Always remember the motivation behind unrealistic body portrayals in the media is to sell products. It’s always about capitalism, power, and control. The article acknowledges the role the media plays, but it fails to shift the language away from diet culture nonsense.
Second, it cites examples of improvement in the media away from putting emaciated bodies first, and two of those examples use the BMI as an accurate indicator of health. If you don’t remember, the body mass index is deeply flawed and entrenched in racist, sexist views. It does nothing but measure the ratio of height and weight, which is a two-dimensional equation for three-dimensional bodies with fourth-dimensional (sure, I’m going with it) social and genetic factors.
Third, it makes little effort to recognize that fat is normal.
What I appreciate is its analysis of the media’s role. However, the company behind this website describes itself as “the largest health information property in the U.S.” a.k.a. the media. Y’all. I’M the media too. Websites, blogs, books, magazines, television, radio, music . . . it’s all media. We’re all trying to influence your knowledge. We should be asking what role they play as well. You should be questioning what I’m trying to do! You don’t think I hope to make a buck? (And yes, I have a ton of capitalist guilt, but that’s a post for another day.)
Yet again, we live in a society that puts continued attention on symptoms and never enough on the causes. This article would do a helluva lot more if it asked, “Who made women hate their bodies?”
I deeply enjoy Dr. Alexis Conason’s work. So, of course, I had to share this piece.
With the conversation in my IG post today, I needed to highlight this excerpt from Conason’s piece:
Our preference for the term “diet culture” over “the patriarchy” mirrors what has happened in the “body positive” movement, which quickly left behind its roots of radical fat activism to morph into a movement centering privileged bodies that allowed people to feel empowered without requiring any real change. Body positivity is cool while fat acceptance is not.Dr. Alexis Conason, “Why Do We Say “Diet Culture” Instead of “the Patriarchy?”
Why do I go hard on hating diet culture? It’s because it disempowers women and non-binary folks, and it continues to insult, ignore, and harm fat folks.