3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Support Groups > Alternachicks

Diets and the F word... (feminism)

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-14-2008, 10:32 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6

S/C/G: 193/160/135

Height: 5'10

Default Diets and the F word... (feminism)

Hi everyone. I'm new here but I'm pretty sure this is where I belong. Anyway I've been struggling on how to ask this question for a long time. Hopefully this doesn't get too long.

I have a lot of wonderful, strong, inspiring female friends - feminists with a capitol F. And I love them but some of them have been less than supportive about my loosing weight. They are not big girls and this isn't related to jealously, but I think they look down on me for caving in to dominate ideals of beauty.

For example, I had some car trouble and had to stay over at a friends house for the night. At around 10pm she brought out some snacks. Nothing too unhealthy but I had already eaten all I planned to for the day and didn't want any. However, when I refused she got annoyed and asked if I was turning into one of those weight-obsessed girls in her office that won't eat after 6pm, I had to lie and say it would keep me from getting to sleep. Its soo frustrating to have to hide my eating habits almost as if I had an eating disorder when really I've just started a healthy lifestyle.

The thing is I *do* agree with a lot of what they say. It annoys me too that there are 50 sitcoms on American TV with a fat husband married to a thin and pretty wife because god-forbid a size-8 women be allowed on our television screens. Its not fair that fat men are perceived differently than fat women. Its not right that I had to lose almost 30 pounds to start to feel sexy again because all women- all people- should be allowed to feel sexy. But that is how it is for me right now and I'm tired of feeling guilty about it.

Do any of you ever get this reaction from your friends? Or feel like losing weight and thinking this much about your appearance is somehow anti-feminist? I don't think it is, but I feel strangely guilty a lot of the time. And I do feel so much more feminine now - its really strange.
meatymarty is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 10:44 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
guynna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 324

S/C/G: 283/see ticker/180?

Height: 5'9"

Default

hi Marty -- wow, this is a big (no pun) topic that I've never seen addressed here, but it's certainly "out there.'' I have not had that experience of friends reacting negatively, but I can imagine it. I too am a feminist and generally have friends who think similarly, but I think they assume that I'm thinking more about health than about my (culturally defined) hottitude.

As long as you are getting healthier in a healthy way, not binging/purging, not hating yourself, not teaching 5-year-olds to hate THEMselves -- hey, you shouldn't feel guilty at all. I think that when I reach goal (WHEN, not if) I will still have to expend some mental/physical energy on maintenance, but I will also HAVE a lot more energy then (I already do!), and some of that I will continue to spend on fighting sexism, racism, ageism, sizeism. Net win.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but I wanted to let you know that you are definitely not the only one who's thinking about this, and it doesn't make you anti-woman to want to feel (and look) better.

Keep the faith baby!
anita
__________________


guynna is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 11:12 AM   #3
change
 
ollie27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: this side of the Mississippi
Posts: 468

S/C/G: 169/ticker/healthy

Height: 5'3" ish?

Default

yeah. i'd say it's a purty big topic.

marty, i've dealt with this a lot. as someone who researches Women's Studies issues in school and also as a former chapter president of The National Organization for Women, I can tell you that this is not a problem that is going away anytime soon. And yes, this is a feminist issue. Self-image, the media's portrayal, society's demands, all of these are feminist's issues and are tied in with diet fads, eating disorders, the clothing industry. it's huge. but aiming for a healthy body is the key. is that your aim or are you aiming for a waif model figure and going to the extremes to do so? i could type all day on this.....agh!

what i can quickly say:

getting healthy is not anti-feminist. in fact, it's probably one of the most feminist things you can do. the healthier you are the more able to fight The Man

here's my quick definition of feminism:

advocating for political, social, and economical equality.

in striving for social equality we strive to change the expectations and societal pressures that are heaped upon women inclusive of body image. so yeah, again, this is a feminist issue---but in addition to that this is also a personal marty issue. being a feminist is about what it means to you. your friends do not have a monopoly on the word nor ideals.

and yes, totally unfair about the whole it's okay to be fat if you have testicles bit. and the only thing we can do about that is to educate ourselves, our young girls and boycott the media which choose to portray this crap. don't watch those shows. if you have time, write the station a letter. there are lots of campaigns against this--join one. NOW has a Love Your Body campaign that is good.

it's all about how you feel, self-perception, motivating factors, and sisterhood. speaking of which, i don't get this reaction from my friends. no one gives me grief because i don't want an effing snack.

make sense? i got kinda hyped up on the topic and wrote this quicky.
__________________
~Ollie


Last edited by ollie27 : 08-14-2008 at 11:12 AM.
ollie27 is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 11:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
rileyozzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California
Posts: 449

S/C/G: 181/150/135

Default

Being in control of yourself, making decisions based on what is right for you and having the freedom to do so is feminism in my book. I also don't see how eating healthy and exercising and loving yourself is not being a feminist. The standards that society holds for women's physical beauty are ridiculous and unrealistic. I would hope that all women come to the conclusion that the model photographs are not real. I have a four year old daughter and I hope to teach her that beauty can be found in so many different shapes and sizes, but I also hope to teach her to love herself and treat her body well. I will never look like the pictures, but I do know how good it feels to be in control of my actions.
I also think that a lot of times people make comments about your changes based on their own experiences that have nothing to do with you. I have a friend who makes negative comments about my using the treadmill and the food choices I make, but she is struggling with her own feelings and her comments really have nothing to do about me. Maybe there is something like that going on with your friends.
rileyozzy is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 11:44 AM   #5
KLK
Karen: La Cicciona
 
KLK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 745

S/C/G: Sz 24-26 / Sz 12-14 / Sz 6-8

Height: 5' 4"

Default

Im not an Alternachick, but I do consider myself a Feminist (capital F ) and I also KIND OF agree with what your friends and other people with the same ideals think -- women shoudln't have to feel that they need to lose weight to be acceptable (to society, themselves). Yet, even though I do intellectually agree that women shouldn't have to feel this way, I *DO*. But I don't think I am or ever have been objectively unacceptable as a woman, even at my highest weight, but I do think that it's hard -- very hard -- to be PHYSICALLY comfortable when you're morbidly obese.

It's harder to move, you have less energy, many people have health problems related to being so large, you have less stamina for physical activities, and many times, you're OBSESSED WITH FOOD, so it's also mentally taxing, even if you are 100% positive about how you look and feel that aesthetically, you have no reason to be thinner. Eating poor foods, being completely sedentary, etc. is not only a physical hardship (as your body was built to MOVE) but it's also mentally difficult (as your mind craves good foods and exercise).

I think your friends are projecting politics onto something that isn't necessarily political -- not every women who chooses to lose weight is doing so to please men, or society, or to conform to some unrealistic standard of beauty. And the ones that DO have every right to make themselves feel better, provided they lose the weight in a safe way and aren't endangering their lives to fit this ideal. You said your friends aren't fat, so basically, imo, they have no idea what being fat is really like; like most naturally thin people, they seem to be oversimplifying the obesity issue -- if a woman wants to lose weight, it HAS TO BE because she wants to conform, please men, etc etc etc. To me, that's as oversimplified as saying any woman who gets married is doing so because she feels she needs a man to be complete or that ALL women would be happier dedicating themselves to a career rather than having a family, etc.

Imo, the strongest kind of woman is one who can set a goal to improve herself physically and mentally and then reach that goal -- staying fat forever to please your feminist friends is the weakest thing you can do, imo, bc instead of doing what feels right TO YOU, you'd be letting others dictate what you can and cannot do (and wheres the liberation in THAT scenario??).
__________________
DECEMBER EXERCISE CHALLENGE: 267 / 1300 Mins.

Last edited by KLK : 08-14-2008 at 11:46 AM.
KLK is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 11:59 AM   #6
change
 
ollie27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: this side of the Mississippi
Posts: 468

S/C/G: 169/ticker/healthy

Height: 5'3" ish?

Default

also, don't feel guilty for thinking about your appearance. it's pretty much been forced upon you since you were born. and even if you meditate in your room, reach enlightenment on what total BS appearances are as soon as you step out on the street it's in your face. you basically would have to seclude yourself from all of society to get past this concept. education is key. just realize when you think about your appearance, it's a social construct. know it for what it is and don't feel guilty.

as for feeling more feminine. <----this word is also a socially constructed and defined word. who defines feminine? masculine? am i masculine because i am overweight? can i only be what is considered feminine if i am slim? what the f is "feminine" anyway?

and another thing. not sure if y'all have seen this video but i love showing it when we are on the topic of media and standards for women.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHqzlxGGJFo

cheers.
__________________
~Ollie

ollie27 is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6

S/C/G: 193/160/135

Height: 5'10

Default

Thank you so much for your responses. Sometimes you get pushed in so many different directions you forget where you are and where you're going. Of course, eating healthy, exercising and loving yourself aren't anti-feminist! I'm making my body stronger not weaker - and yes better able to fight the man

RileyOzzy, your daughter is incredibly lucky that she has such an awesome mom. Between anorexic 8 year olds and the childhood obesity epidemic I'm scared for this upcoming generation of girls getting traumatized about their weight at such a young age.

Actually part of my reason for loosing weight was related to that. I just graduated college this spring (after 4 years of pizza and beer) and I thought about how I wanted the rest of my life to be and what sort of things I want to be sharing with the world and (eventually) my children. Being achy, lazy, hot all the time and feeling unattractive was not what I imagined!

And out of respect to my friends- we went to a pressure-cooker of a college and all saw way too many smart, happy women fall into miserable eating disorders. So they are coming from a place of hate or self-righteousness so much as very misguided/misdirected protectiveness. you know?
meatymarty is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6

S/C/G: 193/160/135

Height: 5'10

Default

they aren't coming... sorry

And Ollie about your last comment which I missed while I was posting - yes, yes, yes. I didn't mean to imply that I actually *was* more feminine but that I've started unconsciously dressing and acting more "girly" lately and that people are treating me that way too (opening more doors, offering to help carry things, calling me honey/sweetheart (?!)). Its sort of a chicken/egg thing. Am I acting this way because they are treating me this way or are they treating me like that because of the way I'm dressed/behaving.

Thanks again for all your responses. This thread has been so interesting to read and very reassuring.
meatymarty is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:29 PM   #9
Just keep breathing!
 
GradPhase's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: East Texas
Posts: 1,071

S/C/G: 175/160/150

Height: 5'5

Default

I LOVE the dove campaigns. There's a lot of bad stuff said about them because the company who makes Dove also makes Axe and those ads are all about objectifying women - but even still. They show the other side of it all to men and little girls, and I think that's a beautiful one. This one in particular made me cry the first few times I saw it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ytjT...eature=related
__________________
"..I think you need to stop following misery's lead.
Shine away. Shine away. Shine away.
Isn't it time you got over how fragile you are?
We're all waiting on your supernova, 'cause that's who you are.
And you've only begun to shine.."
GradPhase is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 12:53 PM   #10
TAG! you're it!
 
ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,351

S/C/G: 260/227/150

Height: 5'3"

Default

Ollie, that was great. The one I like though...was this one...:
Slob evolution hehehe, sorry, couldn't resist.

BACK ON TOPIC...a personal perspective that may not be what other people feel exactly:

When I began my weight loss path I worked in a womens shelter and our director was and is a strongly opinionated feminist. I didn't even tell anybody I was "dieting" because I was so afraid of her reaction. And I had good reason to be afraid of her reaction, when I got pregnant with my son she called me the "vessel" with a snotty sarcastic tone for 5 months straight refusing to acknowledge that I still had an identity seperate from the fact that I was knocked up.
So, the first twenty lbs came off really fast and the residents at the shelter were all commenting on how great I looked and asking me how I was doing it. I got called into the directors office and she actually tried to discipline me for losing weight. I caught on pretty quickly that this was not a personnel issue, rather a personal issue of hers.
She made me feel like I was breaking some unwritten rule about personal body image and that because I no longer wanted to be morbidly obese that somehow made me less of a feminist and unworthy to work in a womens shelter. This was coming from a woman who herself was morbidly obese, and a staunch advocate for the rights of the obese. Nevermind the right of the obese to lose weight and become healthy, gawd forbid we want to do that huh?

The moral of the story. when you have a bat ****e crazy boss like that, or even friends like that, because at one time I did consider her a friend, you have to ask yourself, whats more important, what I want or need for myself for what they want or need for me? She needed me to remain a fat fem and I needed to get fit or live a miserable existence. And sometimes you have to walk away from these people until they come to their senses and sometimes that doesn't happen until they have their own personal experiences and walk the walk.
ghost is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 03:03 PM   #11
change
 
ollie27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: this side of the Mississippi
Posts: 468

S/C/G: 169/ticker/healthy

Height: 5'3" ish?

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
Ollie, that was great. The one I like though...was this one...:
Slob evolution hehehe, sorry, couldn't resist.

BACK ON TOPIC...a personal perspective that may not be what other people feel exactly:

When I began my weight loss path I worked in a womens shelter and our director was and is a strongly opinionated feminist.
that video was so wrong....

also, another note to what you wrote. i myself am i strongly opinionated feminist and i am not "bat****e crazy". we get such a bad rap though, so i think it's important to note that all feminists are not raving, fat, hairy, flannel wearing lesbians who yell at people for wanting to lose weight. just wanted to make that clear.

you know i was talking about this with the hubs the other day. about my goal. i don't really have a weight goal or size goal. i don't have a certain model image in mind. ****, i've been overweight all my life and don't even know how my body will carry "healthy" weight. so he asked what my goal was and i told him: i want to be able to put on some shoes and shorts and take off and run---for a lengthy amount of time and not collapse 5 minutes into it. that's it. that's what i am shooting for.

so yeah. moral of the story: it's all about perception and motivating factors. when i started this whole thing i put my stats into a BMI calculator and not only did it tell me i was overweight, but it reminded me that i am an at risk candidate for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. okay that's a motivating factor. this, however, is not:
__________________
~Ollie

ollie27 is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 03:24 PM   #12
TAG! you're it!
 
ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,351

S/C/G: 260/227/150

Height: 5'3"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollie27 View Post
that video was so wrong....

also, another note to what you wrote. i myself am i strongly opinionated feminist and i am not "bat****e crazy". we get such a bad rap though, so i think it's important to note that all feminists are not raving, fat, hairy, flannel wearing lesbians who yell at people for wanting to lose weight. just wanted to make that clear.

you know i was talking about this with the hubs the other day. about my goal. i don't really have a weight goal or size goal. i don't have a certain model image in mind. ****, i've been overweight all my life and don't even know how my body will carry "healthy" weight. so he asked what my goal was and i told him: i want to be able to put on some shoes and shorts and take off and run---for a lengthy amount of time and not collapse 5 minutes into it. that's it. that's what i am shooting for.

so yeah. moral of the story: it's all about perception and motivating factors. when i started this whole thing i put my stats into a BMI calculator and not only did it tell me i was overweight, but it reminded me that i am an at risk candidate for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. okay that's a motivating factor. this, however, is not:
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that we are all bat ****e crazy. But some of us are. as with any sector of society. If anything, the human race has proven over time that there is no normal.

I think that picture of the emaciated model has been proven to have been photoshopped. I've seen it and the original and she's not quite that skinny. But ya, NOT motivating, it actually makes me want to eat something for her.

Last edited by ghost : 08-14-2008 at 03:26 PM.
ghost is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 03:30 PM   #13
change
 
ollie27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: this side of the Mississippi
Posts: 468

S/C/G: 169/ticker/healthy

Height: 5'3" ish?

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
Sorry, I did not mean to imply that we are all bat ****e crazy. But some of us are. as with any sector of society. If anything, the human race has proven over time that there is no normal.

I think that picture of the emaciated model has been proven to have been photoshopped. I've seen it and the original and she's not quite that skinny. But ya, NOT motivating, it actually makes me want to eat something for her.
bat****e crazy - no need to apologize. i knew you weren't just making a point for anyone else reading that didn't. i mean, we do get a bad rap, yo.

waif pic - i dunno. i just typed in waif model and put the first thing up. my apologies to ms. not really that skinny model but still probably a little too thin anyway whose body size represents like 1% of society and who wears **** like that anyway whatshername
__________________
~Ollie

ollie27 is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 04:57 PM   #14
KLK
Karen: La Cicciona
 
KLK's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 745

S/C/G: Sz 24-26 / Sz 12-14 / Sz 6-8

Height: 5' 4"

Default

Her reaction to your pregnancy is particularly interesting, I think, for someone who manages a women's shelter full of women, and I presume, children too. Does she also have no respect for the mothers that seek shelter at the shelter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost View Post
Ollie, that was great. The one I like though...was this one...:
Slob evolution hehehe, sorry, couldn't resist.

BACK ON TOPIC...a personal perspective that may not be what other people feel exactly:

When I began my weight loss path I worked in a womens shelter and our director was and is a strongly opinionated feminist. I didn't even tell anybody I was "dieting" because I was so afraid of her reaction. And I had good reason to be afraid of her reaction, when I got pregnant with my son she called me the "vessel" with a snotty sarcastic tone for 5 months straight refusing to acknowledge that I still had an identity seperate from the fact that I was knocked up.
So, the first twenty lbs came off really fast and the residents at the shelter were all commenting on how great I looked and asking me how I was doing it. I got called into the directors office and she actually tried to discipline me for losing weight. I caught on pretty quickly that this was not a personnel issue, rather a personal issue of hers.
She made me feel like I was breaking some unwritten rule about personal body image and that because I no longer wanted to be morbidly obese that somehow made me less of a feminist and unworthy to work in a womens shelter. This was coming from a woman who herself was morbidly obese, and a staunch advocate for the rights of the obese. Nevermind the right of the obese to lose weight and become healthy, gawd forbid we want to do that huh?

The moral of the story. when you have a bat ****e crazy boss like that, or even friends like that, because at one time I did consider her a friend, you have to ask yourself, whats more important, what I want or need for myself for what they want or need for me? She needed me to remain a fat fem and I needed to get fit or live a miserable existence. And sometimes you have to walk away from these people until they come to their senses and sometimes that doesn't happen until they have their own personal experiences and walk the walk.
__________________
DECEMBER EXERCISE CHALLENGE: 267 / 1300 Mins.
KLK is offline  
Old 08-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #15
TAG! you're it!
 
ghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,351

S/C/G: 260/227/150

Height: 5'3"

Default

She never really had all that much respect for anybody. In fact, there were women who refused to come to shelter because they had been there before and had a bad experience with her. That says a lot when a woman would rather stay in an abusive and sometimes lethal situation then come to a place that is billed as being safe. Thats the main reason why I quit, myself and other co-workers tried to get those kinds of issues resolved with our board and they were ineffective at solving the problem so I left. She made it too hard for us to do our jobs because she had warped ideals and pushed them on everybody around her. Like, "well I don't have kids because we women faught for the right to work and vote so it's a sin against feminism to stay at home and raise babies." goes right along with those that feel no feminist should care what she looks like even if she's obese and wants to do something about it.
I guess some people just see in black and white and don't realize there is a whole world of gray areas between. We can be feminists and also be vain about our appearances, just as a man can be manly and sensative to those around him. Heck, I know more then one shelter advocate who hawks Mary Kay or Body Shop on the side.
ghost is offline  
Closed Thread
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:50 PM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2