Healthy Living

[Content Note: Fat bias; bullying.]

I just clicked over to CNN, and was greeted with the following image emblazoned across the main page:

image of First Lady Michelle Obama high-fiving people in an audience, with three links reading: 1. The First Lady's Let's Move! Fireside Hangout 2. Join the healthy living conversation 3. Right now on Google+

Last week, I wrote about the actual nature of this "conversation," which is, in fact, deeply hostile to fat people. Paul Campos has also keenly observed that the Let's Move! campaign is "a particularly invidious form of bullying."

This is how profoundly dysfunctional our national conversation about health and fat is: That a bullying, eliminationist, Othering campaign can be called a conversation about "healthy living," without a trace of irony.

There is a conversation to be had about access to a variety of affordable fresh foods, about safe outdoor spaces, about food insecurity and food subsidies and why a salad costs more than a Big Mac. But that is a conversation that can be—and is, routinely—had within a Health at Every Size paradigm that honors body diversity, and further recognizes how institutional fat hatred is a strong disincentive against public physical activity for many fat people.

It is a conversation that is fundamentally dishonest without acknowledging the interconnectedness of psychological and physical health.

What First Lady Michelle Obama does not, or will not, understand is that a conversation which invites me to hate my body, and tells me that my body can be changed if only I work harder at changing it, is not a conversation about "healthful living." It is a comprehensively unhealthy conversation, and I want absolutely no part of it.

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