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“Dear Abby” Gets it Very Wrong!
“Dear Abby” gives judgmental, stigmatizing advice to a young woman about swimwear and her body size.
“While you say you are comfortable in your own skin, it would be interesting to know what your physician thinks about your obesity,” says Abby. OFFENDED wrote Abby for advice about swimwear, not seeking medical advice. You cannot tell by looking at one’s weight or body size whether or not they are healthy. Fat does not equal disease and thin does not equal health. Only OFFENDED knows of her physical journey and her relationship with her healthcare provider. Many enlightened healthcare providers support Health at Every Size. By doing the research, you will find that individuals can be both fat and healthy.
“I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem,” continued Abby. OFFENDED wrote that she is comfortable in her own skin. She does not view her weight as a problem. Good self-care includes loving oneself, including your body, just as it is right now. How is her weight anyone else’s business, particularly that of an advice columnist? Abby has revealed her true self, one who is judgmental and prejudiced, and who harbors bias against people based on their body size.
A 2002 study indicates that 47% of overweight girls and 34% of overweight boys have faced weight based teasing by family members. A 2007 study indicates that this kind of treatment results in poor self-esteem, depression, body dissatisfaction, poor interpersonal relationships and suicidal behavior. Parents should love and support their children whatever their body size!
Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.
On the web: http://www.naafa.org