Looks like the Government of Western Australia’s LiveLighter campaign (in conjunction with the Heart Association and Cancer Council) has taken its cue from the ill-advised Strong4Life fat-shaming ads of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. It’s like the blind and bigoted leading the…well, you know, blind and bigoted. I think what’s particularly frustrating is that ads like these are on behalf of organizations claiming that their #1 priority is health. So why don’t they promote health? Why this continual focus on sensationalizing size and its “risk factors”? Why do they continue to give the bogus message that weight loss is the answer to like…everything?
Here’s the video:
A couple notes: The very fact that the campaign is called “LiveLighter” is already a testament to its weight-loss focus, thereby stripping the campaign of its health advocacy (and legitimacy).
Then, it tells us that fat around our waists is “bad.” Wait, did they seriously say that?! Did they seriously say that fat around our waists is BAD?! Dear lord! What a blanket and ballsy, not to mention completely FALSE, statement. Way to encourage our already body-obsessed society to now believe that eating disorders could be a moral imperative, I mean how else are you going to not have any fat around your waist? Last I checked, the reason we have fat is a) protective and b) for energy. There is a purpose for fat – it shouldn’t be moralized! Every time we see these blanket statements made: like consuming fat is bad, consuming carbs is bad, x, y, z is BAD, guess what happens? People start dumb diets that fuck with their health and usually result in unhealthful weight gain. Telling us that fat around our waists is bad is simply going to make people focus on the fat around their waists, not on eating healthfully and not on treating themselves well. Soon there will, no doubt, be a diet plan called the “Toxic Belly Fat Solution: How to Lose All Fat From Your Waist & Make Your Organs Look Skinny in 2 Weeks!”
By the way, no picture of your innards is going to be pretty. Whether there’s flippin’ fat in between your organs or not. But, alas, now we can all start obsessing about whether our internal organs look fat, too.
Lydia Jade Turner, Clinical Director at BodyMatters Australasia & Co-founder of nonprofit activist group Endangered Bodies Australia, has a petition to remove this ad here.
The Cranky One