There are a lot of resources out there to help people learn about Health At Every Size, intuitive eating, improving body image, and fat activism. Instead of making this an exhaustive list, I am going to curate this to include only the resources I myself have found most helpful. If you have suggestions, let me know!
Health At Every Size & Diet Culture
Poodle Science (Online Video)
The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)
New to the concept of Health At Every Size? START HERE. This video explains natural size diversity in humans using the size diversity in dog breeds as an analogy. It’s cute and also explains the idea in a way even younger people could easily understand.
How Diet Culture Upholds Capitalism (Online Video)
Melissa A. Fabello (Everyday Feminism)
This is one of my most favorite videos EVER. In it, Melissa explains how there are powerful economic forces that uphold today’s unrealistic beauty standards for women. She also explains the restriction-binge-shame cycle that actually makes dieting impossible in the long run.
If you find the topic of women’s oppression via beauty standards interesting, be sure to also check out the book The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf.
Why dieting doesn’t usually work (TED Talk)
Sandra is a neuroscientist who has studied the effects of dieting. In this video she explains the concept of “set points”, and the ways in which the body counteracts attempts to lose weight. She also shows of how certain behaviors (moving regularly, eating well, drinking moderately, and not smoking) can improve our health, regardless of our size.
There are a few things in the video that don’t totally align with my views, and I hate that she brags about losing 10 pounds through intuitive eating at the beginning — but if you are a newcomer to these ideas this talk can be a great place to get an overview of why diets don’t work.
Why It’s Okay To Be Fat (TED Talk)
Golda is a health coach, and in this talk she debunks various myths around weight loss and fatness, including the myth that being fat is inherently dangerous. She outlines the so-called “obesity paradox”, where those who are fatter actually have better health outcomes when facing certain diseases (e.g., diabetes). She also explains the basic concepts behind Health At Every Size.
Body Image & Fat Acceptance
Taryn Brumfitt, a former fitness competitor and now body image activist, takes us along as she explores why we hate our bodies and challenges us to think about our bodies in a new, positive way.
Watch the trailer:
Fattitude: The Movie (Documentary)
This movie explores the reasons why fat people are discriminated against in our society, and what we can do to fix it. They are still trying to finish it and are encouraging donations to assist in their efforts.
Watch the trailer:
This film also explores the roots of negative body image, predominantly through the lens of the media and fashion imagery. They discuss the rise of plus-size fashion models like Ashley Graham. I haven’t seen it, but I also hope they discuss the fact that even within plus-size modeling, only certain (read: hourglass-shaped, white, size 12-16) models are being embraced by most designers and clothing lines.
Watch the trailer:
Whitney Way Thore
Whitney, the star of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, shares the experience of her sudden weight gain in college, the shame this change provoked in her, and how she overcame her eventual eating disorder. She’s an engaging storyteller with an important message about shame and body acceptance.
Stripping Away Negative Body Image (TED Talk)
Lillian is a New York-based fat burlesque dancer who healed her relationship with her body through this art form and is using it as a way to spread the message of fat acceptance. She summarizes a study on how our “visual diet” affects our preferences and the associations we make when we see certain images. The more we see body diversity in our media diet the more normalized larger bodies will become to us. Watch for more nuggets about body image and art!
Warning: the sound gets a little wonky in the middle, but hang in; they get her a better microphone eventually.