Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | August 8, 2016

8-8-16 Encore show from June 22, 2015 Host Kathleen Marshall Speaks With Author Dr. Susan Greenhalgh About Her New Book ‘Fat-Talk Nation: The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat’

Dr. Susan Greenhalgh Dr. Susan Greenhalgh enjoys what she calls ‘thin privilege’; in other words, through no particular effort of her own she is, and has always been, thin.  She is quick to point out, however, that thin doesn’t mean better.  Dr. Greenhalgh is currently a Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.  Before she moved to Boston and joined Harvard’s faculty she taught for 17 years at the University of California, Irvine.  Fat-Talk Nation:The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat emerged from her experience teaching a course at UC Irvine on ‘The Woman and the Body’ which explored issues of body image, weight, and eating disorders among other topics.  In 2010 and 2011 she offered her students extra credit to write personal essays about weight, diet and the BMI.  BMI is the acronym for Body Mass Index, a height to weight ratio used by medical clinicians, doctors and nurses, to determine if any one person is fit or fat.  BMI calculations are measured in children as young as two, teens, young adults, older adults and the elderly.  According to Dr. Greenhalgh, its universal use in schools, clinics and doctor’s offices could be causing an epidemic of fat anxiety, particularly among young people.Fat-Talk Nation

Fat-Talk Nation offers insights and examples of almost insurmountable weight anxiety in the young adults sampled from those class essays.  No matter where you are in the weight spectrum Dr. Greenhalgh challenges you to look at the role of ‘fat-talk’ in your own lives and the lives of those you love; and then she counsels empathy, kindness and understanding.  To learn more about Fat-Talk Nation visit the website www.fattalknation.com where you can read samples of some of the essays like the one below.

 — Elise; 20 year old Caucasian from Sherman Oaks, CA from her personal story “A Rock Weighing My Spirit Down”

When I was an 8-pound baby who was a week early, it should have been a sign that being skinny would never by my destiny. In high school and college I have been bothered and ashamed by my weight. I noticed that food is my “support” and I abuse it. When I am stressed, I eat. When I am depressed, I eat. When I am angry, I eat. When I am bored, I eat, creating a vicious cycle that is spinning out of control, snuffi ng out the person I am inside. Looking to food to comfort my hormonal and emotional episodes is unhealthy because, if during one of my “feeding frenzies” I happen to gain weight, even just one or two pounds, I fl ip out and feel disgusted with myself. I can feel the disgust manifest in the pit of my stomach like it has a voice, and with every growl and every grubble, it is like a knife into my self-esteem telling me I am too fat and asking why I eat so much.

I believe my problems with my weight began when I was a little girl. My father’s side of the family is very materialistic and looks-based; if you’re not rich, pretty, and skinny, you are nothing. My mother is quite a large woman, and so my father’s mother didn’t like her and always ignored her. When my brother and I were born, my mother gained 60 pounds and my grandmother’s cruel words became more vocal, to the point where as a second grader I knew my grandmother thought my mother was too fat to be with her son. Yet as the years went by and my mother didn’t lose any weight, and I began to grow rounder, her hurtful needle-like words became aimed at me. I will never forget the pain and disgust I felt when I was about in fifth grade. My grandmother, father, and I were at the family restaurant Islands. I was eating a chicken tenders kids meal, yet my grandmother thought this was too much for me. So in the middle of the meal, she looked at me and told me to “stop eating, because if you don’t then one day you will look like that .”

“That” happened to be an extremely large woman in the restaurant, with my grandmother’s finger pointed directly at her. I felt confused and hurt. All these thoughts swarmed in my head: I knew I was big, but was I fat? That day changed my life forever. I have not been able to look at myself the same way again.

To learn more about Fat-Talk Nation:The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat visit www.fattalknation.com

To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link:Kathleen and Susan Greenhalgh

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: