Five gifts I’m glad I didn’t receive for Christmas!
By Lindsay Mcglone aka The Fierce Fat Feminist
We're approaching the back end of January and I for one am glad. January is an exciting time of year but also one of the most toxic times of the year, rife with diet culture and the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ concept. It’s unsurprising that well known retailers jump on the bandwagon and capitalise from our internalised belief that our bodies need to be different to become ‘better’.
Here’s my five presents that I'm extremely glad I didn’t receive this Christmas and why.
Countdown to my bikini body weight loss plaques - The Range.
These plaques have the intention to assist with weight loss. At a glance, they may seem encouraging, although they are in fact damaging. The emphasis on the ‘countdown’ perpetuates the idea that there is a certain size or weight we need to reach before it is acceptable to wear a bikini which is absolutely untrue. Every body is a bikini body. The reference to monetary gain when ‘losing weight’ creates an unhealthy association with praise and weight loss. Not everyone wants to lose weight and weight loss isn’t always associated with being better, or is a commendable act.
‘Every day is cheat day’ jumper - Gemma Collins x In The Style
This jumper directly profits from the ideas associated with Slimming World and Weight Watchers that we should value ourselves on the food that we eat. It creates food guilt and food shame. Whilst this jumper is seen to go against the status quo and the rules created by society it actually reinforces the idea that ‘cheat days’ are even a thing and that they are something to be encouraged; whereas in fact we shouldn’t be associating any food with bad or good. We should be able to eat freely without having to declare that we are having a ‘cheat day’.
365 Ways To Be Slimmer Book - TK Maxx
Image provided by @lifejourneyofbeth
365 ways; that’s one for each day of the year. Regardless of someone wishing to lose weight, I whole-heartedly don’t believe that the entire year should be consumed with how to alter your body.
‘Oversized’ ‘Brb, just working on my Christmas body’ Tee - Skinny Dip
This tee buys into the idea that a ‘Christmas body’ is a different entity to any other time of the year. Usually when people refer to a ‘Christmas body’ it’s a body they deem to be less desirable and ‘larger’. My body is probably their worst fear. We have to be aware of what that’s saying to society. This t-shirt also only goes up to an XL and is meant to be ‘oversized’. Even though Skinny Dip don’t directly want our custom after a certain size, they will create oversized products to cater to the smaller market but not stock this in an actual bigger size? Hmm.
"Excuses Don’t Burn Calories" weighing scales - B&M Bargains
I believe this item is meant to be ‘motivational’ but in fact it’s extremely ableist and fatphobic. It is not necessarily encouraging anyone to lose weight but is actually reinforcing those ideas of guilt if we do not reach a certain ‘goal’. The term "excuses" implies that perfectly justifiable reasons that someone would have for not wanting to or be able to lose weight are wrong. The messaging on these scales are potentially damaging as once this ‘goal’ is reached where does that leave us? Do we carry on because our scales are telling us that excuses don’t burn calories? When does that goal change to an obsession?
Natalie & I are incredibly happy we didn't receive any of these gifts for Christmas! What do you think? Make sure you go and follow Lindsay (she may even have a cheeky Topsy discount code for you).
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