Why Fat Activist Dani Adriana Says “Fuck You” To Diet Culture

April 21, 2019

“I have always been larger and existed in a body that I felt didn’t feel the societal ideal of ‘beautiful’.”

For as long as I can remember, I’ve known that bodies were something society focused on.

Even as early as five years-old, I can vividly remember moments where I realized that my body was different from the other girls around me, but it wasn’t until I was a little bit older, around eight, when I noticed the issue the world had with fat bodies. I have always been larger and existed in a body that I felt didn’t feel the societal ideal of ‘beautiful’; I was always the tallest, broadest girl in my grade through school.

My body image and self-worth was the worst it has ever been when I was a teenager. It was dismal. I joined a gym and got a personal trainer when I was only 11 because I felt I needed to lose weight, despite being an active child. This early exposure to exercise and the idea of weight loss as a goal that all girls and women should strive for eventually resulted in my developing an eating disorder. I believed that if I wasn’t thin, I wasn’t worth anything. As well as joining a gym, I started my first diet when I was 11. Even at this young, and developmentally crucial age, diet culture was already creeping into my life.

I remember a million little moments in my life where I was reminded that my body and what I looked like was the thing that mattered most in our patriarchal, white-washed, fat-phobic society. These micro-aggressions were a constant feature in my life.

The turning point for me was when I finally sought psychological treatment for my eating disorders. After that, it was a slow progression of finding my self-worth, improving my body image, discovering social media positivity and then eventually, fat activism.

 

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Two words that have always felt like horrible weapons are ‘fat’ and ‘bitch’ They have been spat at myself and other fat women as to put us in our place. Reclaiming words can be an empowering experience! An extra special screw you to the people who still use words to hurt us. The amazing Corissa AKA @fatgirlflow has created some merch including this tee which is a badass representation of reclaiming. The best part about this post? You can win this t-shirt!! All you have to do is: 1. Be following @chooselifewarrior & @fatgirlflow on Instagram & 2. Tag 2 friends in the comments below ⬇️ Giveaway winner will be announced 7 Days from now on my Instagram stories you will then be contacted for your shipping information via direct message. Competition open internationally. Instagram is not liable or responsible for this competition. [Winner of this competition is @jayykitten] #chooselifewarrior #fatgirlflowfam #fatgirlflow #fatbitch #giveaway

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In January of 2013, I started posting on Instagram. I was in the early stages of eating disorder recovery. I wanted to show people that eating disorders exist in many different bodies, and not just the stereotypical image of what an eating disorder sufferer looks like. Over the years, my content, learning, and experience has expanded into exploring the body positive realm. When I found this movement, I felt as if I’d found my true life’s purpose of sharing my painful past and being a beacon for those who are hopeful for a different future of body love and positive recovery.

My passion for changing the narrative society spins about fat bodies came once I eventually accepted my fat body as it is, and started critically analyzing the message we see around fat bodies, fat people, and fatness in general. Once I realized the social impact of fat-phobia and how it’s important that we liberate fat bodies, a fire sparked in me to speak out more about my lived experience and to create safe fat communities on and offline. I also want to warn people about the dangers of diet culture.

Diet culture is one of the most damaging societal impacts on the self-worth of young women. I believe if we had a body neutral or body positive outlook on diverse bodes and sizes, then we would have a lot more time to spend on things that are truly important in our personal lives instead of counting calories or dieting. Dieting distorts your soul, purpose, will, and body, and completely disconnects you from the people around you. I wish that people understood the true mental impact dieting has on self-worth and body image. It has become such a second nature behavior to just go on a diet or be on diets from such a young age that we have normalized behaviors which are extremely perverse and unnecessary. I wish more people understood the immense power and freedom that lives in body positivity and freedom from dieting. It has a lot to answer for and, in my mind, a lot of blood on its hands.

 

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? when fitness, health or as they call themselves “balanced body positivity” accounts shame me they usually use this photo collection. SEE SHE EATS LIKE A PIGGY NO WONDER SHE IS FAT. SEE SHE SAYS SHE HAS RECOVERED FROM AN EATING DISORDER BUT BINGE EATING IS A DISORDER SO. Want to know how I feel? Well you follow me so probably. I feel like this WHY IN HEAVENLY FUCK DO PEOPLE CARE SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT FAT PEOPLE DO, EAT, WEAR AND SAY. In the classic words of Mariah Carey ‘Why you so obsessed with me?!’ Here’s where you should know whether or not you actually respect fat people or not. If you look at a photo of a fat person and wonder hrrmm I wonder why they are fat? That’s fucked up. Fat people like thin people are all diverse and varied. Some people’s bodies are like that because of duh diversity, some people because of their diets and lifestyle, some people because of health issues out of their control, some people just are fat. HOWEVER WHY THE FUCK DOES ANYONE CARE WHAT PEOPLE WEIGH OR WHY THEY WEIGH THAT?! If you care so much about “health” do you also text your thin friends about their sleep schedule or hold interventions for thin friends who have stressful jobs. I AM SO SICK OF THE THINLY VEILED FAT FUCKING PHOBIA AND DOUBLE STANDARD. If this photo above featured a thin girl people would be “Yass girling” and men would say “I love a real women who eats” that is fat phobia. So here’s me enjoying the fuck out of a pizza and sick of arguing with fat phobic fucks on the internet who say I’ve taken body positivity too far … you ain’t seen nothing yet SUSAN. (Fabulous shirt from an amazing WOC owned shop @fat.mermaids ) ?? #fatactivist #fatactivism #pizza #bodypositive #fuckfatphobiamasqueradingashealth

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Reclaiming the word ‘fat’ was really important for me, as it is for many fat activists. I am truly content with that word as a descriptor now, and for people in my fat community, we love the word. We’ve taken this word which can be, and still is, used with so much insult and vitriol, and turned it into something which simply describes the amazing bodies we have. It is important to reclaim the word for our community and for ourselves.

To be part of a revolution where women are encouraged to love themselves instead of shame themselves, no matter what kind of body they have is, in two words, fucking awesome.

It’s a great time to be a part of a social movement which not only affects us all on a personal and individual level but also something that is having real change in the way society treats women’s bodies. I’m a part of something much bigger than myself; a collective voice and space of shared experiences which are valid and have been bursting to be told for years. It makes me hopeful for the future.

There are things about being a social media influencer which have surprised me. I definitely didn’t expect so many ugly dick pics and weird dudes in my DMs. I also don’t think I was really prepared for the despicable hate and trolling that comes with being a fat woman on the internet. I have now truly been insulted every way possible. Luckily, with the support of the people around me, and after being online for six years, I am much more confident with the block button and not giving my time or emotions to that disgusting stuff. And my partner is 120 percent supportive of me. He truly is the one who is behind the scenes making it even possible for me to do what I do. He helps me in so many ways, whether it’s as my photographer or cheerleader in helping push me forward through the crappy days.

 

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The first hate comment online which ever got to me said ‘You have back boobs, line backer shoulders, a dog underbite and the belly a size of a planet. Who the hell do you think you are being half naked on Instagram’. It fucking stuck with me for a long ass time. That was 4 years ago. My plus size body even “is told it’s wrong” within plus size spheres. I don’t have the thick thighs and booty with an hourglass figure. Fat people come in all shapes and sizes too – body diversity in shape exists in all sizes. People like me aren’t less than because we don’t have a big butt or carry our weight differently. This is just my body, how I exist, how I look and there ain’t no shame in my back roll game. I’m posting this for my back roll sisters who don’t see this on their feeds either and need to know it is 120% okay & regardless of any of your personal “perceived body flaws” you are god damn starlight. To my friends who got more rolls than a bakery find uniqueness and beauty in that. #morerollsthanabakery

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Knowing I have a positive impact on so many people’s lives can honestly be quite overwhelming. Most days, it can be harder to face the wonderful things people say about me than to face negative comments. I think it’s because I live such a normal ‘offline life’ that it amazes me that people really resonate with my message and the work I do online. Overall, it’s the most humbling and rewarding thing I have ever done and I never take for granted the community I am a part of or those who have paved the way for me to be able to do what I do online.

My ultimate goal is to create a safe space and community for fat people. I want to educate those who are not fat allies and to work to dismantle the dangerous diet culture which affects us all. If you’re new to the world of body positivity and fat activism, please ensure that you spend time letting yourself marinate in the concepts and messages for as long as you need to. It takes time to unpack the trauma and hatred for ourselves attached to diet culture. I would love for the next generation of fat children and teens to understand that their bodies are worthy and beautiful, that health is a complex, individual experience and they can live long and wonderful lives. Most of all, I hope that my presence in the world gives hope to people who see themselves in my experiences I share and helps them feel less alone.*

*As told to Kassi Klower


Dani Adriana is a 26 year old fat activist from Far North Queensland, Australia. You can follow Adriana on Instagram.

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