Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Health at Every Size!

I encourage you all to look more into the "health at every size" movement, which is promoted by many FA/ Fat Acceptance Communities. Health at Every Size, HAES, (Fixed! Thank you Linda Bacon.) is employed to combat harmful dieting and body standards. Personally, I've been fat for all of what I can remember in my life, and have faced much opposition for what are called "health reasons." Others have seemed concerned about my health, and have been very negative towards me based on that concern. This ideology, however, is problematic for a few reasons. First and foremost, my health is none of your business. Second, in modern culture, being fat wrongly presupposes being unhealthy. Conversely, it is not the case that all fat people are unhealthy; though some maladies do directly and undeniably correlate with weight, it is harmful, misguided, (and none of your business) to assume that all fat people are unhealthy, as many of them are in great health.

So far, I've described health as a physical thing. It is important to remember mental health, and that mental health is often related to physical health. When people are fatphobic and distance themselves from fat people or  make it their business to inform them on potential  health issues they are surely already aware of, such an experience can be immensely distancing and harmful towards mental health.

HEAS encourages more freedom with diet and exercise, and that people eat and exercise comfortably and as they wish, rather than denying themselves in a harmful manner in order to achieve an unrealistic body standard. I'll probably write more on this in the future, but for now, read up on it further here:

And remember, support health by being a healthily supportive system, not by distancing and criticizing.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're talking about these issues. For more information about HAES (note the typo in your post, it's not HEAS), see the HAES Community Resources ( As you note, it's much more respectful - and valuable from the perspective of health and social justice - to focus our concerns on supporting everyone in developing good health habits, regardless of what they weigh. Glad to know that Women's Center appreciates this! If this represents your group as whole, do join us by putting your org in the HAES Community Registry!
    In solidarity, Linda Bacon