I have been rolling around with the idea that the phrase “Riots not Diets” might actually be somewhat… dare I say… ableist?
I am looking at this from the perspective of someone who has rampant heart disease and diabetes in her family medical history. In my defense, both my grandmother and my father’s diabetes developed not out of obesity but from environmental factors. My grandmother wrecked her body with excessive consumption of alcohol, cigs, and drugs. My father, unknown to him, was placed on a blood pressure medication that had a side effect of the possible development of diabetes. Granted, my grandmother was on insulin and my father isn’t they still had/have to greatly monitor their diet.
I have had a few friends with Crohn’s disease. Their bodies can only process certain foods. I have friends with severe dairy, wheat, and egg allergies. Their diet is also very controlled.
When I began to think about how mob mentality, or “group think” can effect a person’s view of themselves either positively or negatively I like to self-examine the groups that I affiliate with. For the last year I have been subscribing to feminist propaganda. I have read the articles, blogs, and follow the amazing trailblazers on twitter, tumblr, and pinterest. I know my views aren’t wildly popular but it is amazing how many “mainstream” women actually identify with feminist ideology without subscribing to the title “Feminist”. Something I see a lot of is the degradation of “diet culture”, body hate, and shame; while I think it is wonderful that so many people are hopping on this body love, fat acceptance bandwagon I wonder about the people who might second guess their choice to modify their diets for health precautions. I practice Health At Every Size and I don’t believe there is any wrong way to have a body and the underpants rule also applies (You’re the boss of your own underpants). I know that if I am in a group of people and someone is speaking of their need to restrict dairy out of their diet, I’m not going to jump down their throat and just “assume” that they are doing it for weight loss. I suppose that is what I’m getting at. What is this phrase communicating to budding feminists who think they need to overcompensate and even though they are well meaning they begin to body police other people’s food choices.
So at the end of my little brain storm I have decided that there are times when someone might get a little a head of themselves and just assume that their comrade in the good fight is actually succumbing to the guise of “being acceptable” to society when in all reality they are simply looking out for themselves. Bottom line is, we should always try to get to know others before we begin to assume things about their lifestyle. Just because you (like myself) are able to consume without concern of anaphylactic shock or a blood sugar spike doesn’t mean everyone can. So lets not be jerks and just respect our friend’s boundaries.
Peace, love, and parachutes!