This is a letter to my fellow non-Black dietitians and people in the anti-diet/eating disorder space.
Why do you use hashtags on social media like #healthateverysize #allbodiesaregoodbodies #bodyliberation, etc. and during this pivotal time when the very least you could do is show some support for the “all bodies” you claim to be working for? Does “all bodies” only include people who look like you?
Maybe you never even claimed to be anti-diet and Health at Every Size. Maybe you just claimed to be non-diet and you work with clients with eating disorders or chronic dieters but you believe that if they make “lifestyle changes” and stopped bingeing or emotional eating that they would get to a natural, healthy weight that was more socially acceptable.
Eating disorders are 100% a social justice issue and if you don’t see that, then maybe it’s time to take a step back from the work and do some more learning. Providers do so much harm if they are not ready to tackle the hard stuff beyond normalizing eating patterns and providing for the physical health.
Although, providers also do so much harm when they are caring for the physical health without doing their own anti-racism work. Unless you are in private practice and only work with people who look like you (but why?), you cannot avoid having to work with people of other genders, races, sexualities, abilities, and cultures (notice all of these intersectionalities).
As an anti-diet clinician, it means you are against diet culture and you help support people to make choices that align with their individual values instead of making choices that align with the values of diet culture.
As an anti-racist (white) clinician, it means you do the work to acknowledge and understand your privilege, work to change your internalized racism, and interrupt racism when you see it.
So, I’m still wondering why you stay silent? Why don’t you take a stance on the systemic oppression being faced by the people you claim to care about? Why won’t you say that Black lives matter? Why are you still posting your same perfectly curated Instagram feed day after day? Why aren’t you doing anti-racist work? (These are all just questions to continue asking yourself. Just because you are not ready to make a public statement or examine your racial biases/do the work! does not mean you are a bad person, BUT I would ask you to step out of the body liberation space because it is clear you are not ready for it.)
A white, cis-gendered, able-bodied registered dietitian with lots of letters after her name who will not be complacent and whine that everything sucks and the world has gone to hell and there’s nothing to do about it (or pretend that everything is okay when it’s clearly not). There is so much to do about it. Please see the resources below and stay active in your anti-racist work the same way you do for your anti-diet work.
– Anti-Racism Resources for White People: (it may say unavailable due to high traffic but if you refresh it will eventually work and I have also saved the text if you need it)
– Books to Read: (buy from independent book stores not places like Amazon because ya know…)
Suggested Instagram accounts to follow: (not by any means an inclusive list and I am not responsible for any of their content)