Weight stigma and bias is something that permeates our culture, but is rarely ever spoken about like other forms of discrimination like racism, sexism and homophobia. The subject is so ignored, that many people don’t even know what weight stigma is. According to Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), weight stigma is:
“Bullying, teasing, negative body language, harsh comments, discrimination or prejudice based on a person’s body size or weight.”
Once it’s clearly defined, you might recognize yourself as a victim of this sort of stigma. It is an important topic that is not only neglected in our general society, but it is even more neglected in diverse and minority communities – which is why it couldn’t be more appropriate for this year’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week to make diverse communities its focus for 2015. Weight Stigma Awareness Week (WSAW) is an annual online awareness event held the last week of September. Hosted by BEDA, the dates this year are September 21-25 and the week will be divided up with each day focusing on a different community that experiences weight bias/weight stigma as well as marginalization. The theme for this year is Bias and Bullying: Weight Stigma in Diverse Communities. The intention of BEDA (Binge Eating Disorder Association) is to give a platform to people within these communities to discuss the lived experience – struggles, triumphs, questions, and recommendations for how BEDA can be of better support in relation to weight stigma, discrimination and bullying. The week is bound to spark excellent conversation on all of BEDA’s social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, the BEDA website and the BEDA Hive. Each day will feature not only blog posts, but also interactive media opportunities with interviews, webinars and Tweetchats. Here’s an amazing look at the content BEDA has lined up for the week! Feel free to follow WSAW for the entire week, or just choose a particular day or subject to follow. You can find the WSAW schedule here, but this is a quick overview:
It’s time to talk about the other form of discrimination that has gotten swept under the rug: weight discrimination. It’s important that we educate ourselves and others about weight stigma and the cultural biases that interrupt all of us in our everyday lives – often unchecked and unnoticed. WSAW will be eye-opening and informative, and is a great place to start this discussion. We hope to see you there!