Saturday, 15 February 2020

The Diet And Beauty Industries’ Cycle Of Disempowerment

Cycle of DisempowermentThe diet and beauty industries don’t stumble into making billions of dollars. They employ very specific strategies, one of which is their cycle of disempowerment.

The cycle goes like this:

Step 1:  They Create The Message

The diet and beauty industries tell us what is good/beautiful based on the products they sell (essentially, they create “problems” out of things that are completely normal – fat bodies, grey hair, wrinkles etc. – and then sell “solutions”)

This happens through a lot of different mediums – advertisements, billboards, fashion magazines and more.  We are told sold a stereotype of beauty rooted in white, thin cisgender, able-bodiedness.

Step 2:  We Internalize The Message

We start to believe that the (completely made up) stereotype of beauty is reality.  We start to believe that bodies, and people, are better the more closely they approximate the stereotype. We even start to believe that only people who can fit the stereotype of beauty can be talented.

Step 3: We Enforce The “Standard” On Other People

This happens in so many ways.  It happens when we engage in negative body talk against other people. It happens when we care more about what an actor is wearing than the work she did that got her nominated for an award in the first place. It happens when we insist that people should dress in “flattering” ways (which is to say using clothes the create the optical illusion that we look closer to the stereotype of beauty.) In this way we become walking, talking, peer-pressuring advertisements for the diet and beauty industries.

Step 4:  People Are Disempowered, The Diet And Beauty Industry Profit

This cycle is incredibly profitable for the people who sell the promise of bringing us closer to the stereotype because, as my friend Courtney Legare likes to say, they are in the business of stealing our self-esteem, cheapening it, and selling it back to us at a profit.

We can break the cycle though, and we can do it in a lot of ways. We can stop engaging in negative body talk of any kind, we can interrupt other people when they start engaging in negative body talk (or we can just walk away.) We can examine our own prejudices and privilege as they relate to people who fall outside of the stereotype of beauty. We can purposefully celebrate bodies that fall outside of the stereotype in everything from our social media feeds to the art we have in our homes.  We can ask ourselves if the things that we buy, the bodies we celebrate, and the choices we make are supporting or challenging the current paradigm.

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Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

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This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
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Non-Members click here for all the details and to register!

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRON-distance triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.



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