An Open Letter To The People Who Market To Fat People
By: Megan Potter – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Some time ago a sweet and well-meaning person sent me an invite to participate in her brand new weight loss business. I didn’t reply at the time, and today a follow up popped into my PMs so I decided to reply.
This is what I said:
Hi. So I’m sorry I hadn’t replied, I meant to but I needed to take some time to think about how I wanted to do that and then I never came back to it.
Here’s the thing, I’m not interested. But I’m also not really ok with being invited without me indicating any form of interest. I get that you are excited and that you truly love and believe in what you are doing – and I’m happy for you for that. I’m also sure that your first response to this will be that this is what you meant and you sent this to lots of people etc… But I’m going to ask you to pause and think about this from my experience (because it’s the only one I have for context).
I’m a fat woman. That means that I spend my whole life being a fat woman in a culture that HATES fat women. There is almost no moment in my life or day where I am allowed to forget that I am a fat woman. I do not, for example, dare to leave my house dressed in casual, comfy clothes (no matter how much my husband encourages me to do so) because is fat woman who isn’t put together is treated even worse than a fat woman who works hard to look acceptable.
Everything in our world is designed to tell me that I am unacceptable, that I need to change, that I am not and never will be acceptable. And you have no idea how many women who are starting weight loss businesses PM me out of the blue because they assume I am their ideal client. Fat = wants to lose weight.
While you may have actually reached out to dozens of women of all sizes in your feed, you are just one of many reaching out to ME, a fat woman, wanting to sell me weight loss – in a world where every day I’m made to understand my body as it is isn’t acceptable. In a world where I don’t have a doctor because the last one I met started our visit by deciding I needed to know my BMI and then refused to treat me when I wouldn’t let her. In a world wherein the first 5 mins of meeting a gynecologist, she tried to pressure me into weight loss surgery. In a world where I have to fight to convince myself and the world around me that I have the right to exist and I am not broken. in that world, I get your out of the blue invite to pay someone (whom I don’t have a sell/buy relationship with) to help me lose weight.
So my short answer is: I don’t do weight loss. I refuse to participate in a world that shames people for their bodies and acts like only one kind of body is acceptable. I refuse to participate in a world where shame is used to fund a billion dollar industry. I hide ALL posts in my feed about weight loss and I do not diet. So no, thanks for thinking of me but I’m not interested.
And my long answer is: I hope that you will read this in the open-hearted spirit in which I have made myself vulnerable and that you will pause before you send an uninitiated invite to a fat woman. Not all fat women feel like I do about weight loss, but all of us live in a world where we are not good enough as we are, and while you absolutely didn’t mean it that way, this PM is just one more notification that my body will never do unless I can force it into something else.
You didn’t mean to cause me pain, but you did, and so I’m telling you all of this so maybe you can adjust your marketing to not cause the same pain to another fat woman.
Thanks for reading.
p.s. Understand, I’m not the least bit upset with you, not blaming you or shaming you, I get your genuine enthusiasm and belief in what you are doing and I think that’s awesome and it’s exactly why I’m making myself vulnerable enough to share this, because I think maybe you do care enough to take this into your business model.
Bio: Megan is living a non-neurotypical life and writing about it. She shares her insights on mental health for entrepreneurs, adult ADD, fat shaming, gender non-conformity and not-quite-straightness and privilege on her Facebook page and Patreon .
She’s a professional pattern-see-er, real life magic maker, Seer and inspiration writer, using her deep toolbox of magic and divination skills to help her clients claim their agency, break their own patterns and be the very best human they know how to be.
She knows life is lived moment to moment and strives to help people understand that however they are in their moments is just perfect. She has lots of opinions and loves to talk and share her thoughts, but genuinely can’t wait to learn all about you.
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