December 27, 2015
Well, that got your attention didn’t it?
Which is ironic really because that’s kind of the point of this particular blog post rant.
You may (or may not have seen) whats been going on via social media over the last few days in regards to a new online diet plan/book being launched by Australian Nutritionist Lola Berry entitled “Stop Being a Fat Bitch”…yeah I know!!
As you can imagine, it has been slatted and the backlash has been quite phenomenal, leading Lola to withdrawing the programme and making a tearful apology. Which seems to be a bit of an online phenomenon recently. I’ve thought about posting picture of me snivelling in the past when something particularly shitty has happened…but nobody needs to see that shit.
So here’s my thoughts…
No I have never heard of Lola before (Sorry), but from what I can make out she is a respected expert in her field in Australia with a huge following (132K like seriously, will I ever have that kind of following????) and it doesn’t look like she has a track record of pulling stunts like this.
Because I must admit, my first instinct was “Wow, what a great PR stunt…she’s gonna go to number 1 with this even if people slate her for it publicly” and at least people know who the hell she is as a result.
Would I ever go there just to get book sales? do I even have to answer that?
Her tribe have defended her, many saying they don’t mind the title, and some saying it was a stupid choice but the intent was right. And I guess if I ever made such a fuck up my tribe would probably do the same. One of my ladies posted this earlier on my page
From Lola Berry?!!!? Wow I’m surprised she’s huge in this country and doesn’t normally communicate this way. Is this for real?
She’s human after all, and chances are she didn’t imagine this happening….but why not is what I want to know?
- Did she not the the brand with her women..thats what I do
- Did she not clear it with her PR/Legal/Marketing peeps first (or even her parents or something?)
- Did she not think for a moment that the title might be controversial and in a bad way?
Now, on that point.
I have purposely been provocative in the title of some previous blog posts,
- Why Fat people walk in Races
- 101 Reasons to HATE Katie Hopkins
- 5 And a half reasons why coming last is OK
- Are cut off times really necessary for ~Marathons?
And of course my Too Fat to Run? brand in itself is quite provocative, and some people could take offence to it. But I make it quite clear that I do not see the word FAT as an insult, rather a descriptor just as you would say someone was ginger, or tall, or mediterranean looking. No agenda, no moral judgement, just an assessment.
I am 100% sure the word is not being used in this “Fat Positive” reclaimed way, and its combination with the word Bitch is particularly triggering…as there is no positive connotation to being called or labelled as a FAT Bitch, well not one that most overweight women would identify with.
Also…how would you explain having that book on your coffee table to your teenage sons or husbands? The last thing we need is an increase in idiots shouting out that phrase to women as they go about their business, and many of my ladies agree…
I think it’s the most offensive thing ice seen for a long time, and I’m one that thinks people need to stop being offended over small things these days! She says it’s what we all say to ourselves when we look in the mirror. I for one have NEVER said that to myself! Negative self talk, definitely, but never that. I would not buy that program because I don’t want to be faced with that glaring title every time I open the web page.
The way to improve my physical and mental wellbeing is not through insults and self-hate. Tried that already.
I’m fat but I’m not a bitch because of it. Equally when I’m being a bitch it’s nothing to do with my weight.
The word Bitch is of course something that some women enjoy using and there are a number of succesful brands which have capitalised on it, just look at Run Fat Bitch Run, a book which is always in the top positions on Amazon, despite being the most body shaming, emotionally damaging, hoax of a book I have ever read. In fact it made me shake with rage when I did read it…she had never even been more than a stone overweight…how could she possibly know how fat women feel? You can read my blog about it here, which kind of reminds me that I’ve been here before.
Fellow body positivity blogger Louise Adams from Australia posted this explanation for why this is not on as a brand for a programme of this type, you can read it here, but the crux of her argument which I agree whole heartedly is as follows
- Regardless of the content of your 4 week diet, the phrase “Stop being a fat b*tch” is incredibly offensive.
- Many women (and men) live with body dissatisfaction and disparaging self talk. “You fat bitch” is sadly very common. Sufferers of eating disorders live with this voice turned up to 100, day in, day out.
- As a nutritionist, you are not qualified to provide advice on “mindset”, changing your inner dialogue, self talk, body image, or anything regarding the psychological aspects of health. (although I kind of do some of this to some extent…eeekkk)
- Peddling the idea that changing your mindset will increase weight loss is scientifically incorrect. Regardless of what type of diet, people who diet typically regain the weight, and one to two thirds of people end up heavier than they were before the diet (Mann et al, 2007)
I think though in Lola’s defence there is something else going on here. I fear her striking good looks and hot bikini body pictures are doing her no favours in justifying this move, pretty, slim people get shamed too you know. I wonder if I had used the title (I wouldn’t by the way, like EVER!!!) perhaps I would be able to get away with it…kind of…hhmm…OK…well maybe not. Perhaps, there would have been an altogether different kind of response
“Great, a fat person telling us how not to be fat” which is the frequent insult I get on social media from nimwits who don’t see that I am advocating health and happiness through my work and not primarily weight loss.
Incase you haven’t notice, I too have a book that I am promoting right now (Available in paperback too now). But alas I am not getting the publicity she is, but actually I am OK with that because my book is not a gimmick and will be equally as important and life changing for women who read it in March, or November, or December of next year. For a while I worried that by releasing a health book at this time of year I would be adding to the diet industries noise but equally the bee in my bonnet said “Do it Julie, face it head on and don’t feel like there isn’t any space for your message”
Earlier someone I know (a bit but respect greatly) on Facebook said she had read my book and would I like some feedback. For a moment I flew into a panic, and responded “ohhh how brave am I feeling” her response was “how much do you believe in your message” to which I responded without a blink of an eyelid “100%” and she sent me through this….
I read this in bed this morning: from start to end. I love the idea of balancing the 3Fs & 3Rs. (You have to buy the book to know what they are of course) I love the idea of eating for nourishment without guilt. I knew (& needed to hear again) that I can’t outrun a bad diet. I love the idea of daily actions of loving myself. I needed to remind myself that dinner is not a special occasion (linked to treats). I need to decide my best de-stressors (eg like now when I can’t run).
I have some other pretty great reviews coming through on Amazon too, so I am feeling pretty chuffed right now, that this book is hitting the right notes with the women who it was clearly written for, and its doing pretty well amongst some pretty well known diet books (although mine isn’t a diet book, just so you know)
Let me tell you something.
As someone ordinary like me with a reasonably extraordinary story who truly wants to help overweight women, and possibly change the health of the world…a mission it appears both Lola and I share, you are constantly on a wobbly tight rope..juggling the world of marketing and PR, the frustrations of doing most things yourself, second guessing the right way to go, and often just winging it (or is that just me?)
Seriously guys, we all make mistakes.
My view is that Lola will learn from this and become and incredible advocate for eating well.
I would love to partner with her, as nutrition is THE whopping big gap in my offering, and the thing which women ask for all of the time from me. Of course there are plenty of Instagram celebrities out there doing their thing, but someone we can trust to understand where we are coming from, and someone who knows about intuitive/mindfull eating practices, fuelling your body for training and moving away from calorie counting and the idea of good foods and bad foods…these women are hard to come by.
Stay off social media for a couple of days. Do something to make yourself feel better. Remember that people love you. When you are back in the real world and things have died down, call me…tweet me…message me.
I’d love to share my thoughts with you and perhaps you can help me sort my nutrition out for 2016 while you are at it.
I have learnt this year that being angry and upset with people never serves you in the long run, having regrets, should have, could have, would haves are just wasted energy…so lets forgive, accept and move on…the universe has bigger things waiting for us around the corner…
Like cake for example!!!