In the Media: Lindley on Real Health Radio

“But what I find so interesting about this whole conversation and about trolls in general is they’re so quick to put the onus on individuals. It could be really alleviating and lift all this fear – I guess except for the fear of change – but it really could alleviate a lot of fear to say, “Hey, you know what? Our system is broken. Our culture has some changing to do.” We could shift this together when it comes to the places and spaces and situations – or we could just put the onus on somebody who’s fat.

I guess that’s what’s hard for me to understand. What harm does it to do to a concern troll to start trolling the systems that are doing this? Troll the airline industry. Troll the people who decide – the municipalities, the cities, the counties that decide where to paint the lines for parking. Why are we not trolling these people, and instead we’re trolling the people who are negatively impacted from those choices?” – Lu Uhrich, Real Health Radio

It was such a pleasure to appear on Real Health Radio with Lu Uhrich! Podcasts are such an interesting way to explore some of the aspects of body acceptance and fat liberation that we don’t hear talked about as often (compared to, say, the fact that it’s okay to eat a donut, which is also true!).

Here’s what we talk about in episode 202:

  • 00:00:00 Intro + book giveaway
  • 00:03:15 A bit about Lindley’s background
  • 00:04:15 What food was like for her growing up
  • 00:08:40 Lindley’s journey to body acceptance
  • 00:15:20 How Lindley began photographing people in marginalized bodies
  • 00:27:20 Societal oppression of diverse bodies
  • 00:39:00 Why concern trolling is so harmful
  • 00:46:00 The just-world fallacy
  • 00:56:05 Why don’t most photographers include diverse body types?
  • 01:01:45 How to be more inclusive as a business owner
  • 01:09:45 Reframing “flattering”
  • 01:15:20 Lindley’s fat positive stock photography
  • 01:23:20 The Body Liberation Guide + Body Love Box
  • 01:31:25 What Lindley wants people to take from this conversation
  • 01:33:35 Lu’s recommendation for this week

So listen in as two cat ladies (that’s me and Lu) discuss weight stigma, size-inclusive photography, the benefits of exposure and body acceptance work, access, equity, and support for marginalized bodies.

A quick excerpt from the transcript (full transcript available at the link above)

“Lindley: A few years after that, I discovered this LiveJournal community, and there were these women who were wearing tight skirts and wearing bright colors and being fashionable and stylish, and it was just amazing. It was a big fundamental shift for me, but I don’t know that it was one event. It was very gradual over a few years.

I started thinking about larger bodies as bodies that could be worthy and stylish and fashionable. I’m not a person who is particularly involved in fashion myself, but seeing others have access to that was a gateway for me that all fat bodies can also be athletic. Fat bodies can be all these other things that we assume that people in smaller bodies would have access to.

From there, it was this gradual unfolding of, oh, if people in bodies like mine can be fashionable, then they can be athletic, and they can be this and this and this, and all the other things. Full access to the world around us. Then it came like a ripple in a pond that expands and then comes back, because as I realized that there were all these wonderful things that people in smaller bodies can do that people in fat bodies can also do, then this ripple hit the edge of the pond and came back to me that yes, fat people can be athletic, but if we can’t get athletic gear, how are we supposed to go do that?

Somebody in my body is perfectly capable of learning to kayak, and that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but finding – if I just go out and rent a kayak, there’s not going to be one that fits me. So the fact that the world was built to exclude these bodies that should be perfectly capable of full participation in the public sphere felt like a slap in the face. Like, now that I believe that big bodies are worthy of doing these things, I’m discovering as I look around that big bodies can’t do these things because people in smaller bodies have decided that we shouldn’t be able to do these things, so they limited access. Sure, in theory you could go scuba diving, but good luck finding a wetsuit. Sure, you can go skiing, but good luck finding ski pants.

I started to get mad. I’ll be honest, I started to get mad. I’ve been taught that I’m not worthy of doing these things, and now that I believe that I’m worthy, I can’t because I don’t have access. So I started to get mad. The more I looked around me, the more mad I got.

That’s why I do talk about things like full access for gender rights and disability rights. Those things, I don’t live those experiences. I’m a cisgender white woman, so I don’t necessarily have expertise in the lived experience of being someone who is in the LGBT community or a person of color or a person who uses a mobility aid like a wheelchair. I don’t have that experience. But I’m mad on their behalf too. I want them to have full access to everything too.

You can’t say – I mean, I guess you can, but it would be terribly hypocritical to say “It’s okay to love your body as long as…” You can’t put caveats on that. You can’t say “It’s okay for people to have full access to the world as long as…” It has to be true for everybody, or it doesn’t count.”

Let’s dig deep.

Every Monday, I send out my Body Liberation Guide, a thoughtful email jam-packed with resources for changing the way you see your own body and the bodies you see around you. And it’s free. Let’s change the world together.