Sunday, 3 January 2016

Endorsement, Influence
and Diet Culture

TW: Dieting/weight loss. There will be mentions of these subjects in this post in (what I hope will be) a tactful manner; that is, not specifically engaging with the subject, but mentioning it in relation to body positivity and it's associated impact. Basically, it's mentioned but not in a "put down the doughnut" sort of way! (Never put down the doughnut).

Bloggers, and plus size bloggers in particular, are uniquely positioned to influence their readers and their 'community' (the fatosphere). Blogging is not akin to writing a personal diary; what you say, or do not say, matters. What you choose to promote, or not promote, has influence. Whether you're followed by tens, hundreds or thousands of people is somewhat irrelevant in this context; influence is influence, no matter how big or small.

The majority of plus size bloggers choose to use their influence to promote body positivity, and most do it very well. Now, I don't necessarily mean that every plus size blogger is a body positive advocate or activist, but being a visible fat person by nature is body positive. That being said, there are still bloggers who choose to use their influence in ways that are damaging to body positivity and, inadvertently or otherwise, damaging to their readers.

The perpetuation of diet culture still exists within the plus size blogging community; a community which, by it's very nature, already receives regular doses of negative body image through every outlet imaginable. Yes; there are still bloggers who regularly promote dieting, weight loss, clean eating, fasting, acceptable fatness and the like. There are still bloggers who think it's perfectly acceptable to use their influence to inadvertently tell their readers that their body is not acceptable, that being fat is not acceptable.

Perpetuating diet culture when you are in a position of influence is not acceptable. The fact that what you do with your own body is your own choosing is neither an excuse nor a reason to share your actions in such a way that it can be potentially damaging and/or triggering to others. There are many people, including bloggers, who have evidenced that it is perfectly viable to make changes to your own physical appearance and/or health without perpetuating diet culture through their points of influence; ergo, (it is my view that) these bloggers are actively choosing to share content that promotes negative body image.

I'm not in the business of actively calling out individuals, particularly as (a) it could potentially lead to rifts within the fatosphere/plus size blogging community and (b) there are only so many times and so many ways you can tell people the same thing, but it is my sincere hope that this post will make people aware of and begin to consider their actions.

I don't write for popularity, views or financial compensation; I write to utilise my influence.