Does anybody remember the movie The Truman Show? Where a guy finds out that his entire life has been a TV show and that everyone except him knew it? In the show he leads a fairly ordinary life but what if the script was different? What if, from the time he was born, the world was set up to tell him that he was unhealthy and unattractive? What if his whole life people, magazines, television shows and commercials told him that he was unhealthy and ugly. What if doctors ignored his actual issues and said that just by looking at him they knew that he was unhealthy? What if the media reported stories that everyone who looked like him was sick and ruining the world? If he was conditioned like this from early childhood, what kind of man do you think he would grow up to be?
That’s the show of my life. And sometimes is just sucks, sometimes I get tired of it. I never try to tell anyone else how to live but I find that I am rarely extended the same courtesy. I’m more than confident in my decision that my best (but certainly not guaranteed) chance for health is healthy behaviors and not a smaller body. I’m also prepared and comfortable with the consequences if I’m wrong. But my very own Truman Show (sponsored by the weight loss industry as it turns out) is set up to tell me every day in every way that the only path to a happy, healthy life is to change the size and shape of my body, no matter how unhealthy I have to be to get it done. And the diet industry has done a great job of making other people into little marketing machines – running around telling the fatties that they know what’s best for us.
It’s difficult to buck that mainstream. It can be terrifying to be the person who points to the evidence and says “you can excommunicate me if you want but the Earth moves around the sun and that’s a fact”. It’s not easy to wake up in your own version of the Truman show and tell everyone that they can do whatever they want but you’re going off script.
So today I just wanted to take a minute to celebrate those of us who choose a Health at Every Size (r) model in a thin=healthy world. Of course it’s not the only valid choice and it’s not better or worse than anyone else’s choice. But you can’t really deny that it requires some serious guts. And today as I reflect on my amazing friends on this blog and in the HAES community I just wanted to give a hip-hip-hooray-kick-ass-and-yay for standing up for our truth in the face of a bunch of people who can’t seem to stop reading to us from an old script.