Protest in London Today at 2:30
Ditching Dieting* is planning a protest today, Monday January 16th, at 2:30pm until 6:30pm. The protesters are meeting under the Lion on the Southside of Westminster Bridge, by the yellow wheelie bin.
They have a Facebook page.
From the Guardian: Women plan protest against diet industry outside parliament, subtitled 'Protesters say weightloss companies wreak havoc with appetites and rely on dieters' repeated failures to make money.'
Women who say they have been failed by weightloss programmes sold to them by diet companies are planning a demonstration outside parliament on Monday to hit back at the multimillion-pound industry for "wreaking havoc with appetites and lives while it builds huge profits".
The protest, part of a campaign called Ditching Dieting, has been organised to coincide with representatives of the diet industry giving evidence to an all-party parliamentary group inquiry into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety.
Ditching Dieting's homepage is here. It's sponsored by an organization called "Species Endangered" that's planning summits in London, New York, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Melbourne, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
I've only taken a quick look at the website, since I wanted to get this posted quickly. Here's the interesting thing about Species Endangered / Ditching Dieting. It's not a size acceptance organization. They're focused on body image and preventing eating disorders, which is all well and good. Except, it looks like regular people can't join the organization, and who's in charge? Well, Suzy Orbach is first in the list.
Suzy Orbach is well known for "Fat is a Feminist Issue," a late 1970s book that got some things right but endorsed the idea that weigh loss will naturally result for all of us once everything is hunky-dory. Yes, when we learn to see past society's bad influence and heal ourselves emotionally and psychologically, we will be rewarded with skinniness- it's a sign of mental health and enlightenment!
I wish I could say that she's learned more over the years and now has a different outlook, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Googling support for the protest, I found groups such as Beyond Chocolate, Stop Yo-yo Dieting and Lose Weight for Good that seem to form the core. Yes, these are the "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change" folks. (Sorry, guys. If weight loss is a goal, then it's a diet.)
So... I would urge fat acceptance supporters in London to show up for this with the knowledge that there may be opportunities to educate your fellow protesters as well as the intended audience. It's great that Species Endangered has organized this. If they have an outlook that excludes fat women who think we're fine as we are and do not expect to become thin? Well, you've gotta start somewhere, and we do share a lot of common ground.