Mycroft Masada is a faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area from hir lifelong home of Boston MA in January 2014; a founding member of TransFaith’s National Council, steering committee member of TransEpiscopal, and former board member of Congregation Am Tikva. Mycroft is called to work for social justice at the intersections of faith, LGBTQI+ and fat communities, and is a writer and artist. Zie is partnered with Julia McCrossin, the mas(s)culine fatshion blogger, and they co-parent a dogter.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | My artwork (stationery, jewelry & more)

Monday, February 27, 2012

A healthy response to Georgia’s harmful “Strong4Life” campaign

As you may know, there’s an extremely negative and harmful campaign in Georgia called "Strong4Life” (http://strong4life.com/default.aspx) that’s against childhood “obesity” 
and is shaming fat children and their parents. 

With the leadership of Marilyn Wann, Ragen Chastain, and Shannon “Atchka” Russell, a group has formed to create a response campaign -- "Stand4EveryBody" (http://stand4everybody.com/ ; site provided by our friends at More Of Me To Love).   

Marilyn created a poster of herself and invited others to do the same.  Dozens of people, pairs and groups have submitted their photos and text and had their posters created and published; many more posters are in process.  And we're still taking submissions!  We’re calling these posters “Standards”.  
(The image that accompanies this post is my and my partner Julia McCrossin*’s Standard – we stand for love that comes in all shapes, sizes and genders.)  
See all the current Standards posters here:  http://istandagainstweightbullying.tumblr.com/


Some Standards will become bus shelter posters in Atlanta!  And we'll have billboards!  We gathered 1,010 donors (from all over the country and world) and raised $21,721.20, including a $5,000 matching grant from More Of Me To Love.  Then we solicited submissions and votes from our supporters, voting for up to three of seven designs.  Here's the winner (and good news about Disney's anti-fat exhibit "Habit Heroes"):
http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/disney-and-georgia-billboard-updates/  

*Julia is a Fat Studies scholar who co-chairs that area of the Popular Culture Association and serves on the editorial board of the new Fat Studies Journal.  Inspired by the "Stand4EveryBody" campaign, she's written two amazing, heartbreaking pieces -- the first about just one of her many damaging experiences as a fat child (when she was in junior high school in Maryland, her school partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in an attempt to get her and several other students the school had selected to lose weight); the second about "the rest of the (fat) story", in which she shares more of her lifelong experience with fat shaming (which includes depression and a suicide attempt) and how it intersected with the development of her fat and queer identities, including her gender identity and expression.  
http://ponderousboundaries.blogspot.com/2012/01/stand4kids.html
http://ponderousboundaries.blogspot.com/2012/02/rest-of-fat-story.html
Today at 41, Julia is happy, healthy, and a wonderful partner – but still healing from these traumas and being affected by current fat shaming.    

There are many ways to be part of the response campaign -- including your own ideas, which we welcome.  Please learn about both campaigns, connect with ours, and find out how you can join us in this vital work.  Whatever your experience of fatness, I hope you can see that shaming children or anyone else is harmful, not helpful – and certainly not healthful.  Stand with us -- for all children, youth and adults.  Help us tell Strong4Life and everyone else that we’re not going to stand for this kind of thing any longer.  However well-intentioned it may be, it's bullying, it's abuse, and it needs to stop -- and we can stop it.


Facebook communities:
“Stop Strong4Life's Fat Shaming Campaign” (more than 600 members and growing)
Tumblr (where you can see the Standards posters)

I also want to raise up an impressive piece by one of my transgender colleagues, Joelle Ruby Ryan.  We don’t have an “epidemic” of “obesity”.  We have an epidemic of fat hate.  And it doesn’t just harm and kill fat children, youth and adults – it harms everyone. 
Post a Comment