Rebecca Jane Weinstein was told as a 9-year-old child that "no man would ever love her" because she was "heavy." Who would say such a thing to a kid? Was it schoolyard bullies, mean girls in the bathroom, or frenemies on the playground? No, sadly it was Weinstein's own grandmother, who was undoubtedly expressing her own fears about love, intimacy, and body image. Thus began her granddaughter's journey down the rabbit hole of obesity and deservability.
The writer appeared on NBC's "The Today Show" the morning of July 16 to discuss her new book, "Fat Sex: The Naked Truth." Rebecca is also the founder of the positive online community People of Size. Her work explores the sometimes contentious relationship between weight and sex.
Weinstein scored two appearances on the morning chat-fest. She sat down during the 8AM segment with new host Savannah Guthrie and again during the Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb segment. Her interview with Savannah also featured nutrition expert Keri Glassman. The KLG and Hoda interview kicked off with the unfortunate onscreen pun "Weighty Issue."
The discussion comes at an interesting time for Americans culturally . Just last week, blogger and founder of the site Skinny Gossip set off a media firestorm after making disparaging remarks about curvy lingerie model Kate Upton. The site, which insists that it is thinspiration rather that pro-ana (pro-anorexia), mocked Upton for "confidently lumbering up a runway like there's a buffet at the end of it." The blogger goes on to say, "Let's not pretend this is fashion. She looks thick, vulgar, almost pornographic." The site later added a statement against self-harm after the post was poorly received -- and the blogger revised some of her policies.
The anonymous Skinny Gossip creator aims to brand her site as a pro-skinny counter to fat acceptance blogs. This begs the question of why, whether skinny, fat, or any bodily condition in between, being pro-me means being anti-you? Is it necessary to mock a thin or fat body to praise the supposed opposite?
Weinstein's book attempts to paint a full picture of women's struggles with body love, the beauty myth, and sexuality in this era of a nationwide obesity epidemic. She profiles a range of subjects from the fuller figured to those with eating disorders and "fat lovers." She also discusses terminology such as "fat," "obese" and her favorite, the elegant "person of size."
Everyone deserves to feel love and to have good sex. We're glad to see this conversation continue along with Michelle Obama's wonderful efforts to get us all moving and healthy. We only get one body. If we don't love ourselves and treat ourselves well, who will?
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