Loyalty Bookstore threw an awesome jerk-free event for the book Weightless by Evette Dionne interviewed by Aubrey Gordon. I found it absolutely insightful and fascinating.
First off, they explained how to them the word fat is just a descriptor. It is not a bad word. Not a judgment. But people should use the language that others use for themselves. It is only respectful to meet someone where they are at.
Aubrey Gordon gave an amazing testimony to the book, explaining how it is a book for fat people to be able to see more fat experiences and for others to understand. She said it has a variety of fat experiences and that the book has incredible complexity and vulnerability woven together. It choked her up several time and also made her laugh out loud many other times. She said it was one of the most honest and moving pieces she has ever read about fatness.
Evette Dionne explained that one of the best parts of her childhood was her very supporting parents that did not force her into dieting. Her parents advocated for her relentlessly and were committed to her being a kid. They didn’t want anything to steal her joy. But even with her parents being like that, her mother still dieted.
One of the topics of this conversation was Weight Watchers. Evette talked about how when she was 22 and was in grad school on a full-ride scholarship, she was depressed. She didn’t recognize that it had to do with her mental health though and not her weight, so she started going to Weight Watchers. She explained how very conscious she was about how heavy her clothes were at the time of meetings and how she would not eat too much on the day of weigh in. Aubrey commented on this section of the book saying how real it all felt, because she had been there too. Evette realized that going to Weight Watchers was bad for herself when she was in therapy. She questioned why she was doing something she dreaded that didn’t make her happy and only more depressed. It was supposed to be helping her fight depression, not the other way around.
Other topics that are in this book are dating as a fat person and forming a relationship with another plus-sized person. Also, how life as a fat person is always influenced by strangers and family member’s off-handed comments.
Interesting topics they brought up in conversation were ways they notice anti-fatness in themselves and how they are working on getting rid of it. Evette grew up surrounded by fat people her whole life and she says she still passes judgment while watching TV. She said that her journey is an unlearning journey, not a perfect journey. Even now, how she thinks about and treats her own body is bad. If her partner catches her, he goes “I know you aren’t talking about MY partner!” She was very honest about how hard on herself she is even in this part of her journey. That she is working on being present in her body. And working to continue to grow.
They dove in deep about movies and media. They said that there are slim pickings when it comes to good media representation. They recognize that representation isn’t everything, but it is something. If represented well, it can help watchers realize they are not being treated right.
The movie that just came out called The Whale, they talked about it having maybe only one fat person who is critic, if that. How is the movie authentic if not fat people are judging it on its merit? All critics are doing are looking at how great the acting is and pushing away all the social issues because it is Brandon Fraser’s come back. They even mentioned how it lost the plot once a fat suit was introduced.
They see body positivity as being useful in terms of going to the store and buying clothes and being able to see things that make them feel great on an emotional level. But that it is only being used to help sell things. There is no movement to actually break and fix the system. They want people to be trying to find a functional way to look at roots to see what is causing fat-phobia and what is actually working when it comes to body positivity and what is not.
The healthcare system was another interesting hard topic. How a thin person can go into a doctor and get a diagnosis right away, instead of the doctor trying to treat the patient’s weight and not really what is wrong.
Evette’s brother is thinner and they worked and worked and worked until they figured out what was wrong with him. Which was heart problems. Evette had to almost die for them to realize what was wrong with her heart.
Through this, they expressed how anti-fat issues within the medical field can do a lot of harm.
Aubrey and Evette talking to each other was very uplifting and cute. I loved the very memorable things they said and their discussions. Like the saying: what makes you resilient can also break your heart and how we live in a world where thin people are seen as experts on fatness.
I found this event very insightful. I cannot wait to read the book when it comes in. This event also had me reading an article Evette Dionne wrote awhile ago called The Fragility of Body Positivity.
The link to the article is below if anyone is interested in reading it.