Inspiring Words from activist and former BIC speaker Kathleen MacDonald

This was posted on Kathleen’s Facebook page (!/notes/kathleen-macdonald/do-i-look-fat-in-this/10150111722509496)

Do I Look Fat in This?

by Kathleen MacDonald on Monday, February 28, 2011 at 10:51pm

Tonight at James Madison University brave young women got up and shared powerful stories of how they were impacted by eating and body image issues/disorders. They inspired me to take time and write this…

We have these labels in our society called: thin, fat, obese, eating disordered, bulimic, anorexic, skinny, chubby, etc…

What the hell with these labels?

Do we place these labels on babies who are still in the womb? WHEN after simply hoping for 10 fingers and 10 toes do we start teaching babies that fat is bad and thin is pretty?

Tonight I let my heart weep in a way that I have not done since last April when I received word (via a staffer on Capitol Hill, nonetheless) that my dear friend Nicole had died from her eating disorder…and I couldn’t help but wonder: when did she start “feeling fat”

Those of you with young daughters and sons, and wives and aunts and mothers and brothers and teammates, etc., who “feel fat” —TAKE NOTE: ‘feeling fat’ is not healthy NOR is it normal. It has become ‘acceptable’ –and that is something we NEED to change.

I am so sick and tired of losing people to these enigmatic things we label as ‘eating disorders’. The seemingly ‘innocuous’ comments you make to your self about your body and to your self about food and about other peoples’ bodies and other peoples’ food…those comments ARE being heard and TAKEN PERSONALLY by the best and the brightest. I listened to young woman after young woman speak tonight about how the comments they heard impacted their feelings about their body, thus in turn their feelings about themselves and what they do/do not eat.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I suffered from these ‘comments’ for 16 years of my life. My friends have died from these comments, and the daughters of parents have died from ‘feeling fat’ and the results of ‘dieting’ to stop feeling ‘fat’… WE MUST CHANGE THIS CULTURE THAT SEEMS TO BELIEVE THAT THIN IS BEAUTIFUL.


THIN DESTROYED MY FAMILY, MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH FRIENDS, MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, AND THIN WAS THE FOCUS OF MY SELF-WORTH FOR YEARS. I NEVER EVER could be doing the work I do today if I was still giving a sh_t about whether or not I was ‘thin’. THIN is not a shape or size –it is a term constructed by society. I AM my natural and healthy genetic weight for this current day. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL and that is ENOUGH. That is what I pray we begin to teach our young children. “looks” by society’s definitionĀ  DO NOT MATTER. what matters is that we are each drawn in loving-kindness by something greater than usĀ  —someone who makes us each uniquely beautiful.

Please learn from all those who have died in the pursuit of being ‘just a few pounds thinner’. IT IS NOT WORTH IT. EVER.