The Milestone of Dissent

P1100194Ladies and gentlemen, readers of all types, I have reached what I consider to be a huge milestone: I got my first negative comment!

In response to my last post about ASDAH’s (the Association for Size Diversity and Health) neat video “Poodle Science” which, through the clever use of an idea foreign to some called “analogy,” breaks down the flaws in weight loss science, I received the following comment:

People are not the same as dogs. There are no breeds of humans. This is very similar to all the other HAES nonsense–unscientific and wistfully mistaken. You seem like a nice young woman. I’m sorry that your beliefs are so badly out of line with reality.

I definitely chuckled as I read this one.

First, because I had finally posted something that prompted someone to spend their precious time to tell me how wrong I was. Personally, I feel that unless you’ve got at least one dissenter, you’re not doing anything revolutionary. When you only receive positive comments, you’re not pushing any boundaries, you’re not fostering any deep thinking. You’re probably just telling the masses what they want to hear, and you’re most likely just preaching to the choir. I am happy to receive the confirmation that, after a year of sharing my views and experiences, that I have finally plucked someone’s chord of disbelief hard enough to incite a negative response. Go me!

Second thing that made me chuckle is that, yeah, it’s true: humans are not the same as dogs. I know that, because I’m a nice, young woman. ASDAH and their wonderful team decided to take the scientific analysis to the masses by using layman’s terms through analogy. People may not necessarily understand the complex biochemical reactions that go on in the body when it is forced into a starvation mode, but people definitely understand that dogs are different and a big dog is hugely different from a small one.

And, third, you do not have to share my beliefs for my beliefs to be true to me.

You do not have to believe in the intersection of fat and healthy.

You do not have to believe that it is possible for me to love my fat body.

You do not have to believe that it is right or prudent for me to stay fat.

Because I do not believe that your body love or shame threatens the way I feel about my body.

I do not believe that any of your privileges disable you from understanding my struggles.

What I do with my body does not directly affect you. I am free: I am guaranteed the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. I am free to choose, among many things, who/what I worship, who/what I love, who I become.

And one of my choices was to begin loving my fat body.

And that choice has nothing to do with you.


About Tiana Dodson, Fat Health Coach

I am proud, fat, and healthy. Yes, they can all go together like that. Read more at View all posts by Tiana Dodson, Fat Health Coach

3 responses to “The Milestone of Dissent

  • amyherskowitz

    Hi Tiana! I’m so happy to have found your blog. It’s Amy from ASDAH, and also from the Poodle Science video 🙂

    I’m finding it simultaneously funny and disappointing how many people have totally misinterpreted the whole rationale behind our animated explainer video. People are really getting caught up in our decision to use dogs as a metaphor for the diversity of body sizes in humans. That is the only connection between dogs and humans: that we all come in a range of sizes. The actual point of our explainer video was to critique weight science studies that do not compare apples to apples, or in other words: that make faulty assumptions about weight loss in subjects who have never weight-cycled before as compared to subjects who have weight-cycled, and then make generalized statements about population health based on faulty assumptions.

    For me personally, it’s disappointing for sure that our first foray into animated storytelling was kind of a hit and miss to many folks, but it’s also an opportunity for us to learn how people view media, and to do better next time.

    On another, more selfish note, I would love to feature your writing on the Health At Every Size® blog. Our readers need to be exposed to all your vivacious awesomeness. Please contact me!

    • Tiana

      Hi Amy! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad that any negative feedback hasn’t completely ruined the idea of more fun videos in the future. 🙂 My belief is that what we’re sharing with people is so incendiary that, in spite of the quality or preciseness of the metaphor, they will find a way to refute the idea. Oh well. I’m not here to change everyone’s mind, but to be a voice for the possibility of something new for those who are ready.

      I’ll certainly shoot you an email! Take care!

  • jan0111

    The poodle science video is a lightning strike for me because intuitively I know the mountains of weight loss science are circling the truth but not getting at the truth and harming people as they give us wrong information on a daily basis. People eat food they hate, exercise more than they need to, take worthless herbs and dangerous drugs – when it’s likely they can’t lose weight or look like the person they think they should like. How many miles do I need to walk to turn my brown eyes blue? That’s the kind of strange nonsensical thinking I’ve been exposed to for 35 years. This video is awesome! Truly!

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