Something Good

I’ve been reminded lately how much I’ve always loved these little weirdos. (Photo by David Clode on Unsplash)

1. memories of australia (and how you can help) from Karen Walrond on Chookooloonks.

2. The High Cost of Fatphobia on Dances with Fat. In related news, this wisdom from Melissa Toler‘s latest newsletter, in which she talks about a recent interview in which “Jillian Michaels made some pretty awful comments about Lizzo,” and says,

Here’s the thing: Jillian Michaels is a fitness professional who has a long history of publicly shaming and abusing fat people in the name of health, and unfortunately, she’s not alone. What happened during that interview happens everyday in doctors’ offices, health clinics, and fitness centers, where health and wellness professionals condescendingly warn patients that they’ll get diabetes, heart disease, or even die if they don’t lose weight. When events like this occur in the media, I think it’s important for us focus LESS on the celebrities involved and pay attention to the messages and behaviors being displayed:

  • Despite the popularity of body positivity and the increased awareness around fat activism, there will always be people who are committed to upholding the status quo. This is especially true for folks whose identity and/or income requires them to do so.
  • Folks like JM who claim to be concerned about the health of others are only concerned when it comes to larger body sizes. They usually don’t have much to say about the toll that constant weight loss attempts take on your mental, physical, and emotional health.
  • These beliefs are dangerous and harmful. They’re often used to justify discrimination against fat people in healthcare, the workplace, and many other areas of society.

So, even though this was an interview with a famous personal trainer who said some things about a famous musician, it really isn’t about them. It’s an example of the harm caused by people who claim to care about health. But I believe it’s also an opportunity for us to challenge our own thinking about bodies, size, and health.

3. You Absolutely Can Tackle the Big Things You’ve Been Avoiding on Zen Habits. Also from Zen Habits, A Guide to Dealing with Uncertainty About What Path to Take.

4. How starting a writing practice can sharpen your mind, which features some thoughts on the matter from Jena Schwartz.

5. Hide and Seek from Austin Kleon.

6. Good stuff from Patti Digh: an online course Hard Conversations: Whiteness, Race, and Social Justice, and another online course Hard Conversations: Introduction to Racism, and The Art of Activism: Hard Conversations Book Club 2020.

7. Why Finland And Denmark Are Happier Than The U.S.. (video) “What does it take to be happy? The Nordic countries seem to have it all figured out. Finland and Denmark have consistently topped the United Nations’ most prestigious index, The World Happiness Report, in all six areas of life satisfaction: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.”

8. 100 Ways to Take a Break.

9. Love Is the Answer to the Climate Crisis on Lion’s Roar. “As the climate crisis worsens, and the window to solve it is quickly closing, we have a choice to make: we can shut down in fear or lean in and open our hearts even more.”

10. Buddhist Books by and for People of Color on Lion’s Roar. “In response to a query from a reader, our editors suggest some books by and for people of color.”

11. $11 Billion And Counting: Trump’s Border Wall Would Be The World’s Most Costly.

12. A Poem for the Veterinary Community from Andrea Gibson. (video)

13. Japanese Artist Transforms Ordinary Rocks Into Highly Realistic Animals.

14. The body-positive movement excludes women like me — those who aren’t ‘acceptably fat.’

15. This Colorado poet found inspiration in everything around her — even cactus spines — to assemble “Naked for Tea.” “Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer explores vulnerability and ‘the invitation to say yes to the world as it is’ in her latest collection.”

16. As Menopause Nears, Be Aware It Can Trigger Depression And Anxiety, Too.

17. The Black Moms Who Occupied a Vacant House and Became Icons of the Homelessness Crisis.

18. How ‘Namaste’ Flew Away From Us.

19. Pema Chödrön steps down from Shambhala position, (sort of).

20. A Derry Girls movie is in talks according to the show’s creator. In other happy TV news, Insecure Returns for Its Fourth Season This Spring, and ‘Wild Seed’: Viola Davis Developing Adaptation Of Octavia Butler Novel At Amazon, Scripted By Nnedi Okorafor And Wanuri Kahiu.

21. 5 Pilates YouTube Videos For Beginners That Are Also Body Positive.

22. New online tool points consumers Native American-owned businesses.

23. The Science Behind Why Diets Don’t Work.

24. 17 Nonfiction Books Feminists Should Read in 2020.

25. Japan Releases a Range of Miniature Furniture for Cats.

26. A VW Beetle Spotted in the Insect Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

27. Media Bias Chart. “The AllSides Media Bias Chart offers an easy way to identify political bias in the news so you can be better equipped to navigate our polarized media landscape.”

28. The NFL Takes On Police Shootings of Black Men in New Ad. “The spot, which is slated for the Super Bowl, comes as the league boosts its social justice messaging in wake of the Colin Kaepernick controversy.” This is total bullshit, and I’ve been pretty clear that I think the NFL is a horrible organization. As this article states, “Critics have questioned the league’s motives, seeing the efforts as a way to repair the NFL’s image in the wake of the PR damage done by the Kaepernick controversy. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not been picked up by a team since 2016, the year he started kneeling during the anthem to bring attention to racial inequities.” This follows some pretty similar situations: current day Christians would have judged and hated Jesus when he was alive (and I don’t think he would have been too happy with them either), white people only supported MLK’s message after he was murdered and they could manipulate it to their advantage, all kinds of diet culture behemoths have adopted the body positivity and “wellness/lifestyle” languaging in an attempt to monopolize on trends, etc.

29. “Flood the zone with shit”: How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy. “The impeachment trial probably won’t change any minds. Here’s why.”

30. Today is MLK Day, and these are some things worth reading: 10 Things You May Not Know About Martin Luther King Jr., and Don’t Post An MLK Quote On Social Media Unless You’re Truly Anti-Racist, and The history behind MLK Day, and how you can celebrate it, and The Agitated M.L.K. I Came to Love on The New York Times, and Martin Luther King Jr. Was More Radical Than We Remember, which is two years old now but still worth reading.

31. ‘Spoons are so brutal!’ Paris Hilton’s cooking show is a rare work of comic genius. “In Cooking with Paris, the heiress and her dog dressed as a French maid struggle to make a lasagne. It’s either a baffling vanity project – or an instant classic.”

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

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