Dear Sportsgirl Corporation and The Butterfly Foundation,
24 (and counting) Private Eating Disorder and Body Image Specialists, Yoga Companies, Dietitians, Fashion companies and more have come together to lend their support to this letter.
We love the idea of getting more people aware and involved in Body Positivity, and helping people to feel more comfortable in their bodies and find recovery if they are unwell. We are wholly supportive of all the good work The Butterfly Foundation does in its mission to help those with Eating Disorders and Body Image Concerns. We work in these areas everyday ourselves.
However, when you walk into a store which heralds the message “Love your Body” and “Love your Body Week” and you don’t have a tee-shirt I can fit into, then what message does that send?
The average Australian woman is a size 16. Your biggest size is a 16. So at best you cater to average and lower. And certainly your mannequins are only reflective of a small group of people. Are those the only people who deserve to #lovetheirbody?
Are you only offering body positive clothing to those who fit a narrow size range and not the full diverse range of sizes of everyone effected by body image and eating disorder concerns?
The message this sends is one of exclusion and weight stigma. A message in direct conflict with the Pledge which is on the Butterfly Foundation’s website urging us to:
“remind myself that bodies come in all shapes and sizes and that no matter what shape and size my body may be, it is worthy of kindness,
compassion,love and nourishment”
(Unless I am above a size 16???)
Promoting Love Your Body Week in partnership with a clothing store which excludes larger bodies’ sends a clear message to consumers that they are not worthy to participate in “Body Positive” campaigns unless their bodies conform to a certain size. This is a very discouraging and exclusionary message, and simply adds to the considerable weight stigma and bias people in bigger bodies face every day.
Campaigns which exclude people who are at the heart of the body image struggle are co-opting the body positive message and making it only for one kind of person, in effect excluding the very people who should be centred in this conversation.
We invite you to have a conversation with us, as health professionals fighting every day for body positivity and body diversity. We would love to hear if Sportsgirl are developing a range of sizes beyond a 16.
We would love to hear that The Butterfly Foundation are inclusive of the experiences of people in all body sizes with eating disorders, and sensitively constructing partnerships and campaigns that address weight stigma. In “Love Your Body Week”, it is our hope that both of your organisations genuinely support the idea of “All bodies” – not just “Some Bodies” – having worth.
Sarah Harry Body Positive Australia
Louise Adams Untrapped and Treat Yourself Well
Body Positive Australia
A Healthy Paradigm
Body Positive Health and Fitness
Psychology for Health
The Mindful Dietitian
Treat Yourself Well
Eat Love Live
What’s for Eats
Person Centred Psychology
Mind Body Well
No Green Smoothies
Key Nutrition Solutions
Om Illusion Yoga
Love what you eat
Janine Mison – Love Your Shape
Welcome to Wellbeing
Cystal Holt Yoga
Hillary Smith, Rose Burne, Carolynne White, Jane Kunstler, Bridget Williams, Louise Collins, Katy Somerville, Sean Kirkpatrick, Victoria Cushing, Emma Robertson, Bronwyn Rebecca.