Earlier today, Melissa McEwan tweeted:
Scrolling back, I saw Melissa’s prior tweet was regarding Dylan Farrow: “I am speaking about this because it is wrong; I am speaking in solidarity with Dylan Farrow; I am speaking in defense of my own survival.”
This blew me away.
In retrospect it seems silly — of course people often have their own agendas on the internet! — but we often want to stay neutral and avoid “taking sides.” Especially in matters of activism, we want to be one of the good guys, to avoid self-interest. It’s not that I’m getting something out of this, it’s that it’s the right thing to do.
Self-interest is not necessarily wrong. Yet people often try to put it aside, to derive credibility from their neutrality. I’m one of them.
I’ve been accused of ignoring research that shows an increased risk of death among people with my BMI. I don’t ignore it. I just don’t see how it changes the research showing that diets don’t result in long-term weight loss for the overwhelming majority of people. Or that in the long term, weight loss efforts often result in regain (or net gain), loss of self-esteem, and are ultimately a waste of time.
Yes, I have an agenda in my choice to live life at my current weight instead of trying, yet again, to win the weight-loss lottery. Yes, when I discuss weight-loss scams, it’s because I consider selling such frauds to be unethical, unhealthy, and wrong. Yes, rejecting the decade-plus I spent dieting has done wonders for my mental and physical health.
So yes, if you’ve wondered what my agenda is in writing about weight — there it is.