09 Feb 2018

Magda Albrecht: My fat is political

Blogger and activist Magda Albrecht has been campaigning for "fat acceptance" for years. She believes society portrays the obese as lazy and uneducated.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Magda Albrecht: My fat is political - NewsMavens
Pride parade in NYC. WIkicommons

Why this story matters:

Albrecht thought that way about herself for a long time. But nowadays she knows that this is not her problem. It's a social problem, in Europe as much as everywhere else.

The media often feature unflattering images of overweight citizens, framing the issue as a widespread nuisance. And the discussions in the comments section of Der Standard reveals what is on the mind of the majority: fat people are to blame for their misfortunes.

health

Details from the story:

  • Magda Albert was born in Stralsund in 1986 and grew up in Berlin. She regularly writes for the blog Mädchenmannschaft and gives lectures about queer feminism, body morphing and fatness.
  • She sums up her commitment to the cause with a striking formula: "My fat is political."
  • In her book "Fa (t) shionista" Albrecht describes her everyday life. She writes:  "Being thin today is not only considered 'fit' and 'healthy', but is also considered a marker of success. It shows us that somebody is not also working on their career, but also on their body."
  • In the media, being fat is always presented as the opposite of being healthy and vital-- and that's just one of the many examples showing how overweight people are devalued.
  • Reports on obesity often use unflattering images of so-called "headless fatties". These are images of fat bodies with the head not visible, mostly sitting down and shown from behind.
  • The term "headless fatty" was coined by British psychotherapist and author Charlotte Cooper, who frequently quotes Magda Albrecht in her book.
  • Headless fatties symbolize society's perception of the obese as voiceless and dehumanized, says Cooper. 
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