28 Sep 2017

What Europeans can learn from  the body positive yoga scene in America

Fat people were always told that there was only a certain kind of physical activity that they could do and that every sport they try is tied to weight loss.

Pauline Tillmann
Pauline Tillmann Deine Korrespondentin, Germany
Source: Deine Korrespondentin
What Europeans can learn from  the body positive yoga scene in America - NewsMavens
Yoga class. Mallory Benedict/PBS NewsHour/Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

The American yoga scene is dominated by white, athletic women. Jessamyn Stanley, the Afro-American yoga instructor who describes herself as ‘Fat Femme’, is breaking all the stereotypes. 

 

The ‘Body-Positivity-Movement’ is growing in the United States. And I love it! There are more and more people like the 29-year-old Stanley who remember too well what it is like to be the only fat person at a yoga course. Fat people were always told that there was only a certain kind of physical activity that they could do and that every sport they try is tied to weight loss.

 

Jessamyn Stanley is the veteran of a thousand diets. “But with yoga, everything was different. It changed me, my attitude toward life and how I perceive the universe,” she says. “Yoga put me on my path.” She now has 327,000 followers on Instagram.

It's been a gloomy week in German news, so let women like Jessamyn bring some brightness back to your outlook.

Details from the story:

  • Jessamyn Stanley, an the Afro-American yoga instructor from North Carolina, is intent on breaking all conventional yoga stereotypes.
  • "I’m from North Carolina and grew up in a very traditional African American, former slave family. In the suburbs of North Carolina, things like segregation are still very real."
  • "Fat is associated with being dumb, slow and unnecessary and that’s also why today there is a shying away from using the word ‘fat’."
  • "Americans feel the most uncomfortable when they see breasts and vaginas. And heaven forbid they see the breasts or vagina of a large body woman."
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Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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