Melissa Fabello is an advocate for social equality, a destroyer of societal myths, a champion for adolescent girls, a restorer of body confidence, a sex educator, a media literacy advocate and one of the fiercest and funniest women we know. Oh, and she’salso one of the Managing Editors of Everyday Feminism, where her articles focus on everything from sexuality and relationships to thin privilege and eating disorders. When she’s not busy doing her work as an all-around feminist badass, Melissa somehow finds the time to be pursuing a Ph.D. Fattitude is not Melissa’s first on-screen work – she has an incredible YouTube channel where she posts digestible ditties about really complex intellectual stuff, like eating disorder recovery. Typically, Melissa is asking the questions that need answering, but, in honor of Fattitude’s Big Fat Summer of Love, she agreed to let us turn the tables. We are grateful she did, and so grateful she lent her voice to Fattitude.
What inspired you to speak out against weight bias?
I came into the world of body-positivity from eating disorder recovery advocacy. That was my entry point. But the more I learned about body image as a feminist issue, the more I realized how pervasive weight bias was – and how deeply connected it is to eating disorders. And I recognized that we can’t battle one without battling the other – they’re too intertwined.
As a thin woman, though, I’ve also tried to recognize the ways in which my voice is not necessary in this conversation. And in doing so, I’ve also tried to find ways that I could use my privilege to have these discussions in a way that moves the conversation forward among others who share my privilege. I think we all have a part to play in ending weight bias, and I hope that more people join the fight.
Why do you support Fattitude the movie?
I truly believe in the power of media to transform. And I believe that the conversations happening are ones that desperately need to be heard. My honest hope is that Fattitude is wildly (and deservingly) successful, that it makes people uncomfortable while also holding them in compassion, and that it pushes a shift in consciousness that needs to happen.
What was your favorite thing you discussed in your interview for Fattitude the Movie?
My favorite thing about my interview for Fattitude, honestly, was hanging out with Lindsey and Viri, two powerhouses who are working to transform the world. But I loved having a space to have honest conversations about how thin privilege is the flip side to fat oppression, and that the two exist simultaneously, not separate from one another. Because I think that people are getting better at recognizing fat oppression when it’s pointed out to them, but I think they often forget that there’s still a power structure that upholds that oppression – and that it’s the thin ideal.
Sweet or savory?
Gah. Just one? I’m one of those people who will require brunch partners to share their plates so that we can have a savory quiche and a sweet French toast. But if I had to choose, I have to be honest and say that I definitely have a sweet tooth.
It is easy to see why Fattitude loves this badass! Melissa’s work inspires us daily and is really at the core of the kind of thinking you will see in Fattitude the movie. Plus, who could say no to brunch and a Taylor Swift dance party?