La La La La Lola

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I can imagine the excited anticipation Lola Berry felt on eve of her highly publicised nutrition app’s release. Ready as ever with tousled blonde locks and signature hippie-flower-crown to smash the online world with her gob-smacking “Stop being Fat Bitch” : a 4 week weight-loss program which could be purchased via the website fatbitch.com.au. Or similarly found via the hashtag #stopbeingafatbitch ….. 

Ouch! One of Australia’s most popular and oh-so-pretty Nutritionists has been caught under the wheel of online public & professional hysteria. Lola comes from a background of having an eating disorder, and chose to eat better as a result of wanting to look good in a bikini (like that is a life defining moment…??). I used to follow Lola aka yummololaberry, often recommending her cookbooks (among others) in my clinic for people who seek inspiration and wholesome recipes as they adjust their eating habits towards a healthier lifestyle. Though she lost me online a number of months ago when I had endured just a few too many insty pics of her converse all-star collection. I felt like I was being sucked into a vortex of Lola-Land and it was a bit … irritating! I confess.

Is it possible that Lola’s flower crown collection may have been restricting the oxygen delivery to her brain? She has modeled herself prolifically as an alternative hippie nature lovin’ food nerd, and I think that is why a name like Stop Being a Fat Bitch punched some people in the face. Hard. Like it has…

Why? Because there is a wild rebellion occurring in the wellness / fitness industry and she just screamed war. And not everyone on the other side of the battle is going to be swayed by sunshine, bubbles & butterflies. Women are sick to death of diets, programs, perfection seeking and quite frankly being called Fat Bitches. I know, I know…Lols was using it to exemplify her own previous inner-dialogue, and to highlight the manner in which women harangue themselves over their self image. She might have fared better having used that abrasive title as a chapter, or hidden within the recesses of her acknowledgments, a prologue or whatever part of the program people don’t, well read.

Let’s just say she might have thought about this better. We have moved well beyond using sensationalist name grabs to publicise ourselves and our material- it’s just so passe these days. But I have to say, this will likely be a good thing for her as the left hook from the battle field responds. She will be given all kinds of air-play, TV appearances and some people will even write a blog late on a Sunday afternoon…

So what’s my gripe? 4 weeks screams FAD to me and fad’s are dangerous as they set most people up for failure – especially when it comes to food and self image. Heck! I am pushing 40 and I’m over 20 years down the track of discovering my authentic self and vitality, and as I say to many of my clients that journey is NEVER-ENDING. We evolve as do our needs, and our nutrition. 4 weeks is a blip on our well-being horizon and I doubt very much that 30 days is going to make a big difference to a lifetime of self-sabotage and poor eating habits.

The name is grossly dis-empowering. And I don’t think Lols meant it to be. I think she wanted people to identify with her sentiment, however the tide has turned on belittling women for their size and shaming their weight. Women are finally standing up and saying “I am more than the numbers on the scale, more than the items of clothing in my cupboard that don’t fit”. Women (and men) are seeking to find more meaning in their choices, and they don’t want phrases like Fat Bitch thrown in their face – regardless of the intent. And ESPECIALLY when it is being splashed around by a petite, wealthy and oh-so-pretty celebrity nutritonist.

Mindset is clearly important when it comes to nutrition but so is emotional, social and financial welfare. Perhaps a little too much fame has gone to Lola’s crown chakra and in spite of her appearing so utterly lovable the people have spoken. She has apologised online, and put it out to the public to rename the app but shaming people into a weight-loss plan is stepping on the toes of the wild women, plus size or otherwise, who won’t be defined by labels, expectations, fads and shock tactics. The backlash thus continues…

I am less concerned about the blow that Lola has incurred as a result of her marketing. I am celebrating the mark of a powerful movement within the public that proves that change is upon us. For too long women have been folded within social and sexual expectations when it comes to their image and body. The tide has turned and I thank Lola for putting her profile on the line and unknowingly testing those brackish waters.

Stop Being a Fat Bitch thus becomes a turning point in social media where the rebellion continues to rally. So rise up women! Be the real you and honour every part of your wild journey…

Melanie Robinson ND BHSc | Naturopath | Nutrition | Food as Medicine | IGNITE 2015| Nurture Magazine | Mother | Realist |Health Blogger |Sacred Wellbeing | Gaia Health Clinic, Port Macquarie NSW

 

One response

  1. Thank you for so eloquently putting into words how so many feel about this. As a practitioner how could one possibly recommend people to use this program? I value my clients, their feelings and vulnerabilities. They place their trust in me and I take that honour very seriously. WTF was Ms Berry thinking? The program might be great but the title is insensitive and potentially offensive to so many. Thanks for pointing out the positive side to the change in societies tolerances of the diet industry.

    Like

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