Georgia’s Fat Shaming Child Obesity Billboards Come Down

| 05/03/2012 | 11 Comments More

At the end of January 2012, Leah Segedie, a fitness blogger and founder of  Mamavation, sounded  the alarm about a childhood obesity campaign in Georgia, USA that was shaming  overweight kids.

The Strong 4 Life campaign included a series of billboards,  print ads, television ads, and social media featuring overweight children. The  children talk about the negative social and health impacts of their size,  including being excluded and made fun of by classmates.

According to Strong 4 Life, the campaign was intended to wake up the parents  who, in many cases, are not  even aware of the problem. Instead, the campaign sent out the message that  these children should be ashamed of their size. It sent the message that  bullying and excluding overweight children is normal and acceptable.   Instead of blaming bullies for being bullies and giving overweight children the  motivation they need to make positive changes, the campaign simply worsened the  stigma that they live with.

Segedie started a campaign called “Ashamed”, pointing out that shaming  the “fat” kid is not solving the obesity epidemic.  In her post calling on  other bloggers, parents and activists to join her, she wrote about her own  struggle with her weight, having been an overweight child, being morbidly obese,  and living with an eating disorder.

BTW, I assure you this child knows she is  overweight. It’s not like  drawing attention to it is going to make them have  some kind of an  epiphany. Like “Wow, I never knew that…are you serious? You  mean this  roll in my belly isn’t just water?”

And guess what? I’m right. These  type of tactics don’t work when it comes to weight.  They are  counterproductive. I would say abusive.

Since her initial call to action, Segedie has been working hard to convince  the Strong 4 Life campaign to take a different tact and it looks like it is  working. On February 26, she wrote that the billboards  were coming down.

they have now been working tirelessly on the Ashamed  movement to have the Strong 4  Life billboards taken down since January. They organized two very popular  protest chats on twitter and had several media  outlets cover their  efforts, but I don’t think Strong 4 Life took them seriously  until they  started focusing on the money.

After they gently nudged Carters and  asked  them to tell them whether they were in support of the billboards of not, I  think Strong 4 Life realized that this would hurt them where it  counts–their  pocketbook.

In addition to the billboards coming down, it looks as though the Strong 4  Life campaign has made changes to the imagery on its website, twitter account  and facebook page. Where the black  and white images of children looking upset or ashamed used to appear, they now have images of children looking  motivated, strong and confident.

Childhood obesity is a problem in Georgia. Thankfully, the activism of Leah  Segedie and others in the blogging community, has helped the Strong 4 Life  campaign move toward a more positive message. Motivating families and children  to exercise and eat well and giving them the tools to do so can make a  difference. Shaming them will only make things worse. The goals of the Strong 4  Life campaign have always been good, but now they have a fighting chance of  being heard by those who need to hear them instead of hurting those who need  their help.

By Mike Buss.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Health News

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hello there, just changed into alert to your blog via Google, and located that it’s really informative. I’m gonna be careful for brussels. I will appreciate in case you proceed this in future. A lot of folks will probably be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for every other fantastic article. The place else may just anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  3. Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make significantly articles I might state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual publish amazing. Great process!

  4. Marvelous details, thank you to the creator.

  5. Enjoyed studying this, very good stuff, appreciate it. “I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help-and God’s.” by Lyndon B. Johnson.

  6. I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet users,
    its really really pleasant piece of writing on building up new website.

  7. Your valuable writing skills are obvious in this article. I think the best thing about this content is that it’s full of interesting yet important information. This content is top-notch.

  8. experience says:

    This article is more than interesting. You have written this in such a unique way that I read it and stayed interested. I agree with the points in your material.

  9. bupa says:

    This information is fantastic. I can relate to the points you make in this article and I am bookmarking so I can come back later.

Leave a Reply