The Trauma of Weight Stigma: Bias in Clinical Spaces with Youth

When: Tuesday, May 30 - 1:00 PM

Duration: 1 hours

Location: Zoom

Event Details:

The terms “Weight stigma” and “fatphobia” both refer to the stigmatization and marginalization of people living in higher-weight bodies. Research has well documented these phenomena, and has demonstrated their significant and negative impact on social and health outcomes. For adolescents, the impacts of weight bias and fat stigma can exacerbate the typical anxieties related to appearance as their bodies go through physical changes and as they navigate changing social relationships. Join us for a conversation with therapist Carmen Cool where we will explore the nature of weight bias and fat stigma in clinical spaces and the harm it causes to young people. 

Like other health professionals, those in the mental health field can contribute to the marginalization of larger-bodied people, including children and youth. We will discuss how practitioners can deconstruct and address their own unconscious biases around weight and body size to be better equipped to work with people of all body shapes.  

As stated by Carmen:
“Some bodies are targeted for oppression. Fat bodies. Black bodies. Queer bodies—any body that falls outside the lines of the thin, white, cisnormative, able-bodied ideal (and especially those who live at the intersections). Our society is structured to make sure you stay inside these lines.  And if you can’t, or don’t, or decide to resist— you’re seen (and treated) as a problem.” 

This Mental Health Moment will aim to bring awareness to this oppression and what we can do about it.