Creating an Inclusive Community: Understanding Fat Phobia, Dieting & Eating Disorders

05/30/2020 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Grade levels: All Grade Levels, Professional Development

Content areas: All Content Areas, Professional Development

Topics: equity & inclusion, eating disorders

District/Organization: Lewis and Clark Graduate School

In the United States, over 30 million people from intersecting identities suffer from an eating disorder. In even greater numbers are those that feel discomfort, shame or hate toward their bodies.

Implicit bias, unchallenged cultural norms, and misconceptions perpetuate the many issues our society faces with diets, eating disorders, disordered eating, and body shaming.

What are the best known environmental factor contributing to the development of these disorders? The sociocultural drive for thinness; the conscious and subconscious perpetuation of an oppressive culture toward others based on body shape, size and relationship with food.

Equating one’s appearance with worth and value⁠—coupled with the diet/fitness industries ever evolving portrayal of “health”⁠—can result in shame-based norms and ideals that prove to be harmful both physically and psychologically. This can include turning to dieting, isolation, and other extreme means to address one’s perceived “deficiencies”.

This workshop will define these cultural issues and provide attendees with a greater context to the effects they have on our culture, including how to treat them and what we need to do in order to shape new cultural ideals around appearance.

This half-day workshop provides educators, social workers, caretakers and community participants with what they need to know about eating disorders, body image distress, “fat phobia” and more, with a focus on cultural considerations and implications, community inclusion. Attendees will challenge myths and perceptions including their own biases regarding weight, body shape and health, talk about the risk factors associated with these presenting concerns, and address one of the primary concerns we face today — social media and the perpetuation of an idealized image.

Following the workshop, participants will have the ability to:
- Understand the role of fat phobia in cultural bias, and identify 3 key changes they can make in their own language, practice and work to be more inclusive
- Identify 3-5 risk factors that lead people to an eating disorder, disordered eating, body image distress and/or a negative effect on identity
- Identify 3 ways that social media has a negative effect on identity and at least 2 tips for counteracting it.
- Challenge myths about eating disorders, and understand the difference between eating disorders and disordered eating

Noncredit: $60, includes 3 CEUs or PDUs. Lewis & Clark Alumni save 20%. Students: $25

About the Presenter
Kyira Wackett, MS, LPC is an artist, public speaker and community advocate. She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Madison and is a licensed therapist specializing in eating disorders, anxiety disorders and trauma. Kyira has been speaking on topics related to mental health, authenticity and personal & professional development for over 10 years. In 2016, she founded her company, Kinda Kreative, wherein, she has focused her efforts more specifically on creating social change, empowering self exploration and cultivating opportunities for growth - both personally and professionally. Her passion is community engagement and education and given her speciality training in eating disorders, she has a major drive to bring more education on this topic to the community. She sees her role as a curator of discussion and curiosity rather than an expert, noting that it is in the discussion and dissection of our thoughts, cultural norms and societal advancements/beliefs that we are able to best address that which plagues us today.