Feminist Blames Capitalism, Patriarchy & Fatphobic Diet Culture for Poor Body Image

Melissa A. Fabello, a contributor to Everyday Feminism, explained what factors she believes contribute to body oppression. She begins by talking about her stomach, arguing that her poor image of her stomach is shaped by western beauty standards. Melissa states, “I am a queer woman living in a patriarchal, heteronormative society.” She continues by saying, “and capitalism sure doesn’t help.”

Melissa believes that the United States is a “fatphobic diet culture” in which being thin is viewed as ideal. Additionally, she says “white, thin, conventionally attractive women” should use their privilege to help women who face body-based oppression in other ways, even accusing the BMI scale of being oppressive.


According to Melissa, the following items are forms of body-based oppression, believing that body liberation activists should make these issues central to their messaging:

  • racial profiling
  • inaccessibility for disabled individuals
  • the high homicide rate among transgender women
  • the obsession of Muslim women’s clothing
  • the sexual violence directed at Native-American women
  • skin-lightening creams
  • non-consensual genital modification on intersex infants
  • xenophobia and immigration bans
  • food deserts in communities of color

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Melissa defines ‘body liberation’ as “tearing down all systems of oppression by drawing attention to them and making people uncomfortable with how often we ignore them.” Following, she concludes by challenging her audience to choose a rarely discussed issue related to body-based oppression and post about it on social media.

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In another video, Melissa explains why she wants to dismantle whiteness.


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