Sonalee Rashatwar, a body positivity therapist, recently compared personal trainers to Nazis during a talk at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Campus Reform reports. In addition, Rashatwar compared putting an obese child on a diet to sexual assault.
“I truly believe that a child cannot consent to being on a diet the same way a child cannot consent to having sex.” – Sonalee Rashatwar
This two-hour speech was sponsored by the university’s Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the Center for Equity and Inclusion, with a focus on “radical fat liberation.”
“I experience diet culture as a form of assault because it impacts the way that I experience my body.” – Sonalee Rashatwar
First, Rashatwar stated that citing science as a reason to encourage healthier eating habits is rooted in white supremacy.
“We should be critical of the use of science and the production of knowledge to continue promoting this idea that certain bodies are fit, able, and desirable… is it my fatness that causes my high blood pressure or is it my experience of weight stigma?” – Sonalee Rashatwar
Following, she compared the science suggesting that obesity is unhealthy to Nazism, stating that “fatphobic” science is “often actually eugenic science…. eugenic science is Nazi science.”
“This conversation about pushing off our own wellbeing onto the individual is part of these 1980s Reagan era policies that again try to move that structural obligation of a system and this social safety net onto the individual.” – Sonalee Rashatwar
Afterward, Rashatwar urged students “to challenge all authorities, not just the authority that science has given but also legal authority,” including all laws, police, and prisons. She concluded her presentation by comparing physical fitness trainers to Nazis.
“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,” arguing that there is “a clear communication that there’s still an idealized body. Nazis really love this idea of an idealized body, and so it makes a lot of sense to me that a fitness instructor… might also think about an idealized body in this thin white supremacist way.” – Sonalee Rashatwar
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