Regina 'fat activist' hopes to change social attitudes around weight

Fat activism is a social movement that's been gaining momentum across North America and now Mia Bell is hoping to spread it across Regina.

Mia Bell has taken up public speaking in hopes of reaching a wider audience

Mia Bell calls herself a 'fat activist' and hopes discrimination against overweight people will stop. (Photo submitted by Jennifer Ackerman)

Mia Bell calls herself a "fat activist."

Fat activism is a social movement that's been gaining momentum across North America and now Mia Bell is hoping to spread it across Regina.

"In the world of fat activism the word 'fat' is used in a more positive sense or as a really neutral body descriptor," said Bell in an interview with CBC Radio's The Morning Edition.

In a society where the pressure to be thin can be immense, she said the movement is aimed at reducing negative biases toward overweight people.

Doctors' offices, workplaces and everyday public settings are all places where overweight people might experience discrimination, said Bell.

How to learn more

Academics are tackling the subject, too, with titles such as Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal that explores progressive views of being overweight.

But the discussion doesn't stop there.  

"The big thing is to talk about it," Bell said.

"I think if you are extremely new to fat activism, or the idea of it, it is a great idea to go online," said Bell, suggesting social media groups as a good starting point.

With files from CBC Radio's The Morning Edition