Lonie has wanted to be a writer since age 3. For many years, she practiced her trade as a technical writer in the high tech industry. After going to graduate school, Lonie found her calling in fat studies, exploring the fat individual’s experience. Graduating with a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric, Lonie wrote her dissertation on the medical rhetoric surrounding the war on obesity and how such rhetoric legitimizes fat prejudice – topics which have now become two separate books. At this time, she is teaching professional and technical writing at University of Colorado Colorado Springs and working on her third book about things fat.
Fat is bad, right? For the last decade we have been so inundated with negative messages about fat that it is revolutionary to think otherwise. This rhetoric has increased prejudice and decreased health in the very people targeted for "help" while increasing profits for those perpetuating it. Considering empirical studies and statistics as well as the actual experience of fat people, Dr. McMichael asserts that the "war on obesity" is about many things, but it is not about health. She calls for a change in policy and perspective on fat in American society. "McMichael provides a thorough and compelling expose of the prejudice that underlies obesity rhetoric and a compassionate, tenable solution," says Linda Bacon, Ph.D., author of Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. "This book may make you angry, but it will also give you hope."
Acceptable Prejudice? Fat, Rhetoric and Social Justice
will be available from Pearlsong Press in the early part of 2013.
A study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that fat prejudice rivals racism in American society. However, even liberals and progressives tend to believe that fat individuals do not deserve protection based on the idea of fat being unhealthy and changeable – both concepts that have a great deal of societal belief and very little scientific evidence supporting them. Using bell hooks ideology of domination, Dr. McMichael explores the phenomena of fat prejudice and resistance to fat prejudice from a rhetorical point of view. Looking at the actual experiences of fat people, McMichael argues that fat prejudice is neither acceptable, nor tolerable in our society.
The Unlovable Child: Collateral Damage in the War on Obesity
is just getting under way. The goal is to have the book published by early 2014. Watch for a call for participants coming in August or September 2012.
“Think of the children!” is a common cry heard about fat children in the U.S. We have put our children on diets, forced them to exercise, and told them just how bad fat is all in the name of health. Yet, our children are not getting healthier or skinnier. What they are getting is terrified of being fat. In addition, if they are fat, they are being bullied and shamed – by their peers, by society, by the adults who supposedly care about them, even by our government – in misguided attempts at weight loss.
Using the experiences of adults who were fat children, Dr. McMichael looks at the long-term effects that have resulted from our focus on weight reduction. McMichael also explores the ways in which adults have healed from such traumas. Designed to be a cautionary tale for parents of fat children while providing guidance for those adults who would heal from body-based trauma, this book explores the long-term effects of trying to make our children into one-size-fits-all health obsessed drones.