‘Fattitude’: Documentary Aims To Promote Body Acceptance

By Brittany Shammas
Sun Sentinel.

Lindsey Averill spent most of her life thinking things would be better if she could just get skinnier.

She counted calories and worked out, but still couldn’t reach the size she wanted, the one she saw on TV and in magazines. She put things off, thinking she’d do them once she shed 10 more pounds.

“Everything was in relation to when I got thinner,” said Averill, 36. “It’s almost as if my life was going to start when I got thinner.”

Then she discovered what’s known as the “fat acceptance movement” and started loving her body just the way it was _ fat, in her words. Averill, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall, stopped getting on scales two years ago. The last time she got on one, she said she weighed 217 pounds.

Now Averill, a Boca Raton, Fla., resident and doctoral student at Florida Atlantic University, is trying to encourage others do the same through a documentary she’s making with filmmaker and friend Viridiana Lieberman of New York City.

Called “Fattitude,” the movie, slated to be finished in 2015, is aimed at exposing discrimination against overweight people in pop culture and in daily life.

It’s also meant to teach people that they can embrace their bodies at any size.

It turns out that fat acceptance and discrimination is something many people feel strongly about. After a fundraiser for the movie went live on Kickstarter.com in April, Averill started getting harassed.

People sent pizzas to her house, signed her up for weight loss products and posted her address online. They even called with death threats. Averill admits being scared, but said it also showed how important the Fattitude project is.

“If we can incite all this hatred by spreading the message that you shouldn’t have to hate your fat body, then clearly there is prejudice and injustice out there,” she said.

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