Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith
The Burnt Toast Podcast
What If I Just Don't Want My Kid To Be Fat?
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What If I Just Don't Want My Kid To Be Fat?

Plus Ozempic, clogs, and reclaiming treats. It's the April mailbag episode!
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Photo by Big Cheese via Getty Images

Virginia

You’re listening to Burnt Toast! This is the podcast about diet culture, fatphobia, parenting, and health. I’m Virginia Sole-Smith I also write the Burnt Toast newsletter.

Corinne

And I’m Corinne Fay. I work on Burnt Toast and run SellTradePlus, an Instagram account where you can buy and sell plus sized clothing.

Virginia

And it is time for your April mailbag episode! We have so many good questions this month. A lot of parenting food questions. I think maybe because I just ran the lunchbox piece in the newsletter it’s on everybody’s minds. But also, as usual, some fat fashion stuff. Clogs are coming up later. And Ozempic, because obviously. So it’s gonna be a good one.

Corinne

This is also a paywalled episode, which means to hear the whole thing, you’ll need to be a paid Burnt Toast subscriber. It’s just $5 per month or $50 for the year. Here’s how to join us.

Virginia

So before we dive in, how are you doing? What’s new with you, Corinne?

Corinne

I’m doing well. One thing that’s new with me is: I just signed up to do a powerlifting meet. So I’m feeling nervous. 

Virginia

Well, yeah. Is this like a competition thing, where people come and watch? 

Corinne

I think so. I mean, obviously, I’ve never done something like this before. It’s in Albuquerque, and it’s being run by my gym. And it’s all women’s. 

Virginia

That sounds very cool. 

Corinne

I’m just having a little of like, Oh, what did I do? Let’s see. Wow. Am I going to be the most amateur, weakest person there? I might.

Virginia

But you’ll still be super strong and amazing. Because the weakest person at a powerlifting competition is still the strongest person in most other rooms.

Corinne

That’s a good point. And I think one great thing about lifting is, it’s really more about your own goals and competing with yourself. But still.

Virginia

So is it like whoever lifts the most is the winner?

Corinne

So my understanding is very loose, but I know there are different weight classes. So you compete against people who are roughly around the same size?.

Virginia

 Interesting. Okay.

Corinne

And then I think it’s a cumulative weight of how much you lift, like combined squat, deadlift, bench press. 

Virginia

Wow, that’s so cool.

recently did one of these.

Corinne

I feel like I was slightly influenced by Julia Turshen.

Virginia

Did she enable you? Julia, good job! The pictures and videos she posted of it looked super exciting. And it looked like a very professional athletic setting. I would be intimidated for sure.

Corinne

The other thing that I’m sure we’ll end up talking about again, but you have to wear a singlet which is like, where am I gonna find a singlet? And knee socks.

Virginia

Knee socks! Why knee socks? 

Corinne

I’m like, oh my God, I’m never gonna find knee socks that fit me, but I’m trying to figure out if I can wear Universal Standard body shorts as a singlet, because I already have one of those. 

Virginia

That feels like a great solution. 

Corinne

It’s singlet-esque? But I don’t know what the actual requirements are.

Virginia

Girlfriend Collective also has a shorts body suit thing.

Corinne

I should look into that. 

Virginia

But I feel like you should be able to work with what you have. Especially for your first one. Once you’re a pro and doing this all the time, you’ll get, like, something with rhinestones. 

Corinne

Once I’m a sponsored Olympic athlete. Yes.

Virginia

I love that like we’re getting to follow along on the journey. Obviously we’re going to need another installment on this afterwards.

Corinne

Okay, yes. And just to be clear, the meet isn’t until July, so, so I have a lot of time to think about it.

Virginia

I’m just saying though. A few months ago, you were recommending

and her couch-to-barbell program. And you were like, “I’m just using a broomstick.”

Corinne

It’s true. 

Virginia

And now!

Corinne

It’s true and now I’m lifting actual pounds.

Virginia

Very, very cool. 

Corinne

Yeah, what’s new with you? 

Virginia

I feel like what’s new with me is that I am surviving, not thriving a little bit. So this is going to come out in mid-April. So we’ll be two weeks out from book launch. So I will either be better or I will be way worse. I mean, having had two children, it’s sort of similar to the last month of pregnancy when you’re like, it’s all you can think about, this thing is happening, but you have no control over it. I mean, at least with the book, you know, like the date it’s coming. Which with pregnancy, they have yet to really figure out, unless you’re scheduling. But I counted it up this morning, I have recorded 18 podcasts so far. Of other people’s podcasts. Like for talking about the book. 18 people’s podcasts. 

Corinne

Oh whoa. That’s wild.

Virginia

And like, seven of them were in the last week and a half? So I feel like my voice is hanging on by a thread. And I’m just getting a little mush-brained about it. I need to step back a little.

Obviously, I am super grateful. I love that people want me to talk about the book. I love that people are excited about the book. I cannot wait for it to be out. But it’s just at a point where there are a lot of details. Like, review all the press release materials, review the marketing plan…. I forgot we were recording today. And it’s not the first thing I’ve forgotten. Like, I forgot the kids had a dentist appointment. We made it, but I’m just like, my brain is holding too many pieces of information. Some things are getting dropped. I’m just coming in with a sort of scattered energy. But I’ve got the Throat Coat Tea that I’m living on right now. And we’re gonna do it! 

Corinne

Do you have any upcoming book promo stuff that you’re really excited to do?

Virginia

Well, I did an interview yesterday that I can’t talk about yet, because I don’t think it will be out by the time this launches. 

Corinne

Top secret. 

Virginia

There are two top secret ones that will be coming out in the week or two after this podcast episode. And they’re both very exciting. And I will say that I was very happy with my outfit for one. So that was good. And the other one the outfit matters less because it is not visual. I will say no more! 

Preorder FAT TALK!

And yeah, that part’s been fun, actually figuring out clothes for like the book tour Dacy has been helping me and maybe some time we’ll do a follow up about finding clothes for this. Because it’s a very specific level of, how dressy do you want to be versus comfortable? So maybe there will be an essay of what I wore for the book tour.

Corinne

I would love to read that.

Virginia

Okay, so we’re going to do some questions! The first one is a hot take opportunity. This came in over Instagram multiple times. People would like to know what we saw of Jia Tolentino’s Ozempic piece in The New Yorker.

Corinne

Okay, well, now is my time to be embarrassed when I admit that I read it really lightly. I did a really light skim sort of read, and was like, seems fine. And then I’ve seen everyone else being like, “This article is horrible.” And I’ve been like, wow, I really need to revisit that and find out why people are so upset.

Virginia

I’m glad to hear people are saying they’re upset! I felt like no one was talking about it at all for a little bit. And I was like, what is happening? I feel like the New York magazine piece came out, which I wrote about and that was not great. And then this piece comes out two weeks later, and I’m just like, why? Why did it come out? It’s the same piece really. 

Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith
Can Mainstream Media Stop with the Lady Mag Pieces About Ozempic.
Content warning: We’re going to talk about anti-fatness, eating disorders, and weight loss drugs today. Take care of yourself and please click links with the utmost caution. One day in 2004, when I was a wee editorial assistant at Seventeen Magazine, it was my job to call an eating disorder therapist quoted in a story we were running about bulimia to as…
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And I want to be clear that I love Jia’s work. I loved Trick Mirror. I think she writes phenomenal stuff. The piece she did on Angela Garbes last year was just incredible. And this was… not that. It is very much centering the story on thin people who would like to be thinner if they take Ozempic. There’s one fat person interviewed for the story. And, you know, of course, every fat person is entitled to their own experience of fatness. But her quotes just reinforced so many stereotypes. She talks about wanting to lose weight because she feels like she can’t hike or run at her current size. And it’s like, come on. We can do better. 

Corinne

If you want to hike and run, you could work on hiking and running?

Virginia

Right! There are so many fat hikers and runners on Instagram. 

Corinne

I thought the compounding pharmacy thing was kind of interesting.

Virginia

Oh, like explaining how sort of like loosey goosey it is and getting the drugs? 

Corinne

Because I’ve seen a lot of people on TikTok being like, I’m getting this patented drug from a compounding pharmacy. And I’m like, wait, is that real? Like, what is that? So I thought that part was interesting.

Virginia

It was interesting. But when she goes through the process of getting it herself, I always just worry—this is the eating disorder handbook stuff.

Corinne 

True true. You’re literally telling people how to do it. 

Virginia

And I get that that’s not hard to find. We all have Google. But is that something The New Yorker should be doing? Does The New Yorker need to teach us how to get our weight loss drugs? I don’t know. I feel like the general trend in the Ozempic coverage–And this is not just Jia, not just New York Magazine. But by and large, this coverage has this underlying question of: If we have now found a silver bullet that will make people thin, does that mean we can just forget about anti fat bias? And that is so dark. We cannot just say, now that we have a way to make everybody thin, it’s okay to hate fat people, because we can just make them thin.

Corinne

That’s a good point.

Virginia

I’m not judging anyone’s individual decisions about this. But this larger discourse is not helpful. That’s my hot, grouchy take. 

Corinne

That’s the hot take! I would love to know also, if any listeners have strong feelings about it? 

Virginia

Yes. Comments are open!

Leave a comment

Corinne

Okay, the next question is:

Q: The one thing I can’t shake as a new mom is worrying about making my daughter fat. How do I shake that? I grew up fat and it was hard. I want better for her. But does that mean dieting?

Continue reading this post for free, courtesy of Virginia Sole-Smith.

Burnt Toast by Virginia Sole-Smith
The Burnt Toast Podcast
Weekly conversations about how we dismantle diet culture and fatphobia, especially through parenting, health and fashion. (But non-parents like it too!) Hosted by Virginia Sole-Smith, journalist and author of THE EATING INSTINCT and the forthcoming FAT KID PHOBIA.