Sonalee Rashatwar, who calls herself the “Fat Sex Therapist,” compared fitness trainers to Nazis during a speech at St. Olaf’s College last week.
According to a report from Campus Reform, Sonalee Rashatwar is at it again. Breitbart News reported in March 2018 that Rashatwar was encouraging students at the University of Vermont to throw away their scales, in an effort to promote body acceptance and self-love. At that event, Rashatwar argued that “thinness is a white supremacist beauty ideal.”
Last week, Rashatwar spoke for two hours at St. Olaf’s College in Minnesota. During the event, Rashatwar fitness training to Nazis and the recent Christchurch shooting in New Zealand.
“I do not think it’s surprising that the man who shot up Christchurch, New Zealand was also a fitness instructor,” Rashatwar said. The shooting 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,” she added.
But Rashatwar didn’t stop there. She asked the audience to consider that high blood pressure could be the product of the social stigma surrounding being overweight rather than obesity itself.
“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?” Rashatwar asked the audience, before claiming that “fatphobic” science has Nazi origins.
But Rashatwar didn’t convince every student in attendance to convert to her way of thinking about radical “self-acceptance.” One freshman student who attended the event told Campus Reform that Rashatwar promotes a misleading message about personal health.
“The entire speech was very troubling to me,” the student said. “I know from personal experience that health is absolutely connected with weight… when you decide to give up and claim that doctors are lying to you and you’re perfect the way you are, all you truly end up with is repressed emotions and an early funeral…I can guarantee that maintaining healthy eating habits will help me live a much longer and healthier life than I was originally on track to have. Your life can only improve if you take responsibility for yourself.”
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