"It's perfectly acceptable to make the fat body the butt of your joke... I want to change that."
That's what women's studies scholar and fat activist Lindsey Averill told The Huffington Post during a phone call to discuss her upcoming documentary, "Fattitude." Averill teamed up with filmmaker Viridiana Lieberman to make a feature-length film about fat discrimination, with the aim of educating people about their prejudices and urging them to change their behavior. The end goal is a cultural shift at how we look at and value fat bodies.
"Fat bodies in popular culture are monsters or goofy best friends," Averill told HuffPost. "This rolls over into a culture where if you're a fat person and good at your job, you may never get a promotion or a raise. People look at you and think you're lazy."
The film, slated for release in 2015, features interviews with prominent fat activists, authors, scientists and psychologists, including The Adipositivity Project's Substantia Jones and Hot And Heavy editor Virgie Tovar. These experts challenge the common perceptions that fat people are lazy, that every fat person is unhealthy, and that fat people aren't attractive.
While the documentary is intended to educate others, the creators have found that the filmmaking process changed their own perceptions.
"We thought we were making a film to help other people, but this has been personally life-changing," Averill told HuffPost.
We can't wait to see the final product.