Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Gloria Lucas

Woman Crush(ing the Patriarchy) Wednesday: Gloria Lucas
Nalgona Positivity Pride

There is enough media that highlights whiteness, and I feel that NPP is not another typical eating disorder site. For instance, some of the items that I post on NPP's social media include: Spanish-language content, Native American news, body positivity that comes from folks of color, material on colonialism and decolonizing, and indigenous struggles from all over the world. Our goal at NPP is to provide a site where people and families dealing with eating disorders and body image issues can find information that can apply to them.

Another thing that makes NPP unique is its overall system of belief, particularly its ideas on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and the ways historical trauma of colonialism can create an atmosphere that fosters mental illnesses like eating disorders. Can you discuss this?

Since eating disorders have been pathologized to only happening to white individuals, so much that pertains to indigenous folks and people of color is continuously left out of the conversation. The truth is that historical atrocities that people of color and indigenous folks have lived are not issues that were just left erased in the past – those atrocities left forthcoming generations in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical detrimental conditions. Historical trauma and post-traumatic slave syndrome explain that slavery and colonization impacted people not only in behavior and health but genetically, too. Colonialism from the past and current systems of oppression teach people of color and indigenous people that our bodies are inferior, disposable and that they do not belong to us. We receive very unhealthy messages around food, body autonomy and self-love.

How does this historical trauma of colonialism, along with white supremacy and patriarchy, breed mental illnesses like eating disorders and even body dissatisfaction?

Many of us have bruised family lineages, and we weren’t given the needed support and healing tools. Instead, we were given unhealthy messages around food, body autonomy and self-love. On top of that, we have to live through current systemic racism, modern colonialism, sexism, heteropatriarchy and sizeism. Eating disorders can then develop in response to very stressful and violent circumstances. We might use food as a coping mechanism to disappear, feel power over our numb bodies, escape, vent, release, inflict pain and more.

 Photo Cred is Nalgona Positivity Pride.

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