Presence in Body Positivity and Shame-Free Storytelling with Dr. Kate Browne | #9

Sep 3, 2019

Image text reads, "Presence in Body Positivity and Shame-Free Storytelling with Dr. Kate Browne | #9" over a woman holding up a makeup brush and singing into it as if it were a mic

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

Dr. Kate Browne is a pop culture writer and rhetorician. She is also the Vice President of Communications for the Body Positive Fitness Alliance and the founder of Taking Up Space, a blog about marketing tactics in the health, wellness, and fitness industries. In fact, I have paid Kate for consultation work on my own website and marketing copy – she really knows her stuff!

Kate spoke with me about the use of shame-based marketing in health and wellness and shared alternatives to the typical before-and-after weight loss stories we’re all used to seeing. We also chatted about the difference between body positivity as a political movement and the “love yourself” version of body positivity that is currently popular.

We discussed:

  • Kate’s background in comedy and theater and how she came to do the work she is doing today.
  • Why the “your body is your billboard” mentality in marketing is unnecessary.
  • Diversity on SNL and the power of seeing people who look like you on screen.
  • Kate’s return to the stage as the frontwoman for a cover band.
  • Her experiences with Weight Watchers and how damaging it was for her to grow up dieting.
  • How Kate defines the “positive” part of body positivity as presence.
  • The “love yourself” version of body positivity as the gateway to the political aspects of the body positivity movement.
  • Why shame-based marketing is bad marketing, even though it technically works by keeping people coming back.
  • The clash between the promise of  intentional weight loss and body positivity, particularly from a fitness marketing perspective.
  • Why evangelizing body positivity, HAES, etc. can take autonomy away from other people when it comes to their bodies.
  • How before and after success stories are harmful and what kinds of stories we can tell instead that are also effective.
  • Kate’s upcoming academic book on the TV show, The Golden Girls.
  • How Kate defines health and wellness for herself at this point in her life, in particular, focusing on her emotional health. 

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

Kate looks effortlessly cool wearing a leather jacket over a grey shirt and red paints, sitting back in a chair

Dr. Kate Browne (she/her) is a pop culture writer and rhetorician who writes about how body-based autobiography like before-and-after weight loss success stories teach us how to live. She is the Vice President of Communications for the Body Positive Fitness Alliance and the founder of Taking Up Space, a blog about marketing tactics in the health, wellness, and fitness industries. You can find Kate on TwitterInstagram, and her website.

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