Naming the villain rather than blaming the individual is one of the things writer and feminist marketing consultant Kelly Diels proposes needs to happen in order to shift current sleazy marketing tactics (scarcity, pain, the problem lies within the individual, the ‘expert’ role), towards marketing that is driven by ethics, values, inclusivity, diversity – marketing that can help change our culture.

But this isn’t an article on marketing.

It’s an article on body acceptance.


Olive green background with text overlay reads: Naming the villain: a strategy to promote body acceptance. feel good eating


This idea of naming the villain got me thinking about all of the stories and experiences of being in a body that I get the privilege to hear from my clients and from people like you who send me emails or comment online.

When they name the ‘problem’ (aka the villain), they say it is their body. Or it is themselves for not being able to lose the weight and keeping it off. For not having the willpower to control their eating. For not doing what it takes to achieve the body they want.

I will often then ask my clients if they were to wake up on a deserted island with only themselves in their current body, or wake up tomorrow in a world where all bodies are accepted and respected, would they still want to lose weight? Would they still want their body to look different? Would their body still be the villain?

I invite you to take a moment to consider this hypothetical for yourself. What would your answer be?


Female in larger body with red lipstick smelling a bunch of roses. She wears a white t-shirt that says "My size? Resilient. Drop the label"


When posed with the idea of a world where their body is not seen to be bad or wrong by the rest of society, everyone I have asked says that they would be OK living in the current body they have. They could let go of wanting to lose weight. They could accept their physical body.

So, it’s time to name the TRUE villain here:

It is diet culture

It is the weight stigma and fatphobia that stems from diet culture.

It is not your body.

Your body is not the villain.

Your body doesn’t need to be fixed.

It is time to shift the blame from your body and place it where it belongs:

Diet culture.

Weight stigma.


It is time to get angry at the culture that doesn’t allow you to live peacefully in your body, rather than get angry at yourself.

Next time you are about to get into the ring for a round of body bashing, take a pause and name the real villains:

Diet culture.

Weight stigma.


Say them out loud, shout them if you want. Whatever it takes to circuit break that cycle of hating on your body.