May 6, 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the first worldwide celebration of International No Diet Day (INDD) – an annual celebration of body acceptance, size diversity and awareness-raising about the harms and misleading promises from the diet industry. Including this year, there have been a total of 22 INDD celebrations, ever since Mary Evans Young started INDD in London in the spring of 1992 following two things: seeing a television program where women were having their stomachs stapled; and a young girl of 15 who committed suicide because ‘she couldn’t cope with being fat’ at a size 14 UK (size 12 US). Mary Evans Young decided that somebody had to stand up and do something — and in the absence of anybody else — she decided it would be her. So she sent out a press release entitled, “Fat Woman Bites Back” and received some media attention. She was desperate to keep the anti-diet/size acceptance concept in the public eye, so without really thinking about it, at the end of a live TV interview, she added: “Don’t forget to celebrate No Diet Day!”
Having declared it on prime time national TV, she set about organizing a small group of women to have a picnic in Hyde Park. When it rained that day of the picnic, she moved the event to her living room. By 1993, INDD became truly international and the pale blue ribbon was adopted as its symbol. It is now celebrated in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Israel, Denmark and Brazil.
Mary Evans Young used her frustration and outrage to fuel her activism. To honor International No Diet Day, we want to interact with our blog readers and hear your ideas for commemorating INDD, celebrating size diversity, and/or being adventurous in activism. Tell us what you’d say if you had 30 seconds of airtime on prime time national TV!