A Smashing Day

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On a drizzly Friday afternoon in Vancouver, local organization What Are You Hungry For? staged their third annual "Scales are for Fish!" scale smashing in honour of International No Diet Day. Counselor Karen Dias and nutritionist Jacqui Gingras encouraged participants to do to bathroom scales what they claim scales have been doing to womens self-esteem for decades.

About fifteen cheering participants waved placards and gleefully took turns with the sledgehammer, one proclaiming, "I'm happy with my body the way it is!" before sending mangled scale fragments flying. Placards read, "Honk if You Hate Scales" and "Staple Paper, Not Stomachs!"

"A lot of people on TV, the image they present is that you have to be skinny to be famous or to get somewhere in life," said twelve-year old demonstrator, Natasha. "... It's really sad what [people] do to themselves."

Karen Dias explained that the demonstration was part of her organization's mandate "... to teach women it isn't all about weight loss or being a certain body size. We really look at the sociological messages around our bodies. We do workshops with health-care professionals about fat phobia and fat discrimination because it is very much perpetuated by the medical industry."

Dias paused to cheer with the other onlookers as the embattled pile of scales provided for the event underwent yet another blow of the hammer. "Health comes in a diversity of body sizes," she insisted, "and there is actually no evidence that you cannot be healthy and fat."

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