[Repost] #208: Media, Wellness-Diet Culture, and the Power of Language with Maxine Ali, Linguist and Body-Image Researcher


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Body image researcher, writer, and linguist Maxine Ali joins us to discuss why wellness culture is really about privilege, not health; racial objectification and how it contributes to feelings of disembodiment; how to recognize when diet culture is co-opting non-diet language; the power of language in changing the discourse on health and wellness, and so much more! (This episode originally aired on October 7, 2019.)

Maxine Ali is a linguist and body image researcher, with a BA (1st Class Hons) in English Language and Linguistics, and a MSc in Medical Humanities from King’s College London. Maxine’s research interest is how the language of health impacts body image, self-concept and identity.

Having begun her career as a health journalist at the height of London’s wellness boom, Maxine experienced first-hand the perils of diet culture and its destructive physical and psychological effects. In 2017, she left her job as a wellness editor to obtain an MSc in Medical Humanities, examining the role of disembodying language in female experiences of eating disorders, obesity and disability in her thesis. Drawing on her background in linguistics, she began using her platform to dissect the language of wellness and lift the lid on the toxic hidden messages around food, health and body image. Find her online at MaxineAli.com.

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For full show notes and a transcript of this episode, go to christyharrison.com/foodpsych.

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