A powerful collection of testimonies from teenage girls who have been victimized by fatphobia, a social phenomenon that stigmatizes and discriminates against individuals because of their weight.
What is fatphobia and what can be done to overcome it? With poetic illustrations and painful, compelling testimony, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia offers multiple examples of the psychological effects of weight-based discrimination and bullying on adolescent girls.
What do Sophie, Charlotte, Julie and Camille have in common? They are between 16 and 18 years old, and since early childhood they’ve had to contend with the consequences of fatphobia—the complex of hostile attitudes and behaviours that stigmatizes overweight people. Now, with the help of Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, they are learning to overcome and heal the deep wounds of rejection, discrimination and bullying that they suffered because of their appearance. The program’s objective is to help them rebuild their self-esteem, restore their life balance, and love themselves as they are.
Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia is an invaluable tool for raising awareness and aiding intervention. The film provides these victims of our fatphobic society with an opportunity to speak for themselves, and their testimonies, given under the protection of anonymity, are powerful, painful statements describing the extent and impact of this destructive social phenomenon. The teenagers are guided through the healing process by two counsellors, psychologist Elizabeth Dettmer and Maja Eklund, an adult woman who has developed strategies to overcome this type of discrimination. At a time when “body-positive” philosophies and discussions of diverse body types are beginning to appear in the media, Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia highlights voices and viewpoints that are rarely heard, but absolutely essential.
Featuring rich, insightful narration by the director and poetic illustrations by Emanuelle Dufour, this medium-length documentary was produced by Denis McCready at the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Toronto, as part of the 10th Tremplin Program organized by the NFB in association with Radio-Canada.
Elizabeth Dettmer, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Researched, Written and Directed by
Director of Photography
© 2019 National Film Board of Canada (SOCAN)
Voice Studio Recording
Eggplant Picture & Sound
Mathieu Dandurand, EMD
Infographics and Titles
Family photographs, Maja Eklund
Photo by Patrick Rooney
Photo by Brendan Lally Photography
A big thank-you to the teenagers taking part in the SickKids Team Obesity Management Program (STOMP) for their powerful testimonials.
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Toronto
Sarah Taylor – Founder of Fitness by Sarah Taylor
Administrator and Line Producer
Alexandrine Torres de Figueiredo
In collaboration with
Senior manager, content development and production, programming
Regional director, Radio-Canada Ontario
Produced as part of the Tremplin 2018 initiative
A production of
The National Film Board of Canada
French Program – Canadian Francophonie Studio