Janet Conroy-Quirk: National Plus Guide
On this installment of the Tragedy Academy, writer, actor, and speaker Janet Conroy Quirk is in the studio. Janet is an advocate for the plus-sized community and is co-founder of National Plus Size, a directory that connects people with plus-friendly businesses. In this episode, we dig into the stereotypes surrounding plus-sized people and break antiquated ideology by providing real-world experiences, perspectives, and solutions!
🍎 Diet culture
🧐 Believing the stereotypes
✊🏼 Advocating for better representation
🧠 Mental health and weight
🧭 Skills for navigating life
🦺 Lack of safety
❤️ National Plus Guide
[00:02:21 ] Throughout her 41 years of life, Janet has been every size there is and has experienced different treatment at each one. She notes the differences in how people treat you in all settings, including politeness, romantically, career opportunities, and most notably in the acting space.
[00:08:10 ] Jay and Janet discuss the media’s obsession with diet culture and the fit vs. fat stigma. Janet points out that weight size does not equal health, and even if it did, that is no reason to treat people without kindness. She emphasizes the importance of treating people equally and not project one’s bias. Most biases of overweight people imply that they are lazy and uneducated, which only undermines what a person has to offer.
[00:13:11 ] Jay points out the internalized shame that comes with the stereotypes of fat people; often, people end up believing and accepted it. Janet adds by noting the concept of body positivity and the misconception of thinking that you wake up the next morning feeling great about yourself. Conversely, Janet notes that seeing more women who look like her in media has helped the size acceptance movement, yet she still does not have any plus-sized friends.
[00:20:33 ] Janet shares what better representation looks like for her. She lists the importance of seeing people play leading roles in tv, and representation in the clothing industry, but most notably telling stories of successful people. Several factors can define success, so the critical part is to break antiquated stereotypes of laziness and portray overweight people in leadership.
[00:26:08 ] Janet comments on the role mental health plays in fitness. She states that although she is happy for her loved ones, which makes it a point to exercise every day, talking to a therapist is just as important. Additionally. she points out the condescending comments people make when she is at the gym or swimming in a pool.
[00:31:08 ] Janet shares some practices she puts in place to navigate life without too much negativity. She controls what she exposes herself to, including social media restrictions and not using the apps that much. She also chooses who she associates herself with and sets rigid boundaries and whoever does not want to comply is welcome to leave her life. But she also acknowledges that there are moments in which she has to pick her battles and not let something ruin her day.
[00:40:22 ] Janet reveals the Lack of safety for plus-sized women, especially online. She gives the example of email tracking and escalating to the point of receiving death threats. A second example is a personal anecdote where Janet was assaulted while riding the subway, and no one came to her aid. As a result, she was afraid to use the subway again and took months to regain her confidence. She notes that the older generations are the cruelest, and conversely, the younger generations are more inclusive.
[00:56:28 ] Janet talks about a project she co-founded called National Plus Guide. It is a directory that connects plus-sized people to business establishments that are plus-friendly and plus-accommodating.
[01:01:55 ] Connect with National Plus Guide
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