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Off the Menu

Challenging the Politics
and Economics of Body and Food

 

What’s wrong with the ways we relate to our bodies, to others’ bodies, and to food—and what can we do about it?

Through the testimony and creative work of a group of college students, this 40-minute documentary examines body and beauty ideals, body image, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, steroid abuse, cosmetic surgery, our cultural fear and hatred of fat, anti-fat prejudice, and inequalities related to the U.S. food system.

 
For a full-length preview of this film, please contact us at: info@cinemaservesjustice.com
 

Home/Personal License & DVD

Public/Classroom License & DVD

 

Discussion Questions for Classes and Community Groups:

  1. What do you believe to be the film's central message?
  2. What “action items” [a. Unplug from corporate media and advertising. b. Confront anti-fat prejudice in yourself and others. c. Interrupt harassment and bullying based on body shape/size. d. Buy organic. e. Buy local. f. Eat less meat. g. Contribute your time, energy, and money to raising the minimum wage, increasing regulatory control over food producers, and supporting public nutrition programs] recommended by the film are you prepared to undertake? What “action items” would you add to the list provided?
  3. What attempts does your school or organization make to follow these and related “action items”? 
  4. Of all the students featured in the film, whose testimony had the greatest impact on you? Explain.
  5. Of the student artwork featured, which example did you find most effective, powerful, or thought-provoking? Explain.
  6. Have you, or has a friend or family member, had a cosmetic procedure? Do you believe if we lived in a more accepting culture when it comes to appearance that you and/or your associate would have had that procedure? Explain. Do you believe there are differences between getting Botox or having breast implants and getting braces or having Lasik for cosmetic reasons? Explain.
  7. To what extent have you observed males you know feeling pressure to build a larger, more muscular body? What steps need to be taken to reduce the prevalence of muscle dysmorphia in our culture? What steps is your school or organization taking?
  8. Have you, or has a friend or family member, struggled with an eating disorder? If so, how has this impacted you and/or that person? What steps need to be taken to reduce the prevalence of eating disorders in our culture? What steps is your school or organization taking?
  9. Have you, or has a friend or family member, been harassed or bullied due to body shape and/or size? If so, how has this impacted you and/or that person? What steps need to be taken to reduce weight/size-based harassment and bullying in our culture? What steps is your school or organization taking?
  10. To what extent have you internalized anti-fat prejudice? How does this impact how you see yourself and others?
  11. What kinds of "fat talk" do you engage in and hear in your daily life? How does talk about fat reflect/reinforce our culture's stereotypes and prejudices?
  12. What is Off the Menu’s perspective on hunger? How is this similar to and/or different from your own perspective?