The Great Diet Rip Up - The Feminist Art Project
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The Great Diet Rip Up


Brenda O art Studio

1342 North Main St., Suite #7

Ann Arbor, MI



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Brenda Oelbaum



The Great Diet Rip-Up is an experiential, activist event that brings those in recovery from eating, weight and body image issues, health care professionals and our community together in a creative demonstration of support and empowerment for body positive, person-centered ideals. The diet and beauty industry and current cultural standards promote unhealthy dieting practices and body dissatisfaction in people across all age, gender, ethnic and socioeconomic categories. The Great Diet Rip Up pushes back against the shame, blame and contradictions inherent in our culture’s standards for health and beauty. Diets are ineffective for most people. Repeated attempts to diet tear away at self-esteem, health, and well-being. Rather than tear away at your self-esteem and well-being, the Great Diet Rip-Up offers you a chance to symbolically tear up dieting, deprivation and weighing your self-esteem on the scale in celebration of the natural human form, by literally ripping up new and used diet books.

Who is behind this event? Ann Arbor feminist, activist artist, Brenda Oelbaum is hosting the event at her studio where she is in the process of creating a large scale installation that attacks the billion dollar diet industry. The installation features a large replica of the Venus of Willendorf, one of the most famous early female images, representing an iconic, voluptuous female form. Brenda has spent the last several years collecting diet books from around the globe which she is tearing up and pasting on to the wire Venus form, to create her rounded shape. Brenda is inviting the community to participate in an evening of tearing and pasting, to share in her act of protest.

Michigan representative for the Feminist Art Project (, and Vice President of the Midwest Region for the National Women’s Caucus for Art (, Brenda is a nationally recognized artist who works in mixed media.

The Center for Eating Disorders ( joins with the National Women’s Caucus for Art and the Feminist Art Project in sponsoring this event. Staff members from the Center for Eating Disorders will be participating in the event to guide the activity and promote discussion and awareness of diet alternatives and resources.

When is it and what will happen? The event takes place: Monday, March 22, 6-9 p.m. BrendaOArt Studio 1342 N. Main Street Ann Arbor, Michigan Artist and host Brenda Oelbaum will provide opening remarks, followed by a brief introduction by Judith Banker, Executive Director, Center for Eating Disorders. The remainder of the event will involve tearing up pages of diet books and pasting them to the Venus form. Discussion will be facilitated throughout the evening by staff of the Center for Eating Disorders. Light refreshments will be served. To RSVP call the Center for Eating Disorders at 734-668-8585 or email pasting can get messy so wear comfortable clothes. Please bring a new or used diet book to donate to the project.

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