This animation film employs puppets to highlight a little-known condition which makes the lives of many women who suffer from it miserable.
Dietlind has created this animated film with characters made out of sponges to demonstrate what happens when someone suffers from lipoedema, where fatty deposits in the legs result in swollen and over-large lower limbs. Also known as “painful fat syndrome,” women who have lipoedema often believe they are over-weight but find that no amount of exercise reduces the fatty deposits. They suffer from legs and thighs which are out of proportion with the rest of the body.
Though the condition is believed to affect 11 per cent of the female population, Dietlind had never heard of it before she met Avril Lunken, an Occupational Therapist from Melbourne, at a puppetry workshop in 2013. Dietlind says when Avril explained lipoedema was a complex and chronic medical condition where abnormal fat accumulates around the buttocks, hips and legs (but not the feet), she recalled friends who she now thinks may suffer from the condition.
The pair decided to use the neutral medium of puppetry to create an animated film to raise awareness as many women with lipoedema suffer in embarrassed silence or might not even be aware that they have this condition and wonder why dieting doesn’t show any effect.
The film “Fat Legs & All” was presented for the first time at the 10th Australasian Lymphology Association Conference in Auckland (ALA 3-5 April 2014).
References for the film
Professor Neil Piller – Booklet for patients: ‘Recognition, Treatment and Management of Lipoedemas’ ISBN No: 09 578 22634 -The booklet can be purchased for A$15.00 plus postage from: Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic, Flinders Surgical Oncology Clinic. PO Box 312 Melrose Park SA 5039 Australia www.flinders.sa.gov.au/lymphoedema
Foldi E, Foldi M (2006) Lipedema. In Foldi’s Textbook of Lymphology (Foldi, M and Foldi E eds) 417- 27, Elsevier GmbH, Munich, Germany