David Duchovny: Fat Chick Dance?

Californication has just started its fourth season.  In the show David Duchovny plays Hank Moody, the lead character who is a classic womanizer.

What interests me happened In Season 1, Episode 8.   Hank’s father tells him “…life’s too short to dance with fat chicks”. While it’s certainly not an original phrase, it appears that moment of television has spawned a bit of a movement.

This would not have been on my radar at all except I saw it on Twitter last week. A quick Google search showed me that there are websites and blogs dedicated to this concept. I found places where I could buy t-shirts, I can even buy bumper stickers because apparently these people (the bloggers included men and women) are worried that some fat chicks who are driving around will be laboring under the misapprehension that we are somehow worthy of their time.

Now, please read the following carefully because someone will accuse me in the comments of doing everything I’m about to clearly explain that I’m not doing, and I want to feel fully justified when I mock them:

  • I’m aware that these are scripted characters in a show, not  real people and I fully accept that.
  • I’m aware that the opinions of the characters may or may not match the opinions of the actual actors and I fully accept that.
  • Clearly, since so many people are resonating with this phrase over three years later, the writers did a good job of reflecting our current culture, this show has a lot of dark themes and I’m not against that.
  • I am not, I. Am. Not,  I AM NOT angry at the show for using the line. I’m not, seriously.

I just think that since his character did nothing to refute the statement in the show, and especially now that it’s become so widespread, the real live David Duchovny might like the opportunity to speak out – with flair.  Because obviously this statement is just ridiculous and he might not want to be associated with a cultural meme that tells would-be dance partners that fat women are so sub-human that a dance with us is actually a waste of the limited time they have on Earth.

You see, that’s where it gets a little crazy for me.  Not everyone is attracted to fat women and I’m ok with that.  But the idea that if we are at a dance, people should skip the opportunity to dance with me because my size inherently makes me a waste of time is just crazy talk, and David Duchovny can prove it.

And what better way to do so than to dance with me… a real live fat chick who is also a professional dancer and a National Champion in partner dancing.  It’s going to be awesome! You’ll notice that I do not have a book for sale nor anything to promote – this isn’t a publicity stunt to make a buck.  This is an invitation to Mr. Duchovny to come dance with me, thereby speaking out against a cruel, demoralizing meme that he helped create.

But don’t take my word for it Mr. Duchovny, lest you doubt my fat chick dancing prowess I have references and videos (you can find them below).

So if you see him, please let Mr. Duchovny know that his fat chick  is waiting for her dance, and that it will be time very well spent.  While I’m at it, a friend suggested that the Ellen  show might be the perfect venue for our dance.  Well, if I’m going to swing, I might as well swing for the fences.  Ellen’s show is all about positivity with plenty of dancing sprinkled in and I think that it would be amazing to do this there (in no small part because it would give me a chance to meet one of my heroes!), so if you see Ellen feel free to pass the suggestion along.  But rest assured, whenever and wherever Mr. Duchovny is  ready to trip the light fantastic, I’ll be there.

So David (can I call you David?) here are my references and videos.  I’ll look forward to hearing from you! Remember it’s ragen at danceswithfat dot com…

I have danced with Ragen Chastain and I can truthfully say that she is an accomplished and talented dancer. She actually makes me look good. –Bobby Moorman

I highly recommend Ragen Chastain as an excellent follower. Ms. Chastain’s frame is impeccable and she is very light on her feet. She takes change in direction exceptionally well and doesn’t hesitate to add embellishments to enhance the dance experience. Oh, and one more thing…I enjoy dancing with Ragen because she makes me look soooo good. As an amateur dancer, I have much to learn in leading the dance, and it is my pleasure to stand with Ragen . Best regards, Alfredo Cervantes Jr.

After thinking about it for a while I have danced on and off with Ragen for at least a good 6 years. From those many years ago when I first watched her staring at our feet as we line danced and she jumped up and said “I can do this”, which she could, to her full on performing and competing.  When I think of when I get to dance with Ragen the first thing I think of as a lead is the word “light.” Let’s just say the girl can twirl! She has this innate sense of balance, knows her center of balance and how to use it as she executes her turns in any pattern I throw at her. I have always jokingly said “Ragen comes with power steering on the dance floor.” She isn’t one of those follows who anticipates what I plan to do. She holds her own and does her part. I get to lead and she most certainly follows. She is always up for a challenging new move and if she thinks she didn’t do it right she is quick to say, “wait, try that again!” I always hope that what I did was intentional and not something I accidentally made up and can’t replicate though!  Whether it is swing, two-step, waltz or nightclub, Ragen has always been one of my favorite partners to dance with as she is well versed in all the styles.   I love that even when I make a mistake, she makes me look good. She can make me look like a much better dancer than I actually am. I love coming off the floor with her and having someone comment to ME, “wow I didn’t know you were that good!” That statement always strikes me as funny because I make her do all the work.  All in all, you can not ask for a more graceful, gracious and talented dance partner.-Don Curran

I have been thrilled to coach and dance with Ragen Chastain for the past 6 years. As a dancer, Ragen, is determined, a great learner, and always has a positive outlook. She is great to coach and dance with, and has certainly dealt with some adversity due to her size and people are often surprised  that she can move with such ease and grace. She always takes on any challenge, and tries her best to make anything I throw at her work. Ragen gives me lots of credit for her dancing, but coaching her has also made me look at things from a different angle as well. And it makes me always see that just because a person is of size, they can do anything they are determined to do just as well as anyone else!! Rowdy Dufrene, Professional World Champion Dancer and Coach

Do you prefer a fast dance?

Or a slow dance?


Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 6:32 am  Comments (44)  

44 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’d love if he had the cojones to do it. It would redeem him a lot in my eyes, seeing as I was quite disappointed when I found out he’d been cheating on his lovely wife. And when I say “lovely” I am referring to the fact that she seems to be a genuinely nice person, not that she is a non fat chick. You are a lovely person as well!
    I am also a large woman, and at one point I did take some ballet classes. However, I always felt so self-conscious that I ended up stopping. I wish I’d seen you before then to inspire me!

    • Of course, I think it would be awesome if he would do it. You know, you can always try dancing again :)

      ~Ragen

  2. Just lovely, beautiful, and classy! That is just so impressive! I hope to come take a class at some point. And I liked that baby got back version, too. LOL

    • Hi Lauren,
      Thank you! The minute I heard that version of Baby Got Back I knew I had to dance to it! I would love to meet you and have you in class, hope to se you there sometime :)

      ~Ragen

  3. Great post! I think you should start a counter-movement —

    “LIFE’S TOO SHORT NOT TO DANCE WITH FAT CHICKS”

  4. I love that you provided references and videos. Very thorough of you.

    You are awesome!

    • I agree. Very well written.

    • Thanks, my dance friends were completely awesome to take the time to do them for me!

      ~Ragen

  5. Wow. That was a wonderful letter. Please make sure it gets to Duchovny’s agent (who I’m sure you can find on the Internet) as well as to a producer on the Ellen show. I have a feeling that with a little elbow grease, you WILL find yourself dancing with David on national (and dare I say, being Canadian, international) TV.

    • Thank you! I want to give it a little time to pick up momentum and then I’ll definitely forward it to his agent and to Ellen. (Or maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll contact me!) I used to live in Northern New York about 20 minutes from Canada so I watched a lot of Canadian TV growing up – it would be an honor to give back :)

      ~Ragen

  6. BEAUTIFUL! Ragan! I am so proud of you.

    • Thank you so much Beverly! How are you doing? Call me!

      ~Ragen

  7. Even if I didn’t spell your name correctly.

  8. I am now going to spend every waking hour trying to track down a way to get your post to Duchovny.

    • Wow – you are too awesome! I hope that mentioning ASDAH on Ellen will be an appropriate thank you!

      ~Ragen

  9. I smell a new movement! Dance with Fat Chicks! If anyone can make this happen, it’s Ellen (also one of my heroes).

    This reminded me of middle and high school when no one would dance with me. You know what, though? They really missed out – I am an awesome dancer. Now I dance with my Honey (who likes big butts – well, at least mine!) in our living room (I am past the age of enjoying night clubs, though I did for many years). I’m glad I kept dancing even without a partner all those years.

    • Oooh – “Dance With Fat Chicks”, I’m totally in for that movement. And I’m so glad that you found a honey who likes to dance and likes your (undoubtably awesome) butt!

      ~Ragen

  10. By the way, if anyone wants to send Ellen an email to ask to see this:

    http://ellen.warnerbros.com/show/respond/?PlugID=10

    • Thank you very much. I’ve submitted it and it will be awesome if other people do to, maybe we can get some momentum going. Thanks a bunch!

      ~Ragen

  11. If you dance with David Duchovny I will be so jealous! I hope he takes you up on it!

    xo Susie

  12. Ragan,

    I would dance with you in a heartbeat! I’ve bookmarked your photos and videos for my five-year-old daughter, who is taking her first dance classes right now. Her studio owner is an amazing dancer who would be classified as a “fat chick”. I look forward to your blog updates, and I loved this one! I’m sharing it.

    Ann

    • Hi Ann,

      Welcome to the blog! Thank you so much for your compliments and I’m complete honored that you would share this with your daughter. She’s very lucky to have a Mom who wants to foster healthy self image. I hope that she had a fantastic first dance class!

      ~Ragen

  13. David, please dance with our Super Ragen! I’ll even find a cape for her if you do. Sure, it may just be a bed sheet tied around her neck, but it still counts.

    Awesome counter-movement.

    • Ooh, there could be a cape? Are you by any chance willing to dye the bed sheet pink and cover it with glitter? I MUST make this happen :)

      ~Ragen

  14. A Jezebel reader coming over to say…I saw your website and videos a few years ago, and they were one of the few things that inspired me to get up and move…in public…without shame. While I’m still too shy to get up and dance (I have no rhythm), I’m now an aspiring triathlete!
    So…thanks! And much luck to you! Can’t wait to see how far this goes! *sigh* Oh, Fox…

    • You are amazing! Congratulations on your journey to being a triathlete, I hope you’ll check back in and let me know how it’s going. Your comment made my day, thank you for your kind words and for the luck!

      ~Ragen

  15. I wrote about this here http://illsagorrey.blogspot.com/2011/01/life-is-too-short-to-be-bigot.html
    and linked the post to my Facebook and twitter accounts.
    Actually, the statement that “life’s too short to dance with fat chicks” makes me very angry. I guess there are some people who go dancing just to get laid, which is probably why I quit going dancing years ago. I go dancing to dance. Why refuse somebody because you don’t find them attractive on the surface? I know–in this society, men are not supposed to find “fat chicks” attractive. Lame!

    I guess I’m an odd one but I have to like a person’s personality before I can find him attractive. I used to think David Duchovny was hot with a capital H, but I kind of soured on him after he cheated on his wife. Like Faycin A Croud said, if he takes you up on this that will redeem him for me because it will show that he is a person with some real class!

    • Ilsa, could I trouble you not to use “lame” as a pejorative? I’m lame. I’m not pathetic or uncool or crappy or ineffective or any of the things people mean when they say “lame!” with a sneer. But I am lame. I have a cane and everything. And when you say lame to mean a Bad Thing, you’re making me and a lot of other folks with interesting walking styles out to be whatever Bad Thing you’re trying to say. Which hurts. So please don’t.

      • Whirlwitch, I actually know Illsa and I know she didn’t mean anything bad by it. She was probably trying to find a word that she didn’t think would be offensive. I assure you that it was inadvertent.

      • Whirlwitch, first of all I am extremely sorry that you felt insulted by my choice of words. Frankly, I didn’t realize that people used the word “lame” any more in context of someone who has a mobility impairment any more than people still use the word “dumb” to mean mute. Maybe it’s a geographic thing and in some parts of the country they do. In any case, I apologize.
        I actually have what my old granddad would literally have referred to as “a hitch in my git along” from spinal and hip injuries. I’ve got a bit of a limp. I see that it doesn’t stop me from putting my foot in my mouth.
        At any rate, I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. I was only trying to support this great idea of Ragen’s to show the fallacy of size prejudice.
        Luckily I don’t blog or comment very often, so you won’t see that much of me, probably.

  16. Love the videos! You certainly can twirl! I did some tap classes many years back and couldn’t twirl across the room without veering off-course and getting very dizzy. You must have a great inner sense of balance! So fun to watch!

  17. Hi everyone–let’s start a twitter campaign to help build the momentum! How about #willdaviddance?

    • Awesome, I put it on the blog for today. Thanks Mary!

  18. I am a fat chick too, and *I* think life is too short to dance with bigoted jerks who make comments like he did!

    • Hi, thanks for the comment! Just to be clear, David Duchovny did not say the line – a character on the show said it to his character on the show. What I’m suggesting is that, since it has become such a popular phrase and since he is the star of the show, he might want to refute it personally.

      ~Ragen

  19. Go get him Ragen!!

  20. Do you not realize this line was said by a *CHARACTER* in a tv show and not a real person? Why are you publicly saddling David Duchovny with the responsibility to respond to this when he had nothing to do with it? While I appreciate the sentiment to dance with a fat chick and that making it a meme is empowering and making a great point, throwing this at Mr. Duchovny is misguided and only makes you look desperate. Looking in the comments, people are already disparaging him for something he didnt do. By publicly calling him out your are setting the stage for a lot of unwarranted negativity towards him if he doesnt respond. How would you feel if someone dropped your name in to a public promotion of a topic you had absolutely nothing to do with and then pressured you for a response?

    • Oh Clarice,

      First, let’s work on our critical reading skills. Let’s re-read the following passage from the blog together shall we:

      “Now, please read the following carefully because someone will accuse me in the comments of doing everything I’m about to clearly explain that I’m not doing, and I want to feel fully justified when I mock them:

      * I’m aware that these are scripted characters in a show, not real people and I fully accept that.”

      Next, only one person on this blog said something negative that may have been about David Duchovny or may have been about his character and (assuming that you were actually able to grasp what I said in my comment back) you’ve already noticed that I immediately clarified my position.

      Nobody said anything bad about David Duchovny directly because they were all smart enough to understand what I’m doing here. You were the only person who couldn’t quite connect the dots – the only one who read the phrase “I’m aware that these are scripted characters in a show” and then started your reply with “Do you realize that this was said by a *Character* on a TV show”.

      Let me try to say this again more simply for you: His character, on a show in which he is the star, was part of starting something awful in the real world and I thought that he personally (since he lives in the real world and not in the show) might want to do something about it. Your assertion that he had “absolutely nothing to do with it” is laughable.

      He’s certainly welcome to do nothing to refute it, but if it seems to some people like that constitutes tacit agreement with the sentiment, then negativity isn’t unwarranted.

      I appreciate your concern that I look desperate but since the only person expressing that sentiment is you, and you are also the only person who didn’t seem to be able to get your head around the concept…well, let’s just say I’ll give your opinion all the consideration it’s due.

      To answer your question, if I were part of something like this I would expect people to call me out on it, and I would be happy to say “yes, my character is a jerk, but I’m not and here are my feelings on the subject”. (In fact I probably would have said it before someone had to ask me to.) I simply offered him the opportunity. If you’re really concerned that he will look bad if he doesn’t take it, perhaps you should be e-mailing him.

      ~Ragen

      • Ragen, you’re a legend. I believe the term for your response is “pwned”.

  21. Ragen, can I just say how inspiring it is to watch you dance? I’ve shied away from dance for most of my life because of my size, and plenty of folks telling me that I’m “too fat to dance.” It’s only been recently, since I joined an open-minded performance troupe, that I’m starting to shed my shyness and shake my booty on stage. Thank you!


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