Could They Do It?

Picture by Substantia Jones for

As my regular readers know, I’m in the process of moving to Los Angeles.  I have been toying with the idea of surfing and then I found out about Fat Surfer Jimbo Pellegrineand now I’m definitely going to do it.  (In fact, I’m thinking of doing a “Ragen’s Wacky Workouts” series on YouTube where I get filmed doing all different kinds of interesting workouts)

So I was watching videos of Jimbo and I noticed that the kind of hate mail he gets sounds exactly like the kind of hatemail  I get.  At roughly the same time I saw two awesome videos about trolls and haters (both linked at the end of this blog.)

It all started me thinking.  Could these haters do what fat people do everyday?  Not just physically, though that’s obviously a question, but mentally.  If they had to face people like them would they keep putting themselves out there?  Would they surf?  Dance?  Run marathons? Ever leave the house?

I think people forget that every single thing fat people do – including just getting out of bed and leaving the house – is done under the crushing weight of societal stigma and oppression.  That makes leaving the house brave. and liking ourselves a revolutionary act.  Especially when everyone from the First Lady to major media outlets are actually encouraging people to stereotype us – to look at us and assume that we are lazy, a drain on society, blah blah blah.  And yet we keep getting out of bed, leaving the house, going to the gym, going to the movies.

And more and more of us are claiming our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of our happiness in the bodies we have now and that takes serious guts.  More guts than I imagine the barely literate people who leave me hate mail and can’t even find the courage to sign their real names could muster. So keep on keeping on fatties and thank for the support friends of fatties.  Take heart that these haters who can’t even spell fat bitch and are too cowardly to attach their names and identities to things they write could not do what we do every day.

So below you’ll find a hilarious (though NSFW) video response from a comedienne to her haters.  And here you can find a serious discussion about how to be an ally to those being attacked.

Time is running out to pre-order my book and get an autographed copy and free shipping!

Fat: The Owner’s Manual – Navigating a Thin-Obsessed World with Your Health, Happiness, and Sense of Humor Intact, with foreword by Marilyn Wann, is now available for pre-order.   This is a book about living life in the body that you have now, making decisions about what you want in the future, and how to get there.  Whether you want to change your body, fight for size acceptance, just live your life, or understand and support your fat friends and family, this book was written to provide the insights, aha moments, humor, and hard facts to help.

Become a Member, Support The Work!

I do HAES and SA activism, speaking and writing full time, and I don’t believe in putting corporate ads on my blog and making my readers a commodity. So if you find value in my work, want to support it, and you can afford it, you can  become a member (you get extra stuff, discounts, and you’re always the first to know about things) or a you can support my work with a  one-time contribution.  The regular e-mail blog subscription (available at the top right hand side of this page) is still completely free. If you’re curious about this policy, you might want to check out this post.  Thanks for reading! ~Ragen

Published in: on June 17, 2012 at 10:37 am  Comments (20)  

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Amen, sister! Hope the move goes smoothly! L.A. is getting a new dose of awesome.

    I finally saw Kung Fu Panda, and now know that there is no charge for awesomeness. Or attractiveness. Loved this movie, looking forward to KP2, and can’t get Cee-Lo’s cover of “Kung Fu Fighting” out of my head.

    Thanks for encouraging all of us to continue being brave. Speaking of movies to see…

  2. You will love surfing! It will challenge your body in a way that it hasn’t been before. I suck at surfing, but I keep taking lessons whenever I travel somewhere it is safe to surf. (as in no sharks) It is a holistic undertaking much like yoga if yoga also had you balancing on a board moving across water. Mind and body working together to keep you afloat and progressing. And when you actually stand and balance and surf across a wave, there is no other feeling!

    • Thank you for describing it so perfectly! I just went surfing for the first time this past friday (definitely one of those things I’d put off for many years thinking I was “too fat” etc and so grateful to my hubby for getting me a birthday lesson this year, “extra weight” be damned!)
      I didn’t suck as bad as I thought I would, but I also wasn’t able to stand up on the board, only balance on my hands and knees :(
      But I definitely kept feeling the similarities to my yoga class and was grateful for all of the rounds of sun salutations each week ;) And I definitely plan to go surfing again before the summer is out!

  3. That video linked above is absolutely wonderful. I love it. So great to see the creativity coming out when the hate takes a strike.

  4. Because so many Polynesian islanders are very big (tall and/ or fat), I have noticed that most water sports are a lot more fat-friendly than one might initially assume.

  5. Excellent and fun video! It makes me less depressed about all the awful hate out there. I was out and about yesterday and my car broke down. Now, of course, I have AAA and was simply waiting on a tow, but I was shocked that not one person asked if I was okay or could they help. I wondered if I had been a thin person if it would have been different? The people I interacted with were perfectly delightful, though.

    • That happened to me when I was thin a long time ago. I would like to think it had nothing to do with your weight.,

    • I’ve been in that situation too. I lost some weight last year, I went from 270 to about 215 and the change in the way people treated me was astounding. I’m no different as a person, I don’t dress differently or do anything differently but people somehow decided that since my body got smaller I was more deserving of their kindness. It made me want to politely beat them with sticks.

  6. Loved the video. In total geekdom, I saw the guy that played Mickey Smith and I thought “Doctor Who is awesome.” Sigh, I’m a nerd. Back to the blog, I loved the link to the Fat Surfer. Surfing is not on my list of things to do but I do love to see fat people being awesome.

  7. Omg that video was genius.

    Ragen I can’t express what an inspiration you are to me. I am so grateful that you continue to write, to dance, to live and thrive despite the noxious hate and oppression you face.

    I don’t expect you would consider me fat but I have spent most of my life believing I was too fat and that this was the worst thing I could be. The best thing that ever happened to me was coming across Linda bacon’s book, the HAES movement and the size/fat acceptance movement. Particularly your blog.

    Your intelligence and wit floor me and you make me know in my core that being who I am in whatever shape I am is just fine. Or more than fine.

    Your bravery and that of other people fighting this good fight for human rights helps keep me going. It is my hope that I can give back too and help others to live in their skin with pride and respect

  8. Ignore the haters and their dastardly ways if you can. Know that it is not you they have beef with but them selves. Exercise the right to Delete, block, mark as spam etc. And keep up the excellent job you are doing and know you are greatly appreciated by many more than you ever hear from.

  9. Surfs up girl, go for it. I am from So. Cal. and miss the beach. You will be great and have lots of fun. Looking forward to seeing your ‘wacky workouts’. I just hope I can keep up with you.

  10. I would SO subscribe to Ragen’s Wacky Workouts!! Thank you, as always. You ROCK! I admire the way you just dust the haters off!

  11. Oh the haters *facepalm*…I can’t complain too much as I used some of the hateful posts on my Youtube video ( for my Masters degree culminating project :-)

    If you ever want to do wacky seated things (maybe roll a 5k with me?), I’m your pal!

  12. When you get ready to do your YT wacky workout series, come pole dance with me! :-)

    • I’m totally in – are you in LA? :)


      • I am in San Francisco area but I come down to LA for pole events. I will be down there next week for Pole Convention. :-) I know plenty of studios down there, though, so I’m sure we can work something out once you’re settled in!

  13. One word, Toots – BUOYANCY. Fat FLOATS. Ain’t gonna be no problem!!

  14. LLOVE this piece! Did you move to LA?

    • Thanks! Yup, I am living in Long Beach. I love it!!!!!

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