Girl Look at that Body

Ragen Chastain 5’4 284 pounds. Chilling at the Barre, photo by Stephanie Diani.

Ok, I know I’m late to the party on the Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle song (also known as “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO.)  I was told by a friend in fat acceptance a couple of days ago that I HAD to see the video.  I checked it out.  The song it not without its problems but there are people with a variety of body types shown in various states of undress, all being super confident about their bodies which is awesome.

With the way that a single stereotype of beauty is shoved down our throat 24/7, I think it’s so important to put other bodies out there.  I think a really important part of my own journey of Size Acceptance has been actively seeking out positive representations of fat bodies.  I won’t speak for anyone else but no matter how clearly I understand that bodies of all sizes are amazing and worthy and, in my opinion, beautiful, being constantly barraged with a single image of what is beautiful, wears on me.

Early in my journey I heard somewhere that you should look at yourself naked in a full length mirror at least 5 minutes per day and look for positive things you could stay about your body . Cheesy though it may sound I did it.  And it really did help.  But it’s hard to overcome the all the images of women who look like me shown without heads spilling over the edges of a chair that is too small for them. Rising above this kind of stereotyping when it occurs constantly everywhere you look can be really difficult (and, as an aside, I strongly believe that it is damaging to public health.)

Finding places where I could look at positive images of bodies that looked like mine – even just bodies that look like mine that have heads, really helped me, and continues to help me.   One of my proudest moments as a Size Acceptance Activist was when I got to be part of the Adipositivity Project and that is because, for me, one of the most revolutionary things that I can do is put my body out there without shame, and as a way to “pay it forward” for all the beautiful fat bodies who helped me along the way.  It’s also why having a photo and video gallery were so important to Jeanette and I when we created the fit fatties forum.  So here are some examples of sites that I look at to this day to see positive representations of bodies of all sizes. If you know of others I hope you’ll add them to the comments, though I would ask the you avoid anything that includes thin shaming/suggesting that fat bodies are better than thin bodies etc.  (For the record, I don’t get payment of any kind from any of these, I just think they are awesome!.)

The Adipositivity Project (possibly NSFW) by Substantia Jones (I’ve been an Adiposer a couple of times!) She even has an awesome Calendar (I’m Miss May!)

The Fit Fatties Forum has photo and video galleries

More of Me to Love has cool things  in their fun stuff section (and they do a monthly deal for my members)

VoluptuArt has amazing pieces to look at and buy.

Jodee Rose’s artwork (NSFW) is phenomenal (and she has a regular deal for my members) Her pinup work and Her portrait work are both amazing and she did the logo for More Cabaret!

Uppity Fatty on Tumblr (NSFW)

Pink by Aerosmith is a really cool video of lots of different bodies and ages.  Possibly NSFW.

We’re over 1,400 signatures and picking up steam, please consider signing the petition to keep kids off The Biggest Loser and re-posting it.

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Published in: on December 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm  Comments (18)  

18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s always nice to see a variety of people in the media being perceived as beautiful or sexy.

  2. The Aerosmith video reminded me of this love song by Jarabe de Palo and its beautiful music video: http://vimeo.com/42913323

  3. I adore seeing pictures of fat girls like me looking amazing. I used to believe I could only look good when I “got thin”. I’m now inspired to go out and get the clothes, hair and make up I want NOW. I look better and my relationship with Mr Jen is much better too – confident girls are sexy girls, no matter the size and shape of the body!

  4. Thank you for sharing all of these!! I LOVE the Aerosmith song/video! Also, there is Leonard Nimoy’s Full Body Project. It played a huge role in my own body acceptance!

  5. Thought you might like this picture of famous Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan working with actress Madhuri Dixit.

  6. I don’t have any links to share, but if anyone wants to photograph a supersized older lady, I’m up for it. :)

  7. I review Fatima Parker’s FaceBook page called “Beauty Diversity and Healthy Body Image.” every morning. It’s good for my body-loving soul!

  8. While its only slightly unrelated. I was pleasantly surprised to find a portrayal of plus size “persons” in a place i didn’t expect to find. World of Warcraft, the game ruled by bikini armor and macho man characters. with the most recent update, Mists of Pandaria, the company Blizzard has come out with a new playable race of Panda People (Pandaren) and they are all…well… they’re fatties. Very happy fatties who work, play, whoop butt and are far from ashamed of their bodies in fact they are proud and embrace their size. I play the game with my husband and while i have pretty bad body issues its honestly helped me a lot. I’m sure it seems really, really, silly. But as a girl who plays video games I’m surrounded by over sexualized women/men who don’t look like me, and if they do all they talk about is being scared, hungry or they’re just stupid (you know the stereotypes). I’m glad That now when i log into a game i can play a race of characters who are happy, healthy, down right adorable, and not at all ashamed of who they are. I’m happy play a Panda especially if they dance to LMFAO’s “Party Rock”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOAP4f4lBOU

  9. Thank you for being an inspiration, Ragen. I will never be as strong, flexible or as good a dancer as you, but you have shown me I can be stronger and more flexible than I am. You have helped me find the strength to get treatment for a long term sinus issue, which is finally cured after 6 months of treatment (I now breathe better with a cold than I did without). You have also given me the strength to focus on my health and fitness and not my size.

    I hope you have an awesome Christmas
    <3 Pyx

  10. I actually Dance to the acoustic version of this song at a Kick off party, it was SO awesome and empowering. The thing was it was at an Irish pub with some General Population around and I’m like “Ok I am dancing to Sexy and I know it, in a bar, with a bunch of dudes who are drunk..looking the way I do in my belly Dance Finery..this could go bad” But I figured, hey who cares it’s all in good fun, and I got a LOT of dancers of varying shapes and sizes there as well.
    Turns out it was a hit and as you can hear in the video EVERYONE sings along in the first chorus!
    It was really awesome, and I have it as my personal size acceptance anthem. :D
    Here is the video of the performance to share and maybe help someone else be inspired too :)

    And Ragen..you ARE Sexy and you know it!!!! Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle and all <3

    • Gorgeous, Lysette! And I found the lady in the foreground eating chicken wings and basically ignoring you to be a great example of people who walk through life asleep to the beauty around them . . .

      • LOL It’s Funny actually, this was the kick off party for Tribal Solstice 6, a 4 day long Belly Dance workshop Weekend with dancers from around the World lots and LOTS of workshops and intensives and partying. She was sitting at the table with us actually, and that was the ONLY Camera angle my Fiance Ben could get. I am actually Facing most of my Belly dance IDOLS during this performance. You may also notice the wardrobe Malfunctions, so not only am I a Fat Dancer dancing to “Sexy and I know it” In an Irish Pub but I am ALSO Losing my Clothes! I finally gae up trying to remedy it and just let the belly be beautiful. No one seemed to be complaining. And she WAS Cheering, and grabbed my Belt off the Floor, so ya know, after 8+ hours of workshops she was Hungery, what can I say LOL.

        I Appreciate your lovely comment and compliments :)

  11. Here are some more places with some positive images of fat people (and inbetweenies):

    Men In Full Tumblr (sometimes NSFW)
    Elizabeth Patch (artist)
    A post by Scattered Marbles of some favorite art by Rachel Marsh
    A post by me of some favorite art by Ursula Vernon.

  12. I suppose I should know this, but I need to ask: What is “NSFW” and “possibly NSFW”? Some of the terminology is new to me as a newish reader to your blog. Most I can figure out, but this one has me stumped. Thanks for your help — on oh, so many levels!

    • Sorry about that – it means “Not Safe For Work” and “Possibly Not Safe for Work” (depending on how cool your boss is.)

      ~Ragen

  13. I thought of a couple more:
    Fat People of Color’s Tumblr is fairly image-heavy.
    Everyday Yoga has a variety of bodies (some posts have more people submitting pics than others–I think the Centering Seat one has the greatest number of people and therefore the greatest diversity of bodies.)

  14. http://www.thecenturyproject.com/ goes from age 0 (crowning) to 100 and features one of the most diverse range of bodies I’ve seen.

    http://www.laurietobyedison.com/ has 2 photography books I like to look at Familiar Men has all sorts of body types and Women En Large is specifically fat women focused.

    http://www.rubenesqueburlesque.com/ shows awesome fat women (no corsets hiding bellies allowed!) that recently started blogging as well.

  15. Woo! Look at that foot point! Niiiiiice.


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