You Can Read My Hate Mail

I get a lot of ridiculous hate mail.  For a long time I’ve been struggling with how to deal with it.  I don’t want to put it on the blog because I want this to be a safe space.  But I do think it’s important that people have a chance to see what kind of stuff comes at me for writing a blog that dares suggest that fat people shouldn’t hate ourselves.

Then I heard about a mommy blogger’s “monetize the hate” page.  She put her hate mail on a separate page full of ads.

That seemed like a really awesome way to let the haters help fund my work and give people the option to read the hate mail or not. Of course I filled my site with ads for Health at Every Size and Size Acceptance products and all the funds go to support the Fat Activist History Project

If you want to read my hatemail (and hey – big flaming sack of obvious trigger warning…) you can find it at www.danceswithfat.com/hate

Published on September 28, 2011 at 8:03 am  Comments (81)  

81 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have to say that your responses to the idiots and their feeble attempts to insult you and us, are very funny. They must feel rather deflated lol.

  2. best idea ever (monetizing the hate)

    • Thanks! I’m pretty excited about it :)

      ~Ragen

  3. Thank you for this blog. As someone who has always struggled with their weight it is great to see someone who accepts themselves :) I have managed to keep my weight under control but it was a long hard road and I think I was happier fat (215 pounds) than I am thin (130 pounds) because I was not worrying over every calorie and all that. And the picture of you dancing is just absolutely amazing!! Please keep the positive messages coming!!

  4. your self esteem is awesome!! well done and congrats…and oh those haters are sooo ignorant and sad

    • Thanks so much, I really appreciate it :)

      ~Ragen

  5. Do you want second degree hate mail? I got this presumably because I posted a comment on your post about fat love:

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Declan Blench
    Date: Wed, Nov 23, 2011 at 8:47 AM
    Subject: Your husband is cheating on you
    To:

    I’m sorry but it’s getting too blatant not to say anything. He’d been telling several people at work that he just can’t get excited by his ‘whale of a wife’ and that he wished you would lose weight so he’s been straying with a woman named “Anne”. I’ve heard there are more but he and Anne have been together for at least 18 months.

    Moral of the story – don’t trust men or get one that doesn’t mind fat women.

    —–
    Fortunately for me I’m not married so I know this guy is lying, and I do trust my partner because he’s full of awesome and win. :-)

  6. Your “hate mail” page made me love you even more than I already do :)

    • Thanks! Glad that you enjoyed it :)

      ~Ragen

  7. Oh my god! The cookie thing…. You want a cookie? YES PLEASE…. I almost fell out of my chair laughing so hard! Wish I COULD send you a batch of chocolate chip cookies just for that. :)

  8. Hi, I just want to say you are amazing! I am not overweight but am at my ideal BMI (or epically flawed BMI, as you keep saying). I make a conscious decision in every moment to only eat food that is nutritionally good for me and natural. I also exercise regularly. This is why I love your blogs- its not about size, it’s about health! And being the healthiest you that you can be. It’s about being happy and active. If your happy and healthy who CARES what size you are! with so many people suffering depression and low self esteem and with eating disorders the world could use more people like you spreading messages of acceptance, health and happiness. Thank you for your blog.

  9. Hi Regan Chastain,

    I have very little experience with blogging, but I wanted to say, “Hello”.

    We were introduced through Dr. Sheila Addison who I think is amazing. I am impressed with your beautiful fat, your voice and your mission. When I watch you dance, I am stunned by your grace.

    I am sorry about the hate posts. I am naive when it comes to people “out there” who are so filled with negativity. I feel compassion for their apparently miserable lives.

    Thank you for being willing to speak up and make a positive contribution to our lives.

    Lea

  10. Hee hee. I love the parts about the land whale. It’s like the running theme that ties them all together. “There are fat animals that live ON LAND there’s no need to make up an animal.” Love it.

    • I know!! And the landwhale’s friend, the “ham beast”?? I want to be a ham beast! Perfection! Couldn’t stop laughing at Ragen’s perfect, snarky, hilarious responses to people who have nothing better to do than spread hate/judgment/rage/etc.

  11. Hi there, I’d like to reply to “Jennigma” – sorry for hijacking this thread! – I’m Declan Blench and as far as I know I’m the only one, it’s not a very common name. It wasn’t me who sent you that message, it was someone posing as me, God knows who – I only just found this when googling my name (because I’m sad enough to be doing that on Valentine’s evening!). Would you be so kind as to at least delete my name from the message? Thanks.

  12. God bless you! You are an amazing young lady!

    • Awww, thank you so much!

      ~Ragen

  13. I once dated a fellow and asked him on a whim what his pet-peeves are (I had just told him I hate people who don’t use turn signals). He said, “I hate fat people.” I thought he was joking and asked him why. He started an angry rant, “I can’t relate to them. I couldn’t be friends with them. They disgust me.” Again, I asked, “Why?” He just kept ranting the same nonsensical things.

    Meanwhile, the next week he was expecting a visit from his old friend Frankie who weights 375lbs and had been at the bar the night before with his friend Kevin who weighs around 260lbs. I realized how irrational his rant was and how detached from reality it was. Its the same with all those ‘hate’ comments on the internet – people who type them on a screen are completely detached from reality. I’d be willing to bet they have plenty of lovely fat friends but find it acceptable to fat-rant online because there are no negative consequences from anonymous internet nastiness – they don’t actually have to look at someone who’s feelings they just hurt from thrusting hatred at them. When really, they are feeling alot of self-hatred and look for anything that the media has put a negative spin on to rant about.

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, sister! Pretty dancing, by the way (from a fellow dancer).

    (oh, yes, I did break up with that guy – he’s got some serious work to do in the area of self-love and I wasn’t going to be his rant-receiver)

  14. I read some of the hate mail that you get, and wow, those people are awful!
    Good for you, for all that you do! :)
    Nice dancing, too. I was training to dance but I have a recurring injury, so I can’t anymore.
    Keep doing what you are doing, and don’t let trolls get you down!

  15. What an excellent idea for hate mail! Why anyone would send you hate mail when you are obviously awesome floors me, but it takes all kinds to make up this world apparently…
    I’m a belly dancer & love it – you NEED a belly to properly shake it LOL

  16. You know? If those fat-haters with their nasty vituperative nonsense hadn’t written those disgusting messages and had you not put them up for display (with awesome responses, btw), I probably never would’ve known there was a Linda Bacon to google! So, THANK YOU Fat haters, for pointing me in the right direction (oh, the irony). Yay!

  17. These are hilarious- My favorite response of yours is “This word “fact”, I do not think it means what you think it means.”… Much love :)

  18. Hello Regan,
    I am absolutely mystified. Why on earth would somebody who is a “fat hater” deliberately go to your blog and then rant at you? That’s like somebody going to my “fine-art” site, looking at all the paintings, and then taking the time to tell me what a crappy artist I am. In a way, that would be kind of a creepy compliment, I guess. (It’s never happened to me. Actually, I’d LOVE to incite that much passion with my art, creepy or not!)

    However, since these weirdo folks have 1) looked you up and read your blog–and 2) responded heatedly (albeit peculiarly), I would say that it’s some sort of perverted compliment. Just don’t ever give any of them your home address…(or the time of day, really.)

    P.S. I love your blog.

  19. Ragen, apologies for misspelling your name.

  20. Wow, that’s a lot of hate! I recommend they take up marathon running, it’s really relaxing and good for the stress levels. Oh wait, they likely don’t consume enough calories to carry them 26 miles and then recover quickly enough for the next one ;). See I know they don’t marathon run, because apparently they’ve never seen anyone who isn’t scrawny in a marathon, so that first poster has only run them in their own mind…

  21. I just read some of your hate mail, and it amazes me how unintelligent and hateful people can be. Whatever happened to “Live and let live”? Are these people (I use that term loosely) so smug and insecure that they feel the need to bash fat people? It’s really sad. If I choose to dislike someone, it’s because they deserve it ; for example, someone who has hurt or insulted me or my family. These haters need to get a life.

  22. Ragen,
    Your talent for words is amazing to me. These people are crazy or have some mental problems. Most people I “hang” with may fear being fat themselves but dont talk or write like those who wrote to you. I was sad to know there are people like that in the world and that you have to experience them. Your sense of humor and your words probably put them into a tailspin they cant recover from. Good for you.

  23. I just wanted to say THANK YOU!
    I wish I was as good as you in the comebacks!
    When people question why I detest my species, I shall direct them to the hateful, hideous, spewage of those haters!
    WELL DONE!

  24. Ragen,
    The thing that jumps out to me the most is the lack of basic English literacy in so many of these comments. I wouldn’t be offended by most of these. I’d be too busy LMAO. I will never understand why some people feel the need to be offended by people who are enjoying life. I can only think that perhaps they are sad, lonely people with little self-esteem. I really ended up feeling sorry for most of these people.

    You are an amazing lady who inspires so many people. I wish I could meet you in person & give you a big, fat hug.

    • Yeah, Hooked on Phonics did not work for these people. Thanks for the comment, and I would totally give you a big fat hug back!

      ~Ragen

  25. My favorite? “There were no obese people in hunter-gatherer communities”

    All of those stone age Venus figurines (http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric/venus-figurines.htm) were put there by God to test our faith the same way he did with dinosaur bones.

  26. I think what terrifies me the most about this hate mail is knowing that there are people in my community thinking those things. I am active and confident, but find I don’t fit in around my community. I wonder if it is because people are thinking like these haters. If it was only myself and my husband I wouldn’t care, but I worry about my children being exposed to this kind of hatred and evil. Makes me want to lock them inside and home school.

    • I completely understand what you are saying. My goal is to work very hard to not let it affect me and the way that I relate to people but it’s difficult for sure. I’m sorry that you don’t feel like you fit in in your community, that’s really tough.

      ~Ragen

      • I know the feeling. I grew up on Long Island and loathed everything about my appearance my entire life. I moved to Pennsylvania only two months ago and feel worlds better. People treat you differently in Ny if you are fat. It is less true here. Thank god I moved.

  27. I just went on that site and I have to say, some of that was extremely disturbing. It’s scary that those people are out in the world and we don’t know who they are, especially the ones in med school who claim to want to shame/hurt fat people.
    I once posted a bunch of fat positive messages on the biggest loser facebook page, and every single response I got was negative. That made me pretty discouraged, but after seeing these crazy people’s messages, I realize I got off easy. If I’d gotten that kind of feedback, I probably would’ve had a breakdown. Some of that stuff was just evil and sick.

  28. You rock. Talent, confidence and brains to boot. Thank you for your contribution to this sometimes ugly world. I wish you all the best and say hats off to accepting who you are instead of spending your life torturing yourself to fit someone else’s idea of what is acceptable. If only the haters could quit hating themselves enough to let everyone live life and be happy.

  29. Ragen,

    I heard your story on The Story on NPR and I was shocked when I heard you get death threats. If I understand correctly, all you’re saying is weight and body mass alone are not necessarily indicators of health. Nothing to want to kill someone over. Of course, I’m sane.

  30. I heard you on public radio and decided to check out your blog. Your haters are incredibly ignorant and you are incredibly eloquent and intelligent. I bought two of the books you like on the haters’ page, and I’m excited to read them. I hope one day I can achieve the level of self acceptance and love that you have mastered. You are a wonderful role model for all of us, fat or not.

    • Thank you so much Heidi, I really appreciate the kind words :)

      ~Ragen

  31. Your responses to your hate mail gave me some much-needed laughs. Your blog is helping me towards accepting and honoring my body as I work on my unhealthy relationship with food and poor body image. Many thanks.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Congratulations on working to find a path to health that works for you, glad I can help :)

      ~Ragen

  32. I was somewhat worried to read through the hate mail. I still struggle with accepting myself and words from others still sting and can really set me back. But that was hilarious. Your responses were outstanding. I so wish I had your wit! I also realized how really, really sad those people are who took the time to write in just to say hateful things. Why on earth should I care what people like that think? It is astonishing how defensive they are simply because fat people are able to accept themselves! I know it sounds weird but reading through all of those was kind of a lightbulb moment for me.

  33. I just found your blog in googling about spanx. Let me say you have a great sense of humour. I just can’t believe how cruel people are. I am so disappointed I am a member of the same humanity that typed some of thhose things to you. Keep being you, keep dancing, keep laughing, and keep blogging. No one should be judged for being fat, just like no one should be judged for your skin colour or gender or disability, etc.

  34. Thank you for making your hate mail public, and in such a brilliant way. I understand why you were initially reluctant, but this really brings to light the depths of prejudice out there, which too many people are unaware of.

  35. I really enjoyed reading all of that hateful, poorly spelt, ignorant mail. I can’t believe people spend their time reading your blog just to post horrible comments. In some ways I am glad they do though, reading these sorts of comments just reinforces for me how important your work and that of others in the fat acceptance community really is. Keep up the excellent work!!

  36. Ragen,

    You are beautiful, brilliant, and funny. Thanks for all you do for all of us. I wish you had been around when I was a kid. I was sensitive, shy, and tortured for my weight. The only reason the bullies didn’t pick on me more than they did was if they got into a physical confrontation with me, I would win. So even though I was a shy fatty, I was strong and a good fighter.

  37. I would just like to say that the level of hatred is astounding. As a researcher, I know that scientifically, there is such a thing as fat and healthy. I’ve seen (and measured) it myself.

    I applaud you for promoting a healthy lifestyle and a health body image. For a country obsessed with the Hollywood look, but increasingly obese, I’d wager a months’ salary that most of your haters are, in fact, pretty fat themselves.

  38. Monetize the hate! That is a fucking BRILLIANT, nay, Nobel-worthy, idea!

    I stumbled very recently on your blog, and already I’m in love. Thank you for everything you do!

    • Thanks Beth! I’m really glad that you like it :) To be clear I agree that the monetize the hate idea is genius, but it’s not mine. I stole it from Mommy-blogger Dooce.

      ~Ragen

  39. I found your blog quite by accident. I laughed so hard at the couple of posts I read and instantly became a fan. Of course my morbid curiousity kicked in and I had to read the hate mail just to see what people say. What surprises me the most is that people who could be doing something positive are instead so full of hate and anger at someone they’ve never met. How sad for their poor pathetic lives! And oh by the way, are spending their time reading your blog and then writing this trash. Deep down I believe they love your posts and are afraid of their own lives. Now that I’ve signed up for your blogs I’m looking forward to enjoying our time together! Hugs.

  40. i love your confidence… the haters fall flat on their faces with your replies… cheers to you :)

  41. BRILLIANT!!!!!!! Truly loved this and your responses made my day. Thanks always.

  42. Is this one Hater or many? the “med-school” student is a person who should NEVER attempt to practice medicine on ANYONE.With such a hate filled mind-set, this person is DANGER TO ANYONE WHO DOESN’T FIT HIS BODY IDEAL!! Ragen, your comments were hilarious and well-aimed!! You really pissed him(or her) off! You are awesome ! Keep up the great work!!:)

    • Thanks Karen,

      It’s hatemail from a number of different people. I’m glad that you liked the replies.

      ~Ragen

  43. Great idea to expose the haters so we fatties know what we’re dealing with out there in the world. You are an inspiration in so many ways! Thank you for being your clever and talented self- you’re one of my heroes :)

  44. I just wanted to say…your replies are brilliant. They are witty, hilarious and (against all odds) dignified in the face of petty hatred and cruelty. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of a human being (God knows there aren’t enough of those about) :)

  45. I really appreciated your blog and especially this page with all of your hate mail. I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder (whom I call Ed) for most of my life, and I’ve spent most of that time hating myself and hating everything about my body. Now I’m working to reclaim my self-worth and my pride. I found your blog by accident on a really horrible Ed night, and after reading your responses to these awful comments (that sound a lot like the vitriol that’s lived in my head for so long), those voices disappeared. Blissful silence and a nice side dish of self-respect. Thank you Regan, for helping me get through tonight.

    And I clicked on every one of the ads just so I could metaphorically give the finger to all of that negative energy. Felt satisfying. I just might go do it again.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      I’m so very sorry that you are dealing with this. It sounds like you might be going through Jenni Schaefer’s books? If not I think that they are awesome of you’re looking for Ed resources.

      What you are going through is no doubt difficult but you’re not alone and if there is ever anything that I can do 0fr you please don’t hesitate to e-mail me – ragen at danceswithfat dot org

      Very best to you,

      ~Ragen

  46. Hi Ragen,

    The hate and vitriol is truly frightening. Who are these people? Why are they on your site if they are so repulsed by the idea of fat positivity? How much time do they have that they can read the entire internet, even the subjects that don’t interest them? That would be like me deliberately hanging out on “Ghost Whisperer” fansites to tell people that I don’t think the show is that great. Who is walking around with that level of negativity and hate that they are just searching for media in which to express it? It’s terrifying.

    The way you manage to rebut with grace, humour and intelligence is admirable.

    Keep doing what you’re doing.

    XXX
    Caro

  47. Ragen, I laughed my ass off reading your responses. Thank you for being you! (As if you could be anyone else.) But you know what I mean.

  48. omg ragen, those comments were, in the very least, disturbing and frightening. Those people have SERIOUS rage AND anger issues. It was AWFUL. If we were to go back and remove all the fat hate and replace it with ethnic and cultural slurs, those people would be shamed for being racist. Instead they hate against fat people. It’s despicable and equally as HORRID. It is so scary to see that other humans can hate humans for liking themselves. It’s ridiculous an I’m happy to know that i can come to this blog for positive inspiration. Ragen, I just love you. -C

  49. Wow. Just wow. When I read those ridiculous hate comments, I’m reminded of a scene from the first Porky’s movie. There was one redneck bigot (who thankfully grew up by the end of the film) that was taunting the new Jewish kid. He kept calling him a “kite”. Let’s go fly a kite (and so forth). The Jewish kid’s response was perfect (and so apropos to most of those comments) — It’s not kite, it’s KIKE! K-I-K-E, “kike.” You know, you’re too stupid to even be a good bigot!

    Thanks, Ragen for never forgetting that you are a person who has a right to exist in the body that you exist in currently. That provides so much to people who are being told otherwise.

  50. Oh my god! Your hate mail makes me ANGRY! I had to navigate away, I was thinking of hurting things and/or people. I was a formerly morbidly obese person, and am now a thin person (I decided that I was going to run no matter how much I jiggled, and if it was going to bother people, well, that wasn’t going to be something I was embarrassed about anymore.) 105 pounds later, I can honestly say, being thin didn’t and doesn’t solve any problems with my head. Though the running is much less physically painful, life is not. If you’re unhappy when you are heavy, you’re gonna be just as unhappy when you’re lite. Being thin doesn’t solve a damn thing. You’ve got something FANTASTIC going for you. Hang on to it, love it, live it and PLEASE keep sharing! You are an inspiration to me. I hope I can find your happiness and inner glow, and I hope someday, that I can bring as positive a perspective to people as you do every day.

  51. Those comments don’t make me angry, although I expected them to. (I thought it might balance the bad day I’ve had and I could work off some hostility by getting angry at people I don’t know. Didn’t work.) instead, I just see a bunch of misspelled, poorly written, moronic rants that I can’t see how anybody could take seriously. Your responses are classic. Mel Brooks says that it’s his job to make fun of Hitler and thereby take away any of his power that may be left. I think you’ve done the same thing here. (No, I’m not saying these harmless idiots are like Hitler – obviously they’re not – I’m just drawing an analogy.). You’ve pulled out their stingers by pointing out how truly ridiculous they are. What are they – 7th graders? And kind of slow 7th graders at that. Nice job.

  52. My absolute favorite: “Just because you can do all the things athletes do does not make you an athlete.” Hahahaha what the ever-loving fuck? That is literally one of the most ridiculously illogical things I’ve ever heard in my life.

  53. Excuse me to the incredibly long and ugly commenter, but gorillas do not participate in warfare; only STUPID Homo sapiens threatens other members of its species with its “arsenal.” Too bad spelling seems to be beyond you.

  54. It was the dumbest hate-mail I have ever read. Well to be honest all hate mail is created by ignorants. What they wrote makes no sense at all nor was amusing. It looks like a bunch of teens wrote this non-sense. I cannot even laugh and I know FUNNY. Wow what has society come to with trolls roaming the internet expressing their hate and own insecurities. I feel bad for them! How sad.

  55. My favorite replies:

    “Um, I don’t know how you made this comment but this is the internet – no pencil or paper required.”

    “Stop the logic train – we had a passenger fall off.”

    It amazes me at the ignorance and hate that people who think they know everything feel that they have to share, but sadly, it doesn’t surprise me. I know it has to be done, but I believe that we shouldn’t have to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

  56. I am utterly stunned at the hatred and viciousness of this mail. Some of it is actually frightening. However, your replies are priceless. Kudos.

  57. Is it too late to ask you to marry me? Hubby won’t mind. He shares my attitude about the delight of having as many brilliant women around, as possible. You made my day. I am enthralled and positively giddy! :)

  58. Those who leave you nasty comments would never, ever say anything like that to you in person. Cowards, idiots and bigots, all of them. You’re awesome living life honestly and on your terms. Wish I had the guts to do the same.
    Xoxo
    An admirer

  59. I’m late to the party, but as I went through your ripostes to those pieces of unsolicited advice, and the comments below the line, I was almost banging on my desk out of frustration at the lack of a “like” button. Yes, yes, yes and more yes.

  60. I dont usually ever comment on blogs, but i have to say I read your hate mail and I definitely think there is some mental health issues popping up left and right. Your answers were so funny and true and I find it astonishing how people justify expressing themselves like that. I am myself a dancer and have struggled with my weight and I am probably perfectly weighted BMI wise but I think from the point you are campaigning for the issue is much deeper than weight anyway because I think it relates to all women with self esteem issues and actually especially dancers who need to know they are beautiful and healthy etc. I thought your technique was amazing your obviously a trained competent dancer and that shines out which is also a career (speaking from experience) that deserves massive respect for achieving. I think health is key and I’m not an expert on weight but I appreciate that people like you with leading personalities and passion are what changes society for the better, and Im sorry that not everyone see’s that because its a gift to others without a voice. xx

  61. This is the funniest response;

    ‘Perhaps you should consider that shame is not an appropriate way to show concern and that people in society don’t need you to correct them. For example, I would like to help you understand this using the correcting method of face punching (out of concern of course) but I don’t because I can grasp the basic concept of appropriate social interaction.’

    I was laughing for a while at this!

  62. Hahahaha just read this for the first time! “Your mileage may vary.” LOVE it!!

  63. Bigots must be mentally ill is a dehumanizing and horrible comment. I am not an evil person because i am mentally ill. Or beacause i have add. Neither are people with disabilities who require care or help. Dumb, moron, idiot, low intelligence, losers. These words All eqate disabillity with someone lesser. I am fat too btw

    • I hope that my comment wasn’t too angry. But it really hurts when people say things like these people have no friends, just be happy, they must be crazy, when people with mental health problems or disabillity. Have these problems. I am lonely. I am fucked up. The living in their parents basement clicheis particularly nasty, because it shames people who need assistance, or who lead lives that other people view as pathetic and see as a good insult. I am not pathetic. I need no pity. What i do need is that you check your priveledge and stop assuming that evil people cant be rich, popular, good spellers or have relatuonships

  64. I was appalled, sickened, terrified, and disgusted, by all of the hate mail posts that you received. You answers were clever, upbeat, and absolutely on target. Thank you for being you, for standing up to those idiots and for all you do against Fat Bigotry. Thank you for your strength, kindness, compassion and advocacy! I had no idea that you had to deal with this kind of hate. Bless you for all you are doing.

  65. Sorry for the typo, I meant “Your answers”

  66. I started reading these, and your responses, but I’m at work, and I started laughing so hard I couldn’t answer the phone. Oh my god, thank you for being so wonderful and hilarious. :)


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