I found out some really exciting news. Last year I did an interview with Abigail Mahnke on her local Austin radio show Inner Views. It was near the beginning of my writing this blog seriously and the beginning of my wanting to take on a more public role as a fat activist. It turns out that the interview is going to be picked up by KUT, which is the Austin NPR affiliate. It’s going to play on their O’Dark Thirty show on January 2nd sometime between 12am and 3am Central.
I’m very excited about it, but it had been a while since the show (it was May 2009) and I thought I ought to listen to it just to make sure that I didn’t embarrass myself. Except for two minutes that I would REALLY like to change (I didn’t want to get into a discussion about health and science because I didn’t have my sources with me so I babbled. A lot.) I was pretty happy with it. Of course, since then I’ve given it more thought and so if I did the interview today I could articulate my views much more clearly and concisely. But what I liked about it was that it reminded me of what got me started on this journey. I didn’t want to be a fat activist, I wanted to be a fat dancer. I wanted to be respected for my talent and judged on the merits of my dancing and not on the size and shape of my body, and it turned out that in this culture, I had to be an activist to get that done. Of course the more work I do the more I realize there is to be done, but that was the seed.
The interview was in May 2009 and there has been progress. I started my own dance company (Body Positive Dance) and we are competing for the second time in Philadelphia in May, this year I’ll pursue my first Professional World Title in partner dancing, and I’ve just recently become the choreographer and a dancer/singer in the new Fat Bottom Cabaret (more about this soon, for now we’re still looking for women size 14+ in Austin who can sing and/or dance and/or do something extraordinary – juggle hoop etc. If you want more info, e-mail me!)
Anyway, a year and a half later I’ve made progress as both an activist and a fat dancer, and the reasons that I became an activist still hold up – I just realize now that they are much broader than I thought they were when I started: I want to walk through the world without being stigmatized and judged for my size. I want to be surrounded by people who love themselves and their bodies. I want to be respected for my talent and judged on my merits and not the size and shape of my body, not just by audiences and dance judges, but by everyone from strangers to doctors, and it turns out that in this culture, I have to be an activist to get that done. So let’s go…what’s next?
By the way, if you want to listen to the interview but don’t think you’ll be awake for the NPR broadcast, you can listen to the Inner Views archive here.
If you’re celebrating a holiday this weekend I hope that it’s fabulous. If you’re not then maybe I’ll see you out at the movies!