Say Something Sunday – Second Edition

Stand up speak up fight backThis is our second week doing “Say Something Sunday,” a day dedicated to personal Size Diversity activism. I’ve got some suggestions below and/or of course you can do your own thing.  If you do participate, we would love to hear about it in the comments (whether you do it on Sunday, or some other day!)  If you have ideas of things to do for Say Something Sunday I’d also love for you to share those in the comments.

I did the math and if everyone who views the blog each week did one piece of Size Diversity Activism a week, it would add up to over 1.5 million body positive messages put out into the world this year.  Multiply that times the number of people who might see each of those messages and things start to increase exponentially. To be very clear, nobody is obligated to do activism so if this doesn’t appeal to you that’s totally cool, I’ll be back tomorrow with your regularly scheduled blog post!

My ideas for this week (these are just suggestions, feel free to change them to make them work for you, and if they don’t appeal to you feel free to do your own thing!)

Post something like the quote below on your social media.  Consider telling people that you will delete every comment that tries to disagree or argue about this because our right to exist should not be up for debate, then delete those comments:

Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shaming, stigmatizing, bullying, or oppression. It doesn’t matter why we’re fat, what being fat means, of if we could be thin.  There are no other valid opinions on this.  It is not up for debate.  Fat people have the right to exist.

Send a thank you e-mail, or letter, or leave a Facebook comment or Yelp review etc. to a company that accommodates you – whether it’s a restaurant with armless chairs, a clothing company that makes clothes you like in your size etc.  Tell them why you appreciate what they do.

When you see sizeism happening in a group to which you belong (whether online or in person) interrupt it and say something.

Have a conversation with someone close to you who sometimes says things that are fatphobic.  Let them know why it hurts you, tell them about your Size Acceptance practice, and give them concrete things that you’d like them to do to support you.

If you want to do more of this kind of thing, consider joining the Rolls Not Trolls group on Facebook, it’s a group created for the specific purpose of putting body positive things in body negative spaces on the internet and supporting each other while we do that.  It’s a secret group so if you want to join just message me on facebook (I’m Ragen Chastain)

Happy Say Something Sunday!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member For ten bucks a month you can support size diversity activism, help keep the blog ad free, and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

Buy the book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

Dance Classes:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs or download individual classes – Every Body Dance Now! Click here for details 

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com

A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development (casting, finding investors etc.).  Follow the progress on Facebook!

If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

Published in: on January 11, 2015 at 11:09 am  Comments (20)  

20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I had to be admitted as an inpatient last week because of the stress caused by concern trolling brother and sister and the Forbes article they sent me about fat people absolutely not being able to be healthy in any long term studies. This Say Something Sunday I’m going to spend all day going thru Ragen’s blog and emailing them all the concern trolling entries as well as all of Ragen’s research that show absolutely that fat people can be just as healthy as thin people.

    • I’m so sorry your siblings are being stress-inducing jerks. Sending you hugs if that’s something that would help from an internet stranger.

    • I hope you’re feeling better, Simon. And that sounds like an excellent use of a sunday.

      Take care of yourself.

    • *HUGS*

      If you find an article that shows how stress and bullying is bad for health, send that along too.

  2. Today I shared on LinkedIn and twitter your post about how a lively debate shouldn’t happen. I also plan to send Consumer Reports a strongly worded letter about how their On Health newsletter takes for granted that the BMI is a legit thing to measure health by.

  3. I know I’ll be interrupting more fatphobic conversations this week. Sigh. But I keep doing it.

    • Shoot Twistie, I’m having major computer issues today. The comment below was intended to be a reply to this one. But thank you again for always being so nice to me…

  4. I’m a teacher. On Friday I had to do a task with my tutor group (British version of homeroom), who are all 12 or 13 years old, helping them to develop a questionnaire to determine whether or not people are healthy. The objective of the activity was ostensibly to get them to think about their own health, and the guidelines provided by the school encouraged us to focus on a broad range of health indicators, including mental health as well as diet & exercise. We brainstormed as a group about questions to include, and literally the FIRST thing a kid suggested was, “Are you fat?” Thanks in large part to all the info and insights you post on here, Ragen, I felt really comfortable and confident redirecting their thinking, and instead they ended up developing questions like, “Do you eat 5 portions of fruit and/or vegetables today?”, “Are you able to move around as much as you want to?” and “Do you feel happy about your body?” (In discussions the kids concluded that not being happy with your body, whatever its shape, was less healthy than being happy with it. Hooray!). I would classify myself as a chubby-to-fat person (fat enough to be judged by ignorant people, thin enough to “pass” to an extent that ignorant people will fat-bash in front of me). It’s hard to stand up in front of a bunch of teenagers (who have much less of a verbal filter than adults!) and defend a body-positive standpoint when the kids have been so inundated with fat-phobic views. Thanks for giving me the confidence & tools/arguments. “Healthy lifestyles” is our once-a-week topic for this term, so I’m anticipating more chances to make a difference.

    • That is awesome!

    • Nicely done!

  5. Potential triggers below (children teasing)

    Thank you for the comment above Twistie, I have good days and bad days, but I guess we all do.

    I was wondering about interrupting peoples fat phobic conversations…there are so many times where I feel I should speak up but don’t.

    I have example from about two weeks ago where I was in a check out lane at a super market and there was a moderately fat father and his two younger kids in front of me. The kids were making fun if him being fat and he honestly seemed to be getting a kick out if it. They were singing a song that was something like “big fat daddy on the porch, big fat daddy breaks the porch.” I don’t think it was directed at me but I was seeing red at this father and children’s insensitivity and problematicness to the rest of us.

    I wanted so badly to scream at him and the kids to shape up but I bit my tongue. After I got to the checker and they were out if earshot I said to her “that was really, really rude of them.” She responded with a laugh and “nooo, they were cute and I wish my nieces and nephews were that creative.” So I was even more angry with her but again bit my tongue.

    So for two weeks I’ve felt I’ve missed two opportunities to speak up and educate extremely rude and fat phobic people but didn’t. I’m curious if others would have said something in similar circumspect.

    • I hear ya.

      My two cents…
      It gets dicey when getting between parent and child(ren) in a public place. If you had spoken up in defense of the Dad, he most likely would have castigated you for saying something negative to his kids.

      The message one says in a situation like that must be carefully worded so as not to come across as ‘dissing’ either side. Something like “Kids, be kind; Dads don’t last forever” or something along these lines. Something that either side cannot possibly take offense to.

      I imagine the Dad’s reaction was to save face. Lord knows how many times someone correcting their child in public has been viewed as abuse and ended up going viral on Youtube.

  6. My activism these days has been with my 12 year old son, who has been starting to have body issues. Talking about dieting. I’ve been trying to tell him diets flat out don’t work, and trying to redirect him to getting moving and eating healthy (for an adolescent). And we’re doing it together. : )

  7. (((((((((Simon))))))))) So sorry you deal with this. I have dealt with a lot of it in my life, though more because of my disability than my size.

    I posted a very adamant & uncompromising statement of my status as a fat activist & my unwillingness to be accepting of any fat-shaming posts shared, or “people of Walmart”, any such crap, on my Facebook page, just to remind people where I stand. I hide any shared posts which go against my beliefs & if someone I have friended proves to be consistently fat-shaming, determined to talk about their diets, etc., I unfriend that person.

  8. Hey Ragen,

    I just gave a thank you to Fat Heffalump and I wanted to thank you too.

    I just realized this morning that in the process of accepting my body, I’ve gotten better at accepting who I am as a person. Part of that is reading this blog, and hers and others like it. Also all the fine commentors!

    I’m sure my own personal efforts did something to, but reading about other people being themselves has helped tremendously.

    So THANK YOU for blogging, for putting up with jerks, and for just being yourself.

    *HUGS*

  9. I’d like to know what you guys and gals have to SAY about SOMETHING my gynecologist often says to me, which is…well, I’m sure you all know what it is.

    I once got into a little argument with my mom about whether or not he has the right to tell me to lose weight (I weigh about 278-280 pounds last time I checked).

    He first said that he “recommended” I lose weight, then recanted his statement later for some reason I can’t exactly recall (blood work came back mostly fine, maybe), then said once again that I “need” to lose weight.

    My mom said that it’s okay for him to talk to me about my weight because “he’s a doctor and deals with your health.” Those weren’t her exact words but I’m sure you get the point.

    I obviously disagree, and basically stated that he deals with vaginas, and it is his job to do that, and give me birth control.

    When I got my shot last time, he also asked me if the guy I’m seeing is really anxious to “get started” (again, not exact wording).

    I wonder if — and I mean IF — this is because, while he may understand on a logical level that fat people/fat women have sex, it could be a hard notion to digest on an emotional or mental level.

    Note that this is a very well-experienced doctor; he’s no young pup. The man is otherwise nice/polite too.

    I’m not trying to make any assumptions here — it’s just a thought.

    Care to offer any unbiased comments?

    • IMO, he really has no business telling you to lose weight. Ragen has some great info on setting limits and talking to doctors about this. If you can’t find it (maybe under shop?) post here again & we’ll try to find it for you. Or, Ragen, can you point her in the right direction?

    • Here’s the post that has the info I was talking about:
      https://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/?s=doctor+cards&submit=Search

  10. I posted a version of your suggested post on FB. So far, lots of “likes” and several supportive comments.

  11. I had not know about this activist opportunity… but I inadvertently posted an activist/size positive/reality Note on FB today. It’s currently available to friends so if you are a non-friend to my page, send me a request. Very cool idea Ragen.


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