Singer JoJo’s Extreme Diet – Why Isn’t Talent Enough?

Actual SizeIn an interview with PopSugar, Singer JoJo has bravely decided to talk about the pressure that she was under to lose weight early in her career.  She explains:

Here’s something that I agreed to do that ended up messing with me psychologically…I was under a lot of pressure with a company I was at previously, and they wanted me to lose weight fast. So they got me with a nutritionist and had me … on all these supplements, and I was injecting myself — this is a common thing ‘the girls’ do, by the way — it makes your body only need certain calories, so I ate 500 calories a day. It was the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever done.

First of all, who the fuck is this nutritionist? It’s bad enough that Dr. Oz endorses crap like this, but at least he got called before Congress and labeled a scam artist.  For all we know this nutritionist continues to starve pop stars for profit.

There is no injection that makes you only need certain calories.  While she doesn’t disclose what kind of injections, this sounds like the HCG diet.  Victims of this scam inject themselves with the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is produced during pregnancy and legitimately prescribed as a fertility medication. In addition to the injections they are restricted to 500 calories a day.

As you might have guessed, there is no research to suggest that this leads to sustained weight loss, but there are side effects which include gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat,  fatigue, irritability, depression, edema, gynecomastia, gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, electrolyte imbalance,and the risk of blood clots forming and blocking blood vessels. All that risk for an approximately 0% chance of long term weight loss.

Regardless of what type of ridiculous and dangerous diet she was on, nobody was suggesting that it would improve her singing voice or her health, and that’s an issue. In our culture, talent isn’t enough.  For the vast majority of people who want to be singers (or dancers,or actors, or in the public eye in any way,) fitting the stereotype of beauty is the golden ticket that they must have in order to chase their dreams, because in our culture very often we choose our singers, dancers, actresses etc. based on their ability to approximate the stereotype of beauty first, and their talent second.  And that sucks.

How many talented people do we miss out on because they didn’t happen to fit some ridiculous, incredibly narrow standard of beauty?  How many bullshit “Nobody Could Have Believed” e-mails do we have to endure?  How many talented people put their health and even their lives at risk trying to reach that stereotype of beauty?  This needs to stop. Talent should be enough, and the entertainment world should reflect the diversity of the real world.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE! 

Earlybird registration ends July 31st so hurry to get the earlybird rate

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

 

Kerryn Feehan – Every Fatphobia Fallacy In 3 Minutes

WTF are you doingActress and comic Kerryn Feehan decided to use a publicity opportunity on KISS 95.1 FM to go after KISS intern/My Big Fat Fabulous Life star,Whitney Way Thore.

In a “whoever talks the loudest wins” style that she seems to have copied directly from famous-only-for-being-a-fatphobe MeMe Roth, Kerryn manages to commit every fallacy of fatphobia in less than three minutes.

It would have been impressive if it wasn’t so horrifying.  I wrote about it for Ravishly.com, you can read all about it at:

http://www.ravishly.com/2016/07/27/kerryn-feehan-concern-troll-fatphobe-and-bullshit-artist

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE! 

Earlybird registration ends July 31st so hurry to get the earlybird rate!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

In Praise of Thin Allies – Say Something Sunday

AllyThe idea of a “thin ally” within fat activism is a complicated one- both because classifying body sizes can be difficult, and because (though relative privilege because of size is a real thing) the culture of fat hatred hurts people of all sizes. For the purpose of this piece I’m talking about people who don’t identify as fat who engage in fat activism (everything from retweeting size acceptance stuff or attending rallies.) I also want to point out that, as always, I’m speaking for myself here and other fat people may disagree with what I’m about to say.

First of all, I want to talk about why I think having thin allies is important:

They aren’t subject to the “you are only trying to justify your fat!” argument

In an ideal world people would understand that our bodies need no justification. But this isn’t an ideal world and the truth is that an entire panel of fat people can have their message dismissed in less than a minute by this (totally bullshit) derailment technique and the bigotry upon which it is built.

Their privilege can mean that they are listened to

In an ideal world people would listen to fat people about our experiences and what we think is best for us. But this isn’t an ideal world and sometimes people whose prejudices get in the way of hearing what fat people are telling them are able to process the information when they hear it from a thin person.

Is this incredibly frustrating? Yes. Is it totally bullshit? Yes. Is it theoretically how social justice is supposed to work?  No. Is it how it often works in real life?  Yes. And I’ll point out that good allies also center fat people’s voices and work as part of their ally work and/or to give people information for future study.

It’s just nice to have someone stick up for me

As a fat person I have had tons of bad experiences with fat phobia and fat bashing where other people either joined in or sat by and did nothing while I was forced to fend for myself. So it feels really nice when someone sticks up for me, even if they are doing it “imperfectly.”

This is especially true considering the difficulties and challenges that allies face:

They put themselves in harm’s way

The fat hate trolls who are always yammering on the periphery of fat activists also target our allies with the same range of cyberbullying to threats on health, safety, and family. Many fat people avoid activism to avoid dealing with this (which is a completely legitimate choice!) so when people open themselves up to this horrific treatment to help dismantle a system that actually privileges them, I appreciate that.

Many thin allies suffer professionally in terms of professional respect, accolades, and even promotions and pay.

They will never “do it right”

Fat community is not a monolith, and members of the community have very different ideas about our goals, and how we should accomplish them.  That means that every single thing someone does as an ally (including what they have been specifically asked to do by some fat activists) other people in fat community will disagree with.

Call Out Culture and Kick the Puppy Syndrome

The issue with never pleasing all the activists can become more difficult because of call out culture – where activists are often very quick to criticize someone doing what they see as imperfect ally work, sometimes harshly and very publicly.  And even though allies are theoretically supposed to roll with this form of education, in the real world it can definitely hurt, and it can definitely make someone less likely to do ally work.

This can be further intensified because our allies are around and open to listening to us, while the people who are actively and purposefully engaged in fat oppression are not around and are unwilling to listen to us. When we can’t take out our frustrations on our worst oppressors, we sometimes take them out on our best allies which makes them less likely to be allies and/or puts them in a state of paralysis where they are scared to make a mistake that will not only lead to public humiliation but, they fear, actually make things worse instead of better.

I’ve definitely been guilty of unnecessarily harshly calling people out, and taking out my frustrations on allies, and it has never benefited me or my activism.  The theoretical argument says that allies should just suck it up because they are not in as bad a position as fat people are, but I’m not sure that’s realistic or entirely fair, or helpful.

 

No cookie for you

There is a school of thought that allies shouldn’t be praised or rewarded for being allies because it’s what everyone should do.  This is often expressed as the idea that you don’t get a cookie for doing what’s right.

In terms of the way that I interact with allies, I disagree with this emphatically.  I think that even if it’s true theoretically, the reality is that it definitely isn’t what everyone does, and it’s difficult work with real negative consequences.

I also think it’s important to remember that allies don’t have to do this, they can stop at any time and their lives may well be better and easier for it, and often their ally work is about dismantling systems that are currently benefiting them.

So I don’t want to take allies for granted and I really appreciate people who take on ally work and I’m happy to give allies a cookie (though it will be store-bought because I can’t bake for shit.)

It doesn’t cost me anything to appreciate people, in fact it often makes me feel better to recognize people who are helping. And not for nothing but it’s certainly been my experience that giving positive feedback to my allies increases the likelihood of continued ally work (and shows other people that doing the right thing has benefits) which is something that ultimately benefits me and my work.

If You Are An Ally

Being an ally can be difficult, but that’s also part of the deal.  While I stand by everything I said, I also want to be clear that none of that is a “get out of jail free” card to not be constantly educating ourselves, centering the voices of the oppressed communities we are trying to work in solidarity with, doing our own research, trying to use incidents of being called out as educational opportunities, and trying to have compassion for people who are having a difficult time and taking their frustrations out on us.

So, for Say Something Sunday this week, I recommend you thank an ally! And if you are someone who is/wants to be an ally find a way to be an ally today – post something fat positive, challenge a fat phobic remark, spend some time researching questions you have about how to be an ally to fat activists. Speaking of research, if you want to hear a bunch of amazing speakers talk about fat activism from an intersectional perspective, then the Fat Activism Conference is for you!

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

Health, Confidence, and Worthiness

Nothing to proveThis piece is part of the awesome Body Confidence Blog Carnival that Victoria Welsby has created.  When I first suggested the topic, I was planning to write about it in the abstract but shit has, as they say, gotten real.

Two weeks ago I got sick with some kind of stomach virus.  Just as I started to feel a little better it was time to travel to a friend’s wedding (Mazel Tov y’all!) and I came home with a nasty cold/sinus thing that makes is hard for me to breathe, and makes me weak, tired and dizzy.

Normally this would just suck, but currently I’m in the last four months of a two year journey to complete an IRONMAN Triathlon, and so this has meant a bunch of missed or incomplete workouts, and workouts completed when I’m definitely far from at my best which is the last thing I need right now.  This is a journey that I started specifically because I’m not good at endurance athletics and I wanted to push outside my comfort zone. It’s not been an easy journey for me physically or emotionally and, as with nearly everything I do, it has been accompanied by daily bullying and harassment by internet trolls.

Earlier in my life this situation would have found me with my self-esteem down around my ankles. And in truth, I probably wouldn’t have even tried something like an IRONMAN because I tied my self-esteem and self-confidence to things like athletic success and the fear of failure (and all the subsequent troll rejoicing,) and how devastating that failure would be to my sense of self – might have stopped me before I started.

But on my journey to fat acceptance and body love I learned something that changed everything: I can love my body no matter what.  I can have high self-confidence no matter what. I can have high self-esteem no matter what.

It’s not magic, it’s been a long and difficult journey to get here because, like everyone, I grew up in a society that is steeped in sizeism, healthism and ableism (as well as racism, ageism, classism, homophobia, transphobia and more.)  A society that tries to tell us that we’re not inherently good enough or worthy, that we must always and forever be “proving ourselves,” including and especially if we are fat.  A society that tells us that we should judge ourselves and others based on things like body size and health and physical ability.

In fat activism community this is often called the “Good Fatty Bad Fatty Dichotomy” and it’s absolute crap, but I bought into it hard. I would say things like “I’m fat but I’m healthy, here are my numbers…” or “I’m fat, but I’m active” feeling like I was allowed to like myself “even though” I was fat, because I was “healthy,”  because I was achieving athletically.

This wasn’t about telling the truth about weight and health – which is important so that people can understand their options.  It was not about creating a space for fat people to have the right to choose to be involved in the fitness world without shaming, bullying, stigma, or harassment – which is also important because of the double-edged sword of being a fat athlete where some treat you better because you’re involved in fitness, and other people throw eggs at you.  This wasn’t about any of that, it was only about tying my self-confidence, my self-esteem, and my self-worth to outside achievement, and to things that weren’t entirely within my control. And that was a terrible idea.

The truth is that health is not an obligation, barometer or worthiness, entirely within our control, or guaranteed under any circumstance. The truth is that we should all have the opportunity, but never an obligation, to participate in fitness/athletics/movement at any level we choose. The truth is that we don’t have to make our self-confidence,  our self-esteem, or our self-worth  contingent on our health, our participation in fitness, or anything else. The truth is that the trolls can (and will) yammer on, but we don’t have to care what they say. The truth I realized for me is that I am the only person who can decide how I feel about myself and my body. The truth is that  we are worthy, no matter what.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

Dieting Is Not the Same Thing As Brushing Your Teeth

facepalmThere are some things I can’t believe I have to say, and it appears that this is one of them. Yesterday I blogged about how my life changed after I found out that research shows that, while most people can lose weight short term, most people gain it all back (with the majority gaining back more than they lost) in the long term. Nearly every time I bring this up, I get comments like the one I received this morning:

shower, brush teeth, diet

Pictures shows a comment by “Barry” that says:

So why bother with anything? Why shower? Why brush your teeth? Eventually they’ll get dirty again, might as well just give up right?

My first thought is that if someone really can’t tell the difference between showering, brushing their teeth, and trying to manipulate their body size in a way that the research shows is nearly impossible and may harm your long term health, then I recommend they go ahead and stop showering and brushing their teeth and see if that helps them figure it out.

Seriously though, one of the things that holds a toxic, and sometimes deadly diet culture in place is the fact that people think giving your body so little fuel that (you hope) it will eat itself and become smaller, is roughly the same as brushing your teeth. That’s the world that diet culture has built.

Dieting can be a physically brutal, emotionally difficult, and expensive process that is often undertaken by those who have been misinformed – typically by the people selling the diet – about it’s likelihood of success either at making them thinner or healthier (which are two separate things,) and/or those who are trying to find a way out from under the soul-crushing horror of weight-based shaming, stigmatizing, bullying, harassment, and oppression that exists in our culture.

If we are to give fat people their rights to basic human respect, if we are to have any hope of a productive discussion about public health, then we have to stop normalizing dieting to the point that people consider attempts to manipulate our body size to be the same as basic hygiene.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

 

 

What If Nothing Made You Thinner

Actual SizeA member of Rolls Not Trolls – a Facebook community that I created to put body positive comments in body negative discussion on the internet- let me know about a more-ridiculous-than-usual weight loss article (and that’s saying something.)  The article’s title suggested that it would be about how having sex doesn’t make people thin. So already this is really inane, and it’s about to get worse. (By the way, I’m not linking, there’s no way I’m giving traffic to that tripe.)

It starts out not talking about sex at all.  In fact we have to wade through 12 paragraphs of questionable statistics and “facts” about fat people and weight to get to the only two paragraphs in the entire piece that talk about sex. So the clickbait trifecta of sex, weight loss, and myths has been activated to make sure that people get their daily dose of justification (however shitty it might be) for fat hating. Charming.

But it reminded me of a really important part of my journey out of dieting hell. One of the things that I realized when I finally got off the diet roller coaster was how much of my time, money, and energy had been dedicated to trying to get thin – from reading articles and books about how to get thin, to doing things that were supposed to make me thin, to measuring how I was or wasn’t getting thinner and more.  It didn’t leave me happier, or healthier, or thinner, it just made me miserable and it had wasted an astounding amount of time.

I found out that the research showed that while almost anyone can lose weight in the short term almost everyone gains it back and the majority gain back more than they lost. That was certainly my experience. That led me to ask a simple question that helped my life open up in all kinds of amazing ways:

What if nothing will make me thinner?

It was a revolutionary way to look at my life because for years I poured my time, energy, and money into trying to figure out what would make me thinner and doing that no matter what the consequences to my happiness, my health, or my life. The idea that nothing would make me thinner meant that the whole world opened up for me.

Instead of viewing working out as punishment for having a fat body, I could move in ways that I enjoyed, and set goals on my own terms. Instead of hating my body for what it wasn’t I could love it for what it was. Instead of eating as a way to manipulate my body size, I could choose food based on what tasted good and what made me feel good.  Whether or not [sex, dancing, salads, etc.] would make me thinner no longer factored into my decision making process.  Instead I asked myself questions like:  Do I want to do this?  Why? Are there downsides?  Will this make me happy? etc.

I think it’s basically impossible to describe exactly how much better my life got when I started to make decisions based on what makes me happy, what makes me feel good, and what I want, instead of making them based on whether someone said that something will, or won’t, make me thinner.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held October 6-8, 2017.

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Check out the Body Confidence Blog Carnival! Eleven days of awesomeness

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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

Model Photographs and Shames Naked Woman at Her Gym

A sculpture of a fat dark-skinned woman with short hair and a daisy bathing suit curling pink weights.
My Best Friend got this statue for me. Sadly I don’t know the artist but if you do let me know!

Dani Mathers is a former Playmate of the Year, and is currently spending her time taking pictures of naked women in her gym’s locker room and then sending them out via snapchat with body shaming captions. (Thanks to reader KC for letting me know about this.)

You read that right. Dani took a picture of a naked woman who was just trying to shower in the gym’s locker room and captioned it”If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either”, then Dani took a Selfie with her hand over her mouth, then Dani sent them out via Snapchat.

After many people reacted with rage (thank you decent people of the world) Dani posted an apology video, which I will break down bit by bit.

I just want to acknowledge a photo that I accidentally posted.

Accidentally?  You took the time to take two pictures, write a caption and post them to social media. Out of curiosity,  what would you have done if you were trying to do this on purpose?

It was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do.

What exactly did you “mean to do” when you took a picture of a naked woman in a locker room without her knowledge or consent?

I chose to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know body shaming is wrong, that’s not what I’m about and this is not the type of person I am.

It is the type of person you are, and the way that I know that is that you fucking did it. You saw a woman taking a shower in your gym and your first thought was to take a picture of her without her knowledge or consent, then send it out via social media to body shame her. That’s the type of person you are.  You can become a different type of person, and you should, but it’s going to take real work to unlearn the prejudices that are now so ingrained.

The photo was taken as part of a personal conversation with a girlfriend and because I am new to Snapchat I didn’t realise I had posted it, and that was a huge mistake.

Let’s go over this again:  It is not ok to take a naked picture of someone without their knowledge or permission. It doesn’t matter if you planned to share it with the world, your girlfriend, or keep it for your private collection.  Holy fuckballs lady. Quit apologizing for posting the picture and start apologizing for taking the damn picture.

I know I have upset a lot of people out there but please believe me this is not the type of person that I am. I have never done this before and I will never do this again, you have my word.

Here’s hoping – especially for the women who just want to take a shower in your gym’s locker room.  (It’s not lost on me that Trans people are being denied their basic right to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on bullshit claims that they will do what this woman actually did – does that mean we’ll have laws that try to preclude models from using the facilities?)

In the first few minutes after hearing this all I could think of was whether she could be prosecuted or this, and then unrealistic and inappropriate ways that I wanted to help educate her.  I considered getting a group of women of different ages and sizes to follow her around, naked, until she can respect the diversity of body sizes. I considered trying to publish the unphotoshopped versions and outtakes from her modeling sessions – after all, if this woman who is just trying to take a shower doesn’t get Photoshop or her choice of poses, why should Dani?  I thought about encouraging naked women of diverse body sizes to send their pictures to Dani with the hashtags #unseethis and #takenwithpermission Meanwhile I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the woman in the picture isn’t suffering because of this, and that nobody publicizes a response pretending to be her.

My rage isn’t so much for me – I’m lucky that I’ve found a path that has left me comfortable with my body and clear that the problem is with body shamers and not with me.  Most of my rage is reserved for women who will now be afraid to go to their gym, to change in the locker room, to take a shower, lest some chick with a self-esteem problem and a cellphone be hiding around the corner loading up Snapchat. My rage is for women who will internalize Dani’s bullshit body shame and women whose greatest fears of being at the gym were reinforced and realized today. No apology can fix that.

Here’s what I know is true:

Yes, it’s ok to be fat.

Yes, you are worthy no matter what.

I also know that this makes me twice as interested in using my gym’s locker room to change and shower, to claim and own that space for bodies of all sizes who want to be there, including mine. Don’t like it? Well that’s just too damn bad.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE FAT ACTIVISM CONFERENCE!

This year we have a kick ass line up of speakers. This is a virtual conference so you can listen by phone or computer wherever you are, and you’ll receive recordings and transcripts of each talk so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The Conference will be held September 23-25, 2016

Click Here to Register!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Like my work?  Want to help me keep doing it? 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

Book and Dance Class Sale!  I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!

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

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

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