Substantia Jones, Extra Wide Calf Rain Boots, and Awesome Activism

Say Something SundayYou probably know Substantia Jones as the creator/photographer/activist behind the Adipositivity Project (link not necessarily safe for work. If not I highly recommend checking it out – posing for her project was one of my favorite experiences of all time!

You probably also know that she is an amazing activist in many other ways and today for Say Something Sunday I wanted to share some recent activism that she did both as an example of how to do individual activism, and an opportunity for us to help out!

Substantia recently posted this on Facebook:

I should be sleeping in. Or guffawing it up over a bloody brunch with pals. But no. I’m on the phone giving Zappos a lesson in how not to say “fuck you, marginalized population.” Of these 1396 pairs of “extra wide calf rain boots” there was a mere one (1) pair that was even listed as wide calf (not extra), and that pair didn’t list the calf measurement. So let’s say zero pairs. Despite their claim of nearly 1400.

They began by defending their “very literal” search function. Which I guess doesn’t recognize the purpose of quotes in a search field? By the end they apologized, and promised to kick it up to the bossier bossfolk. My expectations are low. Might have to file Zappos in the Used To Be Good file. Alongside Dick Cavett and Bill Maher.

Rain boots acquired: 0
Time wasted: far too much
Breakfast: not yet, which is likely amplifying the problem

Retailers, if you want our money, do your jobs. Or at the very least, don’t fuck with us.

#JustTryinToPrepMyGearForTheDystopianFuture

No automatic alt text available.

Let me first explain why this pisses me off so much. It’s bad enough that frustratingly often fat people are ignored by clothing and shoe companies.  But it’s so much worse when we’re given the impression that we are included, only to have those hopes dashed.  Often this takes the form of the “All Shapes and Sizes!” lie, whereby companies use Fat Acceptance language while systematically excluding fat people. Sometimes it takes the form of a company leading you to believe you have almost 1,400 options to keep your feet and legs dry when, in fact, you have none.

Substantia added:

If you tackle the bigger issue of how screwed those of us with fat legs are during rainy season, hurricanes, zombie apocalypse, etc., I’ll add that UK company Jileon Rainboots makes adorable things for extra wide calves. But alas, they stop at 21 inches, and I keep going to 24.

We can’t make our own rain boots. This is a problem. Increasingly so, if we keep fucking up our environment.

Of course nobody is obligated to do activism, and it shouldn’t be necessary. Still, this is how we create change, by calling companies out on their exclusion and letting them know that there’s money to be made if they’ll simply include us. (For an example, look no farther than Southwest Airlines which used to be one of the worst for fat customers and is now the only airline in the US to give fat people the same experience as thin people (which is to say – travel from one place to another in a seat that accommodates them, since planes don’t include accommodating seats they do so by giving fat people the extra seat(s) that they need. And they are making record profits.)

So, let’s take a moment to appreciate the general and specific bad-assery of Substantia Jones, and if you would like to lend your voice to the fight for fabulous rain boots for folks of all sizes, drop a line to Zappos customer service.

You can also hear Substantia (and me!) and a bunch of amazing speakers at the Explore More Summit: Bodies Edition. It’s free and it starts December 4th, and you can sign up now!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on November 5, 2017 at 2:34 pm  Comments (5)  

Boycotting the News Over a Plus Size Reporter?

Demetria Obilor is a recently hired reporter for ABC Dallas.

White Lady Boycotts News Station Because New Reporter Is Thick AF And She Ain’t

Purported viewer Jan Shedd took to Twitter to throw a tantrum:

“Has anyone seen Channel 8’s new morning traffic reporter? Her name is Demetria Obilor & she’s a size 16/18 woman in a size 6 dress and she looks ridiculous. I understand that when I watch Channel 8  I’m going to get biased reporting and political correctness, but clearly they have taken complete leave of their senses. I’m not going to watch Channel 8 anymore. “

Let’s get some shit settled immediately:

I don’t know what size Ms. Obilor is and I don’t care, she is wearing the hell out of that dress. It looks like it was literally made for her. I would support her if she wanted to wear that dress every single day.

As always, you can see someone’s true meaning by replacing “political correctness” with “treating people with respect.” Apparently ABC news treating people with respect is something to which Jan also objects.

Notice that Jan was willing to watch the news despite “biased reporting” but a plus size Black reporter is a deal breaker for her. WTF Jan?

And in a world that is built on systemic racism, we have to be clear that this could be intersectional oppression – that it is likely to include both the reporters size, and her race. Especially when women who are thin and white aren’t facing the same criticism for the same behavior:

 

AINSLEY EARHARDT, Fox News, FOX & Friends First , Weekdays 5AM

Ainsley Earhardt of Fox and Friends

As Ebony reported, people were all over this nonsense on Twitter, and Ms. Obilar posted a video to Twitter thanking people for their support:

If you find yourself upset about how a reporter looks, that’s an opportunity to examine your own biases, not to take to Twitter so that you can advertise them.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on November 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm  Comments (6)  

Judge Fat-Shames Sexual Assault Victim

NO*CONTENT NOTICE: sexual assault and fat-shaming 

A 17-year-old young woman in Canada was sexually assaulted by her taxi driver. The 49-year-old driver, Carlo Figaro, tried to kiss the victim, licked her face, and groped her according to her testimony. The trial was presided over by Quebec court Judge Jean-Paul Braun and, while he ultimately found Figaro guilty, he first took the opportunity to try to chip away at the idea of consent, engage in fat-shaming, and perpetuate the extremely disturbing idea that sexual assault can be viewed as a favor to fat women.

During the trial, the judge said “The consent to kiss someone is not the same as the consent to put, as they say, his hand in the basket.”

In fact, consent should be required for all sexual touching — including having your face licked by a taxi driver.

As for the victim, the judge felt the need to share with the entire courtroom “You could say she’s a little overweight, but she has a pretty face, huh?” He then suggested that the victim might have been “flattered” because “it is perhaps the first time that someone is interested in her.”

A world in which fatphobia suggests that fat women are undesirable, and then uses that as a defense of sexually assaulting fat women isn’t new. Quantisia Sharpton was one of the several women who accused R&B singer Usher of not disclosing his herpes diagnosis before having sex with them. No sooner did Ms. Sharpton appear in public, than the Internet attempted to build a “defense” for Usher based on nothing but fat shaming — insisting on his innocence based on the premise that Usher would never have sex with a fat woman. As BET pointed out, this was layered with elements of racism, including the view of Black women as less innocent than white women.

The #MeToo hashtag, initially started by Taranda Burke and recently re-ignited by Alyssa Milano, continues to encourage people to come forward with their stories. And this ugly relationship between fatphobia and sexual assault makes the situation far more difficult for fat victims who want to speak up. We can all see fat-shaming cyberbullies use sexual assault in their abuse, whether they say that nobody would even rape a fat woman, or suggest that a rapist would be doing a fat woman a favor. There are also some who suggest that fat women can’t be raped, which Beck Cooper addressed beautifully in her spoken word piece “Rape Prevention Potluck”

And, it’s not just internet trolls, but also people ranging from fans of Usher to Canadian court judges. The fear of not being believed looms over sexual assault victims of all size, but if you know that people believe it’s impossible for someone your size to be the victim of sexual assault, if you know that if you take your abuser to trial a judge might suggest that you were (or should have been) flattered by sexual attention of any kind, if you have seen a perpetrator of sexual assault be supported by people because they don’t want to believe that he would have sex with a fat person, it can take the fear of opening up about what happened to you to a whole other level.

It’s in this way that the #MeToo movement isn’t the same for, and isn’t necessarily inclusive of, fat people.

To read the rest of this piece, click here!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on November 3, 2017 at 5:38 am  Comments (6)  

Before You Join A Gym

IMG_1846[1]

My Best Friend got this figurine for me in a little shop in Astoria, Queens. Sadly I don’t know the artist.

As this year draws to a close, gyms in the US are starting to gear up for their “New Year’s Resolution” advertising. Which is to say that they are writing checks that their actual results can’t cash. But don’t worry, when their promises turn out to be not worth the annoying postcards they’re printed on, they’ll blame you for failing, and try to sell you the same thing again next year.

Gyms will promise almost anything to get you in the door – weight loss,  a certain look (“long, lean muscles”, “sculpted muscles” etc.)  But they can’t provide a single study that shows that more than a tiny fraction of people achieve these results, let alone maintain them long-term.

If gyms were honest, I think they would say something like this:

Thanks for considering joining our gym. We want to tell you up front that we can’t guarantee anything, and any gym that says they can is trying to take advantage of you. Our bodies – including their size, shape, the type of muscle we build, health, abilities, and athletic potential  – are complex and influenced by a number of factors, many of which are out of our control.

Evidence suggests that exercise is a good way to help increase our odds for health (which is not an obligation, a barometer of worthiness, or guaranteed under any circumstances.) Exercise is always optional, and if you’re just starting out, or starting over, that’s great. Remember that, regardless, there’s no need to go too hard too fast – unless you want to be the fittest person in traction. Besides, the research shows that even a little bit of movement can be beneficial and most of the benefits of movement can be gained from about 30 minutes of movement about 5 times a week. And it can be any movement, it can even be broken up into smaller bits.

We know that the research shows that internal motivation works better than external motivation, and that the first step to deciding how you want to take care of your body is realizing that your body is worthy of care, so you won’t find any body shaming trainers or messages here. We recommend that you find some movement that you really enjoy at a time that is as easy as possible for you to make.

That’s what I think gyms should say if they were telling the truth. If they were really trying to do the best thing I think they’d also say:

You’ll notice that our gym has instructors, trainers, and pictures with positive images of people of all sizes, because of course “fitness” and “health” are not a body size.  You are not a “before” picture and there is no “after” picture, there’s just “during” and we’re glad that you are here.

Regardless, if you’re contemplating joining a gym (or any fitness center) remember that they work for you, you do not work for them. Your goals are what is important here, not what goals they might want you to have. You have ever right to approach your movement using Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size, and to find a gym and fitness professionals who will support you in that.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on November 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm  Comments (8)  

When Your Kid Fat-Shames Someone

shamed kidReader Ashley wrote me with a question that is something that a lot of parents go through. She has given me permission to quote the question and answer it here:

I have a problem I don’t know how to deal with. I used to homeschool my kids and therefore outside pressures were extremely limited. However a few years ago I got very sick and am now disabled and had to enroll my kids in school. I’m sure you can imagine how much they’ve gotten the message that fat is an insult word. I do everything I can to fill them up with truths at home. I have a daughter who was a huge baby and has always been big and thick. She’s now 8 and is best friends with another girl at school who is larger than her. On the school bus my son called her best friend fat as an insult and made her cry.

This had be raging on many levels. First, that he would use his words to hurt somebody. But second, that he wielded the word “fat” as some great insult. I had a long talk with all my kids about it but I don’t know how to handle the mother of the child he called fat. I called her and left a message bc that’s what I would do in any case when my child is in the wrong. I had my son write an apology, careful though not to apologize for the word “fat” but rather for trying to be mean. If she calls be back and takes extreme issue with him calling her fat, how do I handle it? How do I scold my kid for being mean while telling him calling someone fat isn’t mean? His intent (self admittedly) was to be mean as revenge for something she said, so I was able to address it. But in the future, my kids may casually mention someone is chubby (bc I have taught them that is a descriptive word not an insult) but how do I handle any backlash?

I tell my kids commenting on anyone’s body is not necessary nor entirely appropriate, but I just don’t know how to navigate all these pitfalls.

This is so tough because there are so many layers to it. There’s kids being mean to each other which we obviously don’t want. But choosing to be mean to each other using fatphobia as a basis makes things much more complicated.

Ashley has done a great job creating a basis to have these difficult discussions.  It’s important that we talk to kids about this. In this article I’ll focus on fatphobia and weight-based oppression, but of course we (we being especially people who are privileged and not affected by a particular marginalization) need to talk to our kids about racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and other types of oppression.

When it comes to fatphobia, it’s important that we try to immunize kids early and often from the weight-based oppression they will see and hear (and possibly experience) in the world (especially since stigmatizing fat children all too often passes for healthcare.)  I’ve written before about specific ways to do that.

But once you’re kid has committed fat-shaming, you have to have a couple of different conversations. The first is about not being intentionally mean, the second about not being a bigot.

These two conversations are intertwined because you have to explain that not only was it wrong to be intentionally mean, but that there’s nothing wrong with being fat, and that by trying to use fat as an insult, then you are hurt all fat people.  Explain that bodies come in lots of different sizes, shapes (abilities, and colors, genders) and no body is better than any other body. Explain that there are a lot of people who are confused about that – explain the concept of being prejudiced, and why it’s not something that you want to be.

This is a talk you’ll need to have over and over again because your kids are going to be bombarded with negative messages about fat people. At some point you’ll also want to talk about healthism since that’s so often used as a defense for fatphobia.  Explain that there are healthy and unhealthy people of all sizes and that health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, entirely within our control, guaranteed under any circumstances, or something to tease someone about. Explain that while there’s nothing wrong with bodies of any size, some people are uncomfortable with having their bodies talked about and that there is almost never a need to comment on body size anyway.

To answer the question as to what to do if another parent contacts you because your kid fat-shamed their kid, this could be tricky because you don’t know what kind of fatphobia the other parent might harbor.  I would make it clear immediately that you understand that there is nothing wrong with fat bodies – or bodies of any other size – and that you’ve made it clear to your kid that all bodies are good bodies and that being intentionally mean was wrong and is unacceptable.

We grew up in an increasingly fatphobic world. Kids now are growing up in an increasingly fatphobic world (that is also awash in racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other types of oppression) so it’s important – in addition to the work that parents of marginalized kids have to do to help them navigate the world –  that we talk to kids early and often about their own privileges, how they can spot injustice and oppression, and things they can do to dismantle it, and help them find social justice warriors to be their role models. The more young activists we have, the better things will get.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 10:41 am  Comments (3)  

Is There Any Right Way to Ask Someone to Lose Weight For You?

A Big Bag Full of Nope (1)In case you’re not familiar, Humans of New York started in 2010 as a photography project by Brandon Stanton to “create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants.” A lovely fat acceptance story about an NYU student named Stella made the rounds of the Body Positive community a few years ago.

That’s why a recent post was so utterly disappointing.

Most of the people responding seem to assume that the subject is male, but I don’t think that can be discerned from the photograph. What we can know for sure is that they’ve found someone amazing and their fatphobia is getting in the way, and that’s entirely their problem but they are going to make it their partner’s problem if they don’t get their shit together, like, now.

Let’s take this bit by bit:

“At first I told myself I could get past it. I said, ‘Let’s just see how it goes.”

You decided to kick off a new relationship with lies of omission. Going out on dates with someone while secretly harboring bigotry against their body is fucked up. If you’re a fatphobe, then you shouldn’t get to lie about that and enjoy the company of fat people.

“We had excellent dates. Everything else about her was exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to ruin something good for that one little reason.”

Then you shouldn’t have. You should have hauled your ass to therapy and handled your issues.

“But it’s been 1.5 years. And I feel horrible, but I just can’t get past it.”

Yeah, well, you should feel horrible. You’ve been hiding your appearance-based bigotry from your partner for over a year and a half. That’s a horrible thing to do.

“And I feel like a bad person for being bothered by it.”

You are a bad person.

“I can’t bring myself to tell her.”

A fatphobe and a coward. That’s fucking great.

“We’re going to couple’s therapy next week, but I still don’t think I’ll be able to say it.”

You’re torturing her. If it were me, I’d want you to break up with me, not tell me why (I shouldn’t have to hear or care about your bigotry issues) and go do your self-work on your own. Regardless, this lying shit has to stop.

“Is there any right way to ask someone to lose weight for you?”

Wrong question asshat, unless you accidentally misspelled “How do I overcome my fatphobia without hurting my partner?”

Happily, most of the responses are clear that this person is the one with the problem, not their partner. Of course in a fatphobic world there’s always someone ready to defend fatphobia — often with healthism — and the comment section is no exception with people suggesting that it’s reasonable to ask her to lose weight because they believe it will make her healthier.

That’s bullshit, but even if it were true (it’s not!) it’s super healthist…

Click here to read the rest of this story!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on October 31, 2017 at 10:12 am  Comments (7)  

The Way You Are

The way you areBefore I forget, last week I had an absolute blast in Lexington, Kentucky talking about Fatphobia and Capitalism (spoiler alert, capitalism attacks fat people from every directions!) teaching a dance class (which was extra fun since I’ve missed dancing so much with all this triathlon training) and talking about how The World is Messed Up, but We Are Fine! Massive thanks to Ashley and Tiffany for hosting me!

I’m also super excited to announce that I’ve been selected to be a Keynote speaker at the Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association (MEDA) Conference. The conference is in Boston March 16-17. I was a plenary speaker a couple of years ago and it was such a fantastic experience that I can’t wait to go back!  My talk is Size Acceptance and Eating Disorders – A Critical, Crucial, Core Conversation.

If you missed me in Kentucky or can’t wait until Boston you can hear me right now on Erica Ormanovich’s podcast “The Way You Are.”  Erica took her own experience of recovering from an eating disorder and devoted herself ts to spreading the word on Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and body positivity. As I’ve written about before, fatphobia can play a huge part in triggering eating disorders and preventing recovery, since it’s difficult to believe that your recovery is the most important thing when the world is telling you that the most important thing, by far, is being thin by any means necessary. When hating your body and being terrified of becoming fat is considered normal, full eating disorder recovery can be impossible.  Too often people think that fat activism only helps fat people, but the truth is that fatphobia hurts people of all sizes – it’s not just the shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression of fat people (thought that is certainly enough of a reason to end fatphobia,) it hurts people whose fear of being fat takes up time, energy, and money that could be spent on other things, it hurts people whose disordered relationships with food, movement, and their bodies are normalized and encouraged. There are so many reasons to dismantle fatphobia!

You can listen to my episode of the podcast here and, while you’re there, you can check out other amazing interviews!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

 

Published in: on October 30, 2017 at 7:25 am  Comments (1)  

Victory! Fat Suit Halloween Costume Off the Shelves

victoryToday for Say Something Sunday I have an update on the terrible fat suit Halloween costume that I wrote about earlier in the week. I was late to the party hearing about this and amazing fat activists lead by Kristen Hardy were already hard at work fixing it.  Per Kristen’s Facebook page;

GREAT NEWS!
I just got off the phone with the Customer Care Manager of Value Village.
Following our complaints about the “fat ballerina” costume, Value Village has removed the costume from ALL of their stores in Canada and the US, as well as set up an advisory committee for 2018 onward to look at ALL of their Hallowe’en costumes to make sure that they are in harmony with the company’s commitment to inclusivity.
Thanks to everyone who contacted them about this!

It’s important to remember that, while it’s often the slow boring of hard boards, activism works! Massive thanks to Kristen Hardy and the other activists who put in the work to get this abomination off the shelves and to further work with the company to stop the sale of other offensive costumes! Do you have an activism victory? Feel free to leave it in the comments.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

Published in: on October 29, 2017 at 12:07 pm  Comments (6)  

Google, Cupcakes, and Terrible Ideas

facepalmSomeone at Google thought it would be a swell idea to launch a new feature into iPhone users’ Google Maps so that if someone asked for directions to a place that was “not far away” (by Google’s definition), they would get not just the directions they asked for, but also the number of calories they would burn (by Google’s estimation) if they walked instead.

Then, as the icing on the cake (sorry, couldn’t help myself), they decided to translate calories into… wait for it …mini-cupcakes.

There are many, many ways in which this is terrible. First of all, it’s ableist AF. Any time we suggest that “encouraging people to walk” is a good thing, while ignoring that there are plenty of people with disabilities (visible and invisible) and health issues that mean that walking may not be a good choice or may be impossible, we engage in ableism. Not just because we create a situation that explicitly leaves people out, but because we perpetuate a society that conflates performance of “health” as a measure of goodness or worthiness, but we’ll get back to that in a minute.

For those who have a predisposition to, are suffering with, or recovering from, eating disorders, this can be completely triggering. Not just calorie counting, which is bad enough, but specifically the idea of having to “earn” food through activity is a significant eating disorder red flag.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that this is total bullshit. Bodies are complicated; estimating the number of calories an individual uses to walk a mile is difficult at best. Trying to come up with a single figure that will work for everyone is impossible. Google claims “the average person burns 90 calories by walking one mile” with no information about where they got that figure. I assume that they just found a calorie chart and took the average since this calculation involves, at the very least, weight, and pace and, depending on which chart you look at, can differ by more than 90 calories based on these variables.

You would think Google would care that they are giving people completely erroneous data; they’re Google for god’s sake!

Finally, there’s the old “nobody asked you!” issue. People asked Google Maps for directions, and instead, they got information about calories and cupcakes. To make matters worse, there was no way to turn the “extra” info off and just get the direction they were looking for in the first place!

So, as is nearly always the case when we introduce diet concepts into the greater culture, we do harm with basically no benefit. Luckily, the pushback was swift and sharp:

Read the rest of this story here!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

 

Published in: on October 28, 2017 at 9:42 am  Comments (8)  

Dressing Up As “Fat” for Halloween?

 

I saw this costume today:

It’s advertised as “Men’s Inflatable Ballerina Adult Costume”

The description reads: “Twirl about in the silly Men’s Inflatable Ballerina Adult Costume. The adult costume is perfect for Halloween trick or treating or fall parties.”

Let’s start with the name of the costume. It pisses me off A LOT that they don’t even have the decency to be honest about what they are doing.  Ballerinas wear clothes that fit them, not inflatable suits that make it difficult to move. This is a fat suit with a half-assed ballerina theme.

Now looking to the description, what exactly do they think makes the costume “silly?” Bodies come in lots of sizes for lots of reasons and none of those bodies are “silly.” There are amazing fat ballerinas and there is nothing “silly” about them. Not to mention “perfect for …fall parties” What the hell kind of parties are these people attending?  It’s just shitty fatphobia.

It’s enough of a problem when people wear fat suits to see what it’s like to be fat instead of, you know, listening to and believing fat people about their experiences. But this isn’t that. This is literally putting on someone else’s body – a body that, as it exists in the world, is subject to a tremendous amount of shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression. Costumes like this add to that shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression by perpetuating the idea that there is something about being fat that should be laughed at. Then, having used their body as a tool for fatphobia, the wearer removes the costume and returns to their  life of thin privilege.

This is bullshit. Don’t do it. Let’s dismantle fatphobia, not dress ourselves in it.

UPDATE:  Thanks to amazing fat activists these costumes have been pulled from the shelves. See the details here!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Become a Member! For ten bucks a month you can support fat activism and get deals from size positive businesses as a thank you.  Click here for details

NEW!!! Wellness for All Bodies Program: A simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

Over the course of eighteen self-paced, content-packed, quick videos you’ll get the tools you need to create healthy relationships with food, movement, and your body, and you’ll map out a path to health that makes sense for you, in an easily digestible format. Built-in tools allow you to track your progress and keep notes individually or as a group.
Click here for all the details and to register!

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!

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

 

Published in: on October 27, 2017 at 2:42 pm  Comments (10)