Aidy Bryant Puts the Problem Where it Belongs

ShamelessBefore we get to the post, please take a moment to sign and share (or re-share) the petition for Esquire UK to pull the piece in which an author calls his 4-year-old child a “chubby fucker” and a “fat little bastard” and then says that he would kill all fat people. We’re starting to get some good traction and the media is starting to bite at the story! Another huge help would be Tweeting the celebrities who Giles Coren used in his article to fat-shame his 4-year-old son and asking them to speak out.

They are:
@JKCorden, @onebiggins, @Adele, @PaulHollywood, @THERussellGrant, and @HackneyAbbott

Sample Tweet (you can either send one big Tweet or send one for each person:)

I hope @JKCorden, @onebiggins, @Adele, @PaulHollywood, @THERussellGrant & @HackneyAbbott tell @EsquireUK to stop letting Giles Coren use them to body-shame a 4-year-old boy. Sign the petition tinyurl.com/StopGilesCoren #GilesCoren

Now for today’s post:

We live in a world that is chock full ‘o fatphobia. Some of it is at the hands of random people – the person who screams a slur at you from the car, the busybody at the grocery store who comments on the contents of your cart, or the group of teenagers who moo at you in the mall. Sadly the opportunities that people take to mistreat fat people seem to be frequent and varied. Other fatphobia is systemic and institutionalized – it’s healthcare facilities that don’t have chairs, beds, or even blood pressure cuffs for fat patients, staffed by doctors who can see past their own size bias It’s clothing stores that advertise that they make clothes for “all shapes and sizes” but definitely don’t. It’s airplanes that don’t have seats that accommodate fat people and try to make that fat people’s problem. Sadly, they are often successful, and that’s a bigger problem.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “fat is the last acceptable prejudice.” Well, that’s crap. There is a ton of prejudice — racism (including at the hands of the police), xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, misogyny, ageism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and plenty of other oppressions are far too common to suggest that they aren’t acceptable. What may be more common with sizeism (though it can happen with all types of oppression) is internalization.

This happens when fat people become convinced by fatphobia that fatphobia is correct and our bodies are the problem — that we deserve derision, that we don’t deserve a seat on an airplane or competent, evidence-based medical care. Too often, even if they haven’t actually internalized oppression, fat people who are in the public eye will toe the fatphobia line rather than risk the pushback that they can receive by fighting back against fatphobia.

That’s why Aidy Bryant’s recent interview with The Cut is so refreshing! Aidy is crystal clear that the problem isn’t fat bodies, but rather fatphobia. Starting with her decision to move away from the pursuit of thinness:

She recalls the moment that she stopped focusing on trying to be skinny as “a switch flipping.” “I finally was like, what if I put all of that energy into just trying to like myself and focus on the things I actually want to do as opposed to this thing that’s like a made-up concept? And I’m not kidding, my entire life changed after I did that.

Within two years, I was hired by Second City; two years later I was hired by SNL,” says Bryant. “I stopped letting it be an all-day, everyday thing that defined everything that I did,” she says, snapping her fingers. “And it worked.”

And she got clear fast on the total unfairness that it the world of plus size fashion:

Click here to read the rest of this piece!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Sign and share the petition to tell Esquire UK to pull the article and the column written by Giles Coren – who used his column on fatherhood to fat-shame his four year old son, and then say he would kill and burn all fat people.

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 16, 2017 at 7:50 pm  Comments (12)  

The New #FATANDFREE Pictures

2017 FAC StickerBefore I get into the post today, I’m excited to tell you that got over 7,000 signatures in just two days on our petition to get Esquire UK to pull Giles Coren’s article on “fatherhood” in which he fat-shames his 4-year-old son and then says he kill all fat people.  This is really great momentum! The more people who are involved, the more pressure we put on Esquire UK so please take a moment to sign and share (or share again) https://www.change.org/p/esquire-uk-fire-writer-who-said-all-fat-people-should-be-killed-and-burned

On to today’s post!

If you haven’t heard of the #FATANDFREE campaign, you are missing out. The project was Ccreated by plus size model, fat activist, and body positive influencer Saucyce West and according to the press release:

“Saucye presents a campaign that is showcasing fat, proud and beautiful women. What is different? She is telling women that once you embrace and love your body that will give you true freedom. She expresses that fat women are often kept in a box. Often told what they shouldn’t wear, what they shouldn’t eat. Even express fears of going outside and showing their arms!

“It’s time for us to be limitless in the way we view ourselves. If we see no boundaries we will be free to flourish and love ourselves without apologizing for it”- Saucye West

The campaign started on New Year’s Day, photos with women toasting and celebrating. Instead of giving resolutions for the New Year, they made a pledge to live fat and free for 2017!

Since then women have started using the hashtag on social media, showing the world they are living in and loving their bodies.

There will be #FATANDFREE events throughout the year along with photoshoots. So that this can become a mantra for women. And begin to heal and create self-love that will last far beyond

  1. It will become a way of life.”

You can see the stunning pictures here! (Some pictures may not be safe for work.)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Sign and share the petition to tell Esquire UK to pull the article and the column written by Giles Coren – who used his column on fatherhood to fat-shame his four year old son, and then say he would kill and burn all fat people.

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 14, 2017 at 11:03 am  Comments (5)  

Fat-Shaming Game on KickStarter

 

 

Angry FrustratedBefore we get to today’s post, please consider signing and sharing the petition to ask Esquire to pull the article and column written by Giles Coren – who used his column on fatherhood to fat-shame his four year old son, and then say he would kill and burn all fat people.

Onward to today’s fat-shaming ridiculousness. There is a new game on Kickstarter called Hey There Fatty! It comes packaged in a stereotypical Chinese food delivery container complete with a fat-shaming fortune cookie. The game just won DreamHack 2017’s Best Multiplayer Experience Award, which is a shame because it’s a terrible, fat-shaming disaster.

According to the game’s description, Hey There Fatty! is “a game unlike any you have played before. By counting calories, going to the gym, and yes, even hosting a potluck, you can strategize to beat your friends and family. Or if sabotage is more your style, go for it! Just don’t end up a fatty!”

Look, the idea that fatphobia is the “last acceptable prejudice” is complete crap. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ageism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and more run rampant. But fatphobia is one of the prejudices that people still seem to find completely acceptable.

The creators of Hey There Fatty! claim to have worked on this game for over three years. They dedicated time and energy for three years toward creating a game that has the express purpose of fat shaming and is based entirely on stereotypes about fat people.

In case you needed a reminder that internalized oppression is a thing, the creators have claimed that they are “overweight,” that they’ve played it with “overweight” friends, and that everyone thinks it’s hilarious.

Let’s be honest here — the game is not even clever. It’s hardly “unlike any you have played before” if you are someone who has been stuck on the diet roller coaster, been fat-shamed(supposedly) “for your health,” or had every bit of their food intake scrutinized and commented on by family and friends.

Speaking of food scrutiny, with cards for binging, over-exercising, and a goal of food restriction, this game could just as easily be called Hey There Eating Disorder!

The fat shaming is bad enough, but the connection between this kind of fat shaming and eating disorders is real and dangerous.

If you find this game inappropriate you can report it by logging into kickstarter, going to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1741293451/hey-there-fatty Scroll all the way to the bottom and click the “report” button.

To read the rest of this piece, click here!

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Sign and share the petition to tell Esquire UK to pull the article and the column written by Giles Coren – who used his column on fatherhood to fat-shame his four year old son, and then say he would kill and burn all fat people.

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 13, 2017 at 11:33 am  Comments (7)  

Giles Coren: Garbage Human, Fatphobe and, Horrifyingly, Father

NOGiles Coren writes a column for Esquire about fatherhood. His most recent piece is titled: “I Don’t Care What My Son Becomes… As Long As He Isn’t Overweight.” I thought I couldn’t be shocked by fatphobia anymore but I was wrong.

Before we get into his advocacy of child abuse and killing fat people, let’s take a look at his kid, who he calls “morbidly obese”

giles

I’m going to take his letter and break it down. Please consider signing and sharing the petition to get this piece, and Giles’ column, pulled from Esquire UK. If you’d like to give Giles some feedback on his piece, you can find him on Twitter @GilesCorenIf you’re a dad, it would be particularly helpful if you would step it up and let him know that this is completely unacceptable, and let the world know that whatever the hell he’s doing, it’s not fatherhood.

I’d also like to be clear that this isn’t Giles first day as a human-shaped piece of garbage, having previously published a piece (also for his Esquire column) where he said it was ok if his daughter didn’t do well in school because she could just marry a banker.

Finally, the quotes from his piece will be indented. All are offensive, many cross the line into blatant, violent, hate speech, including discussion of burning. They may be extremely triggering. If you want to skip this post entirely, I don’t blame you. If you want to skip the quotes you will still get the gist of the post without reading all of his bigoted drivel.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re looking at that picture of my son and you’re thinking, “Fat little bastard”. Sure, he’s cute. He’s got a nice little face. He looks a bit of an idiot because his mum took him for a haircut on the morning of the photo shoot (completely failing to grasp the first rule of shoots which is, “never have a haircut closer than two weeks before, or you’re going to look like a chump”) but on the whole he is a good-looking boy.

Wrong right off the bat there Giles.  What I’m thinking is “Please, please, please don’t let this article be about a dad who is taking out his size bigotry on his four year old son.”

Except he’s fat. Arse on him like Vanessa Feltz and a full frontal presentation at bath time that puts one in mind of a Gavin and Stacey-era James Corden or a well-waxed Christopher Biggins, all giggly on too much rosé.

At this point (while I know full well that regardless of his kid’s size it’s wildly inappropriate for Giles to think of him this way, or to involve so many other people in his blatant size bias) I am compelled to look again at the picture. While it would be perfectly fine if his kid fit this description, he absolutely does not. I’m forced to assume that Giles wanted to splash around in a pool of fat hate and decided to facilitate that by pretending that his kid is fat. Regardless, there is no size his kid could be that would possibly justify fat-shaming him.

It’s all very well to say that it’s puppy fat. It’s all very well to pinch his cheeks and go, “Who’s a cheeky chubby-chops? Awww, wittle fatty boom-boom…” and nuzzle your face in his tummy and blow raspberries and feel how they ripple through him like a fart in the bath, but what if… IT DOESN’T GO AWAY?

If it doesn’t go away, then you will have a fat kid. If he doesn’t have a growth spurt, then you’ll have a short kid. The thing about kids growing up is that they grow up into adults of all kinds of shapes and sizes and none of that requires ALL CAPS HISTRIONICS because all bodies are good bodies.

You know what I’m saying? Adele’s parents probably thought it was puppy fat too. And Paul Hollywood’s. And Russell Grant’s. No doubt Diane Abbott’s family assumed that she would change shape when she was out of nappies. But the change never came.

Giles seems really, really angry that fat people are allowed to exist and he continues to try to involve as many of them as possible in his bigoted farce of an article.

It’s reasonable to assume that the parents took their eyes off the ball, let their porky pups feast on a shitty diet and do fuck-all exercise into adolescence and now look at them: ostensibly successful, yes, but laughable to behold with their untucked shirts and stretched, shiny faces.

It’s not reasonable – it’s fatphobia and stereotyping. People, including young people, come in lots of different sizes for lots of different reason. People of all sizes eat whatever Giles’ definition of a “shitty diet” is, and people of all sizes choose not to exercise. People’s choices and sizes are none of Giles’ business. People of all sizes wear untucked shirts and have shiny faces. Giles, needs to get ahold of himself, he has completely failed at keeping his blatant bigotry subtle while pretending that he cares about his son.

The sort of people you want to follow down the street playing “Flight of the Valkyries” on a tuba.

No dude, YOU want to follow them down the street playing the tuba because you are an absolute garbage human.  I continue to be absolutely stunned that Esquire would allow a piece that is nothing but hate speech to be published, especially under the guise of how to be a father.

And I’m worried as fuck that my little Sam could go the same way. Not only because of how it will ruin his life but because of how it will reflect on me.

I don’t give a single solitary fuck about Giles. I’m worried that Sam “could go the same way” because his father is a raving fatphobe who will undoubtedly do unimaginable damage to him every day until he can escape. (Pssst, Sam, find the Fat Acceptance Movement, a lot of us grew up with parents who were worse than useless as well, we’ve got your back!)

For while obesity as a demographic phenomenon can be classed as disease, epidemic, socio-economic tragedy, whatever, on an individual, case-by-case basis, each actual fat person is blatantly just a badly brought-up, greedy little son of a bitch committing the unforgivable sin of gluttony in a world where there is not enough food to go round.

Being fat doesn’t ruin your life. The thing that ruins your life is this kind of (fact-free) fatphobia. “Obesity” isn’t a disease, it’s not an epidemic, or a tragedy – it’s just a ratio of weight and height. Granted, a ratio onto which some people (many for profit, others for attention, others because they are simply bigots) have heaped tons of negativity.

Also be clear that there is plenty of food to go around. Hunger is a complex issue that has to do with things like capitalism, nationalism, racism and more. And even if it wasn’t indisputable fact that there are thin people who eat far more than fat people, it would still have literally NOTHING to do with fat people existing. This is just another way that people who want to be bigots try to justify their bigotry, and using people who are starving to do it is particularly despicable.

I’d kill them all and render them down for candles.

Let’s be absolutely clear what he is saying here.  He is saying that, given a chance, he would kill all fat people, then burn us. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, it’s a call for genocide. (People will immediately suggest that I’m going to far in saying this, those people are a part of the problem. “I’d kill them all” is not an unclear statement.) Anytime you say that everyone who shares a single characteristic should be killed, you are going down a very bad road. I would love to know the name of the editor at Esquire UK who read that sentence and said “Sure, kill all the fat and burn them, that’s totally reasonable. Leave that in.”) Here, again, is the link for their complaints section.

It may sound harsh but how else are we to recoup the tens of billions of pounds they cost the NHS and the wider economy each year with treatment needed, working days lost, hospital beds broken, chairs smashed to splinters and good workers accidentally killed when fat people sit on them?

Here Giles seems to be trying to make another wild stab at justifying his bigotry (won’t somebody please think of the tax dollars?!)  But he’s so overcome with his desire to say horrible things about fat people that he can’t even keep it together for a single paragraph.

It is no business of mine what Sam does with his life. I’m not ultimately bothered whether he’s rich or poor, artist or scientist, crackhead or alcoholic, married or unmarried, gay or straight… I don’t care if he runs every letter of the LGBTQI spectrum to the end and back, and comes home with a cock in every hole and says he’s changed his name to Rita. As long as he isn’t fat.

The first sentence may be the only correct and appropriate thing he says in the entire piece. The rest is obviously total bullshit. Now might be a good time to remember that someday, who knows how soon, Sam (who might end up being fat) will read this. The idea that he would be more upset if his son had a larger body that if he was addicted to crack is obviously incredibly troubling, but also troubling is – again – Giles’ tendency to feel free to use some marginalized groups in his quest to oppress fat people.  Here he uses people who struggle with addiction as well as queer and trans people showing that while he’s is definitely a fatphobe, he’s certainly not a single issue bigot.

My daughter I am less worried about. Possibly because she is as skinny as a cricket. But if at some point in adult life she pulls the ripcord, well, there are uses for a fat woman. She can be kind of cosy. Whereas a fat man has nothing to offer but his ability to consume. To bring forth upon the world a fat son is indeed a shame before God.

Not satisfied at simply inappropriately (some might say abusively) using his son for this ridiculous exercise, Giles brings his daughter into it and makes the transition to blatant and disgusting misogyny. Unfortunately he doesn’t even have enough new ideas to support the entire diatribe, so we’re back to the old “fat people eat a lot” crap. Even if this was true it would be a tired argument at this point but, again, it’s simply not.  And once again I’d remind you that his son will someday learn just how conditional his father’s love for him really is. So while I’m angry at Giles for being such a blatant and vocal bigot, I’m terrified for Sam growing up with an abusive, misogynist, fatphobe for a father, and I would support child services if they removed the kids from the home.

But it’s hard to know what to do about it. I’d put him on a strict diet and buy him a hamster wheel but my wife is not the moral absolutist that I am and she is the one who does the Ocado orders. And cooks most of the food. But is a bit of a lazy tart. Sorry — a busy working mother with many other important things to think about, who knows her way down the path of least resistance.

So Giles also doesn’t respect his wife. This is my not-surprised face. In good news, it looks like Sam may have one decent parent.

So the boy eats a lot of white carbs, sugary cereals, pizza, fried chicken… much like a poor child in America’s morbidly obese central heartlands. Which is why Sam looks like one of them. He doesn’t like fruit or veg and none of us can be arsed to force them down him. But he does like a tub of ice cream and a long run at the television of an afternoon. And on even the shortest car journey he expects his iPad and a sack of Kettle chips.

So he gets them. And I say, “Can’t you give him a carrot instead?”

And my wife says, “If you want him to eat carrots, you try feeding him a fucking carrot!”

So I let it go. And I feel ashamed. But then I see these middle-class kids with their weekday screen bans and their steamed fish and vegetables and no chocolate or sweeties and 10 hours’ oboe practice a day and it makes me want to puke. And I find that I’m kind of proud of our somewhat slutty stance on it all, or lack of one. Otherwise, I suppose, I wouldn’t be admitting to it here.

This is quite the juxtaposition of bigotry – marginalizing an entire swatch of America, middle-class kids, and those who play the oboe is not beginner level oppression. Giles is a piece of shit, but at least he’s good at it? Let’s be clear – giving kids (of all sizes) lots of food choices and helping them to develop a healthy relationship with food is a positive thing, giving kids food and then shaming them for eating it is just fucked up and is basically trying to give your kid an eating disorder.

I try to look on the positive side. Such as the possibility that having a fat adult son — who I will unquestionably continue to love with all my heart no matter what — might help me to lay aside my prejudices regarding fat people and bring me to a more respectful place vis-à-vis the fat and ever fatter future we unquestionably face as a race. And that being grotesquely flabby, sweaty, knock-kneed and impotent would mean that Sam was unlikely ever to have a girlfriend or any mates or be invited to parties, so he’d have more time to work at becoming a nuclear physicist or getting filthy rich and supporting me in my old age.

And then other times I think, “I’d best get the chubby fucker’s jaw wired before he’s old enough to stop me.”

Classic abuser technique. First he spends the entire article being clear that if his son is fat he would be perfectly happy to kill him and burn him, that he would rather he struggle with a drug addiction than be large, that he would consider him to be a “shame before god,” and that his son would (continue to) be the recipient of every piece of fatphobia with which Giles’ little essay is dripping. Then Giles does the whole “I still love you, maybe I can be better” rap. But, as we’ve learned, Giles can’t hold it together for long, so he throws in a few more stereotypes and then leaves a little reminder that he is capable of physical abuse.

My heart goes out to Sam, I hope that he can somehow escape this situation clinging to a  healthy relationships with food and his body, and I also hope that he can avoid becoming the super bigot that his father is modeling to him and anyone else who will read his work.

As far as Giles goes, I think we all know where he should go:

Move to Trash

Red box around a picture of a trash can with the text “Moved to Trash”

Final reminder to take some action here:

Sign (and share) the petition

File a complaint with Esquire UK
They will require the following info (you can copy and paste to avoid giving the article traffic.)

  • The piece is called “Man & Boy: Giles Coren “I Don’t Care What My Son Becomes… As Long As He Isn’t Overweight”
  • The link is http://www.esquire.co.uk/life/a18073/giles-coren-overweight-son/
  • The publication date is November 9, 2017

Find him on Twitter @GilesCoren

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 12, 2017 at 10:08 am  Comments (17)  

Rosie O’Donnell Was Wrong To Fat-Shame donald

not even trumpI was so disappointed to hear that Rosie O’Donnell joined in on fat-shaming donald on Twitter. It’s really not ok no matter what he weighs or how much weight he has or hasn’t gained. The real problem is that the thread she Tweeted out to her 1.09 million followers is a cesspool of size bigotry – including the constant no-less-wrong-just-because-it’s-so-predicable conflation of weight and health.

Rosie Fat Shzming

In looking at the thread that she links to (which is not linked to here because I’ll not give it clicks) I’m extra disappointed to find that so many of the people who are gleefully engaging in fat-shaming have Twitter pages that are absolutely full of social justice posts. The idea that fat is the last acceptable prejudice is total bullshit – there is way too much prejudice and it’s all far too acceptable, what this does remind me of, is that people who are vocally anti-racist, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia, anti-misogyny, anti-ableism and more are often still absolutely comfortable engaging in and supporting fat-shaming (Melissa Toler wrote an incredible piece about this here.)

There are those who will claim that it’s ok because donald regularly fat-shames people, or because he is an absolutely despicable racist, xenophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic, fatphobic, ableist, misogynist sexual predator who installed white supremacists into the highest levels of our government while constantly trying to give less to people who already get crumbs while he and his cronies steal every cookie from the jar.

Those people are wrong.  There is more than enough material to criticize donald from now until the end of days without taking cheap shots at his size. In fact, his body might be the only thing about him that isn’t a problem – there is absolutely nothing wrong with donald’s body.  Besides which, answering his bigotry with size bigotry is super screwed up.

Speaking of donald’s bigotry, when he fat-shamed Rosie in the past, she was justifiably furious (and, happily, a lot of people backed her up,) so why go after donald’s weight and, in the process, add to the notion that there’s something wrong with fat bodies?

The thing is, it really isn’t about donald at all. It’s about us. With our speech, our actions (and our Tweets)  we are always either helping to dismantle fatphobia or we are adding to it.  Let’s choose to solve the problem rather than become it.

ACTIVISM OPPORTUNITY: 

In a piece for his column on fatherhood, Giles Coren called his four year old son a “chubby fucker” and said that, when it comes to fat people, “I’d kill them all and render them down for candles.” This piece is violent hate speech. It needs to come down and Esquire UK needs to fire Giles Coren. Please sign the petition! http://chn.ge/2i6zPYh

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 11, 2017 at 7:46 am  Comments (6)  

A Resort Just for Fat People

Fat people should be accommodated by the all the same places that thin people should be accommodated. That statement shouldn’t be controversial, and it shouldn’t even need to be said.

Sadly, that’s not the way the world works right now.  Fat people can’t even be guaranteed accommodation when our lives depend on it – with healthcare facilities not bothering to have blood pressure cuffs, chairs, or beds to fit us, ambulances to accommodate us, with medicine doses not tested on fat people, and medical students prevented from working on fat cadavers, and with surgeons allowed to refuse to give us routine surgery while requiring us to risk death with dangerous surgery we don’t need.

So if we can’t even count on those who are charged with saving our lives to accommodate us, how can we count on vacation spots?  The truth is that we can’t. It’s possible for a fat person to pay a lot to go on vacation only to find that the chairs, beds, resort restaurants, even the poolside chairs don’t accommodate us.

So, while we do the slow and difficult work of creating a world that isn’t full of sizeism and fatphobia, it also makes complete sense to create and enjoy spaces just for us, and James King’s “The Resort” in the Bahamas is exactly that. James is not a fat person, but he was working at another resort when he saw a chair break because it wasn’t built properly to accommodate the woman who was trying to sit in it.  Then the hotel tried to charge the woman for the chair.

James says [Content Warning – the linked article uses words that pathologize body size, and obviously the comments are a dumpster fire of fatphobia.) ““I tried to convince the owners that we needed furniture other than this plastic flimsy stuff, and they didn’t care. I decided that I had to do something.” And so he did – including having to design all the furniture and have it built because, as he says “We needed beds that are able to hold up to 1,500 lbs., we needed lounge furniture and beach furniture that doesn’t break. And it just doesn’t exist. So everything that we have there I had to create and prototype.”

And it worked!  “The response has been phenomenal,” King says. “I’ve been booked all year and about 10 percent of that is repeat customers, which is amazing when you’ve only been open for two years.”

Fat people deserve to be accommodated and included in all aspects of daily life and The Resort is a step in the right direction.

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 9, 2017 at 8:56 am  Comments (8)  

Sitcom “Mom” Should Know That Fat Suits Aren’t Funny

facepalmThe sitcom “Mom” has decided to hide Jaime Pressly’s pregnancy by having her wear a fat suit and pretend to be “addicted” to food. In the past the show has dealt with alcohol and gambling addiction and they plan to deal with food the same way.

That’s a hot mess. The idea of “food addiction” being the same as an addiction to alcohol or gambling is highly controversial for a number of reasons, including the fact that nobody needs to drink alcohol or gamble so “abstinence” is possible, but everyone needs to eat.

If what they are actually talking about is a health condition such as Binge Eating Disorder, they should know that  binge eating issues happen to people of all sizes, so conflating them with her new body size fat suit, is playing to stereotypes and creating a confusing and inaccurate message about eating disorders and body size.

Regardless, wearing fat suits is seriously questionable even when people claim that they are trying to learn from it (yes, even if it’s Dr. Oz) since we have plenty of fat people telling their actual lived stories and we could just listen to and believe them. It’s 100% wrong when does for a Halloween costume, or for cheap laughs.

It seems very much like this is an example of the latter, and not just because it’s being done in a show that’s part of a genre that has “comedy” in its name. In addition to enjoying blithely donning a fat suit and engaging in stereotypes about fat women in a world where fat actresses face almost impossible odds of getting hired at all, in an attempt to claim that they won’t be making fat jokes (though the interviewer says that “…seeing the petite Pressly in puffy prosthetics will certainly be a gut-buster…”) Pressly made a fat joke:

“They don’t make fun,” says Pressly. “The writers are very careful. For everything we talk about on the show, there’s a fine line between what’s right and what’s wrong, and what we what can and cannot say. There is sensitive material in recovery. The other women kind of tiptoe around it. They don’t want to make Jill feel bad. There’s a big elephant in the room and that elephant is Jill.”

She’s an elephant – because she’s fat. Get it?  It’s so funny I forgot to laugh. According to Jaime, having her hide behind tables and such would have been too “cheesy” – so that had her dress up as a fat person instead?  Dressing in someone else’s skin is a terrible and offensive idea. Especially when we know that once the babies are born she’ll shed her pretend fat skin and return to her life of thin privilege while people clamor to ask her what it’s like to be fat.

This is crap. Apparently it’s not enough for Hollywood to burden the few fat actresses who get work with scripts chock full of stereotypes and shitty jokes about their food intake, now they’re putting thin actresses in fat suits to do the same.

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 8, 2017 at 1:58 pm  Comments (14)  

It’s The Underpants Rule!

Underpants RuleThis is one of those annual tradition posts – it’s the Underpants Rule and it is pretty simple: when it comes to personal choices, everyone is the boss of their own underpants. So, when it comes to personal choices, you get to choose for you and other people get to choose from them and it’s not your job to tell other people what to do and it’s not their job to tell you what to do. (Note that I’m talking about choices like what to eat and whether/how to exercise, not whether or not to encroach on some people’s civil rights, as that’s not a personal choice. Over the years, there have been some misunderstandings about the Underpants Rule – mostly confusion about what is and is not covered, rest assured, the Underpants Rule has limitations.)

To illustrate, if someone is considering saying something about personal choices that starts with

  • People should
  • Everyone ought to
  • What people need to do
  • We should all
  • Nobody should
  • You shouldn’t
  • blah blah things that have to do with underpants that aren’t yours blah blah

then there is a 99.9% chance that they are about to break The Underpants Rule. Of course telling you that you should follow the Underpants Rule is, in fact, breaking the Underpants Rule which is pesky, so let me instead make a case for the Underpants Rule and then you can make your own choice.

I chose a Health at Every Size practice (knowing that health is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control)  because I am a fan of research, logic, and math.  I think that the research clearly shows that a HAES practice gives me a much better shot at supporting my health with way less downside risk than a weight loss- based health practice.

There are people who think the exact opposite of that.  I know that because they come here and tell me so – they say that I should make a different choice.  This blog is my little corner of the internet.  It exists only because I created it and I am thrilled to pieces that people enjoy reading it, that people get inspired by it, that it gives people information to help them make choices etc. I try very hard to make sure that I always follow the Underpants Rule and never tell anyone else how they have to live when it comes to their personal choices, and yet people come here and try to tell me how to live when it comes to my personal choices.  That’s annoying.

For this reason, I would never go onto someone’s weight loss blog and tell them all about Health at Every Size and quote research as to why I think it’s a better choice.  Those are not my underpants.

I do not enjoy (or believe them) when people tell me that I need to become smaller to be attractive.  Therefore I would never say that thin women need to become larger to be attractive.  Besides the fact that I don’t believe it, those are not my underpants. (Not to mention that the path to high self-esteem is probably not paved with hypocrisy so doing to someone else exactly what I don’t want done to me seems ill-advised.)

The “War on Obesity” is an underpants rule breakdown on a massive scale. A group of government, public and private interests (with various profit and political motivations) has chosen a group of people who are identifiable by sight and is now trying to tell us everything from how we have to prioritize health, to the path we have to take to become healthy, to how our bodies have to look.  Who died and made them Underpants Overlord?  Nobody. (And another year has gone by and I’ve still not received my official fat person pony, so there’s another angry letter I have to write.)

My metaphorical underpants and my actual underpants have something in common:  if I want somebody else in them, that person will be among the very first to know.  I have definitely not invited the executives at HBO, Kaiser Permanente, the government, or the diet industry into my underpants.

Now, I’m not telling what to do (cause, you know, Underpants Rule) but I’m suggesting that if you don’t like it when people attempt to be the boss of your underpants, then maybe take a pass on trying to be the boss of someone else’s.  I’m fairly certain that “Do unto others exactly what you don’t want them to do to you” is the brick rule or the pile of crap rule or something – at any rate a LOT of steps down from platinum and gold. (If you are suddenly overcome with the urge to talk about how much fat people supposedly cost in “your tax dollars” then head over to this post immediately.)

Remember, you are forever the boss of your underpants – occupy your underpants (with a nod to reader Duckie for that phrase)! I’m going off to see if there is a Guinness World Record for number of times the word underpants is used in a blog post.

Underpants. Underpants. Underpants. Underpants.

Underpants.

Under…

…pants.

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 7, 2017 at 9:40 am  Comments (3)  

The Honey Beez and Plus Size Role Models

know fat chicks

Design by Kris Owen

The Honey Beez are a dance team that represents Alabama State University. They were originally started by band director James Oliver who was unhappy with the lack of plus-size representation on the ASU dance team. He helped pull together the first group and now the Honey Beez perform on the field, on stage (including on America’s Got Talent,) and they even go into high schools to talk about Body Positivity and dealing with bullying.

Oliver says 

When my assistant and I interview, some of these girls are crying because they’ve been through so much because of their size. But they are so happy to be part of the Honey Beez and to be dancing. They’re doing such a great job. They’re representing the plus-size ladies and they’re representing ladies who want to build their self-esteem.”

The fatphobic society we live in systematically tries to deny fat people representation and role models, and that’s compounded for fat folks who face multiple oppressions, like fatphobia paired with racism, ableism, and other marginalized identities.

You don’t have to dance on a football field to be a role model (though it should certainly be an option!) by being yourself and doing what you want to do in the world you increase representation of fat people and, whether you know it or not, you’ll likely become a role model for another fat person who thought that what you are doing wasn’t possible for them – right up until the moment they saw you doing it.

Here is some Honey Beez awesomeness!

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 6, 2017 at 8:26 am  Comments (6)  

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)