No Headless Fatty

Perhaps you’ve noticed the prevalence of the Headless Fatty a coin term by Dr. Charlotte Cooper.  The pictures that accompany almost every single article about health, the “obesity epidemic”, diets etc.  This phenomenon serves to make us seem all the same – just headless bodies that show how far we’ve all fallen into gluttony and fat and blah blah blah dee blah blah.

I think I told y’all a while back that I was doing a photo shoot of my dancing with Richard Sabel.  Well, I got the pictures today.  He did an amazing job and I love them and I decided to post them here.  Why?

If you answered that I’m an ego-maniac who wants everyone to look at me…Congratulations – you’re about 25% right.  But 75% of me is worried about seeing them with my head cut off beside a news story about how omigoddeathfatzarecomingforus, or juxtaposed against a fast food restaurant background, or having to read yet another random person with no health credentials telling me that I can’t possibly be healthy and I’m in denial.  In fact, right up until I composed this I didn’t realize how scared I was/am to post these.

Because right now I have a secret crush on them and when I hit “publish” I’ll go public with my crush and give people the opportunity to judge it, and them, and me. ( For example: I have no problem with people seeing my dance panties at a dance competition – that’s why we wear them – but people who I work with seeing them in a close-up still…a little more nerve wracking.)  So why post them?

I’m posting them as a show of rebellion against a culture that says my body can’t be beautiful.  I am in love with my body in these shots.

And I’m posting them to add to the precious few pictorial examples I see everyday of fatties with heads.

And I’m posting them because I’m an ego-maniac who wants everyone to look at me. (But I’m doing it on the weekend – I promise to return to more substantial blogs again on Monday!)

For the record I’m 5’4, 284 pounds  which makes me the fattest possible category on the BMI chart:  Type 3:  Super Obese.  I think they should give me a cape… just saying. At any rate, my body has not been altered in these photos, this is what I look like for real.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember the  judge who said that she couldn’t stand to look at me because my dress showed my arms.  Well, this is that dress.  Enjoy:

56 thoughts on “No Headless Fatty

  1. Just Beautiful! I really like the last one! I amazed at your flexibility! Picture where you are leaning back and on one foot, I’d be on my behind if I tried that. So, I think your pics/you are really pretty/flexible/and have great balance!

  2. Glorious! I might just have to turn on some music and dance today! It is my birthday, after all. 🙂

  3. I love these so, so much. You have great lines. I just wanted to let you know that I sent these to a wonderful dancer friend of mine (I think she’s doing contemporary ballet at the moment). I’m so glad you decided to share these with us, it’s so important to have more positive, gorgeous, *intentional* photos of fat people out there. And with heads, of course! 😉

  4. Your photos are awesome! It’s good that you posted them. If anything, they disprove some stereotypes that fat people are less physically capable than thin people, and look at the positions you can put yourself into that some people probably couldn’t believe. My favorite is the first one.

  5. Oh my gosh these are beautiful! You look so strong and graceful in each photo. I love the first 2 photos in the green top in particular – wow are you bendy! 🙂

    Thank you so much for posting these photos. Recently I have been trying really hard to undo the false reality that has taken residence in my head about beauty. Your pictures (and your blog) force me to realign my reality with the truth that all women are beautiful regardless of their size. Your photos literally brought me to tears this morning with an overwhelming emotion that *this* is real, not the BS force fed to us by society. I am trying really hard to own that reality.

    Thank you for being so brave and for sharing your voice.

    1. Thanks Dawn. I’m a bendable poseable Ragen! I think it’s awesome that you are open to realigning your reality – that takes a lot of courage and a lot of people including me really appreciate it!


  6. I have to agree with everyone else – those are some totally awesome pictures of a beautiful woman and you have every right to be proud of them and yourself. I’m so glad you posted them.

  7. Please allow me to add to the chorus of “Holy crap, you look great!” You can do things with your body that would make mine scream at me and say, “What the hell do you think you’re doing to me?! Cut it out lady!” Congrats on the beautiful pictures and being a fatty with a head. Go ahead, crush on your pictures. Have fun with it. You deserve it, and a cape, because well, you are Super Ragen! Defending what is right.

  8. What a pictorial capturing exuberance, an absolute joy for life, grace, strength, and flexibility. I’d have to do yoga for a year to obtain even half that flexibility and balance. Thanks for sharing them!

  9. All of these are beautiful and fantastically athletic. While all of them are thoroughly engaging, I find IMG_9139 (black dress + black stand) to be absolutely captivating for it’s demonstration of your power and grace with such beautiful lines and composition. I’m so glad that you shared them.

  10. You are so beautifully graceful that I can only smile and applaud you! 😀 Flexibility and dance are not limited to smaller people; that is for sure! Keep on being Super! (*digs around for cape…I know I have one somewhere…maybe we can share one?*)

    1. Thanks April, I will be happy to share a cape with you. Just so I’m clear – are we talking one giant cape like a three-legged race, or more of a cape time share?


  11. Hello, you Gorgeous, Inspiration of a Woman! I was just wondering-as an overall percentage of the population, how many folks do you suppose could make/hold/do these moves, not to mention while smiling and looking like they’re actually enjoying themselves? Any guesses? Hugs,

    1. Theresa! So awesome to hear from you. I honestly don’t know, it’s an interesting question. I am aware that one of the things that helps me walk around happy in the world is the knowledge that I can do this stuff. I hope that you are well, let’s get together soon, I’d love to hear what you are up to!

  12. Just lovely. I’ve been trying to achieve the pose you show in the first picture my whole life. I’m not there yet, but I won’t quit trying!

  13. I’d love to see a video of this, if one exists! As beautiful as you are in the stills, I bet you’re even more gorgeous in action!

  14. I’m new here (found you through your post on Jezebel), but I just wanted to say these photos are amazing. I love that there’s so much joy and energy in them. I’m really glad you put them up.

  15. These photos are absolutely lovely! It’s wonderful to see a fatty enjoy moving her body as you do. Keep up the good work!

  16. “I think they should give me a cape…” Hahaha – love this 🙂

    And i love this post!
    It’s terrible that you should even have to consider how these images might be used in the media, but i am so glad you decided to put these images up regardless. They are wonderful & you are gorgeous – these images convey such a sense of freedom & enjoyment 🙂

    You really inspire me to get back into dance – i adored dancing when i was a child, but due to injury i had to take some years off for my body to heal. Now that it has, i really feel such a yearning to get back into it. I could definitely use some help with my flexibility – i tried doing some of those leg raises from your photos z& nearly fell over! It was an amusing moment 😉

  17. (Still catching up with flood week posts!)

    I am so glad that you have posted these. They’re beautiful and the joy on your face is too.

    I used to think we should have Super Fatty capes too, but then I realised that it would just hide our arms. Can’t have that happen!

    1. I hope that you are safe and warm and dry! Glad that you liked the pictures. And you’re right about the capes – what we need are fabulous fatty ponchos with armholes.


  18. Your grace is jaw-droppingly inspiring and challenging.

    Your form is just perfect.

    What I am about to say I mean with the utmost respect and I humbly pre-apologize if any of my latent brain-washing shows through in my verbiage.

    I believe in the butterfly affect. And therefore, the more energies you shift, the more affect you have on the world. Your fat tissue is not hiding or detracting from your muscles. Far from it, it is emphasizing what you can do with them. As you release joy, passion, exuberance, and bliss through your dance, you send that current on to others around the world. Your body just makes it possible to do more good through what you do best.

    1. Sarah,

      Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree with you more, I am so grateful to have the chance to do what I love in the body that I have in this culture. And I think it works for everybody – as we embrace our bodies and our gifts, we encourage and model for others to do the same 🙂


  19. I am slow, but you are gorgeous, and exuberant, and these photos show that. 🙂

    I love seeing people of any size dancing. It’s such an affirmation of our bodies, and our existence IN the world – as part of the world and nature.

  20. I just wanted to say thank you. So often I forget that I can be beautiful. That I am beautiful. I think you have a lot of courage,to go against the lies and panic spread by twits today. And in such a great manner.
    I’ll be following from now on and showing all my friends.
    (On a side note,we’re the same weight! I dont have a clue how you got that flexible though,I would be on my ass O.o)

  21. These photos were great, I used them for some personal sketching practice with varying body types. They’re such great poses. If I ever upload online I’ll notify and link you accordingly.

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