Kirstie Alley, George Lopez and some Bullshit

Kirstie Alley kicked ASS on Dancing with the Stars:

So of course in his recap George Lopez  said that she was a fantastic dancer and congratulated her on her second place finish.  Just Kidding!  He said “She did a nice job, her little hooves tapping away.  Before the show she went to the market and then she had roast beef and this is her going all the way home” followed by a video of a pig. Keep it Klassy George.

And Infdaily ran with the headline ” Kirstie Alley Celebrates her DWTS Lead By Going Out To Dinner – Naturally”.  Because of course, Kirstie is the only contestant who eats.  They also said “There’s no better way to celebrate a good night than with a nice meal.  And Kirstie knows that better than any of us.”  Do you suppose they mean that Kirstie’s had more to celebrate in her life than any of them?  I didn’t think so either.

Ok, so George Lopez and infdaily can bite me.  But here’s the quote that most bothered me (from the infdaily article)

Alley may be the underdog and the oldest competitor in the show but the lady can moves those curves of hers! And if she loses the hoped for 30 pounds over the course of the competition, Kirstie’ll only get better.

NO.  No no no no no. This is bullshit, pay attention infdaily:  by this logic Kirstie could just as easily improve by gaining weight.  You see I’m a much better dancer than she is and I’m pretty sure I’ve got a good 100  pounds on her. I’m sure it’s not that I’ve been dancing my whole life, it’s got to be my weight. (The word of the day is, apparently, sarcasm.)

Kirstie will get better as she dances more and gains technique, confidence and greater proprioception and kinesthetic awareness.  If she loses 30 pounds she will simply have a smaller body while doing it.  Of course, if she experiences short term weight loss any improvement that she makes as a dancer will be credited to her smaller body and not her training, strength, stamina and flexibility work, of which the weight loss is, statistically, most likely a short term side effect.

I feel her pain, I’ve been told on several occasions:   “You’re such a good dancer, think of how good you could be if you lost weight”.  The thing is, I’d dance exactly the same.  If I lose weight, then I’ll look like they expect a good dancer to look, and that will make them more comfortable.  And while I can understand their desire to be more comfortable, it’s not really my responsibility.   You are the boss of your underpants: Question your stereotypes, get the hell over it, or live in discomfort – it’s your call.

So go ahead with your bad self Kirstie – you rocked it and I’m rooting for you. Maybe if you gain 100 pounds you’ll improve your dancing.  Or maybe, and I know this will sound crazy but stick with me here, maybe you will improve with practice.

Speaking of fat dancers… hey look it’s me!


I was syndicated on

36 thoughts on “Kirstie Alley, George Lopez and some Bullshit

  1. I’m glad that Kirstie is dancing and staying in the spotlight in spite of all the crap she faces. BTW, this is, of course, the same George Lopez that cheated on the wife that gave him a kidney in 2004. A class act indeed.

  2. I saw the show in question. I’m no fan of Kirstie, but admit she did a fine job. The judges were very favorable. But she invites crappy weight-related comments by her obvious issues with her own weight–in print, and even on the show itself, a couple of times. Why am I not a fan? Various reasons, but mostly because as a yo-yo dieter, she goes through many periods (most of the time, actually) when she says negative things about fat, including herself.

  3. I’d love to cheer for Kirstie Allie, but her self loathing attitude really bugs me. She’s bought into the notion that she can only be happy if she’s thin. I wonder if she got on the show after watching Marie Osmond lose weight and if that’s one of her primary motivating factors. I’d love to see her realize that she is successful and can be happy as she is and that she can be a phenomenal dancer with enough practice.
    As for you– OMG! Awesome!Coming from my own dance experience, I’d love to pick your brains about being a plus size dancer– whenever my instructor says “strike a pose” I freak out. I simply don’t know how to find flattering poses for me. Moves look different on different body shapes and after 6 years I’m still uncertain what moves look best on me. How do you figure that out? Yeah, that would be a dancer blog and probably wouldn’t interest a lot of your readers.
    I have a friend who designs dancewear for plus size women and frankly I think you’d look stunning in some of her pants. I know that I love them and I feel great in them. Let me know and I’ll connect the two of you via Facebook:)

  4. I’ve been belly dancing (Middle Eastern Dance) for 31 years. Some portion of that time I’ve been thin, but mostly not. Most belly dancers, especially the really good ones, have some belly or a lot.
    I agree. Being a good dancer is more about technique and practice than what one weighs.
    Kudos to Kirstie and all dancers who enjoy dancing and don’t let judgments of others stand in their way!

  5. True story: One of my best friends was on Kirstie Alley’s reality show. This will probably shock y’all, but apparently she’s a little crazy.

    And I agree with everyone who is annoyed by Ms. Alley’s very public body issues. That said, none of us (I’m guessing) are famous actresses, and I can’t imagine the extraordinary pressure to adhere to the “ideal” body type. If everyone in her life were saying, “You know, you’re beautiful. Maybe you should drop the weight-loss efforts,” and if George Lopez et. al. weren’t such jerks, and if plus-size women were more celebrated in our culture … maybe then Alley would have the space to make a different decision. Instead (last I heard) she’s hawking her own, Scientology-related weight-loss elixers. Sigh.

  6. Personal opinions aside of some of her actions that woman KILLED IT on Dancing with the Stars. I wish that the spot light wasn’t on her weight or age though but I guess the start to changing perceptions is to push past that. Here are to dancers like Ragen who dance like everyone is watching!!

    ❤ B

  7. Not sure that you would dance the same if you lost weight – it could have a very negative effect. Since I’ve lost weight – illness related, not intentional – I’ve developed an uncomfortable relationship with my own body. I don’t move the same way as I used to and many muscles work differently. One of my spinal muscles isn’t hyperextended any more – woohoo! – but a whole new hip problem has taken its place. It’s going to take me a long time to adjust to my new physical reality. Your current musculature probably works very well with the body you’ve got right now. Change that, and you risk changing the things that make you successful.

    1. I’ve always been an advocate of dance for persons of all types, and wholeheartedly support plus-size women because I, too, have witnessed tremendous grace and artistry (just like your video, Ragen!). And I wholeheartedly agree with your point about improving skill and technique with additional practice/experience. But I must chime in with Alexie on this one, because biomechanical physics DO change with significant weight change. Joint angles, center of gravity, center of balance, contract/release points in muscle pairings, joint spacing in multi-joint zones (such as the feet), inertial thresholds for starting and stopping movements, etc. They do change. Laws of physics do not bend for political correctness or personal opinion.

      Let’s look at a non-dance example: An SUV has greater mass than a Mini, which means it accelerates, turns, and stops differently. Thus their fuel-injection, suspension, and brake systems are designed differently. Take any vehicle and fill it with bricks, and you’re gonna notice the difference when you drive it again. Not a one of us would think that’s weird or expect them to be the same. Right? It’s just truth.

      Same in the dance world. I’ve spoken with many of my students who have experienced quick physical changes and they all report a very different dance experience. For example, women who study dance report that they have to learn to dance with “a whole new body” when they’re pregnant, and “a whole new body yet again” after delivering, because their bodies never go back to exactly the way they were (and I’m not talking about losing the baby weight). Their fine motor control, their balance, their timings–everything is a little bit off and they have to “unlearn” former muscle memory to learn new. If the human body goes through biomechanical/musculoskeletal changes to support the additional weight of a 7 lb. baby (for example, the spreading of the feet so the arch can support the increased load AND compensate appropriately for the backward shift in stance to align the new center of balance), then it must be expected to do the same for any other type of weight change, especially when we’re talking tens or hundreds of pounds.

      Likewise, any dancer worth her blister pads is mindful of creating lines and shapes with her body. If body shapes differ notably within a group, that group cannot attain perfect-precision alignment unity in many lines/shapes. Ask any competitive drill team. For example, a woman with very wide hips cannot put her arms straight down unless she either 1) has shoulders even wider than her hips, which is rare in women OR 2) moves her arms in front of her body. In which case, from the side view are not straight down. So if the required bodyline is arms at 0 degrees, some women will be able to do this and some will not. Similarly, if the required body shape is a circle, formed by touching the forehead to the knees, and a woman cannot touch her forehead to her knees, then the requirement is not fulfilled. That’s not a value judgement, that’s an objective fact.

      Similarly, we need to bring dance style into the discussion here. Some dance styles focus mostly on feet, legs, and arms. Others focus more on mid-body movements. Plus-sized dancers are better able to meet requirements in the former category. Some dance styles require smooth, gliding motions across the floor with continuous contact, others require almost constant jumping/bouncing/leaping. For comfort reasons, most plus-sized (or buxom) women I know avoid unnecessary bouncing at all costs. Can we honestly say plus-sized dancers leap as high, as far, with the same leg angle, and with the same landing grace as petite dancers? Nope. So some styles are better suited to plus-sized dancers, too.

      Therefore we need to be cautious about making statements with sweeping words like “dance” and “weight” because not all cases are comparable. If you want to talk about Modern and Pear-Shaped, now we’re communicating.

      Thus, both technical skill AND body proportion critically affect dancers’ performance.

  8. And…She’s 60 years old! I just hope she doesn’t compromise her body any more to weight-loss.
    Sandy Andresen MA. HAES advocate and Public Policy Committee Chair – Association for Size Diversity and Health – ASDAH

  9. Ok as another dancer, and one that has danced with Ragen on and off for years- she is amazing- she moves her body BETTER than many thinner women- she is easy to lead, light is the word actually. I am a huge fan of Kirstie’s shows- just because she is so funny. I couldn’t care less about her attempts at weight loss.

    One comment to the person above…”And…She’s 60 years old!” Try not to be age-ist or judgemental. If a very large person can dance well why not a more mature person? One of my favorite swing partners is a world champ like Ragen and I think she is well over 60- she dances as good as a 20 year old or better! And here in Houston I line dance with seniors and my favorite one was Dorothy, we celebrated her 80th birthday at one of our dance parties. She leaned over and whispered “go ask for some good dances, I hate these old fart line dances!”

    So health at any age AND/OR weight. I’m average weight after being “too skinny” for years. I am also 43. My cholesterol is through the roof and I have boderline diabetes. I too have state and national championships in dancing, not quite Ragen’s level, but I can sometimes make her sweat when we dance! Ok maybe I have to work harder to keep up with her actually :/ At least she makes ME look good when I come off the floor and I get the comments “oh you dance good” and it was her doing all the twirling and stuff- you keep going Ragen- maybe Kirstie will see your blog and be inspired.

    1. Your point is well-taken re. Kirstie’s age. I would only add that although I can’t speak for the commenter who mentioned her age, to me the (unspoken) end of that comment would be, “…and she’s not only still alive but kicking ass” since so very many people express the opinion that people who are fat will die young due to their size, or be unable to move due to joint issues that exist solely due to size, etc. etc. and so on. She’s a living dancing televised example that this isn’t true.

  10. THIS: “And while I can understand their desire to be more comfortable, it’s not really my responsibility. You are the boss of your underpants: Question your stereotypes, get the hell over it, or live in discomfort – it’s your call.”

    (linked here via Lesley at twowhole cakes).

    for the record, I think you look pretty damn fantastic dancing (as does your partner).

  11. LOVED her dancing, dislike all the body shaming nonsense, but yeah, she totally tore that shit up!

    speaking of tearing shit up- YOU!!! your video’s are awesome! It’s really an inspiration seeing you dance!

    Friday = MADE!

  12. Kristie was awesome and you–well, this is the first time Ive visited your site and seen you dance, and I am jealous of your grace. You are beautiful on the dance floor. 🙂

  13. What a treat to watch the videos of your dancing – Beautiful!

    I can’t stand the contant talk of Kirstie’s weight. Yet it’s curious to me that the public in general is rather kind to her (relatively speaking of course!).

    I’ve been reading comments on forums and people say things like “she looks gorgeous especially for 60,” so on and so forth, instead of the “she should lose way, yada yada yada” comments. There’s just no denying that she’s a stunning woman, even if she is a bit loony at times. I too think it’s fantastic that she’s in the spotlight.

  14. I just discovered your blog tonight and have been reading somewhat voraciously, and I have to say, I’m extremely impressed and moved by what I’ve found. This entry in particular struck me hard, as I’ve always loved dance. I also quit dancing a number of years ago thanks to a highly anxiety-inducing incident that involved being abandoned on the dance floor.

    Ragen, you make me want to dance again. Thank you so much.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad that you liked the blog. I’m really sorry that you had an incident that made you want to give us dancing and if you choose to I hope that you are cutting a rug soon!


  15. Actresses need to be thin for the execs to believe you can put butts in seats. Actresses need to young and beautiful. Actor guys have a lot more wriggle room.

    As someone who quit performing I find I have a healthier viewpoint of myself and my body just removing the aspect of the judgement you face as a female performer. Even the most perfect women face a great deal of criticism for their looks. I understand her attitude towards herself. There is a sense you’re the person in your own way and that’s certainly what she’s being told.

    Also, an actor crazy?! Why else would you need
    to perform at a level where people see you as public property to be treated or discussed however they see fit.

    1. I do think that Kirstie is in a really difficult position. If she wasn’t a “good fatty” (always self-deprecating, trying to lose weight etc.) who knows where she would be. It seems to be part of the price that Hollywood insists that you pay for not fitting into their single standard of beauty.


  16. I am not a Kirstie fan either but I agree, she did tear it up with her performance and looked amazing and fluid doing it. I love her response to George Lopez on twitter, that is priceless.

    Ragen, thank you for sharing your words and your dancing with us. You are an amazing and beautiful woman.

  17. Just want to say how much I LOVE your first video. I’m going to share it with my plus-sized burlesque roupe mates.

  18. Maks tells Kirstie that thin stars have all the same kinds of challenges learning the dances.

    Bruno flat out tells her you don’t need to worry about weight when you have so much talent.

    Oh but a comedian and media hacks know better than people who have years of chops in the profession. Mmmmmmm hmmmmm!

  19. Sucks because about a year ago, she managed to drop some weight and ran to People magazine about how she feels so much better and hated everything about being fat (especially fat sex). It was so disheartening.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.