Ann Coulter Finally Gets Something Right

Ann Coulter, a talking head who has made a name for herself by saying horrible things in front of as many people as possible, took advantage of the recent election protests to engage in some pretty weak attempts at fat shaming.

Her opening attempt:

ann-coulter-1

To be fair, there may be protests that don’t include fat people of any gender, but I’m always happy to be associated with activism, so thanks Ann!  I hope that fat people are at protests – and not just protests about the mistreatment of fat people, I hope that fat people are at protests against any oppression and mistreatment, and against any would-be despot.

Ann tried again:

ann-coulter-2

This is Ann Coulter in a nutshell – completely missing the point, and recommending things that aren’t supported by evidence.

This is what we mean when we talk about fat oppression, when we talk about size bigots – that there are people who are under the misconception that our body size somehow de-legitimizes not just our actions and lives, but anything that we are involved with. Thousands of people show up to protest, but the protest doesn’t count because some of those people are fat?  You’re going to have to sell bullshit somewhere else Ann, we’re not in the market.

This is what bullies do – they try to keep us down, they try to keep us from protesting the mistreatment that we are experiencing, and when that doesn’t work they try to say our protests don’t count because we are the ones protesting.  That’s bullshit, obviously, (though luckily in this case, Ann is genuinely terrible at it.)

Nobody is obligated to protest, but if you feel moved to protest then show up, wave that sign, be that fat person. There may be protests without us, but they will be better with us, so let’s keep showing up and speaking out making the world better, and people like Ann can keep complaining about it on Twitter.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

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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!

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

War on Obesity – Dead or Alive

WTF are you doingI’ve written before in this blog about how the War on Obesity is conducted in a way that lets us know that they want us thin or dead and they don’t much care which.  One of my many concerns with the horrific new US President is that he has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare)

This is a big deal because before the ACA was passed, insurance companies were allowed to deny insurance to fat people.  I went fourteen years without insurance because insurance companies were allowed to consider my body size a “pre-existing condition” and deny me insurance in a country where medical care costs are predatory, profit-driven, and expensive far beyond all reason.

This is significant because those who don’t have insurance are often charged up to ten times the amount for the same procedure or medication as the insurance companies are charged (In this instance a two-day hospital stay would have been over $21,000 for a person without insurance, but the insurance company pays just over $2,000 for the exact same service.  A good friend of mine is on a medication for which he has a co-pay of $6 and his insurance pays another $68 for a 30 day supply.  Without insurance the same medication is $1,200.)

Some fat people in the UK are facing this situation in the face of funding shortages. Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has decided that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above will be barred from most surgery for up to a year.

Let’s be clear, they are not suggesting that the surgeries are less necessary for fat people, and they are not suggesting that waiting a year will be good for these populations. They are simply saying that they’ve decided that, in order to save money, if your weight in pounds times 703, divided by your height in inches squared, is greater than 30, you are less deserving of routine medical care. 

Don’t fool yourself, this isn’t about health, or “healthy behaviors” by any definition – this is about money, and it’s about the people in charge deciding whose blatant oppression the general citizenry will tolerate. Years of campaigns suggesting that it’s fine for people to stereotype fat people and blame us for their problems have led to a situation where people are comfortable with us being denied the same medical care that they receive.

You can read my full piece, including a look at the complete lack of logic in this decision, 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

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

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

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

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

What Do We Do Now?

What Will you DefendWhat do we do now?  That is a question I’ve heard, and asked, hundreds of times in the last two days. In case you missed it, the United States has elected a proudly racist, misogynist, ableist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, fatphobic, anti-Queer, anti- Trans, anti-intellectual, anti-Constitution, climate change denying, white supremacist supported, horror of a human being to be President.

What do we do now?

Each of us will have to make that choice for ourselves. Immediate self-care in the aftermath is important – while you certainly aren’t required, it’s completely reasonable to take time to grieve, to mourn, to find solace, to take care of yourself.

I think that there has never been a time in my life that it has been more important to be an activist. Not just an activist for issues that affect me (attempts to steal the civil rights of Queer people, going back to a time when fat people are denied insurance coverage and more) but an intersectional activist.  My various privileges (being white, cisgender, currently able-bodied and neurotypical et al) will protect me from horrors that others will face and are already facing, and those are my fights as well.

I’m going to continue to do Size Acceptance and Fat Activism because I think that claiming and owning our bodies as our precious homes is crucial.  Remembering that our bodies are amazing and worthy of care is crucial.  Insisting that we deserve a world that celebrates and cares for bodies of all sizes is crucial.

This election may have kicked my ass, but believe that I’m going to be kicking back. I watched the movie “Big Miracle” today just to hear the line “There’s always something you can do.”  There is always something I can do.  And I’m going to find every way I can to do it.

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

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

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

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

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

 

UK Bans Irresponsible Diet Ad

A weight loss peddler called “The Diet Chef” created an ad utilizing the tired “before and after” trope in which a thinner (and, predictably, much better dressed and groomed) woman talks to a fatter version of herself:

In the advert, the later Cheryl tells her former self: “I know how you feel; you can look that good again, you know,” and “I bought a bikini last week, for the first time since this picture.”

The former Cheryl says: “You look amazing. I never dreamed I could be that slim again.”

Viewers contacted the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to say that they’re fed up with this “weight loss as the solution” to everything bullshit:

Objecting that the advert was irresponsible for exploiting women’s body insecurities by implying that they needed to be slim to be happy.

The ASA agreed saying that the ad:

“implied that weight loss was the only solution to her problems”.

It went on: “It therefore implied that those with insecurities about their bodies, and particularly their weight, could only achieve happiness and self-confidence through weight loss.

“We therefore concluded that the ad presented a socially irresponsible approach to body image and breached the code.”

It ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form and told Diet Chef “to ensure that their products were advertised in a socially responsible way”.

This is definitely progress and a huge step in the right direction.  The problem is that there is no socially responsible way to talk about weight loss because there is no reason to believe that long-term weight loss is achievable by most people – in fact most people will lose weight short term, but almost all of them will gain the weight back long term with the majority gaining back more than they lost.  Talking about the benefits of weight loss as if it’s something to be pursued is like talking about the benefits surviving a skydiving accident as if people should jump out of planes without parachutes.

The reason that so many people are confused by this is that we live in a fatphobic society that celebrates, glorifies and – for reasons often passing logic and understanding –gives weight loss the credit for basically everything.  People who talk about weight loss as a positive thing will get guaranteed attention and accolades.  But 2-5 years later when they’ve gained back all of their weight the media will have moved on, they will be branded a failure by those who praised them (despite the fact that what happened is a statistical near-certainty,) and they will face the choice of opting out of this harmful cycle, or starting the cycle over again. Meanwhile we’ll only have heard about the “successful” short term weight loss.

So I’m appreciating the people who took the time to contact that ASA about this ad (activism works!) and celebrating that the ASA has taken steps to be clear that happiness and self-worth are not weight (or weight-loss) dependent. Since almost nobody will be successful at weight loss long term it’s incredibly important to  know that we have the option to get off the weight loss roller coaster, stop participating in harmful weight loss talk, and pursue the lives we want in the bodies we have right 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

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

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

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

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

Weight Watchers Tells Us To Stop Hitting Ourselves

You Forgot Your BullshitThere was a “game” my brother and I “played” growing up, in which one of us would grab the other’s arm and use their own hand to hit them whilst saying “Why are you hitting yourself?  Stop hitting yourself!” It’s not a game I’d recommend, and it’s certainly not an advertising strategy that I find ethical, but it pretty much encompasses Weight Watchers Australia’s new ad campaign, which is all about acting like they have no idea why women are self-conscious despite decades of ads that they created specifically to make us self-conscious.

The work of Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size Activists is coming to fruition, and the word is getting out that weight loss almost never works. More and more people are realizing that neither our body size nor our health are completely within our control, that we can love the bodies we have, and choose how/if we focus on our wellbeing. More and more people are realizing that diets don’t work and that we can create and pursue health and wellness goals that don’t include trying to manipulate our body size — or consider that to be a goal worth celebrating, or even talking about.  

So the diet industry is pivoting, co-opting the language of the people who have been fighting against their greed and lies for year. Now the same companies that have invested billions of dollars into convincing us that we should hate our bodies, unless and until we are thin, suddenly want us to believe that they are all about us loving our bodies (as long as we’re still paying them to make our bodies smaller). They hope we don’t notice that they’ve been the ones holding our arms and making us hit ourselves.  

You can read my full piece about this 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

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

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

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

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