The Honey Beez and Plus Size Role Models

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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.

6 thoughts on “The Honey Beez and Plus Size Role Models

  1. I realized as I was reading this that I was waiting for the, “Here’s where the sizeist bullies or blinkered school administration tried to shut it all down!” part of the story. It’s so refreshing to read about something lovely and positive that is simply allowed to be!

  2. Good On Ya!
    It’s the systematic part people balk at. They wouldn’t if they lived on the other side of that wall of hate.

  3. “…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.”

    YES YES YES YES YES! This is the most exciting part of fat activism for me–being out there in the world doing what i do and knowing that people of all sizes are getting to see me. And maybe some other fat person will think, ‘Hey, if she can do that, I can too!” And who knows, some thin person who never thought fat people could do X will maybe have a shift of perspective. But mainly I’m all about putting myself out there as a role model. Thank you Ragen, for being mine.

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