Yes, Fat People Have the Right to Exist

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Fat people have a right to exist in our fat bodies.  We have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and those rights are inalienable – they are not size, health, or healthy habit dependent.  Those rights include not living under ceaseless institutional stigma, bullying and oppression, or being made combatants in a war waged upon us by our government, which is also trying to recruit our friends, family, co-workers, companies and anyone else they can get to engage in combat against us for how we look.

You cannot have a war on obesity without having a war against obese people.  You cannot have a war on childhood obesity without having a war on fat kids.  Wars have casualties.  So when you use words like “war” and “eradicate”, when you say that you want to eliminate obesity and suggest that fat people should do extremely dangerous things like have our stomachs amputatedor eating 500 calories a day and getting injected with  urine, all in the pursuit of thinness, it starts to sound like “eliminate obesity” means that they want us either thin or dead, and they don’t much care which.

The research about weight and health upon which this goal of eradicating fat people for the good of society is built does not meet the basic criteria for competent research.

The methods used to calculate the “cost” of obese people are at best incredibly poorly done and, at worst biased and profit-driven,

Even if the studies did meet basic requirements for competent research, it is not ok to choose a group of people who are identifiable by a single visible physical characteristic, attempt to calculate their cost on society, and based on those numbers suggest that they should be eradicated to make things cheaper for everyone else.

If you are fat, you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without shame, stigma, bullying or oppression, in the body you have now.  It doesn’t matter why you’re fat, what the “consequences” of being fat might be, or if it’s possible to become thin. You have the right to stand up and say that the war being fought against you is not only based on faulty intel, but is unjust in every way. Those are basic civil rights. LIke every fight for civil rights (none of which should be necessary) you have the right to fight back, to say that if they want a war, you will damn well give them one.

UPCOMING WEBINAR  – Size Acceptance and Eating Disorders – A Critical, Crucial, Core Conversation.
June 5th, 11am Pacific

If you’re interested in the use of the Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size paradigms in Eating Disorder treatment, then check out my webinar with EDRDPro. The webinar is June 5th from 11am-12pm Pacific time, and there are CEUs for RDs!
Get all the details here (scroll down to find me)
If you’re ready to register, click here!

If you value my work, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time contribution or by becoming a member.

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

 Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA 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!
Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members)
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!

I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey at or on Instagram.

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





3 thoughts on “Yes, Fat People Have the Right to Exist

  1. I was pondering the concept of taking up space – of being enough just as I am. For me this has less to do with being fat than it does with other personal crap, but the concept of not trying to disappear is what I’m getting at.

    At the same time, I own too many things and it is taking over my life. I’m trying to trim down.

    These two ideas connected in my head – do I have all this stuff to occupy the space I feel unable to occupy myself? Since I’m not okay being the center of attention (partly due to shyness, and partly due to mental abuse), maybe my stuff can be the center of attention, and being MY stuff, still somehow keeps me present.

    I think I’m finally at the point where I feel like I can take up space. Maybe not quite ready for a completely empty room, but I’m feeling much more willing to let go of things that are not serving a purpose for me.

  2. Ragen, your work has seriously made my life so much better. Reading things like this makes me realize how fucked up my childhood and young adulthood was and how I helped perpetuate horrendous stereotypes while being fat myself. Even when I lost weight I was still fat, but less so and therefore more desirable *eye roll* Sitting here the fattest I’ve ever been (as well as with several disabilities), I look at my body and it’s just MY body. I deserves the space it takes up. I’m still working on not apologizing for that in social situations (yay social anxiety), because it’s so damned ingrained.

    1. I could never figure out why my goal should be to be sexually desirable when I never wanted sex with them in the first place.

      It’s taken several years to come to terms with the fact that I do have a disability, and I’m starting to feel better about it.

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