When You’re Stuck In A Room With A Fatphobe

Fat People Not Obligated (1)This post was inspired by the amazing Naomi Finklestein, an anti-diet coach at Redefining Wellness, She recently found herself in the position that plenty of us have found ourselves in – being at an event where you are the only fat person or the obviously fattest person in the room, and the speaker is a fatphobe. Naomi started a discussion in the group about how people choose to deal with this.

There were lots of great suggestions about making it an activism opportunity and educating the speaker, and of course that’s always an option in these situations, but there’s something that I think is important to remember when we find ourselves dealing with someone who is perpetuating weight stigma (and thereby harming us,) and that’s this:

However you decide to handle this is completely valid. You are not obligated to do any activism or education. You are not obligated to center the feelings or education of people who are buying into and perpetuating your oppression, you are not obligated to give them the benefit of the doubt. You are allowed to choose to do whatever it takes to make this as easy on yourself as possible given the situation.

This should never have happened, you should never be in this situation. You are not, and will never be, the problem in this situation. The problem is 100% fatphobes and their choice to perpetuate diet culture and fatphobia, and others choosing to buy into it and perpetuate it themselves. You can choose how you want to deal with this and then change your mind – day to day (or minute to minute) You are amazing and valuable and wonderful and worthy. Fuck diet culture, fuck fatphobia, fuck fatphobia’s minions.

Was this post helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

Body Love Obstacle Course

This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
Price: $99.00 ($79.00 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

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 – register on the member page)

Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
Price: $9.99 softcover, $7.99 Kindle, ($6.95 + free shipping for DancesWithFat Members)

Non-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!  (DancesWithFat Members get an even better deal, make sure to make your purchases from the Members Page!)

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 (still!) 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.



4 thoughts on “When You’re Stuck In A Room With A Fatphobe

  1. Way on Ragen! Cheers Naomi! Could be all of us any day of the week in the US. And we’re supposed to be the crazy ones with misaligned thinking and anti-social behaviors. You know, existing! Piss em all off! Exist!

  2. This reminds me of a line from Harry Potter. Harry describes the way the Dursleys talk about him “as if he was something nasty that couldn’t understand them, like a slug.” That really is how it feels; dehumanizing, like even if you do have thoughts on the subject, they can’t possibly matter because you aren’t fully human and your brain isn’t capable of human-person thinking and engagement. Even better is when you do say something and get the attempted “save” of “Oh, I didn’t mean YOU, dear,” which is like… okay, you’re either lying or you are ignorant about this subject, because when you’re talking about taking action against “obesity,” I am *exactly* what you mean.

    1. Ah, the pretend qualifiers. Anorexics don’t look at me and hate me, they only hate the thought of being me. Yes. Like a slug. Or a little ole dung beetle. Kafka.

      1. The mindset is just so bizarre. It’s like…

        “I’m thinking of building my next house and I’d like to know how to build a house.”

        “You should ask someone who builds houses! They do it all the time, so they’re experts.”

        “I’m also thinking of doing most of the plumbing to save money.”

        “You should ask a plumber! They do it all the time, so they’re experts.”

        “And just as an aside, I’d like to know more about what life is like as a fat person. Let me guess, ask a fat person, right?”

        “NOOOOOO! Don’t ask a fat person what it’s like to be a fat person! NEVER ask a fat person! They’re stupid and they’re evil and they’re liars and they might not even be sapient. If you want the OBJECTIVE and UNBIASED truth about what it’s like to live life as a fat person, you need to ask a thin person who hates them and makes lots of money selling a product or service that is supposed to rid the world of them.”

        Like… really?

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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.