Some “What Ifs” For Dealing With Fatphobia In The New Year

What if we didn't put up with body-shaming

The truth is that fatphobia should never happen, and we should never have to deal with it. If and when we do, we might have to take into account how much energy we have to fight, how much power the person engaged in bigotry has over us, or other factors – including and especially for people who are part of more than one marginalized community. So these what-ifs aren’t about deciding what we will do every time, but rather thinking about the possibilities

What if we didn’t put up with body shaming?

What if we interrupted body shaming whenever we heard it – not just about our own bodies, but about any body? You could say something like “My new year’s resolution is to stop participating in negative body talk.” (If this is happening before the new year, just add “and I’m starting early!”)

What if we didn’t allow a running commentary on our body/food choices/weight/etc.

People can think whatever they want about my body, but they can’t say it out loud if they want me to stick around. One of my favorite phrases for this is “I’m going to stop you there.” You can just leave it at that and change the subject, or you can add something like “I’m not interested in people’s opinions about my body/food/weight/etc. let’s talk about something else.”

What if we didn’t buy into the thinner=better/healthier/prettier paradigm

This is a place where I think all of us can probably use some self-work. Our culture is utterly saturated with this myth and it can create fatphobia that is directed at others and/or internalized. (Often we can identify areas for work by our “buts” and our “as long as’s” for example, if we think “it’s ok to be fat but…she shouldn’t be wearing that” or “it’s ok to be fat as long as you’re healthy”) Bodies come in lots of sizes for lots of reasons and thinner bodies are not inherently better in any way, and adding healthism to fatphobia does not improve the situation.

What if we loudly defended our bodies, fixed a plate, then flipped a table and walked out?

This may not be your style and that’s completely ok. But know that it’s ok to defend your body (maybe like you would defend someone you love.) We each get to choose what we are going to allow and sometimes those choices are out of your hands, but it’s worth brainstorming the solutions that are the most “out there” including table-flipping, and leaving (with a plate, of course!)

If we want to dismantle fatphobia we need to keep asking “what if…”

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Sick of diet talk? Want to tell fatphobes to take a hike? Want to explain how important fat-friendly seating is? There are songs for that. Jeanette DePatie and I have collaborated on some revamped holiday songs that we are releasing between now and the new year! Below is a playlist of the songs we’ve released so far. If you want to make sure not to miss future videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel!


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 – register on the member page)

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 IRON-distance 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 Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at .

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




5 thoughts on “Some “What Ifs” For Dealing With Fatphobia In The New Year

  1. Dude, just sitting at a table and eating is as good as flipping a table when your really fat. I am really fat. I see, hear and smell the nasties people ooze in my general (specific) direction. I’ve been guilty of “being fat AT people for decades…

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