Jillian Michaels Continues To Be A Horrible Human Being, This Time Dragging Lizzo Into It

Lizzo is a HeroLizzo is an incredibly talented person  – a singer/songwriter who, at her concerts, sings, dances, and plays the flute. She killed it on Saturday Night Live. She writes and performs songs that inspire, and holds the line for body love at any size in the media including social media. And she does all of this at great personal expense as she is the victim of incessant racist and fatphobic bullying. Lizzo is a fucking hero.

Jillian Michaels is a professional bully who became rich and famous by mentally and physically abusing fat people for money on an abomination of a show on which she once starred. And I say “once starred” because she got booted off (and sued repeatedly for selling dangerous diet supplements) and since then she has been clawing to get back up in the public eye. And today, she decided to do that by trying to step on Lizzo.

Jillian was on a digital talk show called “AM to DM” and the host mentioned that she was excited about stars like Lizzo who are showing bodies that we don’t often get to celebrate. Jillian jumped in, saying “Why are we celebrating her body? Why does it matter? Why aren’t we celebrating her music? ‘Cause it isn’t gonna be awesome if she gets diabetes.”

Ok, Type 2 diabetes (which is the type that Jillian is talking about, even though she is not informed enough to be clear about that) is an illness that people of all sizes get, it’s not anybody’s fault if they get it, and there’s no shame in it. There is, at most, a complicated and not-at-all direct relationship between Type 2 Diabetes and weight. There is a major genetic component, many health conditions that can cause diabetes can also cause weight gain, some diabetes medications can cause weight gain, and certain diets – recommended for weight loss – can increase the risks of diabetes, just to name a few.

None of that really matters in this situation though, because adding healthism to your fatphobia does not improve the situation. And if Jillian is so fucking worried about diabetes why isn’t she using her platform to push the pharmaceutical industry to stop letting diabetics die because they’ve decided that making even more profits on medications for diabetes is far more important than the lives of people with diabetes.

Spoiler alert – it’s because Jillian doesn’t give a shit about diabetes, or fat people’s health. And her actions prove that. But don’t take my word for it, here’s Kai Hibbard, one of the people harmed by the abomination of a show on which Jillian once starred.

Kai Hibbard Tweet
Kai Hibbard (She/Her) @Kai Hibbard Hey, remember that fatphobic shit TV show you we were on that taught me how to dehydrate to manipulate a scale, workout in excess of 8 hours a day, believe coffee counted as a meal and starve myself? You don’t seem too worried about my health.

But Jillian wasn’t satisfied with blending fatphobia, healthism, and concern trolling. She actually tried to make herself the victim in the situation bemoaning “Why is it my job to care about her weight?”

Newflash Jillian: IT FUCKING ISN’T YOUR JOB. LITERALLY NOBODY ASKED YOU!

So we have Jillian jumping on her first opportunity to fat-shame Lizzo, then trying to make herself into the victim for doing it, but of course she wasn’t done.

Lizzo’s fans were not having this bullshit and they began giving Jillian exactly what she deserved.  And of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that a white woman criticizing the body of a Black woman is part of a long and horrible history of racism. Black women’s bodies should never be within the purview of white women.

But Jillian, overjoyed for the attention she desperately craves and doesn’t deserve because she has no real talent other than being a bully and an abuser, couldn’t help going back for a second serving. So she proudly said:

“As I’ve stated repeatedly, we are all beautiful, worthy and equally deserving. I also feel strongly that we love ourselves enough to acknowledge there are serious health consequences that come with obesity – heart disease, diabetes, cancer to name only a few. I would never wish these for ANYONE and I would hope we prioritize our health because we LOVE ourselves and our bodies.”

This is chock full o’ bullshit. We are allowed to love ourselves and our bodies in any way that we decide. Health, by any definition, is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control. It’s ok to be fat, period. But this is Jillian’s new thing as she tries to glamorize bullying – it’s also classic gaslighting and part of the cycle of an abuser.

In truth you either think everyone is beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a decent person, congrats,) or you think that only people who you don’t believe might have or get health problems are beautiful, worthy, and deserving (in which case you’re a healthist asshole, no congrats.) In Jillian’s case, she seems fine with the health problems that may develop from, for example, extreme dieting, so all this healthism is really just a smokescreen for the fatphobia that has been her source of income and fame for so long. The truth is that if fat people stop hating themselves and believing that they deserve abuse, then Jillian is completely out of a job (which would, obviously, be fantastic on all counts.) 

This makes me want to punch Jillian Michaels in the face repeatedly while saying “I’ve always said that violence is wrong for all of us. But we can’t overlook the fact that punching Jillian in the face might help her be a better person and less of a smug fat-hating piece of shit, and while I wouldn’t wish repeated face punching on ANYONE, we have to love her enough to prioritize her personal growth.”

Of course, I’m not going to do that, because Jillian Michaels isn’t worth crossing the street for, let alone going to jail for, but it’s a nice dream.

In conclusion, fuck Jillian Michaels and her bullying, abusing tactics. Lizzo forever!

Was this 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 bonus content, 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, and special deals on fat-positive stuff!)

UPCOMING APPEARANCE!

I’ll be doing a stand-up comedy set as a guest performer at the Fatch – the Fat Sketch Comedy Group’s New Year, Same You show on January 10th at 9pm at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater on Sunset in Los Angeles. Tickets and info can be found here (Accessibility info: there is a fat-friendly bench in the front, the rest of the seating is stadium theater seats with arms up at least one step. The venue is wheelchair accessible, but there is limited space for wheelchairs.)

In case you missed it, my adorable dog and I have a poem to help you resolve (for the first time, or again) to ditch diets. I’m having fun doing videos like this so there will definitely be more – 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)

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 www.IronFat.com .

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

 

 

Yes, Fatphobia Against donald Is Still Wrong

As the count goes on, a new group of fat jokes about donald are making the rounds.

One was said by Anderson Cooper when he compared donald to an “ob*se turtle on its back”

Before anybody starts in with “it’s not fat-shaming!” It absolutely is fat-shaming.  First, because it uses a term that was created to pathologize and stigmatize fat bodies, and second because it was utterly unnecessary for the metaphor. Saying someone is like a turtle on their back is a clear metaphor (well, simile but whatever…) Making the turtle fat doesn’t make the comparison any more clear, it just adds fat-shaming to it.

The other are “jokes” I’ve been seeing are around the number 270 (which is the number of electoral college votes needed to win the election,) Some make fun of weight gain from stress eating (which is both fatphobic and potentially harmful for those dealing with disordered eating and eating disorders,) or including the idea that the only way donald “could get to 270 is by losing 50 pounds.”

The way you know that is fat-shaming is that his weight (244 pounds) is a matter of public record. So this entire joke rests on the premise that it’s funny to suggest that he is heavier than he is (which is fatphobia) and/or that it’s funny to think that he weighs 320 pounds (which is fatphobia since there are people who weigh 320 pounds and it’s no funnier, better, or worse, than weighing any other amount.)

If you’re thinking:
It’s not fat-shaming because he is a horror of a human being!
It’s not fat-shaming because he (and his doctor) lied about his weight!
It’s not fat-shaming because it’s about his health!
It’s not fat-shaming because he is a fat-shamer himself!

I covered all of those attempted justifications in this post.

Bottom line though, if you’re scrambling to find a justification for why these jokes either aren’t fat shaming (they are) or why fat-shaming is justified in this situation (it’s not) then I urge you to just go ahead and consider the scrambling itself is proof that they are indeed unjustified fat-shaming.

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Making Activism A Self-Care Practice

There’s a lot of work to be done in the world. Activism can create needed change, but it can also create overwhelm, especially when we’re fighting against our own oppression. In this workshop we’ll discuss philosophies and real world strategies to turn some of that work from draining and potentially harmful, into a self-care practice that supports us and helps protect us from the effects of oppression.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Did you find this 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 stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Five Types of Medical Weight Stigma

There are a lot of articles and studies that try to compare health conditions and outcomes for fat people with those of thinner people, claiming that if fat people have a higher condition incidence or worse outcomes then it’s clear that fat bodies the issue. They are all, to a one, complete bunk. That’s because you can’t blame body size for health outcomes if access to healthcare is wildly unequal for those in larger bodies.

Here are five ways that weight stigma harms fat people’s health, with more harm being done to those in fatter bodies and those who deal with multiple marginalizations including racism, ableism, transphobia et. al.

In my latest piece for The Mighty I wrote about five types of medical stigma.

You can read the full piece here!

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Making Activism A Self-Care Practice

There’s a lot of work to be done in the world. Activism can create needed change, but it can also create overwhelm, especially when we’re fighting against our own oppression. In this workshop we’ll discuss philosophies and real world strategies to turn some of that work from draining and potentially harmful, into a self-care practice that supports us and helps protect us from the effects of oppression.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Redefining Health and Wellness With Shohreh Davoodi

Picture of a white woman with long brown hair in a green shirt against a slate background. Text "Surviving Weight Stigma and Thriving in Spite of it with Ragen Chastain #68 Redefining Health & Wellness Podcast shohrehdavoodi.com/68
Picture by Doug Spearman

I recently had the honor of being a guest on Shohreh Davoodi’s podcast “Redefining Health and Wellness,” We covered a lot of ground (from medical weight stigma to dating while fat!)

Shohreh’s summary of the episode is below,

You can listen to it here

or wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, etc.)

We live in a fatphobic world that was designed to be difficult for fat folx to navigate. This harsh reality will not change until we all collectively address our learned bias against fat folx and work to destroy the systems that rely on weight stigma.

Simultaneously, fat folx still need practical coping strategies and tools to survive this unjust system and thrive in spite of it. While individual solutions to systemic oppression are not enough, they do have their place in the overall picture. Fat activist Ragen Chastain offers tips in this episode to help fat folx deal with weight stigma in healthcare, employment, dating, and on the internet. 

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Holidays

Halloween candy and costumes, family gatherings, work parties, New Years bashes, New Years Resolution, and a ton of diet ads… whether we celebrate the holidays or not, the holiday season can be a perfect storm of fatphobia and diet culture. This year the pandemic adds another layer of stress. All that diet culture can really get you down. In this workshop we’ll talk about tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deal and have a happy holiday season on our own terms.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Study – Body Size NOT a COVID-19 Risk Factor

I’ll start by sharing this important information from Christy Harrison (copied with permission):

“The large study (CW: weight-stigmatizing language, BMI numbers) of more than 10,000 people with COVID-19 found that having a high body-mass index (BMI) is NOT a risk factor for hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, or death.

This is one of few studies on this topic to fully adjust for confounding variables, and definitely one of the largest that I’ve seen to date.

Interestingly, it found that although Black patients were more likely to be hospitalized and to receive mechanical ventilation than white patients, they WEREN’T more likely to die.

This unusual finding may have to do with the fact that healthcare access is far more equalized in the Veterans Administration (VA) system, where this study was conducted; outside that system, unequal access to care means that folks who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color tend to have higher mortality as well as other poor health outcomes.

This study also found that Hispanic ethnicity was not associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes, which again may reflect the better access to quality care that patients of color receive in the VA system.

That access and quality may be why larger-bodied patients fared just as well—and in some cases even better—than smaller-bodied patients in this study. (Fellow science nerds, see for yourselves in Table 1—though again, CW for weight-stigmatizing language and BMI numbers.)

In short, this evidence supports what I’ve been saying for months: reporters and commentators need to stop jumping to the conclusion that high BMI independently raises COVID-19 risks (and researchers need to stop deliberately looking for evidence to support that belief)—because when we have good studies that control for confounding variables, those supposed risks can dissipate or disappear.

Blaming weight itself for poor health outcomes (instead of looking for the underlying causes that have nothing to do with body size) is a form of weight stigma—and ironically, that kind of bias creates the very health problems that we’re trying to solve.” –Christy Harrison

I’ve talked about the issues with studies suggesting that body size was a risk before, as has Christy. Sadly, the likelihood that body size doesn’t increase risk doesn’t actually mean that fat people aren’t at greater risk when it comes to COVID-19 (or any other health condition) and that’s because weight stigma actually DOES increase our risk. And it shows up in a lot of ways:

  • Lack of Equipment/Accommodation
    • Everything from blood pressure cuffs, to gowns, to beds, and more. Despite knowing full well that fat people exist, healthcare facilities often fail to meet our most basic needs.
  • Lack of research
    • Research is typically only done on thin bodies. In some cases, fat people are then actually BLAMED when the practices and drugs that were created without including us don’t work for us.
  • Lack of training
    • Health Care Practitioners – HCPs – often don’t have training on working with fat patients and, worse, weight stigma is often part of their training program.
  • Practitioner Bias
    • Plenty of research tells us that fat people’s ability to get competent, ethical care is made difficult or even impossible due to practitioner’s weight stigma. We live in a fatphobia world where everyone – including HCPs – is encouraged to stereotype fat people and treat us badly.

There are, of course, amazing HCPs out there and I don’t want to discount that, but the truth is that all of the issues above can harm any fat person who needs healthcare. Which is why even if the study did show that higher weight people had poorer outcomes, we could not actually draw any conclusions about fat bodies, and why we MUST work to dismantle weight stigma in healthcare.

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Holidays

Halloween candy and costumes, family gatherings, work parties, New Years bashes, New Years Resolution, and a ton of diet ads… whether we celebrate the holidays or not, the holiday season can be a perfect storm of fatphobia and diet culture. This year the pandemic adds another layer of stress. All that diet culture can really get you down. In this workshop we’ll talk about tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deal and have a happy holiday season on our own terms.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Fat Positive Birthday Bonbons

When I was just at the start of this journey I was trying to quit a terrible diet program. It was one of those “medically supervised” programs where food is extremely restricted and the only difference between the behaviors required by that program and the behaviors I had exhibited while dealing with the eating disorder I was recovering from was that on the program I wasn’t allowed to exercise. (Why yes, it absolutely is medical malpractice to prescribe a diet to someone recovering from an eating disorder – or, you know, at all since almost everyone regains their weight and the majority gain back more than they lost, but I didn’t know that then.) Despite following the program to the letter, I was still gaining (regaining, really) weight. So I went in and told them that I was quitting.

They escorted me into a small room with a big poster about not quitting (literally that kitten on a rope saying “Hang in there baby”) and a woman brought in a binder with pictures of fat women, and she started flipping through it silently.  I watched for a while and then she said harshly “You might not know it, but this is what you look like, and these women are going to die alone in front of the television eating bon bons. Is that what you want for yourself? And aren’t you tired of hating your body?”

I realized several helpful things in that moment. First of all – I was tired of hating my body, I was exhausted from hating my body. I had been hating my body like it was a job for years at this point and it hadn’t made me happier, or healthier, or thinner. It had just made me tired.

I also realized that I didn’t find anything wrong with those women’s bodies, in fact I thought that they were beautiful.  I didn’t expect that they would never find love or have bad lives. (And I grew up in very rural America so I didn’t know what bon bons were but that whole thing went right over my head.) So it occurred to me in a rush: if I thought that their bodies were beautiful… and if I looked like them as this woman had insisted as if it was an insult…then maybe it was possible to think that my body was beautiful.

Of course that was just the beginning of a long process, but it was a beginning!

Now, I told you that story to tell you this one…

My birthday is in October. (It’s also the month of my Best Friend’s birthday, his husband’s birthday, and their anniversary, so nobody in my family is allowed to date people with October birthdays or have any important events in October, but that’s another story.) Anyway, in my family we celebrate “our birthday month” so today a box with huge red “perishable” stickers showed up addressed to me. Inside were 12 MEA Fine Foods Exotic Bonbons. They were from my mom. Because my mom had heard me tell that story and thought that I should know what bonbons are.

And that’s the story of how I’ll be sitting on the couch, with the woman I love, eating bonbons from my amazing and supportive mom, still fat as hell.

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Holidays

Halloween candy and costumes, family gatherings, work parties, New Years bashes, New Years Resolution, and a ton of diet ads… whether we celebrate the holidays or not, the holiday season can be a perfect storm of fatphobia and diet culture. This year the pandemic adds another layer of stress. All that diet culture can really get you down. In this workshop we’ll talk about tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deal and have a happy holiday season on our own terms.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Why I Resigned As A NEDA Ambassador

I’ve been an Official Ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association since January of 2019. While I will continue to work to make sure NEDA makes good on their commitments to intersectional justice within Eating Disorders community, I’m very sad to say that based on their current actions I cannot in good faith continue as an Official Ambassador. Before I write more about that, I want to thank the staff I worked with who are genuinely committed to intersectional justice and are left without the support they need and deserve…Thank you for all you do, I’ll miss working with you.

Below are the resignation letter I sent to the leadership of the organization on Monday, as well as a video of my talk at the NEDA virtual walk on Saturday.

If you want to give feedback to NEDA (for example asking that they reinstate Chevese Turner and that they provide a detailed outline of specifically how NEDA will create systemic internal changes so that they can truly serve the entire diverse eating disorders community) you can send it to Susan Vibbert (susanvibbert at gmail dot com) She is a board member I met at the NEDA Gala last year and she has agreed to forward these communications to the NEDA board. You are also welcome to leave comments below and/or e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org and I’ll get your feedback to her.

My Resignation Letter

I write to you today with a heavy heart. For nearly two years, I have been honored to serve as an Official NEDA Ambassador, donating my time, writing and speaking, online spaces, and funds to support what I believed was a renewed mission of supporting all individuals and families affected by eating disorders.

The abrupt firing of Chevese Turner without any transparency was deeply concerning to me and to many members of the eating disorders community. The absence of any messaging coming from NEDA about the situation continues to raise even more concerns. The failure over the past two weeks to respond to hundreds of public requests, for both transparency around the decision and clear commitments to continue the work that she was leading for intersectionality within the community, adds to the issues. Allowing people who claim to have “inside info” about the situation to act as the de facto voice of NEDA, posting racist and fatphobic screeds on your own Facebook page is inexcusable.

Many of us watched for years as NEDA centered the voices, stories, and needs of thin, cis, white, younger women to the near exclusion of all others, ignoring those of us asking for change. In fact, my first involvement with NEDA happened when they partnered with an “anti-obesity” organization and then defended their choice to me as a “compromise.” (I started a petition and letter writing campaign, and a few days later they ended the partnership, but it was clear to me that it was about optics and not harm reduction.)

Your merger with BEDA and Chevese was a second chance that I, and many other people, were giving NEDA to do the right thing. Chevese being fired with no transparency and no communication about ongoing commitments to intersectionality has been a clear message that NEDA is actively failing to become the inclusive, intersectional organization we know it could be, and that the community needs it to be.

Choosing to move forward with Weight Stigma Awareness Week is especially troubling. That you would take ownership of a fat woman’s project, fire the fat woman abruptly with no comment, and then claim credit for raising awareness of weight stigma as if nothing happened, is truly beyond the pale. Sadly NEDA has given me no reason to believe that you aren’t abandoning the pursuit of intersectional justice within eating disorders treatment and advocacy in everything but appearances, perhaps hoping to ride out the backlash and settle back into the comfort of focusing on the thin, white, cis, girls and young women while giving only lip service to others in the community.

While I am committed to doing whatever I can to help NEDA pursue a mission that includes all individuals and families affected by eating disorders, I am heartbroken to say that I can no longer be an official ambassador for NEDA. I can’t and won’t lend my face, body, labor, or reputation as an ambassador since it indicates a tacit approval of the current situation, and an inclusivity that isn’t currently being practiced, while holding a position that doesn’t have any authority to create change.

I am resigning as an Official NEDA Ambassador effective immediately, and I ask that I be removed from the Ambassador page of the website.

If I may offer one piece of advice, in our conversation Claire said that perhaps NEDA’s PR in this situation had been “a little too much by the book.” I don’t know what PR book you’re using, but I would recommend burning it, because this strategy is nothing short of disastrous. If the hope is that you can ride out the backlash and go back to business as usual, then I would urge you to reconsider. The backlash will be loud and it will be sustained, because people’s lives hang in the balance.

I implore NEDA to do better – reinstate Chevese, recommit clearly and publicly to centering the voices, stories, and needs of People of Color, Trans and Non-Binary people, Higher Weight people, and other marginalized populations, and then prove those commitments in your actions, and the allocation of your resources.

I continue to hope that NEDA becomes the organization that the diverse community of people who are affected by eating disorders desperately needs it to be, and I will continue to work toward that goal.

Sincerely,

Ragen Chastain

Talk from the virtual NEDA walk:

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Dealing With Fatphobia At The Holidays

Halloween candy and costumes, family gatherings, work parties, New Years bashes, New Years Resolution, and a ton of diet ads… whether we celebrate the holidays or not, the holiday season can be a perfect storm of fatphobia and diet culture. This year the pandemic adds another layer of stress. All that diet culture can really get you down. In this workshop we’ll talk about tips, tricks, and techniques to help us deal and have a happy holiday season on our own terms.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

How A PhD Got Duped By Diet Culture

An article came across my inbox called “The Habits of Successful Weight Losers.” It piqued my interest because the truth is there isn’t a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people succeed at long-term, significant weight loss (this has been shown in literature reviews starting in at least 1999 and was recently acknowledged by Canadian Healthcare professionals. (Note: The article is not linked here due its potentially triggering nature, it’s also one of many of it kind so the points made here address this mistake generally.)

I clicked to read the article, curious if it would make the most common mistake of only looking at short-term weight loss (most people succeed at losing weight short term, but gain it all back within two to five years, a huge number of studies simply look at weight loss during the first year and then claim success) or if it would make the less common, but potentially more harmful National Weight Control Registry mistake.

It turns out that it was the latter. I often use the National Weight Control Registry in talks I give to general audiences, health professionals, and university students, faculty and staff to show how easy it is to be duped by diet culture and the poor “science” that backs it up. In this case the person making this mistake is a celebrated personal trainer, fitness speaker and writer, and PhD who has actually written a book written on this premise, so it’s no surprise that so many people with less training in understanding and analyzing research do make the same mistake.

I wrote about this for The Mighty, and you can read the full piece here!

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Kaiser Permanente – Hiding Discrimination?

In June, as COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm healthcare resources, many states were working to produce guidelines for rationing care in public and private hospitals and healthcare facilities in the event of shortages of equipment and staff. Unfortunately many of these policies have a chilling discriminatory effect. 

The California Care Rationing Coalition, a broad-based coalition from the disability, aging, anti-racism, and fat-rights communities, worked with the California Governor’s office and leadership at the Department of Health and Human Services  and successfully changed the state’s rationing protocols to help eliminate discrimination, creating a model for other states

The new guidelines state that healthcare decisions, including rationing of resources, cannot be based on age, race, disability (including weight-related disabilities and chronic medical conditions), gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity (including national origin and language spoken), ability to pay, weight/size, socioeconomic status, insurance status, perceived self-worth, perceived quality of life, immigration status, incarceration status, homelessness, or past or future use of resources. 

“Why Are You Hiding?”

The new guidelines were a massive step in the right direction, but there’s more work to do. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell if hospitals are following the guidelines because they are currently keeping their policies secret.

That creates a situation where, despite the hard-won non-discriminatory guidelines, people of color, disabled people, fat people, seniors and others who are covered may still be facing discrimination in COVID-19 treatment, including refusal of care. Even if they are able to choose which facility to go to, they have no way of knowing whether or not they are likely to face discrimination.

We are demanding that healthcare facilities, starting with California-based giant Kaiser Permanente, provide transparency in their compliance with CA State guidelines, including publicly disclosing their rationing policies.

ACTIVISM OPPORTUNITY!
You can help by posting to social media demanding that Kaiser publicly disclose their rationing policies, and inviting your friends to join in using the hashtags #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

Here’s an example:
Kaiser Permanente – Why are you hiding your policy? What is your policy? We need to know! We are worried about people of color, disabled people, higher weight people, and seniors being refused treatment during COVID-19. Publicly disclose your COVID care and rationing policies. @aboutKP @KPOCThrive @KPSCALnews @KPMemberService @KPSanDiego @kpeastbayarea @KPGreaterSac @JMillerPhipps #NoBodyIsDisposable #PostYourPolicy #NoICUgenics

For more info on the campaign, sample social media posts, and articles to share check out:
https://nobodyisdisposable.org/stop-care-rationing/

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Britain’s Plan To Fight COVID-19 With Fatphobia Is Terrible

Britain has launched a program called “Better Health” that is claiming that it will improve health by perpetuating fatphobia and convincing people to engage in so-called health interventions that almost never work (and promoting for-profit companies that do the same.)

It utilizes the “eat less, move more” theory that has been proven not to work since at least 1999. and that even Canadian Health Professionals who sell weight loss have admitted doesn’t work. But encouraging people to attempt intentional weight loss despite the fact that there isn’t a single study where more than a tiny fraction of people succeed at significant long-term weight loss is, sadly, nothing new.

Tying it to the equally questionable idea that fat people are at a higher risk for COVID-19/more severe symptoms because of their body size (and not because of the unequal treatment we receive in society, and the very medical weight stigma at the root of this program) is new, and terrible.

Quick history lesson – during the H1N1 outbreak, fat people had poorer health outcomes (and everyone jumped on the bandwagon to figure out exactly what about fat bodies was the cause.) It turns out the actual issue was that fat people were systematically treated later with antiviral medication than thin people. Per a study on the subject “After adjustment for early antiviral treatment, relationship between ob*sity and poor outcomes disappeared.” More about the issues with the claim that being fat increases COVID-19 risk/severity can be found here and here.

Besides which, we don’t know that making larger people (temporarily) a bit smaller will do anything to change their COVID-19 risk, nor do we know that if encouraging people to restrict food and exercise to create a situation where their body has to consume itself to survive could actually make things worse. The idea that if we make fat people look more like thin people then their health outcomes will be the same is not remotely scientifically sound.

They are making the incredibly dubious claim (with absolutely no evidence) that if every person who is considered fat loses 5.5 pounds (an amount many menstruating people gain and lose each month, and that I could personally lose right now with a haircut and a loofah) it will save the NHS $135M in five years.

In fact, the only arguably “smart” (though still terrible) thing they did is make this only a 12-week program. Almost anyone can lose a little weight short term. Then, like almost every study on weight loss, they’ll stop tracking results before the vast majority gain it all back (with many gaining back more than they lost) and claim success, blaming the *almost everyone* who gains the weight back.

This will do an incredibly amount of harm in the following ways:

First, any time there is a national campaign against fat people, it increases the stigma that fat people deal with. Studies have shown that this stigma is correlated to many of the same health conditions to which being fat is correlated. Making people hate their bodies does not improve health outcomes.

When programs like this correlate weight loss with health it sets people up to give up on supporting their health when they, almost inevitably, fail to maintain weight loss. Health, by any definition, isn’t an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control, but setting us up to believe the lie that the only way to pursue health is through weight loss, and then fail (often repeatedly) at weight loss does not improve health outcomes.

Many of the things that people are claiming may cause fat bodies to be at higher COVID-19 risk are actually correlated with weight cycling (yo-yo diet) which is by far the most likely outcome of multiple weight loss attempts, which Britain’s program will actually increase.

Consider weight cycling as an example. Attempts to lose weight typically result in weight cycling, and such attempts are more common among obese individuals [62]. Weight cycling results in increased inflammation, which in turn is known to increase risk for many ob*sity-associated diseases [63]. Other potential mechanisms by which weight cycling contributes to morbidity include hypertension, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia [64]. Research also indicates that weight fluctuation is associated with poorer cardiovascular outcomes and increased mortality risk [6468]. Weight cycling can account for all of the excess mortality associated with ob*sity in both the Framingham Heart Study [69] and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) [70]. It may be, therefore, that the association between weight and health risk can be better attributed to weight cycling than adiposity itself [63].

In addition to the calorie counting push being destined for failure based on all the research that exists, this kind of campaign does real harm to people who may develop, are living with, or are recovered from eating disorders.

The government is insisting on putting calorie counts on menus which has been found to do nothing to change food choices but increases the chances of triggering an eating disorder. (Also incredibly triggering is a massive media campaign that focuses on the idea that thin(ner) is better.)

Perhaps most frustrating of all, it is entirely possible to create public health interventions without weight stigma, thus actually increasing the upside while eliminating the downside for people of all sizes. (Though, of course, those don’t generate profits for diet companies, or shift the blame from the government’s piss poor handling of a global pandemic onto fat people for simply existing.) We should hold our leaders to this standard and refuse to participate in these farces that claim to be about wellness but are deeply, inextricably linked to fatphobia.

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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

Converse’s Size Lies

CONVERSE SHAPES FOR EVERY BODY the ad proclaims. It continues “What if clothing was free from gender? If you define the clothes, the clothes don’t define you. A new type of clothing designed for every body.”

What if indeed? I am absolutely in favor of clothing companies making size and gender inclusive clothing. But this…isn’t that.

First of all, the largest size is XXL. So apparently Converse thinks I and everyone else over an XXL does not exist? Or that we are non-corporeal somehow?

But lets talk about the clothes. Their gendered clothes come in a variety of colors, patterns, and shapes. In this “genderless” collection you can get clothes in any color you want, as long as it’s black, white, or a color they call “field surplus” (which I can best describe as drabbest green,) and basically shapeless. I also notice that a lot of their straight-sized, gendered options sport a huge logo on them, but in order to tell that these clothes are Converse one would have to get “back the fuck up” close to wearer to read the tiny tag. Normally I would never complain about lack of a company’s self-promotion on their clothing, but in this case it makes me wonder if Converse isn’t proud to call these clothes their own.

No offense to people who like these clothes, which of course is totally valid, but the first thing they made me think of was the punishment clothes they made us wear in school if we forgot our PE clothes.

Also, as someone with cis-privilege I definitely don’t mean to speak for Trans and Non-Binary people, but my understanding is that creating genderless clothing isn’t about creating a few pieces without much color or shape, it’s about taking the gender labels off, making all the clothes in all the sizes and then of course dismantling the cis-sexism and transphobia in the world so that all people can dress in all the colors and shapes, not none of them.

Then we’ve got the “all sizes” lie. The idea that these clothes are for “all sizes” is 100% pure bullshit. Besides the fact that the sizing is absolutely bonkers (in what world is a single size equivalent to cis-men’s M-2X and cis-women’s XL-XXL?) it’s simply a lie, which I already covered in this piece, and in this video:

We need actual size and gender inclusive clothes (looking at you SmartGlamour!) not this lip service nonsense that creates even more exclusion by getting our hopes up and then dropping them off a cliff.

Did you find this 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!)

UPCOMING ONLINE WORKSHOP:
Getting Jiggly With It! Movement In A Fat Body

Movement/fitness/exercise by any definition is never an obligation or barometer of worthiness. But for fat people who want to move our bodies – whether it’s because we enjoy it, or because of the benefit(s) we get from it (even if we don’t enjoy it,) whatever our reasons a fatphobic culture can create barriers, misinformation, and other difficulties for us. In this workshop we’ll explore tips, tricks, and information to help us move our bodies for our own reasons. (This workshop can also be helpful to fitness pros who want to create a fat-positive practice!)

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/monthly-online-workshops/
*This workshop is free for DancesWithFat members

Like this blog?  Here’s more stuff you might like:

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!

Price: $25.00 ($10 for DancesWithFat members – register on the member page)

Non-members Click here for all the details and to register!
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 Click here to register
($79.00 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)

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