The Problem With A Fat Person Saying That Fat Jokes Are Hilarious

being fat doesn't justify fatphobiaI was asked to comment on a conversation on social media where someone had posted a fat-shaming meme. By the time I got there, the comment section was an absolute cesspool of fatphobia. So I commented:

Imagine having a picture taken to commemorate a lovely day of existing in the world, only to have a bunch of randos on [social media] decide to use it as an excuse to be rude and make sure that every fat person who sees this knows that they view our bodies as punchlines. Fat people have the right to exist in the world – yes, even in pictures while standing beside horses – without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression. Shame on everyone who is using this picture as an excuse to engage in fat-shaming.

Almost immediately, I received this response:

I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious. Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.

Let’s take this in two parts:

“I’m a fat guy, and I think it’s hilarious.”

It is incredibly common for fat people to jump in and support fat-shaming. This can happen for a lot of reasons – their own internalized fatphobia, their desire to get some approval (and possibly better treatment) from thin people by participating in their own oppression, because their various privileges protect them from a lot of the harm of fatphobia etc. How offended someone is personally by fatphobia is their business, but the reaction they have doesn’t happen in a vacuum and people need to take responsibility for supporting harmful, stigmatizing ideas.

“Shame me all you want, but acknowledging yourself as you are and accepting it is telling the rest to eff off. If you are offended then you haven’t accepted yourself for who you are, or you worry too much about what other’s think.”

This is the part where people suggest that if you’re ok with yourself, regardless of how oppressed you are in the world, you will cheerfully accept additional oppression. This is particularly common if the oppression is in the form of a “joke.”

Except no, that’s not how self-acceptance works. I know that fat-shaming is the problem and not my body.  That doesn’t make it ok to stigmatize me or people who look like me. I think it’s a bigger problem that we as a society are comfortable telling groups of people they need to “toughen up” and become better at being stigmatized and made fun of without complaint so that other people can laugh at our expense without having to feel bad or have their bullying behavior pointed out.

Regardless of how one person’s level of indifference, internalized oppression and/or privilege allows them to tolerate stigma against a group that they are in, justifying and defending the behaviors that harm people (especially people with less privilege) in the group is not an appropriate response.

Being fat does not justify perpetuating 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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 
*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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

The “I’m Fat, But I’m Not That Fat” Fallacy

Our belief in size equality cannot stop at an arbitrary size. If we aren't here for the fattest bodies, then we're not here at all.I saw a post today in which someone suggested that they deserved to be accommodated by a clothing line saying: “It’s ridic that they don’t make my size. I’m fat, but I mean, I’m not THAT fat.” This is something that happens everywhere, but I see it a lot in so-called “Body Positive” spaces that are not specifically fat-positive.

One of the issues with this type of “body positivity” is that it not only co-opts the work of radical fat activists, but it then pushes those activists out with limitations like “it’s ok to be fat as long as (you’re “healthy”/”able-bodied”/not “that fat” etc.) which makes the so-called “body positivity” healthist, ableist, and fatphobic.

For today, let’s tackle the “I’m fat but I’m not that fat” fallacy. Somtimes “that fat” is a certain number of pounds, or a certain clothing size, or a comparison to someone else.

This comes from internalized fatphobia – the person is trying to hold on to the thinner = better paradigm by placing themselves above those who are fatter than they are. (For people who experience body changes over time this can often set them up for a really difficult time when they cross their imaginary threshhold for “that fat.” )

I have compassion for people dealing with internalized fatphobia – we live in a society that is rife with systemic weight stigma so it’s not suprising that fat people internalized that fat hatred and turn it against themselves.

However, this “not that fat” thing isn’t just about having internalized fatphobia, it’s also about weaponizing internalized fatphobia to harm those with even less privilege, and so in cases like this my first concern has to be for the people being harmed.

Let’s get clear: suggesting that one deserves better treatment because one is not “that fat” (by whatever definition one is using) is bullshit. It’s completely bullshit. It’s indefensible bullshit.

What it’s actually saying is, “I deserve equality with thin people, but those who are fatter than me don’t.” What the person whose post I saw today was saying was “I deseve clothes, but people fatter than me don’t” It bears repeating – that’s bullshit.

Anytime we’re suggesting that our body is better than someone else’s, we’re headed down a bad road. Whether we’re talking about clothes, medical care, seats on a plane, or any other aspect of life, people of all sizes deserve equality. Our belief in size equality cannot stop with our size, or an arbitrary size. If we aren’t here for the fattest bodies, then we’re not here at all – and that goes for all marginalized bodies, BIPOC, trans, disabled, older, sick, et al.

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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A, a recording will be provided, and there is a pay-what-you-can option.

Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 
*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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

 

Corporate Wellness – Fighting Back Against Fatphobia

A few months ago Jen Arnold and I taped an episode of her podcast “Redesigning Wellness” We talked about how we can fight fatphobia within corporate wellness culture. It was a fun interview and I’m grateful to Jen for inviting me!

You can listen here!

I also recommend the episode with Dr. Ella Washington – Fighting Racism in the Workplace

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

No, We Can’t Agree To Disagree About Fat-Shaming (Or Any Kind Of Oppression)

Agree to DisagreeI took a break from blogging out or respect for the protests against racist police violence. As I start to blog again I want to be clear that work is crucial and far from over, and to start with some resources predominantly for my white readers:

Here is a list of scaffolded anti-racism resources created by Anna Stamborski, Nikki Zimmermann, and Bailie Gregory:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PrAq4iBNb4nVIcTsLcNlW8zjaQXBLkWayL8EaPlh0bc/edit

Here is a list of ways to fight racist police violence, including places to donate:
https://www.thecut.com/article/george-floyd-protests-how-to-help-where-to-donate.html?fbclid=IwAR0qifVza4APQxEWhMrONxGa_jFlE4x1CdyXA9LkYIxX2FkXfz-vQawZJHk 

Here is a list of vetted and updated bail funds that we can contribute to:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X4-YS3vFn5CLL9QtJSU0xqmTh_h8XilXgOqGAjZISBI/edit

Here’s a link celebrating Black Fat Activists
https://danceswithfat.org/2020/02/23/celebrating-black-fat-activists/ 

As people pointed out the issues with Nancy Pelosi’s fat-shaming, and those who didn’t want to deal with that made excuses for her, a lot of the conversations devolved into the defenders of fat-shaming insisting that “we’ll just have to agree to disagree.”

Of course this doesn’t just happen in fat-shaming, it happens all the time when people’s racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other bigotries that they are either actively perpetuating or quietly harboring is called out and they try to shut down the discussion by suggesting that our only option is to “agree to disagree” and we need to do that and move on.

Except it’s not, and we don’t. I think we can agree to disagree about things like whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, but when used in contexts of oppression “agree to disagree” is often a tool of oppression that gives power to the privileged, and makes those they are oppressing seem unreasonable.

When it comes to equality, oppression, and human rights, when someone in an unaffected group suggests that we need to  “agree to disagree,” what they are actually doing is asking oppressed people to agree to continued oppression and also stop talking about it. Fuck that. If you want me to stop talking about fat-shaming, then you need to stop fat-shaming, stop supporting others who fat-shame, and start speaking out against it. When it stops, I’ll stop talking about it.

I think this is even more important when we are acting in solidarity with groups we’re not a part of. Allowing someone who is arguing for oppression get out of a discussion with a “let’s agree to disagree” says that we literally agree to them continuing oppressive behavior.

There are not two valid sides to every issue. Fat-shaming is wrong. Someone either agrees with that, or they are wrong.

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

Is Fatphobia the Opposite of Skinny-Shaming?

OURSOC~1In a social media conversation, a fat person posted about fatphobia and received this response from a thin person:

I’ve never really heard of fatphobia to be honest.
I can tell you from the other side of the fence is pretty awful. When you’re thin (in my case underweight) people just randomly ask me awful questions….
OMG, you’re so skinny! Do you eat?
You should gain weight. You’d look better
Sigh, I would never talk about a person’s body like that.
So is fatphobia like the opposite of me?
I’m sure this person was not ill-intentioned, but this is an excellent example of harmful behavior that is driven by privilege (in this case thin privilege.) This person has never heard of fatphobia (despite living in a world that is literally built on it) and instead of, say, Googling to learn more about the oppression they had not previously been aware of, or even asking for education, they’ve decided their best move is to try to shift the conversation to their experience as a thin person, and reframe the concept of fatphobia as something that happens in relation to them. I’m sure that this person didn’t mean to be harmful, but one of the ways that we can become more competent in dismantling oppression is to realize that centering ourselves in the discussion of other people’s oppression is wrong, and that working to educate ourselves is the way to go.

Now to answer the question Is fatphobia the opposite of thin-shaming? No, it’s not.

While thin-shaming is wrong, and harmful, fat-shaming (including being asked rude questions) is just one component of fatphobia/weight stigma (which includes the shame, stigma, bullying, and systemic oppression that fat people experience.) Our society is not built to accommodate fat people, meaning that fat people literally live in a different world than thin people – with greater oppression happening to those with larger bodies and those with multiple oppressions.
a
A few examples:
a
Fat people have many fewer options when it comes to clothes, and our options are often more expensive (including because they aren’t sold in stores so we have to pay for shipping both ways to try them on.) This affects not just our ability to develop a personal style, but our ability to dress appropriately for situations from job interviews to red carpets.
a
Thin people have an expectation that they will be given accommodated by seats wherever they go – whether it’s at a restaurant, on a rollercoaster, at a wedding or funeral, on a plane etc. Not only do businesses often fail to accommodate fat people, but they often then blame fat people and force us to pay twice as much for the same service (for example, a trip from point A to point B in a seat that accommodates us.)
a
Fat people often find it impossible to get ethical, evidence-based healthcare because our practitioners are so distracted by their stereotypes about our body size, and so committed to forcing our bodies to look different (even if they kill us in the process) that they fail to treat our actual health issues.
a
Fat people are hired less and paid less than our thin counterparts. A study by Jennifer Shinall, at Vanderbilt found that heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less, Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average.
a
And that’s just the tip of a very large, very harmful iceberg. I’ll mention that weight stigma harms people of all sizes since it drives unhealthy thoughts and behaviors around the fear of becoming fat, though the harm it does to fat people would be enough to dedicate resources to dismantle it. Fatphobia is real and it deserves entire conversations that are not diluted or derailed by the experiences of thin people.
a
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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

Quarantine Comedy – Weekly Roundup

This week in my quick comedy videos I talked about things people say to fat people that they think are compliment but are actually terrible, what rescue dog profiles would say if they were honest, these bullshit anti-mask protests, and I wrote a song about these awful COVID-19 weight gain jokes that are going around.

You can play them all below (they’ll play back-to-back)
If you want to pick and choose you can see the playlist here

If you don’t want to miss a laugh, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel

What to experience my hilarity and activism in person (kind of…)? You can take my online workshop about dealing with fatphobia – scroll down for details!

 

What to experience my hilarity and activism in person (kind of…) You can take my online workshop about dealing with fatphobia!

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-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!)

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

Making Activism A Self-Care Practice

Making activism a self-care practiceI’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now – about ways to make activism into a self-care practice so that it’s more sustainable because it builds us up instead of tearing us down. I wrote this guide for Better Humans, you can check it out here:

Activism As Self-Care: How to Energize the Most Important Work of Your Life


ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-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!)

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

View at Medium.com

No, Anger Does Not Excuse or Justify Fat-Shaming

anger doesn't justify fat-shamingYesterday I wrote about the three arguments I had seen people using to try to justify Nancy Pelosi’s unjustifiable fat-shaming of donald. Today, a new bullshit argument seems to be emerging.

To review, yesterday I covered included: It’s not fat-shaming, it was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human, and it’s science.

Today’s festering turd of a justification is some form of “she was just angry.”

She was just angry from dealing with donald, she was just frustrated hat he was lying, it was just a low moment for her blah de blahbity blah.

Here’s the deal on this. If our reaction to being angry, or frustrated, or having a low moment is bigotry, then we are a bigot. If we are willing to oppress when we get angry, we are willing to oppress people. And we have a responsibility to root out our bigotry and eliminate it – not to justify it or excuse it. And certainly not to take to the internet to justify or excuse it on behalf of people doing it from a national stage.

We should be so committed to anti-bigotry that there is no situation under which we would engage in bigotry. If we’re trying to argue that it’s ok to oppress people when we’re angry, then we’re simply arguing that it’s ok to oppress people. And it’s not. Ever. For any reason.

Fat-shaming is wrong. It’s wrong all the time. There is absolutely no justification for fat-shaming ever.

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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

Yes Nancy Pelosi Was Fat-Shaming, No It Wasn’t Ok

There is no way to fat-shame anyone without shame every single fat person. There is no justification for fat-shaming.Yesterday donald claimed that he is taking hydroxychloroquine – a drug that he has been touting from quite some time. Of course, there’s no telling if he’s actually taking it since he lies as easily as he breathes.

Nancy Pelosi jumped on the opportunity to make a comment. She didn’t mention that there might be a financial reason he’s pushing this so hard. She didn’t mention that his pushing of this drug can cause shortages for people who legitimately need it. No, she took a stab at donald’s body size…

“He’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and his, shall we say, weight group … m*rbidly ob*se, they say,” she said.

Plenty of people pointed out that this is fat-shaming bullshit, but in a burst of “they tried it” others immediately jumped in to try to claim some form of the following three arguments:

  1. It wasn’t fat-shaming
  2. It was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human
  3. But it’s science

Let’s take these one-by-one:

It wasn’t fat-shaming

It for damn sure was. Look at the phrasing of it “his, shall we say, weight group…m*rbidly ob*se they say”

Nobody frames a physical description that way unless they think it’s something to shame someone about. Nobody is out there going “her, shall we say, hair color…brunette they say.”

Note that she was able to say “age group” without engaging in ageism.

It was fat-shaming, but it’s ok because it’s donald and he’s a garbage human

Donald is a garbage human. Fat-shaming him is still wrong, because his size has nothing to do with his being a proud racist, misogynist, xenophobe, sexual predator, and white supremacist. When you fat-shame, your victim is every fat-person person you perpetuate the idea that fat-shaming is ok.

I covered this in detail the post Your Justification For Fat-Shaming Donald is Bullshit, Here’s Why. 

But it’s science! 

These people seem to break into two camps.

The first insists that since the term “m*rbidly ob*se” is a medical term, it must be ok to say. That ignores an extensive history of “medical terminology” being used to perpetuate oppression. It ignores the fact that the term is used as a way to pathologize a body size in a way that is neither research-based nor helpful. And it ignores the staggering amount of medical weight stigma that fat people have to deal with, which harms us in a myriad of ways.

The second camp insists that it’s ok because she was telling the truth about the risks. Except she wasn’t. There is no evidence that being fat creates more risk when taking (or lying about taking) Hydroxychloroquine. Even if she mispoke and was trying to make a claim about COVID-19, the evidence around body size and COVID-19 risk is dubious at best.

This was fat-shaming and there is absolutely no justification for it. Nancy Pelosi should apologize and do better in the future.

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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .

Response to the NYT Article about Size Acceptance and Weight Loss

INTENT~1I was recently briefly quoted in a New York Times article called “Fighting Fat Discrimination, but Still Wanting to Lose Weight” and subtitled “Is it OK to be “body positive” while striving to be thinner?” For the record I was interviewed at length by the article’s author Abby Ellin, who was clear from the beginning exactly what kind of piece it would be. I’ve received a lot of questions about it, so I wanted to address it here.

In order to keep this post to some kind of reasonable length, I will be discussing the personal stories and the original questions of the article.  I’ll leave the issues with the studies included, the misidentification and missapplication of the concepts of Size Acceptance and Body Positivity by some interview subjects, and the appalling behavior of some of the “healthcare professionals” for a possible future post.

The thing that strikes me in the opening paragraphs is how easily we blame body size for things that happen to people of all sizes. The subject wants to walk a certain distance without becoming out of breath. She wants to walk around New York City in the summer without “sweating to death.” She wants to climb Machu Pichu.

There are people of all sizes who sweat their asses off when it’s hot in NYC. There are people of all sizes who get out of breath quickly for all kinds for reasons – some of which are changeable and some of which are not.

The issue here is that if a thin person says they want to be able to climb Machu Pichu or walk farther without becoming out of breath (after being tested for underlying issues) they would be given options and programs to increase their strength and stamina. But when it’s a fat person so many people (even including doctors) go immediately to “change your body size” even though there are thin people with the same issues, and even though there are plenty of people much heavier than this woman who are marathoners and ultra-marathoners, and who’ve made bigger climbs than Machu Pichu.

Now, fitness by any definition is not an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or entirely within our control, and adding healthism and ableism to fatphobia never improves the situation. Still, when it seems normal for a fat person who wants to be able to walk farther to attempt to change their body size (knowing that almost everyone gains back their weight and manygain back more than they lost,) rather than working on strength and stamina, that’s a good example of how pervasive fatphobia is and how much it hurts fat people by sending us on an endless pursuit of a smaller body instead of living our best life in the body we have.

People are allowed to do and believe what they want with their bodies – including risking their lives to be thin and blaming whatever they want for their circumstances, but those choices don’t happen in a vacuum. There is no way to promote or participate in intentional weight loss without perpetuating fatphobia, because the idea that a smaller body is a better body is at the root of weight stigma. That is a simple fact.

People are still allowed to attempt weight loss regardless of the lack of efficacy and risks involved, and power and privilege can play an important role here – thin privilege is real and, especially for those who are part of multiple marginalized communities, this may be a battle that they don’t want to fight. (Because of the intersection of fatphobia and transphobia in healthcare for example, trans people may be forced to attempt weight loss in order to be granted access to necessary healthcare procedures.) Those with more privilege are not in a place to judge those decisions.

Intentional weight loss is harmful to fat people in that it perpetuates fatphobia, there is no denying that. How much additional harm a person does depends a lot on how they choose to behave if they manage (however briefly) to move out of the oppressed group. Do they revel uncritically in their newfound thin privilege? Do they adopt the language of diet culture? Do they change the story of who they were when they were co-opting Size Acceptance language, now aligning themselves with the demands of diet culture that they renounce their formerly fat body – moving from “body-positive” to “body negative” in a single bound?

Do they gleefully post before and after pictures (making it clear that they always believed that a thinner body was a better body)? Do they brag about doing things like shopping in “normal clothing stores,” abandoning the principles of size inclusion and the people who can’t shop there with them? Do they accept praise from those who were committed to shaming, stigmatizing, bullying, and oppressing them until their demands – that this person become less than they were – were met? (The people who will continue to mistreat others in the group that this person has, at least temporarily, moved out of.)

There are people who have chosen to do the difficult and painful work of liberating themselves from diet culture – to not risk their lives and quality of life with dangerous surgeries and diets. The Size Acceptance community is a social justice community that has limited resources with which to fight the crushing oppression of global weight stigma. As such, we can and should have spaces absolutely free of weight loss talk, that do not offer support or resources to those attempting weight loss. 

So for people to insist that they should be allowed to use those spaces for comfort and safety – co-opting Size Acceptance language and using limited community resources -while they desperately try to move themselves out of the oppressed group (by supporting diet culture, which  is at the root of our oppression) is an issue – especially since the people in Size Acceptance community who deal with multiple marginalizations are often the ones who are the most harmed by fatphobia and weight loss talk in these spaces, and weight stigma in the world.

It’s also an issue for foks to publicly, uncritically, embrace their personal weight loss attempt and still claim to be Size Acceptance activists. If someone doesn’t want to be fat (in some cases, is willing to risk their life to be less fat,) it’s difficult for them to advocate effectively for fat-positivity.

To me as a queer woman, it feels a bit like someone coming into a queer-positive group and insisting that it is their right to discuss and get support for their desire to become ex-gay, to use the group’s work and resources and co-opt the group’s queer-positive language all the while claiming to be a queer-positive activist.

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!)

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Talking Back To Fatphobia

We’ll discuss options for dealing with the fatphobia that we face as we navigate the world – from responses that encourage a dialog, to responses that encourage people to leave us TF alone, with lots of time for Q&A and a pay-what-you-can option.
Details and Registration: https://danceswithfat.org/workshop-talking-back-to-fatphobia/ 

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!

I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at www.IronFat.com .