by, for and about Women of Size and their allies

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Hilarious Haters

Dances With Fat

Sometimes my haters do something so hilarious that I have to post it here.  Today is one of those days, but we’ll get to that in a minute.  One of the things that I get asked a lot is how I deal with all the hatemail I get.  Mostly through laughter.

First, I realize that these are people who spend their time typing about why they don’t like me, my work, my clothes, my dancing whatever.  I don’t allow their comments in my spaces so they hate me for each other in spaces that they create, the most aptly named of which is probably “fitness circle jerk.”  That’s hilarious to me.

On these forums I get to watch them tie themselves in knots trying to keep their hatefire stoked, and it is impressive. I do a marathon, they all say I’ll never finish. I finish, they all complain that I…

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The Penguin Principle

Dances With Fat

First Grade Boy Steals Penguin

That’s what the stand up comedian I’m listening to said the headline was.  “True story” he said,” swear on my mother’s grave”.

As he told it, it would seem that the little boy was on a trip to the zoo with his class.  They were looking at the Penguin exhibit and the boy decided he just had to have one.  So, when nobody was looking, he evacuated all of the superfluous contents of his backpack (because who needs math and history when you’ve got a freaking Penguin!?) put the bag on the ground and opened it up.  And a penguin crawled out of its enclosure and into the bag.

The little boy zipped up the backpack and wore it around all day, all the way home on the bus.  Imagine his Mom’s surprise when she walked in from the kitchen to see a…

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Fat History: A Childhood

wrongbody

International Fat Activist, Stacy Bias, created the following  animated “fat history” as part of an ambitious, wide-reaching (pun intended) educational tool of oral, visual and written histories called The Fat Experience Project. You can read more about the project, fat activism or find contact info for Stacy at StacyBias.net

http://stacybias.net/2013/09/vjs-fat-experience-an-illustrated-story/

Dear Fat Kid – An Open Letter

Dances With Fat

LiesDear Fat Kid,

I hope that you are surrounded by people who understand that you and your fat body are amazing. If you’re not, then my first thought is to tell you that your body is amazing and that bullies are just people who are insecure or desperate to feel important. You are and they are but, if you’re anything like me, that won’t comfort you very much.  I want to tell you that “it gets better” and in my experience it does get better when you have the opportunity to choose who you hang around.  But the truth is that we live in a fatphobic society and I would rather give you tools to maybe make some things better now and maybe change the world in the future than suggest that you just hope things will be less crappy later (even though they likely will.)

This is what I…

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Love at Too High a Cost

Dances With Fat

I'm ok you're okI often get messages from people who are looking for help because their friend or family member has done something that hurt them.  Maybe they were fat shamed at a family dinner, or a friend who they thought understood size acceptance posted a fat phobic Facebook meme.  Sometimes it’s a friend or family member who challenges them every time they post something size positive.

I think it’s important to remember that Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size are revolutionary movements.  If you espouse these things then at some point you are almost certain to meet resistance from someone in your life, maybe lots of people in your life. How you handle it is completely up to you and there are lots of options.

I have one friend who ended a friendship because the person posted a fatphobic Facebook meme again – after they had a conversation about how much…

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In Our Own Damn Words

Dances With Fat

Heather is a plus size model – that picture to the left, that’s her.  Earlier this week a Facebook page called “Fit for Fertility” posted this picture with the text “Everyone has to start somewhere.”

To be clear, Heather is not a beginning exerciser – the person who runs the page had no permission to use the picture, and no knowledge of the fitness level of the model, she just assumed fat=beginner and put it up on her page (her page that she uses to sell her multilevel marketing diet products.)

People started sharing the picture, either because they were comfortable with blatantly stereotyping someone based on their body size, or because they assumed that the person who posted the picture actually knew something about the person in the picture and hadn’t simply stolen it and applied a cheap stereotype for her own purposes.

The picture started to get lots…

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HAES Eating: Eat Until You’re Full

Fierce, Freethinking Fatties

If “eat what you’re hungry for” is the most controversial leg of Health at Every Size® eating, then eat until you’re full is the most difficult. If you’re fat, there is a great chance that you have years, even decades, of experience questioning your body’s hunger signals. Even if you have never once actively dieted, which is often defined by ignoring hunger signals, you’ve been exposed to thousands of bits of social pressure through the media, doctors, well-meaning (maybe?) friends and relatives, all telling you that you eat too much.

If you’re anything like me, decades of trying to lose weight has left you needing to weigh and measure your food to get some kind of idea of how much you “should” eat. Not enough to be full, but not so much that you’re uncomfortable, such as a piece of chicken the size of a deck of playing cards…

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Why I Don’t Diet – An Ode to My Father

More Cabaret

Tiffany Kell headshotMy father died three weeks ago. He was in hospice, with all the pharmacological and technological assistance available to keep him comfortable and pain-free, but it was still, as deaths go, not a good one.

I had flown in hours after I’d heard about his fall. He was in late-stage heart and renal failure, and this fall was the beginning of the end. When I arrived, a nurse popped into the room to check on him. “Are you in pain?” she asked. “Just a little,” my dad said, joking through his wincing.

It didn’t have to end like this.

My father was born larger than life, to a family of larger than life people. DNA sequencing showed we are almost entirely Viking stock, no great surprise given the height and breadth of our bodies.

When my father turned 20, he was over 6’2 and 300lbs. His feats of athleticism echoed…

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(Looking) Back At You!: Haley Morris-Cafiero’s photo self-portraiture

This article originally appeared at the web address below, authored by Michael Zhang · Feb 11, 2013.

http://www.petapixel.com/2013/02/11/woman-photographs-herself-receiving-strange-looks-in-public/

waitwatchers-1

Memphis-based photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero has long been aware of strangers making fun of her behind her back due to her size. So aware, in fact, that she has turned the whole concept into a full-blown photography project. Titled Wait Watchers, the series consists of Morris-Cafiero’s self-portraits in public in which strangers can be seen in the background giving her strange looks and/or laughing.

The project was born when Morris-Cafiero was working on a separate project titled Something to Weigh. For one of the photos in that project, she snapped a self-portrait while sitting on some steps in Times Square.

After processing the film, she noticed that there was a man behind her making a face at her while being photographed by a female friend:

waitwatcher

She noticed something similar in a photograph captured just five minutes later at a different location.

Morris-Cafiero then began setting up her camera in heavily trafficked public areas, composing the shots, setting a self-timer, and then stepping into the frame. The camera snaps a photo while she’s doing everyday things (e.g. chatting on her phone or grabbing a bite to eat), and her hope is that the image also captures an interesting expression from at least one passing stranger.

I now reverse the gaze and record their reactions to me while I perform mundane tasks in public spaces. I seek out spaces that are visually interesting and geographically diverse. I try to place myself in compositions that contain feminine icons or advertisements. Otherwise, I position myself and the camera in a pool of people…and wait [#]

The images capture the gazer in a microsecond moment where they, for unknowable reasons, have a look on their face that questions my presence. Whether they are questioning my position in front of the lens or questioning my body size, the gazer appears to be visually troubled that I am in front of them [#]

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

Woman Photographs Herself Receiving Strange Looks in Public

You can find more photos from this series over on Haley Morris-Cafiero’s personal website.


Image credits: Photographs by Haley Morris-Cafiero

Dances With Fat

End the war on fat peopleReader Kathleen sent me an article today about a researcher who suggests using a stent graft to limit blood flow to the gut after eating as a way to decrease weight gain.  This made me think about all the alleged “obesity interventions” that have possible side effect of death.  So I have to ask myself – in this whole “let’s eradicate obesity” push, does it count if they kill me?

I know this sounds dramatic but I’m starting to think that the people who are supposed to be responsible for my healthcare want me to be thin so badly that they are happy to risk my life to get it done, and it doesn’t matter what I want.

Weight loss surgeries are  “likely increase the actual mortality risks for these patients by 7-fold in the first year and by 363% to 250% the first four years.” Then there…

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