Friend of Marilyn

*Fatlicious

On fat women in photographs June 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 5:01 pm

 

The steps of New York’s Public Library were graced with bellies and beauties this week.

The steps of New York’s Public Library were graced with bellies and beauties this week.

To celebrate the Adipositivity Project’s 8th bday, naked fat women joined Patience and Fortitude for an afternoon. Jealous? I know I am! I’ve watched the video and flipped through the thumbnails, and I’m giddy. I’m hoping one of these pics will end up in the 2016 calendar.

I’ve am HUGE fan of Substantia Jones’ The Adipositivity Project. As Substantia explains on the project site,

“The Adipositivity Project aims to promote the acceptance of benign human size variation and encourage discussion of body politics, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen.”

Adipositivity Pic

Adipositivity is one of many projects that Jones’ helms (check out Smilesizeist and UppityFatty). She is amazing, and her work has received coverage across feminist and mainstream media.  The Project is unapologetically fat positive, and captures a range of fat bodies from different angles, perspectives, and states of nudity. Substantia’s image gallery has brown fats, front fats, queer fats, small fats, white fats, men fats, medium fats, straight fats, side fats, super fats, black fats, women fats, back fats, etc, and challenges many negative fat stereotypes (fat bodies don’t bend! fat bodies aren’t loved! fat bodies aren’t visually appealing!) She has photographed many well-known in the fat civil rights movement, and posing for The Adipositivity Project is a bucket list item for lots of rad fatties. Having her shots hang in your home brands your space as unapologetically fat positive. And really, who doesn’t love a naked fat ass in the kitchen? (Select prints from the Project have been made available to purchase – get yours here! Every time she has a print sale I grab a few more for my wall of fats!)

It’s great that the 8th bday celebrations brought attention from the MSM; it isn’t the first time that naked fat women in photographs have been in the news this year. The passing of Leonard Nimoy brought many new faces into the conversation around fat activism as it became known that he published an art book of fat women. Delightfully, his Full Body Project received a lot of press during the reflections and media eulogies. Setting aside the problematic nature of white male saviours, I enjoyed how MSM has almost seem to embrace this project of naked fat women (because, well, Spock!). And it’s was nice to read from fat activists how his work affected them (and surprising how many were unaware until his passing).

The Full Body Project

The Full Body Project

Whether Nimoy was fat positive isn’t for me to judge, but he did seem to have developed an understanding of how body shaming and cultural BS interferes with people’s well-being. From his artist statement,

“… I then asked them to play some music that they had brought with them, and they quickly responded to the rhythms, dancing in a free-form circular movement with in the space. It was clear that they were comfortable with the situation, with each other, and were enjoying themselves… In these pictures these women are proudly wearing their own skin. They respect themselves and I hope that my images convey that to others.”

For all the attention that the Full Body Project received with Nimoy’s passing, I hope some of it spills over onto fat positive projects with similar subjects (if different objectives). Like the Adipositivity Project.  Or another lesser known project, the Fat Naked Art Project by Heather Kolaya-Spealman.

March Blog Pic3

 

Heather is a model and a photographer, and has been photographing fat bodies for years. The goal of the project is to “display fatness as beautiful and one type of many bodies.”  There’s also The Fatness Project from Serena Imani Korn. And Wait Watchers from Haley Morris-Cafiero (both of those projects involve clothes).

As fat women, Substantia and Heather work from a location that was inaccessible to Nimoy, and I believe you can see and hear the differences when each artist talks about their craft. As a fat woman, I’ll never forget the first time I saw a naked body like mine presented as art. It was odd. And gross. I grew up in this fat hating culture; I found fat bodies disgusting. I found my body disgusting.

It took a year of having a photograph of a naked fat body hanging on my wall before I learned to not be disgusted by the image; another couple of months to acknowledge the curves, and the softness. And another before I arrived at a place of appreciation for the beauty. Now I love fat bodies, including my own. And I believe that am important part of shifting our fat hating culture is encouraging others to retrain themselves and how they perceive fat bodies. The Adipositivity calendar is a gift I give to many each year. Some hang in closets, some never make it onto a wall at all. But some are given pride of place – in the kitchen, where it is seen every day; in the bedroom, where it can be observed in silent moments. And now many are eagerly received at the start of each year. And that’s pretty fatlicious.

 

 

On fitting in (t-shirts and stuff) March 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 2:40 pm

Throughout my life, I have loved music. I love listening to music, I love making music. I love live music especially. I love the energy of the crowd, and getting to see the performers in person; catching the occasional unguarded moment. In all my years attending concerts, however, I’ve been denied the opportunity to be the audience member sporting a tour T (or, Madonna forbid, a T from the last tour). Merchandise booths never carry sizes I can wear; they rarely go past a 2x. I still stand in line though, picking out a programme or a keychain – something tangible I can keep with me or gift to others. And I still ask, ‘What is the largest size you have?’ of the t-shirt or hoodie that catches my eye while I wait in the queue.

At one particular show in Dallas a few years back, an amazing thing happened. The concert hoodie went up to a 5x. I couldn’t believe it. It made my mind race – how have I missed this before? HAVE I missed this before? I decided that I hadn’t, because I’m always looking for clothes in my size. Even when I know it’s for naught, I keep looking (the result of an emerging adulthood devoid of fashion options). Perhaps as fat concert goers get louder about what we want, marketers are beginning to pay attention (it is one of the golden rules of capitalism, right? Sell the people what they want?) It may also be gendered – larger sizes are made with men in mind, and the hoodie I bought was definitely masculine. I didn’t wear it that night, but I do wear it often, and I experience a bit of glee each time. It makes me feel delightfully normal (but that’s another story for later).

Feeling like any other concert goer

Feeling like any other fan

Sometime later, I thought it might be worth seeing if this was a new trend or a one off thing. Could I find other promotional merchandise in my size? I launched into an online investigation, starting with my undergraduate alma mater. Shirts? Nope. Jackets? No. Hoodies? Nada. Not even the gear advertised as ‘athletic’ went above a 3x. Next stop were my San Francisco teams, but again, no luck. Nothing over 3x to be found.

I’m proud to be a Bobcat, but it makes me sad that I am relegated to cups and stickers to brand myself as one. And it doesn’t make me feel like less of fan to watch the 49ers play only wearing their logo on my hat. Does it make me less of a Giants fan to show team spirit only through a foam finger? Probably not. Does it anger me to be excluded from part of the experience because they don’t make merchandise in my size? Hell yes!

And this isn’t isolated to sporting events or concerts. My current University doesn’t manufacture apparel in sizes past a 2x. Anytime I’ve been involved with a group, a club at school, even my Union – when the T-shirts come out for people to wear, me and other super fats are always left to the side. Imagine being the only person at your family reunion who isn’t wearing the event t-shirt.

Organisers with the best of intentions deliver me a sheepish smile when I query if they have shirts that I might wear as well. I was once instructed to cut a shirt up the back so I could pretend to wear it along with everyone else for a group photo (I declined and refrained from suggesting something else that could be done with the scissors instead).

One of these things is not like the others...

One of these things is not like the others…

I later expressed that I was happy to be involved with the campaign, hell – I wanted to be involved – but they had to involve me. And if taking a group photo with matching T-shirts was the goal, then they needed to have T-shirts for my fat body as well.

This is just one of the ways that fat people are barred from full participation in life. One of the ways that we are excluded from engaging in social activities that make up the very fabric of fitting in and belonging to social groups, to society. And it may seem like a little thing – to not be able to wear a t-shirt along with your choir, your family, your church group. But it’s the little things like this that add up across a lifetime to make the message loud and clear: you’re not included. You’re not person worthy of the same consideration. You are probably unwanted. You are less than.

Because you are too much.

(Follow up – I did find this site, Fanatics, and they sell some items up to 6x in the Men’s Big & Tall section)

 

On fat in 2014: The year that was January 8, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 5:18 pm

As I consider my plans for 2015 and 2016, I also look back on the year that was 2014. In many ways, it was a great year for me. I was promoted, published my first academic edited text (Ashgate), and conducted a five month social media book tour. In many ways, it was an awful year for me. It seemed to be characterised by loss, as myself and many of my friends lost our beloved pets. If I narrow my focus to consider all things fat in 2014, I can point to a few key moments that resonate still. Below are five of those moments that held importance for me in 2014 as a fat woman, fat activist, and Fat Studies scholar (and one that didn’t).

The blog post: Selfies

2014-02-15 11.14.30

I love selfies. I know that for some taking selfies or OOTD pics seems a narcissistic act of a generation too consumed with itself. But I think there is a power in fat people putting forward images of themselves. If we relied on others, all we’d ever see are headless fatties. In a post about selfies, Sarah at Radically Visible writes about the value of visual representation. “What taking selfies and sharing them does is fill our immediate environment with a far more diverse visual language of bodies than we have access to otherwise.” Her piece was my most favourite blog piece of the year, and I will forever direct people its way whenever the topic of selfies arises.

The tag: #notyourgoodfatty

2014-04-05 17.00.122014-04-05 17.02.142014-04-05 17.00.49

Throughout the year, hashtags pop-up that allow us to engage in dialogue around shared experiences. Often, these dialogues promote collective conscious-raising for those within (and outside of) the group engaging. #notyourgoodfatty, created by @mazzie and @FatBodyPolitics, was one of those hashtags (Melissa at Shakesville gives a great explanation for those not well versed in the language of good/bad fatty). #notyourgoodfatty was a schema constructed to celebrate defiant resistance to the war on fat people. Reflecting on the use of the tag in social media, Amanda Levitt of Fat Body Politics, asserts that she is not interested in performing her fatness in socially acceptable ways. Those using the tag shared how they have refused to be fat in appropriate ways. They are, in short, doing fatness wrong.

The conference: Fat Activism Conference

Ragen Chastain (Dances with Fat) and Jeanette DePattie (Fat Chick Sings) hosted a three day Fat Activism Conference this year. 40 speakers covered a range of topics, including fatshion, starting your activism, health at every size, and more. There were lot of familiar faces in the line-up (like Marilyn Wann, Linda Bacon, Virgie Tovar, and Lynn McAfee), and lots of ones that were new to me. Being able to listen to recorded presentations was fantastic, as I’m outside the US on a very different time zone. I was disappointed to not see more men on the programme, and I wish there were more speakers from outside the US. It is my understanding that they intend this conference to happen annually, so I look forward to a wider group of people being invited as speakers for 2015.

The radio show: FOM 100th show

2014-08-18 10.28.00

A highlight for me this year was my fat positive radio show, Friend of Marilyn, recording its 100th show. FOM began in August of 2011, and has welcomed 62 guests, highlighted 100 blog posts, and played music from over 30 fabulous fat artists.

Fat radio and podcasts have a fatlicious history.  Judith Stein & Meredith Lawrence made some shows in Boston back in the 80s – ‘Plain Talk About Fat’ in 1984 and ’30 Big Minutes With Fat Liberation’ in 1985. According to a piece by Charlotte Cooper, these two shows aired on International Women’s Day on student radio at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Listen here! Moving up two decades, we’ve got Marilyn Wann & Heather McCalister co-hosting a pirate radio show in San Francisco called “Fat-A-Tat-Tat — Soundtrack for A/The Fat Revolution” from 2004-2005. From 2008-2011, Dr. Peggy Elam and Pat Ballard co-hosted the Health at Every Size Radio Show on Radio Free Nashville. Other fat podcasts from the decade include the Two Whole Cakes Fatcast (2010-2011) by Lesley Kinzel & Marianne Kirby, the The Body Love Wellness Podcast(2010-) by Golda Poretsky, and the Femme Cast by Bevan Branlandingham.

The video: #everybodyisflawless

I love Beyonce. I love GabiFresh. Combine the two and this was one of the most exciting events of the year for me. GabiFresh gathers two other fatshionistas, Tess Munster and Nadia Aboulhosn, to produce their own version of Beyonce’s Flawless video. The fatshion is hot, the performances are fun, the video a treasure. GabiFresh writes on her blog, “you don’t have to be a certain size to claim your flawlessness. Fat is not a flaw. This video is dedicated to the mainstream media, to the fashion industry, to internet bullies, and to anyone else who thinks it’s their right to try to make us feel less than because of their insecurities. #everyBODYisflawless”. Bow down, bitches. Indeed.

The song: All About That Bass

For a lot of people this song, about relaxing beauty standards and embracing thickness, hits all the right notes. It’s an easy to understand, easy to digest, barely pushing back against the mainstream, message set to a decent bass line that makes it radio friendly. It may be what begins some people on their self-acceptance journey. And that’s great for them.

I, however, am so past that place in my own journey, that I can’t help but roll my eyes and search for earplugs. All I hear when that song invades my space is, “All the right junk in all the right places”; yet another beauty standard. Because, this embracing of thickness really only extends to “selective fatness, thickness in all the right places”, as Jillian Mapes argues. This isn’t an anthem to open up the world to fat girls like me. Oh no. I’m too fat. I’m supposed to remain out of sight. This isn’t the only song from 2014 that was argued to make the world a safer place for fat lovin (see Anshuman Iddamsetty’s The Year in Thickness for an overview), but it’s the one that came across my dash the most.

 

On fatlicious holiday gift giving 2014 December 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 4:16 pm

Want to make your life more fatlicious?

Maybe you have a rad fatty friend or family member you’d like to treat extra special this holiday season?

To help, I’ve comprised a list of my favourite fatlicious things from (mainly) 2014!

For the stocking

iPhone case

Love Fat iPhone case by incurablehippie

Fat Keyring

Fat Keyring by AdorableOutspoken

Fat stickers

Fat stickers by Natalie Perkins

 

For the reader

Politics of size

The Politics of Size edited by Ragen Chastain

SparkleFat

SparkleFat by Melissa May

 

For the home

Adipositivity

The 2015 Adipositivity calendar

Fat Fairy Throw Pillow

Fat Fairy Throw Pillow by CatAstrophe

Fat Cuties

Little Cuties poster by Natalie Perkins

 

For the scholar

Queering Fat Embodiment edited by Cat Pausé, Jackie Wykes, Sam Murray

Fat Gay Men

Fat Gay Men: Girth, Mirth, and the Politics of Stigma by Jason Whitesel

 

For the fatshionista

Houndstooth Coat

Houndstooth Short Trench Coat from eShakti

Plaid body suit

The Plaid Girls Club Bodysuit from Chubby Cartwheels

 

For the activist

Fat Arse

Fat Arse hoodie by Natalie Perkins

Fat-tastic

Fat-tastic Zines 1, 2, 3, by sage

weightless

Faith Pennick’s documentary, Weightless

 

For the poet

FF

Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly edited by Frannie Zellman

Fat Girl Finishing School

Fat Girl Finishing School by Rachel Wiley

 

On Bacon & Aphramor’s #BodyRespect October 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 3:30 pm

Blog_Tour_Badge

A few years ago, I was lucky to spend some time with Lucy Aphramor while she was visiting New Zealand. We had a delightful time, and some interesting conversations around health, weight, and her work on Heath at Every Size. As a fat activist, I reject that any consideration of health should be part of the conversations about what rights and dignities fat people should receive. As a Fat Studies scholar, my work explores how the spoiled identity of fatness impacts on health and well-being. I often find myself working through the tensions between the two – both internally, when crafting my narratives and designing my research, and externally, when others hear me talking about health and assume that I’m promoting a version of healthism. The responsibility is on me, as an scholar and an activist, to ensure that I am not buying into or promoting oppression in the many facets of my work.

The new book out from Lucy, and her co-author Linda Bacon, builds on both of their work to promote access to evidenced based healthcare for individuals of all sizes. It is a reader friendly text, designed for individuals who don’t have a background in science, or nutrition, or statistics, etc. It’s the kind of book that you can give your parent, or your friend, or anyone that you meet that might want to know more about divorcing ideas of about health from body weight. Many in my circle just might find themselves with a copy at Christmas.

It’s an interesting thing, to read a book about bodies and body respect, that is written by two white thin individuals. There are many spots in the book where the intersection of those qualities is apparent. But I appreciate that both authors also acknowledge the privileges that they have, and I do believe that what they bring to the conversation is important. I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the #BodyRespect tour, and I decided to ask Linda & Lucy some questions about their work and the text. If you are interested in learning more about HAES, this book is a good place to start.

  1. Why write this book?

We’d met up on several occasions and began to see that there was synergy in a joint book, one that would stem what we felt was a creeping tide of healthism through lack of awareness in HAES narratives. The book makes Lucy’s work more accessible and expands on what Linda covered in her HAES book presenting a short, accessible read that shows us how a new way of being in the world without shame, how to bring a ‘rights’ lens to wellbeing and how as health and social care practitioners we really can bridge self-care and social justice.

  1. Why do you think conventional books leave out this kind of information?

The lifestyle change agenda streamlines so effortlessly with neo-liberal policies that it’s hard to find a fault line within it to think differently.  So we’ve got this situation where dominant ideas across health, education, welfare, employment and so on, rely on and create the illusion of life as a level playing field where everyone can have it good if they only apply themselves and which totally disappears privilege and oppression. In the States, there is even an explicit name for this phenomenon, the “American Dream,” the idea being that everyone can achieve whatever they want, as long as they try hard enough. Then the individual gets blamed when they aren’t successful.  It’s a breeding ground for blaming individuals who get so-called lifestyle diseases, like type 2 diabetes.

In this way, high blood pressure in Black Americans and high prevalence of heart disease in UK South Asians get explained away through weight and diet without even a nod to the relevant research literature on racism. And when, as health practitioners, we’ve been taught not to question grand narratives for fear of being ostracized by our peers, threatened with reprisal by our professional organisations and so on, the culture doesn’t invite criticality. So too, an over-reliance on positivist science encourages us to ignore our emotional responses to patients’ distress as ‘not data’ and dismiss stories that don’t line up with what the science says as lies and non-compliance. How else could hundreds of thousands of weight loss appointments occur year in year out? The evidence is out there – but authors who have learnt to see ourselves and others as calorie burning machines and health as a function of weight and lifestyle are unlikely to think to look for it.

If you’re interested in seeing how this suppression of HAES knowledge is playing out right now in the UK, and adding your voice, you can read more here: http://www.well-founded.org.uk/1533-2/

  1. What role does your own body size have in your work around body respect?

Lucy: Being a thin dietitian is a strong motivator for me in working to advance body respect: my profession is scaffolded on a fat phobia that itself has with deep roots in somatophobia, or body shame, and having seen this it’s not an option to be complicit. I’m thin, white and middle-class, I can talk the language of the oppressor very eloquently which gives me a credibility with audiences for whom I epitomize the hegemonic aesthetic of health.  I’ve found it very powerful to finish by asking folk how they would have heard me differently if I was fat. Say I’m presenting on critical weight science and most people seem on board with the intellectual arguments, there is a collective dawning of awareness of what’s really at stake when I ask the group to consider how far my embodiment has influenced their engagement.

On a more personal note, I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learnt about healing from body shame and disconnect because of how the journey transformed my life.

As everyone familiar with Linda’s work will know she is likewise committed to keeping thin privilege in view. It’s the topic she chose to highlight when invited to give a key note presentation to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and you can read her speech here: http://www.lindabacon.org/Bacon_ThinPrivilege080109.pdf.

  1. How can people interested in public health reach across the aisle without reinforcing healthism? And how can health providers incorporate these lessons into their practice; where would they start?

Read the stories towards the end of book to see how our nurse practitioner Billie works with client Janet to support her in self-care while keeping a firm grasp on the lived realities of Janet’s life and the material and non-material impact this has on her health and opportunities to look after herself.  You’ll see a public health agenda in action that opens up a way for us to be together in relationships of mutual respect that support people living with oppression in moving towards self-care because they do not disappear either hardship or dignity.

 

On fat responsibility and activism September 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 11:34 pm

In August, I had the pleasure to attend two (very different) conferences. The first was the Competing Responsibilities conference held at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. This conference brought together scholars from across disciplines to explore the idea of responsibility. From the CFP,

Calls to ‘be responsible’ pervade public and private life. Notions of responsibility, for example, can powerfully underpin contemporary claims for political legitimacy, evident in President Obama’s (2009) hailing of his presidency as the start of a ‘new era of responsibility’. Demands for people to ‘act responsibly’ can also shape our most intimate relations, as in Australia where the ‘Family Responsibilities Commission’ in Cape York seeks to instill norms of ‘respect and responsibility’ in local aboriginal families through welfare regulations and education initiatives. Elsewhere, responsibility can be the marker of a good worker, as in Scotland where senior nurses have been called to take more ‘responsibility and accountability’ for their workplaces (BBC News 2012). ‘Responsibility’ and the ‘responsible citizen’ have become buzzwords for the adoption and internalization of some of the core ideals of contemporary governance…In the face of these diverse political and ethical claims to be responsible, there is increasing scholarly need to systematically interrogate the social and cultural assumptions driving contemporary claims and calls to responsibility. Recently, a number of scholars have explored the increasing ubiquity of responsibilization discourses across the domains of health, public policy, and economics…In this conference we seek to examine both neoliberal framings of responsibility and the variety of counter-currents to them.

I presented my paper, FAT resistance: How an online community constructs non-responsible and non-responsive discourses, during the ‘Norms and Resistance: The responsible and irresponsible body’ panel, chaired by Tayla Hancock, with Annemarie Jutel serving as the Discussant. My paper explored the idea that a good citizen of the 21st century is one who accepts responsibility for their own personal health, well-being, and success. Individuals then, who require structural support, or refuse to (re)produce white, cis, able-bodied, and heteronormative, systems, threaten the status quo and face marginalisation. I suggested that fat people are viewed as irresponsible citizens. They consume too many resources and fail to uphold the new social contract (the moral obligation to be healthy). In modern neoliberal contexts, this results in hostile environments and the development of spoiled identities. In turn, fat individuals are monitored by their governments, their families, and their workplaces. They are regulated by friends and strangers alike; fat bodies are public property to shame and scold for the betterment of the individual. I then argued that many individuals in the Fatosphere, an online community of people who have come out as fat, are engaging in anti-assimilationist activism. They queer fat embodiment, disrupting the normative obesity discourse and rejecting the demands of the neoliberal system. They are defiant resistors, constructing their own discourses for being non-responsible and non-responsive to the dominant systems. I shared specific examples like the work of the Fat Heffalump, Red No 3’s ‘Maggie’ series, and ‘Fuck Yeah! Fat PhDs’, to illustrate these non-responsible narratives.

The conference was a great experience for me. With the exception of the presentation by Tayla Hancock, none of the other presentations explored issues similar to my own, but I still found that the focus of the papers on responsibility – how it is defined, who benefits from it, how individuals embrace or reject it, etc, was very applicable to my work on fat identity. I’m very grateful to the organisers, Catherine Trundle and Susanna Trnka, for hosting this informative and challenging conference.

*****

The following weekend, I attended the Fat Activism Conference via teleconference. This three day event was organised by Ragen Chastain (of Dances with Fat) and Jeanette DePattie (of Fat Chick Sings). As noted on the conference homepage,

This virtual conference, on August 22-24, 2014, is for people of all sizes who are interested in creating a world that respects the diversity of body sizes. It is for people of all sizes who are interested in fighting the bullying, stigmatizing, shaming, and oppression faced by fat people, and doing that work intersectionally.

Whether you are looking for help in your personal life with family, friends, healthcare providers etc. or you’re interested in being more public with your activism with blogging, petitions, protest, projects, online activism, or something else, this conference will give you tools and perspectives to support your work, and to help you make that work intentionally intersectional and inclusive so that nobody gets left behind.

There were about 40 speakers who presented across the three days of the conference. Hand-outs were provided by many of the speakers, and there was a goody bag too! One of the best parts though, is that everything was recorded, so everyone who registered had access to the presentations that they may have missed (slept through/bathed through/etc) the first time around. I found this especially handy as many of the live presentations happened between 2am-9am for me in New Zealand.

It was such a fun way to spend a weekend – surrounded by fat activists, sharing ideas and tricks and techniques for achieving social justice. I’m not in audio spaces like that very often; usually I get my sense of community from written and visual material in the Fatosphere. To hear the delightful voices of both the hosts (Ragen & Jeanette) and the speakers, added to the experience for me.

*****

Over two different weekends, I was able to connect with many people in two different spaces. The hallowed halls of academe was first, and I’d like to think that my presentation urged the individuals in attendance to consider how the idea of responsibility is used to situate fat individuals as failed citizens, and how fat activists are fighting back against that oppression. The activist teleconference found me among kindred spirits, and I hope my presentation on using Web 2.0 provided ideas and techniques for those who are interested in bringing their activism to the borderless realm of the Internet.  While each conference was unique it its purpose and audience, both served as venues that were meaningful for me, both as a presenter, and as a participant. Attending both in a span of a month, also made me reflect on the intersections, and tensions, between being an academic and being an activist. This is something I have been thinking about a great deal, especially as I feel pressure from both sides to ensure that I keep a firm wall between the roles. I’d like to read more on how others negotiate and manage this space, and I plan to write more about it soon!

 

 

 

 

On fat activism in the Web 2.0 age August 5, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjpause @ 1:47 pm

On 22 August, I’m hosting a workshop on how to use Web 2.0 to promote your activism. It’s a subject I am passionate about, and have been thinking about for years. (It dovetails nicely with my interest in how scholars may use Web 2.0 tools to disseminate their research and build a profile as a public intellectual). I’ve actually written about using Web 2.0 as a fat activist in a book chapter for the soon published, The Politics of Size: Perspectives from the Fat-Acceptance Movement (Praeger Publishing). If you’re interested in attending my workshop, it’s not too late to sign up! Register here

It is part of a larger Fat Activism Conference being hosted by Ragen Chastain (of Dances with Fat) and Jeanette DePattie (Fat Chick Sings). This conference is going to be an amazing three days with 40 speakers. (And it’s only $39USD) If you’re not able to participate in real time, registered participants will also have access to recorded materials. (And I heard there may be a virtual goody bag!)

You may check out a full schedule here. The variety in topics being covered is staggering, to be honest. There are lot of familiar faces in the line-up (like Marilyn Wann, Linda Bacon, Virgie Tovar, and Lynn McAfee), and lots of ones I’m not familiar with as well. I’m excited to ‘meet’ so many new people!

I’m most excited about the panels around intersectionality. They look fantastic, and I’m always keen to learn ways that I can do my fat activism in more inclusive ways. I’m a little disappointed to not see more men (cis or trans) on the programme, and I wish there were more speakers from outside the US. But I’m still uber excited about the three days and I hope you will all register to attend as well!

 

 

 
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