Awesome fat-related projects that need your support

contributors to Fattitude: A Body-Positive Documentary

I mentioned two of these in my latest Sunday links post, but I’m posting again because I’m excited (and in case anyone missed them)! Whether or not you can donate, please consider passing them along on social media.

1.) Fattitude: a Body Positive Documentary (pictured above)

This one looks amazing–it features so many kick-ass activists, from Marilyn Wann to Sonya Renee to Virgie Tovar to Linda Bacon. And it’s so, so needed. The more we can get out the message that all bodies are good bodies, that there’s nothing wrong with being fat, that it’s entirely possible to be both fat and happy (and healthy, whatever that means to you, if you want to prioritize health), the better.

2.) Fat Yoga Online Classes

This is also so needed! Personally, I’ve never had a problem going to yoga classes–even when I’m the fattest person there, which is often, I’ve never been treated poorly by the teacher or other students. In fact, I’ve had some pretty amazing teachers who are encouraging, give tons of modifications, and are all-around accepting. But I know I’m lucky, and that fat stigma can be a huge barrier to access to yoga for many people.

And even though I do enjoy taking yoga classes at various local studios, there’s something special about doing yoga with a group of people who look like me, in an explicitly body-positive atmosphere, and with teachers who give modifications specifically tailored to fat bodies. That’s what Fat Yoga will provide virtually.

3.) SometimesBeautiful Book

SometimesBeautiful is “a celebration and contemporary analysis of the notion of beauty, defined by a selection of over fifty artists, primarily women, spanning the globe from New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, Berlin, Milan and Paris to Amsterdam, Seoul and Transylvania.”

Although it is not solely fat-focused, it contains contributions from fat activists such as Virgie Tovar, Amanda Levitt, and Golda Poretsky. I would love to see their work and the work of the other contributors!

Friday links, 6/21/13

An awesomely geeky car I saw recently.

Happy Friday! As usual, feel free to link to anything interesting you’ve read or written this week in the comments.

Fa(t)shion
-Lesley rounds up some cute floral print stuff.
Elegance for all: can ModCloth change plus size fashion for good?
-Advanced Style’s photoshoot in Vogue Australia is gorgeous.
We’re here, we’re queer, and we look real cute: indie designers challenging gender norms.
-There’s now a blog for fatshionable apples!
This dress. Oh, this dress! It’s like a giant cupcake and I want one just like it.

Fat Activism
A great interview with Virgie Tovar in both English and German.
This protest outside of a Victoria’s Secret in California, including both Virgie Tovar and Marilyn Wann, is awesome! You can see more pictures here on About-Face’s Facebook page.
-Melissa at Shakesville has yet another addition to the Fatstronauts 101 series, this time taking down the myth that fat people are stupid.
-Are you looking for a part-time internship doing fat activism? Check out the Militant Baker’s call for interns.
Public health does not make me public property.
Death is always a shock: on James Gandolfini and the rush to explain an unexpected loss.
-Two more good analyses of the AMA’s decision, from the Fat Nutritionist and Feed Me, I’m Cranky.

A great takedown of the idea that fat women shouldn’t cosplay thinner characters:

Climate and Sustainability
-The Climate Justice Hub here in Somerville is now open, and it’s an awesome space for community-building and action. If you live in the area, check out their calendar of events.
-Through an event at the CJ Hub, I met Bethany, an amazing writer who blogs about making the world a better place at Granite Bunny. I highly recommend everything she writes, but here are a few places to start: Bicknell’s thrush, Yoga and Montana’s Tongue River Valley, and We’re gonna win.
Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are transition towns the way forward?

Everything Else
-I recently came across anthropologist Sarah Kendzior‘s writing, and I love all of it. I wish more people were deconstructing our economic system the way she does. A few of my favorite recent pieces: In defense of complaining, The moral bankruptcy of the internship economy, and The unaffordable Baby Boomer dream.
On being a “good” black man, from the perspective of a transgender man who started to face a different kind of racism once he transitioned.
-I love these answers from students about why they need feminism.
On invisible health issues, and the complex space between “healthy” and “disabled.”
Enforcing poverty to access health care.
Why cops don’t believe rape victims, and how brain science can help solve the problem.

#IAmNotADisease roundup, part 3

There’s been so much good writing on the internet in response to the AMA’s decision to label “obesity” a disease.

1.) Lesley Kinzel, as usual, has a great analysis.

The point I like best actually comes from one of her comments:

The metabolic issues that the AMA is so eager to attribute to ALL obese people are not, in fact, exclusive to the fat. They happen to people of different sizes, and plenty of fat people never develop them. If we want to name a disease, maybe we should be researching how metabolic syndrome evolves and how it influences and is influenced by body size, rather than pointing at a group of people and based on their size, diagnose them all with issues they may well not even have?

2.) Marilyn Wann has a good piece that incorporates FA and HAES 101 at the Daily Kos. She is even brave enough to engage with the many commenters who just don’t get it, and I admire her so much for that. Not everyone has the Sanity Watchers points to do stuff like that–I certainly don’t!–and no one should have to, but it’s an important way of getting the message across to people who might never have heard it before. And even if they can’t wrap their minds around it now, there’s a good chance it will sink in eventually for some of them.

3.) Charlotte Cooper has a different viewpoint, which is also important.

Although the AMA news is terrible, I think it’s worth remembering that fat activists are moving away from the values that underpin obesity discourse, and have been doing so for a long time. A new cohort of politicised fat scholars are moving through the ranks and are threatening the parameters of traditional obesity research. Beyond the academy, our networks are gaining in strength, breadth and momentum. How long will it be until we have our own models for fat community health provision? Therapy practices like mine are only the beginning.

I understand the panic and upset about being labelled as a disease, it is utterly dehumanising. At the same time, the AMA is not the authority of me or my experience as a fat person. In many ways, I do feel like a treatment-resistant disease; one that is attacking the values that the AMA upholds like a virus in its system.

I’m really glad to see multiple types of activism springing up around the AMA’s decision. A diversity of activist tactics makes a strong movement, and increases our potential to reach people.

I am a human being with a body, NOT a disease.

Ugh, ugh, ugh. If you haven’t heard already, the American Medical Association has “recognized” “obesity” as a disease.

I don’t even know how to express how angry this makes me.

But I’m glad to see the fat community responding fiercely and forcefully. I’m glad we are not silent. I’m glad we are resisting together. I’m so grateful I have this community.

A few must-see responses:

1.) Marilyn Wann’s petition to the AMA to stop defining “obesity” as a disease. Sign it and pass it along!

2.) Fat Heffalump: I am NOT a disease.

But being at one end of the statistics doesn’t reflect who I am.  It doesn’t reflect how I feel.  It doesn’t reflect what my body can do.  It doesn’t reflect my value as a human being.  The AMA doesn’t know what it feels like to exist in my fat body.  They don’t know what it’s like in my body to wake up after a deep sleep, stretch and feel that stretch go down to my toes and up to my outstretched fingertips.  They don’t know what it feels like in my body to go swimming, feeling the cool water soft and cocooning around my body, and the wonderful sleepy feeling I get afterwards. 

3.) The #IAmNotADisease hashtag on Twitter. There’s so much good stuff going on there. Here’s a sampling, including a few of my own tweets:

Friday Links, 6/7/13

Fat activism from 2004! Source, via Marilyn Wann

Fa(t)shion
Chubstr interviews Rachel Kacenjar of Re/Dress.
These dresses are pure eye candy.
NYC’s textile recycling program reaches the one million pound mark.
-A fascinating post about the history and meanings of dapper style.
Alison brings back platform flip-flops, to which I say, YES.

Fat Acceptance
Fat dudes are hot. Yes, yes, and hell yes!
-Jes of the Militant Baker is organizing a body love conference that sounds awesome! Spread the word, and help them out on Kickstarter if you can.
-Boston fatties, there’s another fun event coming up: a day of bellydance, self-defense, and yoga classes.
Government org photoshops a little girl to make her fat. Blehh.
-Marianne delves into the various issues surrounding professor Geoffrey Miller’s douchey tweet.
-Sarah makes an important point about the way class colors people’s reactions to the fatphobic statements of both Dr. Miller and Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO.
-I love coming across adorable fat couples on wedding blogs!
Ragen Chastain’s dance classes are now available to download for $5 each.

Climate and Sustainability
This DIY kids’ playhouse stays naturally cool during the summer. I may be an adult, but I want a playhouse like that. It looks so fun!
Cutting carbon dioxide isn’t enough: we have to invest in technology to remove the CO2 already in the atmopshere.
Is Australia the face of climate change to come?
-Also in Australia, in a promising developlment, scientists print flexible solar panels.
Corporate “sustainability” is not sustainable.
An interview with one of my favorite climate change journalists, David Roberts.
How two plant geeks grew a permaculture oasis in an ordinary backyard. I just started reading their book, and it’s really good. I like that they focus both on social justice and on repairing, rather than just sustaining, the natural world.

Everything Else
-It’s no secret that I’m a bit obsessed with Pantone. So I’m loving both this Pantone-themed dessert table, and this project in which a photographer matches Pantone colors to real world things.
Why it’s time to genderflip Doctor Who. I doubt it’ll happen, but I’d love to see it. (My personal vote? Gina Torres.)
I’m biracial, and that Cheerios ad is a big fucking deal. As someone whose future family may well look like the one in the Cheerios ad, I second this so much. Also, the ad is just ridiculously adorable…and now I have the burning urge to dump cereal on my dad.
These two posts have good explanations of what’s going on in Turkey this week. Here is a list of ways you can take action. And check out these 36 surreal and defiant pictures from Occupy Gezi, this awesomely gutsy act of civil disobedience by a game show host, and this first-person account of practicing yoga at the protests.

This is fascinating, and a bit mind-blowing:

Fuck purple, I want to be a footballin’ granny – YES!
Dating from the margins: “She’s kind of insecure,” or the Catch-22 of marginalization.
Elodie’s latest guest post at Captain Awkward is wonderful. And there’s a plush herpes virus involved. Go read!
Why Tumblr is perfect for the trans community.
-A powerful story: My dentist was made to believe I was dead, and it made me realize why I shouldn’t kill myself and you shouldn’t either.

Best response ever to the question, “If you like girls, why don’t you dress like one?”

Friday Links, 2/8/2013

Big-ass hat? Hell yes. (Scan of an old Mode Magazine page from Shapely Prose.)

Fatshion
Fatshion police: how plus size blogging left its radical roots behind.
An eco-friendly dress competition in time for awards season.
-I really like this activism idea!
Opening Frida’s closet: an exhibition of Kahlo’s clothing reveals fierce feminism. I would love, love, love to be able to see this exhibit.
Size 2 through 18: me and my pants take a walk down memory lane.
-A photoset of badass black goths.
There’s actually cute plus size clothing at JC Penney. Who knew?
A good article on fatshion, including its radical aspects, from the Daily Dot.
-One blogger’s goal for Fatshion February: to restyle and reuse.
-Amazing photos from a fashion museum in London.
A history of sequins, from King Tut to the King of Pop.
-I never stop being inspired by the clothing on wedding blogs. This groom’s embroidered suit is nothing short of amazing!
On fatphobia within the Goth subculture.

Fat Activism
I’m not pregnant, I’m fat.
-Check out Rachele’s free How To Be a Fat Bitch e-course!
-On fat dating.
-If you needed any more evidence that fat hatred harms and kills, here it is.
MTV interviews Virgie Tovar.
The body I have.
Fat, sex, and politics (not necessarily in that order).
-If you’re in Toronto, you can meet up with awesome fat activist Marilyn Wann!
-It’s disappointing to see Ellen DeGeneres promoting fat shame.
-Fat people are having our reproductive rights threatened.
-Good for NJ Governor Chris Christie for standing up for himself after a former White House doctor said she worries about him dying in office.

An important message from Boggle the Owl.

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