Well looking back, I’d have to say that this September and October have been pretty amazing months for fat activists. Both Jennifer Livingston and Stella Boonshoft rose from obscurity and went all the way to the Today Show. Jennifer Livingston even appeared on Ellen talking about her anti-bullying rant. Veteran fat activist Ragen Chastain appeared prominently on both Time and Newsweek web feeds yesterday after acquiring over 100,000 signatures on her petition asking Disney not to create special, 5’11”, size 0 versions of their characters just to fit in a Lanvin dress for Barney’s. Even yours truly appeared on Hallmark’s new Home & Family Show with Paige Davis last week. I attended the first plus-sized fashion show held during LA Fashion Week a few weeks ago. And I’m sure there’s lots of other amazing things that happened this month in the media and the public eye featuring us fluffier folk. What’s happening out there? Is size acceptance finally having a day in the sun? Maybe. And if so, it’s about darn time.
It’s hard to know what is fueling this blip. I know in Ragen’s case, it’s a combination of brilliant strategy and very hard work. And to be honest, I’ve worked my butt off as well. But the Home & Family gig happened as a result of one of my business partners running into a talent producer at the local coffee shop. And although both Jennifer and Stella’s journey began with a single, somewhat public step, I’d venture to say neither of them expected to end up on the Today Show. Is there something in the air? Is it because October is Anti Bullying Month? Is it because we’re on the heels of Weight Stigma Awareness Week and Love Your Body Day? Is the world finally catching on to what we’ve been trying to say for the past 50 years?
I hesitate to say that this is IT, and the world has changed for fat people FOREVAH. I’ve seen these moments come and go. This may just be a blip on the radar. But I think we should take heart that this blip has happened. I think we should Carpe freakin’ Diem and seize this darn day. Because in the size acceptance and size diversity movement things are often very hard. Sometimes it seems like everybody is against you or nobody is even listening. So all you rad fatties out there, let’s take a moment to store this time in our memories and savor it. Let’s keep it safe so we can pull it out on a rainy day. Because none of us activists in the public eye have done this all by ourselves. It is a movement. And every brave thing you do, every radical act of self respect and joy that you perpetrate in the world adds fuel to the fire. You are changing the world my friends. Keep up the good work!
The Fat Chick
P.S. One really cool activism project is the Fit Fatties Forum created by Ragen Chastain and myself. Why not hop on over there and take a look? Better yet, how about joining and posting a photo of you working out and enjoying your day in the sun?