Tag Archives: boogie

Dancing with Body Diversity

I ran across a video in my feed yesterday and I have to admit made me smile.  It’s not perfect.  The song lyrics  have some problematic phrases.  And I wish the leadership of the dance was a little bit different.  But with all of that said, this dance held at a technical high school had some promising elements.  One element is the diversity of body sizes and types found in the dance.  This wasn’t 50 typical, thin, blond professional dancers and one or two token fatties.  This was a cross section of a school with single digit and decidedly double digit dancers collectively shaking their groove thing.  And some of those folks could really move!  I find the whole thing pretty exciting!  Here it is if you’d like to take a look:

Body diversity is so important for so many reasons.  When I was in high school, I didn’t really have role models that showed me that fat people could be happy or dance or be sexy or have sex.  I didn’t really have anything to counteract the dominant message that the ONLY way to have these things was to get and stay socially, acceptably skinny first.  That’s why I love this video.  There are people of all kinds of sizes and all kinds of SHAPE gettin’ down.  The bigger students aren’t all modified hourglass plus-sized models.  Not that there is anything wrong with being a modified-hourglass, size 12 plus-sized model.  It’s just refreshing to see that people come in all DIFFERENT shapes.  Some have a lot up top.  Some have relatively small bust and a lot of booty.  We’re looking at round, square, apple, hourglass, pear and every other shape and fruit you care to name.  So we get to see that bodies don’t just have to be one size to be awesome.  Bodies don’t need to be just one shape to be awesome.  Bodies don’t have to be one height to be awesome.  Bodies don’t have to come in one color to be awesome.  Bodies don’t even need to all work the same way to be awesome.  Bodies of all different kinds can just rock the house together.

I wish I had this to look at when I was a teenager.  I’m really glad that teenagers get to look at it now.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S.  Want to book me to come talk to YOUR teenagers about body diversity?  I’m booking talks right now for spring.  Send me an email at jeanette@thefatchick.com to make sure you get the date you want!  I can work within most schedules and budgets!  You can learn more about me here.

P.S.S. Want to get a book about how to move your body joyfully and safely at any size or shape?  Buy my book here.

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Dance Break at the Ball Park!

We just finished the First Annual Fat Activism Conference and I am still a bit giddy. Of course there’s plenty of stuff we can do better next time. And of course it was far from perfect. But WE. DID. IT. I’m talking about 3 days, over 40 speakers and over 30 hours of live content.

And while I am proud of the accomplishments of myself and the very best producing partner in the whole entire world Ragen Chastain, I am even more proud of our movement. Of the over 40 men and women of many sizes, races, sexual orientations, abilities, ages and attitudes who so generously shared the wisdom they have accrued over years and decades. Of the people who texted and tweeted and prodded and questioned and asked for more. Of those people new to the movement taking their very first fledgling steps by sending in a comment or asking a question. Of the many people who shared their thoughts for making this conference better next year and volunteered to help make it so!

And when I feel this level of happy, I have to dance. Well today at least I can dance again. Yesterday I mostly slept. And I mean like A LOT. But today I am dancing and sharing a happy video of other folks dancing as well. I mean how cool are the Durham Diamond cutters. They certainly don’t look like stereotypical dancers. But there they are, running the bases and tearing up the field with their fun moves!

And if you are feeling sad. If you are not dancing because you fear that you missed out on all the awesomeness of the Fat Activism Conference this past weekend, I have some news that will just get you right on up outa your seat. You can still register for the conference and listen to the recordings, but you have to hurry.

Tomorrow is absolutely the LAST DAY to register for the conference and get access to the recordings. So get up offa that thing and run to register today. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this:
Fat Activsm Conference Registration Page

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want to stay in touch and get access to FREE STUFF?  Click here to join my list!

P.S.S.  I speak all around the world on the topics of Fit and Fat, Health At Every Size, Body Acceptance, Fat Activism and more!  CLICK HERE to book me!

Sharing Some Boogie Time

Folks of all ages whoop it up at Summerfest!

As you may or may not know, I grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I grew up in a state known for cows and cheese.  And as much as I dearly love, well, cheese anyways, I have to confess that one of the things I miss most about Wisconsin is the dancing.

I don’t know how it is in other parts of the country, but it seems like folks here in California don’t get together and shake their groove things in the same way as I remember from my childhood.  There are many clubs, and they are tray sheek* and stuff.  And you can get dressed up and stand in a line for the opportunity to spend 4 hours pay on an inch of wine in the bottom of an enormous glass.  Or you can go to burning man and smear on mud and body paint and dance in the bloody desert.  But I’m talking about a different kind of dancing.

In Wisconsin we had a party for virtually everybody down by the lake.  We had Summerfest and Polish Fest and Irish Fest and October Fest and Festa Italiana, and Greek Fest and Afro Fest and Indian Summer and the Lakefront Festival of the Arts and so on, and so on.  And what we did was get plastic cups full of beer, listen to amazing music and dance our little hearts out.  We danced on blankets.  We danced on picnic tables.  We danced with our girlfriends and our boyfriends.  We danced with folks we didn’t even know.

I miss it.

But I do get to enjoy dancing with the students in my classes several times a week.  And I do dearly love trying out new forms of music.  And I am so excited to be dancing in the street again for our upcoming Hot Flash Mob in San Francisco on September 18 at around noon.  I hope any of you who are near the Bay Area will join us.  Just RSVP with the meetup and we’ll make sure you get all the latest details about where and when.  Or just send me an email at jeanette at the fat chick dot com and I’ll make sure to mail  you the deets personally.  And I’d love it if you would share this info with anybody else you know who might be interested.

Because, frankly, I can’t WAIT to dance with you again.

Oh and stay tuned for a very special surprise in my next blog post!

Love,

The Fat Chick

*Fronsch for verreh, verreh sexy.

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Beach taken Back by Cool Kids in Bikinis (News at Eleven)

This last weekend I participated in an activism event at Huntington Beach called Take Back the Beach.  The event was a coming together of a number of size acceptance groups including the newly formed Size Diversity Task Force.  The event was full of fun for people of all shapes and sizes including a Hot Flash Mob for Menopause Awareness Month (video coming soon), a Flesh Mob (pictured above and led by national dance champion Ragen Chastain), a weenie roast, body surfing, sand, s’mores and well, more.  The weather was perfect, and I think we all had a wonderful time.

The event was fun and wonderful and powerful.  I have to admit however, that the event didn’t match the picture in my mind for a “stereotypical activism event”.  We didn’t march.  We didn’t chant or shout.  We didn’t camp out in tents or form human chains.  We simply put on our swimsuits and sunglasses, grabbed our “Know Fat Chicks” towels, slathered on sunscreen and relaxed.

But in a quiet and gentle way, activism happened.  People saw how much fun we were having and asked what we were up to.  Some people came by to say that they loved our energy.  Some little kids adopted us for a while and asked questions and spent time with us.  We danced in our swimsuits on the sand and on the boardwalk.  We smiled.  We laughed.  And we didn’t apologize.

Sure, there were stares.  For the most part, we met those stares with smiles and openness.  And by just getting together and relaxing and sharing our joy and baring some skin we made the beach a brighter and warmer place.

And it made me think of how we are activists when we are fully and deeply ourselves. Feeling comfortable in our skins and sharing our joy is an act of quiet and peaceful rebellion that ripples out and radiates like a big round stone dropped in a quiet pond.  Being open and inviting to those who stare at us is a shot across the bow for those who would categorize and stigmatize.  And just being there created a precedent for others who have been too afraid to feel the sun on their skin.

So my dear Chicklettes, I’d like to invite you to be an activist.  Whether it’s joining the new task force or putting on a swimsuit and dancing at the beach or marching with a sign or simply returning a stare with a smile, I invite you to reach out.  Stretch.  Shine.  The world is better with you in it.  So fully inhabit the planet with all of your awesomeness!

Love,

The Fat Chick