Tag Archives: older

80 Odd Years of Happy

The title of this post might refer to the notion that you’ve been hearing that infernal song for 80 years.  But in this case it does not.  It refers to a whole bunch of folks, some well into their 80’s dancing around to that infernal song.  Which is happy-making indeed.  And I feel like sharing this video with you because I feel like we could all use a little happy in our lives today.

It’s been kinda a rough week.  Many of us have been deeply saddened by the passing of Robin Williams, a deeply talented movie icon who brought joy to so many of us.  And many of us have been deeply angered by George Takei’s need to not only present a deeply troubling meme bashing disabled people on his feed, but also his ridiculous need to defend his actions using the tired “people are just too sensitive trope”.  I’m not going to post the awful meme here on my blog.  In case you’re curious, I am going to post a link here to Lisa Egan’s article about it which explains the whole thing so much better than I ever could.

Nope, today, I am going to simply post this video and share a little of the love I feel about it:

I am aware that there are some problems with this video.  I think it’s pretty likely that this is a branded entertainment piece for the retirement community.  And the super high production values lead me to believe that the retirement community spent a whole lot of money on this thing.  That said, I love the fact that there are so many people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities doing their thing in here.  See that George Takei?  Old  people dancing!  People with walkers boogying down.  Put that in your meme and stuff it, George.

I also love the way the video depicts old people as being powerful and vibrant and fun.  I think as a society, we are so quick to dismiss older people.  We see them as a problem or an expense.  We see them as a throwaway society.  But all people in our society have value.  Everyone has something to give.  I was reminded of this yet again with another amazing video I came across in my Facebook feed today.

As a person who works as a producer this is something that I think about constantly.  How can we get everybody involved?  How can everybody contribute?  How can we help everybody not only feel valued but also be valued?

If you’ll forgive me for feeling all the feels in this very public way, I just want to tell you this.  We are a deeply troubled world.  We can make things better, but we need all the help we can get.  So let’s begin with a deep commitment to not exclude or throw away a significant percentage of the population who don’t meet some arbitrary standard of age, ability, weight, sex or beauty, OK?  Every BODY has value.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. We are only 10 days away from the Fat Activism Conference.  Join us in making the world a better and more inclusive place for people of all sizes.  Register today at www.fatactivismconference.com.

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Too Sexy for our Shirts? Cleavage, morality and discrimination in America

BBIP

Not all big girls have big cleavage.  But some of us do. And when we dare to reveal them in public, look out!  The morality police may just be on the way.  This week we’ve had yet another attack of B-BIP or Big Boobs In Public.  And while the world seems extremely tolerant of T-TIP (Tiny Titties in Public) B-BIP tend to fuel a stampede of blanket and towel wielding, hand wringing panic stricken people eager to cover those bad boys up.

Long ago, Elvira proved that Big Boobs in Public can be TERRIFYING!

Long ago, Elvira proved that Big Boobs in Public can be TERRIFYING!

Now here’s the thing.  Larger breasts make more cleavage.  So even if you cover the same amount of breast with a swimsuit top or a bra or a dress, it won’t look quite the same on a bigger rack.  And whether it’s the sheer size of those magnificent orbs or the fabric straining, engineering defying potential of them, B-BIP freak people right the f@#$ out.

Here are a few case histories.  Just this week a woman was kicked out of a water park in Independence, Missouri for wearing a string bikini.

Madelyn-Sheaffer

Madelyn Sheaffer insists that plenty of other women were dressed in a similar manner but weren’t asked to leave or cover up.  She suggests that those women were both younger and skinnier.  And I have to confess, having been to a lot of water parks in Missouri, that this is likely to be true.  I’ve seen many skinny young things at water parks dressed in a similar manner.  But this woman presents a triple threat to American eyeballs.  She presents ECO B-BIP (Extremely Confident Older Big Boobs In Public).  OMGWTFBBQ!  She gives young people the idea that older people can still feel sexy!  She presents the notion that you don’t have to be stick thin to feel good in your body!  She’s got impressive ink on her torso!  Look away Johnny.  Just. Look. Away.

And B-BIP don’t just go to water parks.  They also try to go to prom.  Oh the horror!  Brittany Minder apparently terrified prom officials when she clad her B-BIP in a gorgeous, strapless, purple gown and tried to go to the big dance.

brittanyMinder

Now granted, there was a dress code in place, and Brittany even had to sign an agreement stipulating that she would abide by the dress code at the prom.  But Mindy and her most cool and righteous parents suggest that the dress code is not applied evenly.  They suggest that Brittany was forced to cover up at prom not because her dress was skimpier than many others who appeared at the prom, but simply because her chest was bigger.  Brittany’s mom offers this stunning and simple defense for her daughter’s B-BIP:

“All women are not created equal, and you can not compare a golf ball to a grapefruit. It ain’t gonna happen,” Kim Minder said.

B-BIP even terrify television executives.   A while back, Lane Bryant created an ad for its new line of lingerie.

Apparently both Fox and ABC refused to air the ad–claiming that the “plus-sized cleavage is too prominent”.  These networks both regularly air Victoria’s Secret ads featuring models in the same amount of clothing or even less.  There’s nothing offensive about the ad, unless you just can’t handle B-BIP:

This is much ado about much, says Peggy Wang in Buzzfeed: “There’s nothing too scandalous” in the ad — unless, of course, “giant boobs scare you.”

But that’s the thing.  Clearly giant boobs do scare us.  So I’m dying to know what you think my gentle readers.  Should we carefully cover and camouflage our BBIP you know cuz’ of teh children?  Or should we wear ’em out high and proud?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Meanwhile, I’m taking my B-BIP to exercise class.  Gotta bounce!

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Size Acceptance Young and Old

I recently ran across this photo on Facebook and was floored by the brave beautiful young woman staring at me.  And when I read the post from Stella Boonshoft that went with it, I got even more excited.  And the longer story, was also touching and interesting.

I’m so amazed at the brave and amazing things that young size acceptance heroes and heroines are up to these days.  They are putting themselves out there in new and exciting ways.  They are making a significant impact on the movement and on peoples lives at younger and younger ages.  They are getting it done!

To a certain extent, I think young people in the size acceptance movement are very fortunate.  They’ve grown up in the age of computers and the internet where the concept of size acceptance may be available at a much younger age.  Even if they are the only fat kid in the class, they can connect with other fatties all over the world via facebook and tumblr and twitter.  After all, I hadn’t even heard of the notion of size acceptance until I was nearly 30 years old.

We older folks have a lot to learn from the younger set when it comes to body acceptance.  We can see what a life is like when size acceptance begins in high school, junior high or even elementary school.  We can see the energy savings that come from not beating yourself up for 40 years before you start to feel better.  We can marvel at the bravery of a college girl posting a revealing picture of her body with rolls and stretch marks and all.  We can be encouraged by her direct stare and her challenging words:

MOST OF ALL, this picture is for me. For the girl who hated her body so much she took extreme measures to try to change it. Who cried for hours over the fact she would never be thin. Who was teased and tormented and hurt just for being who she was.

I’m so over that.

THIS IS MY BODY, DEAL WITH IT.

and FUCK YOU ALL who tried to degrade my being and sense of self with your hurtful comments and actions.

GUESS WHAT IT DIDN’T WORK HAHAHAHAH

But if we read between the lines, we see that growing up today as a fat person is no picnic.  The same technology that allows young people of size to connect with one another, subjects them to the potential for 24/7 bullying–often from anonymous sources.  Stella’s story has generated relatively positive results–receiving hundreds of likes per minute when first posted and launching her blog on a national stage.  But she has also had to shovel through some of the nastiest vitriol the Internet can serve up.   And it’s not hard to imagine that Stella’s story might have had a very different ending.  In our visual world, the pressure to be stick thin and look like a television show/rock star/supermodel/celebrity is greater than ever.  And maybe we, who grew up in a different time, have already endured decades of lumps, can offer some perspective to the younger generations as well.

They say hindsight is 20/20.  And I find myself having more and more hind to my sight these days.  So I can offer Stella some thoughts and advice.  I can say things like:

Enjoy your day in the sun.  They are rare but beautiful.  But know that rain will come as well.

You  don’t have to read every comment.  There’s only so much nasty a body can endure in one day.  Let your friends help you filter through and find what you really need to know.

You are not a persona, you are a person.  That means you will not be perfect.  But that’s okay, because what makes us human makes us real and allows others to relate to us.  This allows us to do good in the world.

There’s a place for folks of all ages in the size acceptance movement.  The generations are different and face very different challenges.  But those differences ultimately make us stronger.  We are better when we learn from one another.  Here’s to using our differences to unite, to share and to build a better place for all of us.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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Another year older…

Okay, sorry kids.  The blog post is late today.  But I have an excuse.  You see I’m another year older.  Well technically, I’m only one day older than yesterday.  But I just celebrated the dreaded B-day with all the accompanying happy wishes on Facebook and desolate dread surrounding my own mortality.

Don’t get me wrong.  Birthdays can be awesome.  But they are also a reminder that another year has passed that I will never get back again.  And I like to think it’s a kick my pants reminding me to go out there and DO what I was put on this earth to do.  Because darlin’, ain’t none of us gonna last forever.  We only get one go around.

One thing I was put on earth to do, is eat birthday cake.  I will do that.  Cake will happen.  Morbid thoughts will lessen.  My mood will brighten.

But the other thing I was put on earth to do is to encourage YOU my dear Chicklettes to get on out there and grab the brass ring.  Go out there and have a second helping of awesome because you only have one life and you should enjoy it to the very dregs.  Don’t let anything hold you back or anyone get in your way.  Oh and eat cake.  Cake is important.

Love,

The Fat Chick