Tag Archives: petition

Half in the Data Dark, We’ve More Work to Do!

Today, I read a horrifying statistic about the state of statistics.  A group called All Trials has flatly stated that of all the clinical trials, encompassing hundreds of thousands of patients, 50% have never reported the results.  They state this, and offer this research to back it up.

One can speculate many reasons why various research results have not been reported.  But I keep coming back to one, solitary reason, which I suspect is the main reason, why results weren’t reported.  They probably weren’t reported because the results were either contrary to previous results in a way that was uncomfortable or the results were likely to be unpopular with whoever asked for the study, financed the study or might be interested in reporting on the study.

If, to take a fictitious example, the green been growers association finances a study on the health effects of green beans, and the study fails to show any positive effect, it is  unlikely that those results will ever see the light of day.

One wonders what effect this data dumping has on the massive amounts of research funded by or managed by either organizations pledged to fight obesity or companies that offer products and services to “cure” obesity or both.  I, for one, would love to know what’s in that data dump.

If you are also interested in getting those results and fighting for greater transparency in clinical research, you can engage in a little very easy activism by going to the AllTrials website and clicking to join the petition.

And if you’re interested in doing even more to help fight bad research, stigmatizing policies and outright abuse of people of size, I am so very excited to announce our 2nd Annual Fat Activism Conference!  We have such an amazing roster of speakers lined up.  Once again, we have 2.5 days of online speeches and panels with loads of opportunities for you to ask questions, share your thoughts and get involved!  And this year we will also be offering access to our brand new Fat Activism E-Book!

And in the name of full transparency, I want to let you know that everybody who is involved in putting on the conference will share in the profits.  The conference organizers (me and Ragen Chastain), the organizing committee, all the speakers and all the sales affiliates will share in the profits of the conference.  So not only will you be learning from and reading about some amazing fat activists, you will be helping to support those who do this important work.  The conference runs October 9-11 and we are looking forward to seeing you there!  Click here to get your tickets at the super early bird price!

I can’t wait to see you there!

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Roll Models

love_handlesIt’s hard to say whether kids today have an easier time or a harder time with the whole size acceptance thing.  On the one hand, kids have access to a much more diverse community now.  When many of us who are currently adults were children, our community was pretty small.  We were influenced by television and magazines and movies of course.  But most of our role models and experience came from a much smaller group comprised of our friends, the kids at school, our church or community group, the folks in the neighborhood and our families.  Via social media, kids nowadays have access to a much wider group of people.  There are social groups focused on size acceptance on the internet.  And some of their heroes like Adele and Lady Gaga have spoken out directly about the notion that kids can love their bodies just as they are.  Thus many kids are exposed at a much earlier age to the concept of size acceptance.

On the other hand, that social media is a double-edged sword.  Kids are constantly communicating and critiquing one another.  Mistakes can be immortalized via words, photos and videos and be part of an child’s online presence for life.  If a group of kids should decide to pick on another kid, they can do so relentlessly, 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.  They can find and follow their target even if they choose to move away.  Sometimes this cyber bullying can have disastrous consequences.

And there’s also the question of kids being sexualized at a much younger age.  Kids as young as 3 are paraded around in beauty contests.  Companies sell padded bikini tops to preteens.  Child actors and particularly singers are presented as sex objects well before the age of consent.  Kids are under more pressure than ever to conform to an extremely thin, sexually desirable, designer clad, hot number at younger and younger ages.  And yes, obesity and childhood type 2 diabetes have gone up in the past 20 years (although there is ample evidence that this is now leveling off or even decreasing).  But we also have a situation where hospitalizations for eating disorders for kids under the age of 12 is up 119%.  That’s kids UNDER 12 here folks.

So what are we to do?  How can we help?  Well one thing we can do is all go sign the petition created by Ragen Chastain and I to keep kids off the next season of The Biggest Loser.  The last thing kids need is to see other kids like themselves battered, bullied and abused on national television just because of the size of their bodies.  If you haven’t signed the petition, hop on over there and do it.  I’ll wait…

But the other thing I think we grownups can do, especially when we are grownups of size is to be good roll models for our kids.  Sure we can also be good role models.  We can choose not to disparage other people for their size and we can speak out when we see it happening.  But I’m also talking about rolls of flesh–our bumps, and love handles and folds of skin.  We can wear those body “imperfections” with pride.  We can wear tank tops.  We can choose not to speak negatively about our bodies, especially in front of kids.  By walking around, comfortable in our own skin, we send kids the message that bodies are wonderful and beautiful and diverse–and that there are lots and lots of other things we can choose to be neurotic about other than how we look in our skinny jeans.  I’m not talking about lecturing to kids.  We all know how well that goes.  I’m talking about simply modeling a level of casual comfort over the whole body thing.  Because so often while kids are busy not doing what we tell them, they are watching intently to see what we do.

So what about you?  Are there ways that you can be a roll model for today’s youth?  I’d love to hear what YOU think!

 

Love,

The Fat Chick

Fat Activism’s Day in the Sun?

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!

Love,

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?