Tag Archives: public

PADS Saturday

Okay y’all.  I’m not gonna lie.  It was an awesome week and a tough week all rolled up in one.  So I felt that I needed to have a PADS Saturday and share it with you.  If you’re new, or missed the previous posts, PADS stands for Public Acts of Dancing Spontaneously and it  is something that never fails to make me feel better.  And this Saturday’s clip is a doozy.

So you never know what’s gonna happen in NYC.  On this particular day, Coyote of Coyote & Crow decided to perform Grateful Dead’s Version of “Me & My Uncle” at Bedford Ave. Williamsburg NYC.  The song is awesome and naturally it got some toes tappin’.  And then this little girl decided to take it to 11.

I love that she feels free to dance her little heart out.  I love that she doesn’t feel like she needs to be Beyonce or Lady Gaga.  She just boogies down in her hat and little pink coat.  And that’s my wish for all little girls everywhere.  That they can love themselves and love their bodies and live outside of self consciousness long enough to bust a move in the subway if the feeling takes them.

Here’s to lifting your heart and dancing through your day.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Exercise, Fattie! (But Don’t Make Me Watch)

Warning: Fit Fatty Crossing!

It is one of the great hypocrisies of the fat hating concern troll.  They tell us to put down the cheeseburger, and go for a walk.  They tell us to get off our fat butts.  They tell us to exercise, but just not where they have to see us.

Honestly this whole issue makes me more than a little stabby.  We don’t exercise because concern trolls tell us to.  Because, let’s be clear about this, concern trolls probably don’t have our best interests at heart.  But we do exercise.  Lots of us at all sizes exercise.  We put on our shorts, and we go outside.  We go to the gym.  We exercise because it’s fun.  We exercise because it feels good and then, we get an anonymous letter like the following piece of garbage (trigger warning–extreme asshattery):

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The letter says:

Dear Neighbor,

I have noticed you working out in your backyard I can see you from my window.  I also see you running or trying to run around the block.  PLEASE STOP SUCH ACTIVITIES. Nobody wants to see your fat bouncing up and down in your shirt.  Thank God you wear a shirt so we do not have to see what’s under.  I am not the only one in the neighborhood who is getting tired of seeing you struggle running up and down the block everyday.  I personally do not wish to subject my kids to having to see somebody so obese outside when they are just trying to play in the front yard.  If you feel you must work out, outside please move elsewhere where you will not bother people.

Sincerely,

A concerned neighbor.

Seriously folks, I barely know where to start with this thing.  Well, let’s start at the top, shall we?  1.  There is nothing dear about this neighbor.  That gentle opening line is in such ridiculous opposition to the rest of this hatefest, that we will just ignore it okay?

2.  Why in heaven’s name is Snooping Sally watching this poor guy work out in his back yard?  It’s his back yard?  It’s his personal space.  Don’t like what you see in the neighbor’s back yard, don’t look!  There, problem solved.  Oh, wait.  There’s more?

3.  Your copious use of run on sentences and complete lack of commas makes me believe you are typing without breathing.  Please calm the heck down.  It’s a fat guy running, not a national emergency.

4.  “Running or trying to run”: ahhhh I see what you did there.  Nope, not even remotely funny.  Let’s move along.

5.  PLEASE STOP SUCH ACTIVITIES.  The writer doesn’t like it.  And clearly, the fact that she doesn’t like it trumps your freedom to do anything.

6.  “Nobody wants to see…” Our letter writer knows this because she is a little bit psychic.  I bet you didn’t know that was going on in your neighborhood.  Here you are, going for a jog and minding your own business, and you’ve got neighbors experimenting with the occult.

7.  “I am not the only one in this neighborhood…”  There is also the writer’s good friend who meets to share malicious neighborhood gossip with her every day.  Also, she’s psychic.  (See above).

8.  “I personally don’t want to subject my kids to…”  Well it’s clear the writer’s children are special, special snowflakes and can’t be subjected to anything other than Baywatch level beauty running down the street.  And clearly the writer doesn’t want to have anything like a meaningful conversation with them about how people are diverse, and it’s not right to stare, and that the entire freaking universe doesn’t revolve around what makes them comfortable.  Nope.  It’s easier if the exerciser doesn’t burden the poor children’s brains with stuff to think about.  It triggers them to ask questions that give the writer a headache.

9.  “Elsewhere where you won’t bother people”.  The writer doesn’t like the way the jogger looks, therefore he should hide himself at all times.  Better yet, he should probably just move.  To Mars.  Clearly he’s not her kind of people.

10.  “Sincerely, A concerned neighbor”  Who is clearly and deeply concerned about what everybody else is doing and how it might impact her feels and the exposure of her delicate offspring to stuff she doesn’t like.  If somebody ELSE (who fails to look, act, think and be EXACTLY what she thinks they should) doesn’t like it, well TOUGH.

It’s easy to see this letter as an isolated incident, or perhaps even a hoax.  (Although the letter was supposedly sent to the friend of somebody I know online, and I tend to believe it is real.)  But clearly this notion of not wanting to look at fat exercisers is fairly pervasive.  In fact it’s enough of a universal idea that a company that sells blinds used it to create a highly offensive ad with a fat, hairy, male yogi.

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ZOMG! Fat Yoga Guy! It’s the apocalypse!

Hot urban couple walks by the window and sees hairy yoga guy.  Everybody looks shocked!  Yoga guy goes out and gets new blinds.  Ah, no more unsightly yoga practice.  NamasFREAKIN’te!

(Ragen Chastain does an excellent job breaking down this ad and giving you special activism opportunities in her blog here and here.)

Look, I make no secret of the fact that I believe exercise is for every BODY.  Whatever your weight, I believe that exercise should be a safe, positive and accessible option for you.  That means you should be able to exercise in public–even (gasp) outside.  That means people who don’t like looking at it are welcome to take the extremely simple and cost free option of not looking.  And if those people don’t like it, they are cordially invited to keep their opinions to themselves.  We don’t yell nasty things at fat people exercising.  We don’t throw eggs at them.  We are grown up adults who can learn to act like it.

That’s how a sincerely concerned neighbor really acts.

In the meantime, all y’all keep gettin on with your bad selves.  And if you want to see some fabulous fatties getting into their fitness groove (with fabulous Flying Rhino shirts no less) trot on over to the Fit Fatties Forum and take a look.

And if you’d like to make the world a better and safer place for exercisers of ALL sizes,  Click here to register for the Fat Activism Conference!  I promise it will be excellent.

And as always, if you want to get free stuff including a fabulous newsletter from me, join the clique here.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

 

 

Thursday Theater: Dancing Queen

It is difficult to describe just how happy this video makes me. You guys already know I have a thing for videos featuring spontaneous dancing. But unlike this video, in which the girl clearly carefully set up her video camera or phone to capture the moment, the “Dancing Queen” video subject doesn’t seem to know she’s being recorded. She’s just rockin’ out because she feels like it. She’s simply gettin’ down with her bad self! I especially love the punches at :43 and 1:41, the sassy finger move at :51 and the collection of awesomeness at 1:50 and 2:07. It makes me so sad when she finally gets on the bus and it all comes to an end.

It makes me feel so hopeful that in this world of stigma and shame and hate, people still find a way to let their inner groove thing out. Because this sort of spontaneous expression, this is what so often dies when people are shamed. This is the bit of ourselves that learns to hide when the bullies come out. This is what we lose when we insist on using shame and bullying to try to make everyone’s body conform to a single impossible standard.

This loss of our sense of wonder and playfulness and spontaneous joy is one of the great costs of a society that bullies people. And that is why I am so excited to be participating in the Stop The Pain Anti Bullying Conference this Saturday in Riverside with the Size Diversity Task Force. I’ll be giving a speech called “All Bodies are GOOD Bodies–Learning to Love the Skin You’re In” and participating in a panel discussing bullying. The event is already sold out, and over 600 young people aged 12 to 20 are expected.

I am hoping that I can help in some small way to help young  people learn to protect themselves from those who would teach them to be less than, to stay under the radar, to go unnoticed.  And I hope in small way to help them stop bullying themselves and one another, so they can take that ability to dance and live fully in the moment from when they were very small,  grow up to start whole spontaneous dance parties like this guy, and still be dancing like this lady when they are old and grey.

Because at every time and at every age, I hope you dance.

Love,

The Fat Chick

P.S. Want me to come speak at your school, business or special event?  I speak on a wide range of topics related to fitness, self acceptance, bullying prevention, body love, Health At Every Size (R) and love your body week!  Click here or just send me an email to learn more!

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching–Even at the Airport

DanceLikeNobodyWatchingOkay, first you gotta watch the video.  Grab a cup of coffee and click the arrow.  It will only take a minute.

Wow, how cool is that?  We’ve all had the experience  of standing in the bloody baggage claim area after a long flight, watching that little belt go around, straining hopelessly to catch a glimpse of our long lost underwear.  But not this girl. Oh no.  She just put on some tunes and rocked out!

When was the last time you did something like that?  I think maybe it has been years and years for me.  I used to regularly engage in PAI (Public Acts of I-don’t-care-what-you-think).  When I was a kid, I was an endless source of humiliation for my poor sister.  I wore crazy hats.  I was kicked out of grocery stores.  My cousin regularly reminds me of how we used to ride around town in her convertible with the top down and me singing opera at the top of my lungs.

What happened?

Is it just because I’m older?  Have I grown wary and frightened?  Or is it because I got bigger?  Were I to dance around at the airport like that today, would people around mostly ignore me or smile gently like they do at the girl in the video?  Or would they hurl insults at me and call me names like they did a few months back at the restaurant?

But I often wonder if this is one of the most insidious repercussions for those of us who have been bullied.  How many insults can we endure before we shut down?  How many of us have had our bright, bright lights muted under bushel baskets for years and years because we have been traumatized, battered, and bruised by very public opinions about our bodies?  I continue to wonder about the squandering of those most precious resources.  Resources we desperately need in our society like energy, inspiration, spontaneity, creativity, courage and joy.  Can our world afford to throw these precious gifts away in order to sell more diet pills and gain more research funding for take home bulimia kits?  I don’t think it can.

So my friends, let’s see if we can’t find a way to get our collective mojo back.  I think exploring our inner child is a good start.  And so is collecting for radically awesome events like A Fatty Affair.  And joining fantastic groups like The Size Diversity Task Force can’t hurt either.  After being part of the SDTF, inspired me to shoot this video on a busy weekday at my local thrift store. I’m committed to doing whatever it takes.  Because hiding our light under a bushel basket doesn’t just diminish us personally, it deprives the world of our fantastic, glorious, gorgeous light, which is a crime against humanity.  So let’s see if we can’t find even more ways to pull those bushel baskets off and dance like nobody’s watching.

Love,

The Fat Chick