Tag Archives: Red Carpet

Red Carpet Walk–No Diet, No Girdle, No Regrets

PGA_AwardsYou know what I did last night?  I went to a the Producers Guild Awards in Beverly Hills.  You know what I didn’t do?  Give even one hoot about whether or not I was thin enough to be there.  I wore something I had saved up in my closet.  I didn’t have on sky-high heels or even a foundation garment.  No Spanx.  No control-top pantyhose.  (Hell this is LA, who wears pantyhose?)  I sat at my table in the Beverly Hilton–right where, just one week ago the Golden Globes were held.  I was in the same room (separated by literally miles of tables of course and more handlers than you could shake a stick at) with Ron Howard and Brad Pitt and ate as much as my stomach could comfortably hold, because it looked good and I was hungry.  I went to an awards show and had fun and felt good and was comfortable as can be.  And it was awesome.

Today, for Healthy Weight Week, the question was asked, “How might life be different for someone who decided to stop hating their body.”  And I’d humbly like to suggest, that this, THIS is how life is different.  I didn’t even think about going on a diet to get ready for this event.  I pulled something beautiful out of the closet that I knew would fit, because I’m no longer weight cycling.  I had very fancy clothing in my closet that didn’t require me to put on a girdle or a corset or even stomach-punishing pantyhose to fit.  When I was standing in line to have my picture taken at the step and repeat, my friends talked about their January juice fasts and cleanses and body programs.  I then outlined my program: I find exercise that I really love and do it as much as I can because it’s fun.  Then I eat whatever the F*$! I want as long as it tastes good and feels good in my body.  I think they are more than a little bit jealous.

And when my beautiful salad arrived and the waiter asked if I wanted dressing, I said yes please, and a little bit more please because, hell yes I wanted dressing.  When he asked if I wanted bread, I took without apology, the big, yummy parmesan triangle thing right on the top, large enough to sail a small boat, and I enjoyed the heck out of it too.  When the inevitable chicken composed with 4 grilled baby vegetables arrived, I devoured most of it.  When dessert showed up, I devoured that too–ice cream and all.  Not because I might not get to eat naughty food tomorrow.  Or because I knew I wasn’t planning on allowing myself ice cream ever again.  Just because it tasted good and I was hungry.

And yes, I definitely went to the after party in the penthouse and shook hands with Morgan Freeman (who by the way, is just as nice as you’ve heard).  And I didn’t worry even a little bit about if he thought I was fat.

Despite what you may think, not everybody in LA goes to these celebrity shindigs.  I am very, very grateful to be on the national board of the Producers Guild of America and get to go to this type of event from time to time.  But I’m even more grateful to my sisters and brothers in  acceptance for teaching me to go and feel completely at home in my body and completely unconcerned about looking very, very different from the vast majority of those treading the red carpet.

I am so grateful.

And that is why I post my glittery picture.  Partly because I’m excited to show you a picture of me all dressed up.  But also to let you know that this fat girl is here and she is representin’!  In sparkly, but comfortable shoes.  With a full tummy and an even fuller heart.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Frank Sinatra as Exercise Inspiration

In case you’re noodling over my semi-bizarre title, let me just say this.  Frank “did it his way”.  And when it comes to exercise, I’d like to invite you to do it your way.

I was inspired to write this after reading a great post by a young exercise guru named Ryan DeBell.  In his post, he talks about some of the anatomical differences in the hip region that can have a dramatic difference in the way we squat.  If you aren’t too squeamish when it comes to looking at human bones, I’d like to encourage you to hop on over to the article.  Because those pictures of bones tell a story that is very interesting.

The pictures feature the bones of the hip, showing us the socket part of the joint on the pelvis (called the acetabulum) and the ball part of the joint on the head of the long bone of the leg (called the femur).  When the pictures are compared, side by side, it is clear that there is a LOT of anatomical variety.  The angle of the ball part of the joint differs widely from one person to another.  The length of the ball part of the joint is different.  The position of the socket part of the pelvis is very different from one picture to another.

From this picture, Ryan extrapolates that these bodies would perform the “squat” in ways that are very different from one another.  He posits that one person would be more comfortable in a wide stance and another would be more comfortable in a narrow stance.  And he suggests that this difference is likely to continue expressing itself, even after a fair amount of exercise in both strengthening and increasing range of motion in the hip joint.

It’s also fascinating to me that Ryan followed up his blog post with a brief video. Here it is:


Basically what the video says is (and I’m paraphrasing): “Yeah helpful commenters, I didn’t say that because hips are different people should stop working on their hips.  And no I don’t have reams of incontrovertible evidence detailing the exact range of human hip diversity.  But what I am saying is that even if you exercise a lot, people are still going to be different. ”

And the end of the video is so awesome, I’ll quote it here:

“Keep doing it so you can be the best version of you in your movement.”

Okay, I want to give this guy cyberhugs.  Seriously.  Because what he says makes so much sense not only in the context of exercise, but also in terms of body diversity in general.  It should be obvious, right?  We don’t all look the same.  Some of us are tall and some of us are short.  Some of us are designed to be weight lifters and some of us are designed to sprint and some of us are going to run long distances like marathons and ultramarathons like a freakin’ gazelle.  Some of us are designed with a great deal of musical talent.  Others of us can’t carry a tune in a barrel.  Does suggest that the sprinters can’t do marathons or that the non-singers should just mouth “Happy Birthday to You” at the next family gathering?  No it does not.  However it does suggest that the sprinter’s body is likely to respond to 26.2 miles in a way that is very different from the gazelle.  It means that the non-singer is going to have a much different experience learning to sing opera than the kid who rolled out of bed at age 18 with a high “C” and perfect pitch.

And speaking of singing, there is so much diversity in music, and in many ways it seems more accepted.  I am a soprano.  I can sing the same notes as many altos and even some tenors.  But no matter how much I train my voice to extend my range, I will not  be an alto or a tenor.  The quality of my voice will not match those voice types.  And the more I try to train my voice to artificially create a sound that is not right for me, the more fatigued and frustrated I will become.  And if I train against the natural tendencies of my voice long enough and hard enough, I am likely to experience pain, injury and possibly even permanent damage.  Does that mean I stop working to extend my range?  Of course not!  But it does mean that I need to progress in a way that is in harmony with my anatomy and my abilities.

You know, as I watched the Golden Globes last night, I found a number of things really striking.  One thing I noticed was how tall most of the women were.  And another thing I noticed was how similar all the women looked to one another.  There were a few striking and glorious examples of body diversity, but the vast majority of the women at that show could have easily swapped couture gowns with one another.  And I think this is one of the main dangers of consuming media in our culture.  It makes us lose touch with how much natural diversity there is in bodies.  It gives many of us the sense that our bodies are all wrong because everybody we see on TV and in the magazines either look the same naturally, or are photoshopped into uniformity.  But if we look outside of media, if we look in the real world, I think there is a beautiful and astonishing level of difference.

So how do we bring this back around to our title?  How do we relate this to Frank Sinatra?  My dear friend, I think it means you need to do exercise YOUR way.  By all means enlist the help of a personal trainer or exercise teacher.  By all means build your strength and extend your range of motion.  But while you are doing this, please listen to YOUR body.  Don’t assume that there is only one way to strengthen or increase flexibility in any part of your body.   Don’t even assume that there is only one right way to do a particular sort of exercise.  And when your body says, “OW it hurts when I do that in that way,” follow your Mom’s sage advice and don’t do that.  Just focus, as Ryan says, on being the best version of YOU.

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. One of the things that is so exciting about the Fit Fatties Virtual Events project I co-created with Ragen Chastain (besides how cool it is to do anything with Ragen Chastain) is watching how different bodies respond to the very different challenges offered in the program.  Rather than asking everybody to do a 5K or a triathlon, we are encouraging people to explore a wide range of activities and pick a few  that feel great to them.  We are still offering early bird special pricing so I urge you to go check it out!

And the Award for Best at Wearing a Dress Goes to…

dressed

Long before the final statuettes have been given out, the awards for who looks best (and worst) in a dress are being decided.  From the moment these film actors and actresses stop onto the red carpet, the world is frantically deciding, do they look good?  Isn’t it interesting that the Oscar is almost a secondary award to the main award–the best and worst dress lists?  These lists begin to come out before the first Academy Award envelope is opened and before the stars and starlets have even had a chance to find a drink or have their first, post-red-carpet pee.

Anybody who has any doubts about the priorities of our culture need look no further than this night.  Winning for being the best actor or actress often simply takes second place to who wore the best dress, had the right hair, and managed to score the most exclusive awards night jewelry.  Even the directors, producers, costume designers, writers, set designers, sound designers and more are meticulously dissected based on hem length, cleavage, tux tailoring, strappy shoe wearing and bling.

I can’t help thinking that it all feels so “High School”.  The pecking order for the most prestigious film awards in the world seems to share more than a little in common with your average High School prom evening.  You have the popular kids, the AV nerds, the smart kids, the jocks, the goth kids and others.   You have limo rides that are probably more awkward than fun.  You have folks who have poured more money into one evening that anyone ever thought prudent or even possible.  And at the end of the day, it seems all anyone cares, is how they looked in the dress.

Meh.

Maybe that’s why, despite multiple invitations to various Oscar parties, I opted to simply go to the pub with my sweetie.  I ate sliders.  I wore jeans.  I drank wine.  Life is good.

So maybe I won’t win the award for best at wearing a dress.  But at least I had a good time.  Oh, and I didn’t have to wait three hours to pee either.

I guess it’s all about priorities.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Stuff That Weighs More than Me: Oscars Night Red Carpet

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Sporting my black dress at the Producers Guild Awards

It’s getting close to that time again.  The Oscars are nearly upon us and you can’t spit in Hollywood these days without hitting an awards show or two.  So it got me thinking.  Just how much does that red carpet weigh?  Yup, that’s the kind of stuff I think about these days.  So I set out on a mission to find out.

First I had to figure out how big the Oscars red carpet is.  The answer is, it’s HUGE!  Check out this photo from Google maps:

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That’s a loooong walk in 4-inch heels.  My research tells me that the Oscars red carpet which takes a large chunk of Hollywood Boulevard measures 33 feet wide and over 500 feet long!  That’s 16,500 square feet of carpet!  Apparently the rental cost on this much red carpet could range between $20,000 and $30,000 once service and maintenance fees are taken into account.  (That’s not counting the cleaning bill.  And somehow I don’t think renting a Rug Doctor machine from the local grocery store is gonna cut it.)

Estimates for the weight of carpet are all over the map.  But the most consistent guess I saw puts the weight at about 5 pounds per square yard.  So let’s do the math:

Rug Area (in feet) 16,500

Rug Area (in yards) 1,834

Carpet Weight (in pounds) 9,170

Conclusion while many of the starlets on it may not, the red carpet at the Oscars weighs more than me.

P.S. Be sure to enter your miles or minutes at Fit Fatties Across America before noon today in order to count towards this week’s goals.  Let’s get out of Colorado people!

The February newsletter is coming out soon.  Don’t miss it, sign up for The Fat Chick Clique today!

Big Girls on the Red Carpet

Jeanette working the Red Carpet with the two directors of the Haute Curves Fashion Show for LA Fashion Week: Angela Rene’ AKA “The Purple Diva”, CEO of PurpleDivaDesigns.com and Jasmine Epperson, CEO at Kris Eliza Boutique

On the list of things we big girls are told we will never experience, you can add wearing beautiful clothes.  As a kid, I never thought I’d get to wear gorgeous things and the idea that there would be plus-sized models seemed extremely remote.

So in my week of saying “neener, neener, neener” to the list of stuff we fluffy folk “shouldn’t expect to enjoy,” I’m telling you that the models ROCKED THE HOUSE at this past weekend’s Haute Curves fashion show for LA Fashion Week.  For over two hours we watched unbelievably gorgeous men and women of all sizes, small to super-sized, strut down the runway in some extremely gorgeous clothes.  And folks, these were not your mama’s muumuus.  There was an awful lot of extremely beautiful clothes from delightfully weird to sporty to super sexy on that runway.  Angela and Rene put on an absolutely spectacular event!

The Fat Chick near the runway at the Haute Curves fashion show.

So besides the need to feed my considerable ego by showing you pictures of the cool thing I got to do on Saturday night, why am I sharing this with you?  I think it’s important to bust myths about what people of size can expect for their lives.  I know for me, the panic over the things I thought I would miss as a plus-sized woman, like true love and a kickin’ black leather skirt I could wear, once filled me with feelings of panic.  And I think in some cases our loved ones (especially our parents) are unduly fearful of the things we will miss out on or can’t have if our bodies are larger than societal ideals.

It took several decades, but I now realize that there is virtually nothing completely unavailable to me as a person of size.  (Well maybe a comfortable coach-class airplane seat, but I’m not sure ANYBODY feels comfortable in one of those.)  And it has taken several decades, but those who love me most have come to realize that I can do all that I want and have all that I dreamed of without losing 100 pounds first.  And let me share with you, it has been an absolute blessing and a joy for all of us to just calm the heck down about the whole thing.

Yes Virginia, there is a Sexy Santa Claus costume just for you.  There’s even a fabulous black leather skirt in your size, just waiting for you to claim it.

Love,

The Fat Chick

On the Red Carpet with some Lettuce (With Not-So-Fancy Dressing)


Hello my chicklettes! I’m back from a crazy whirlwind trip to New York City where we recently performed our Hot Flash Mob in honor of Menopause Awareness Month. While there I also stopped off at Plus Night Out, a size-friendly version of Fashion Night Out.  I’m here on the red carpet with Aida Romaine, a spokesperson for healthy eating that is associated with Divabetic–a diabetes outreach group for women.  I ended up wearing my blue shirt to the event because the US Airways lost my luggage and that oh so fashionable number is all I had to wear.   But despite my difficulties, I have to admit the event was super fun, and there were a lot of amazing designers and gorgeous models rocking the runway.

All in all it felt like progress.  It was exciting to have an event for people of ALL sizes to enjoy fun and fashion together.  But I look forward to a day where we don’t have to have separate fashion events.  I look towards a day where there isn’t petite fashions and plus-sized fashions and straight-sized fashions but just fashions.  And I can’t wait for the day when every runway rocks models of all shapes and sizes.  Nevertheless, I’m glad I got to rock the red carpet with the lettuce lady.  Maybe next time my suitcase will arrive and I’ll manage some slightly fancier dressing.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Stepping Out: Sharing Your Hotness with the World

The Fat Chick and her fabulous husband on the red carpet at the New Media Vault Event at the W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine.

Last week my hubby and I went camping. We got really dirty and had to boil hot water for dishes. Then we came home, took baths and went to glitzy red carpet event at the W Hotel in Hollywood. Such is the life in LA LA Land. Last week we addressed the joys of camping and getting back to nature. This week we’re going to address the other half of our crazy week and talk about stepping out.

I think many of us have learned to hide our big fat lights under a bushel barrel. Many of us were taunted and teased as children.  As adults, some of us are still taunted and teased.  And just recently the situation of NY School Bus Monitor Karen Huff Klein demonstrated that it can be tough out there for people of size. (At least the school imposed a harsh penalty on those boys for their awful behavior.) When you have spent your life being singled out and taunted and teased and harassed and called awful names it’s human nature to want to make yourself less noticeable. It’s easy to see why we would try to make ourselves small and fade into the background.

While this sort of blending in is perfectly understandable, it’s also a little bit sad. We are big, bright, beautiful shining stars and we are meant to SHINE baby!  It’s hard and it’s scary, but it just needs to happen.  So this week we’re going to be talking about moving out of the shadows and into the light–starting with my appearance at the event pictured above.

I’ve been working in the film and media industry in Hollywood for over a decade now and have been in the public eye for even longer than that, but let me tell you a little secret. I still get nervous every time I go to a public event. I still wonder if people will judge me. I keep waiting to be “found out” and hear some body shout, “Hey, who let that short, chubby chick from Wisconsin in here?” You know it’s never happened, but I’m always aware that it might.

When I get nervous, I play a little game. As I’ve said before, I don’t really know what most people are thinking about me.  So I begin the evening by imagining they think I’m awesome.  It’s all in my head anyways so I might as well imagine good things, right?  So I grab my husband’s arm and a bracing (and ridiculously overpriced) glass of pinot grigio and jump right in.  And most of the time, I have a lot of fun.  But in order to have that fun and to shine in the light, I first have to overcome that moment of existential angst in my bathroom at home, gather my courage, put on my big girl Hollywood “playah” panties and get out there.

So my little chicklettes, this week we’re going to talk about donning some sequins and rhinestones and hopping out of the nest of your little comfort zone.  Because to deprive the world of your basic awesomeness for even one more day would be a terrible, terrible crime.

Love,

The Fat Chick