Tag Archives: sexy

Women (truly) Kicking Butt and Taking Names in Male-Dominated Sports

Samantha Swords
Over the past few days, I have run into stories of some absolutely fabulous women kicking butt in sports traditionally populated only by men.  And when I say traditionally, I mean like long centuries of deep, masculine culture and history of manstuff.  It’s so cool!

One exciting example is Samantha E. Cato-Mott (AKA Samantha Swords).  She is a trained “European Martial Arts” expert and all-around ridiculously cool Renaissance Woman.  She works as a film props/armor creator, stunt fighter, actress and champion sword fighter.  Last year she not only competed against men in the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament, but also won the Longsword Competition.

You can see and hear an interview with her here:

Also this week, I ran into this piece from the New York Times about women who are competing in the male-dominated world of sumo wrestling.  These women are flexing their muscles and presenting their power in a sport with traditions that span back centuries.

One woman in the interview states:

“It’s one of the few sports where as a big girl, you can actually have physical contact and not have to hold back, and not have to [worry]–Ooo am I gonna hurt him?”

One of the cool things about these women is that they are fighting full out and for real.  They are not hypersexual parodies of fighters, they are warriors pure and simple.  (Although I recommend against spending too much time in the comments section of any of the articles about them if you’d like to keep your sanity points intact.)

I think this is so important for young girls and young women to see.  These women are stepping across traditional gender lines, fighting for the pure joy of athleticism, and kicking butt and taking names.  They are demonstrating that there is room for all of us under the athletics tent.  Whether male or female, thin or fit fatty, there is some wonderful way out there to get your sport on!

Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S.  Learn more about making the world safe for folks of all shapes and sizes at the upcoming Fat Activism Conference here.

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The Unwritten Sports Stat: Female Athletes Must Be Gorgeous

A friend forwarded me a link to an interesting article in the Guardian about how female athletes fear that how they look may outrank how well they perform in terms of their careers as sportswomen.    The article chronicles the results of a major study commissioned by BT Sport.  The study was commissioned after the 2012 Olympics partly in response to Olympic Gold Medalist Rebecca Adlington’s very public admissions about body insecurity after the games.  The study included over 100 elite female British athletes.

To those of us who study body image questions, it’s probably not that surprising that 89 percent of the athletes polled felt that they could relate to insecurity about body image.  67 percent felt that the public and the media valued their personal physical appearance over their athletic prowess, and over 70 percent said that it affected their diet and training regimes.  Let’s take a moment to ponder here.  We are talking about professional athletes who make their living from the capabilities of their bodies who are making training decisions based at least in part on how they will look in their singlet.  It makes you wonder if their performance might have been even better if they could allow their training and nutrition to be focused exclusively on what pushes their bodies to their best performance.

I have written before about the fact that I love the Olympics with a big old passion.  I have also expressed before, my deep disappointment over how we could spend time skewering the very best Olympic gymnast for the quality of her hairdo, or why we need to make Olympic uniforms look like outfits for cheerleaders.  (Another group of highly trained athletes that are hypersexualized to the point of ridiculousness.)  And don’t even get me started on Olympics advertising that looks like softcore porn.

And we’re not just talking about Olympians here.  Anyone from tennis stars to golfers are expected to look runway perfect these days.  Maybe that’s why I’m so excited about our Fit Fatty Virtual Events this year.  It allows you to complete all kinds of fabulous physical activities wearing what you want, wherever you want and on your terms.  We have had several incredibly inspired entrants who have completed significant tasks wearing pajamas.  We have had entrants complete events and perform community service simultaneously.  We have met Santa Claus on a 5K and performed epic, family-style, living room dance parties with kids of all ages.

Because Ragen and I are crazy enough to believe that physical activities should be about moving your body and having fun.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

New Uniforms for the Sexylympics and WTF?

I guess I should just be glad that the IOC isn’t considering THIS judo uniform…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I love, love, LOVE the Olympics.  In general, I don’t watch much TV.  I haven’t had cable for many years.  But for two weeks out of every two years, my entire life stops and I become an Olympiholic.  But darn it all Olympics, you’re making me so sad!

A while back we heard that there are several sports on the chopping block for inclusion in upcoming Olympic games.  Not surprisingly, many of these are the less “sexy” sports– the ones without sexy sound tracks or spectacular equipment, the ones without form fitting, revealing, sexy outfits.  The sport of Taekwondo is one of those sports considered most at risk.  So in an effort to spice things up, the World Taekwondo Federation is reviewing some new uniforms, especially for the lady fighters.

Don’t get me wrong.  This uniform is far from pornographic.  Unlike the women’s beach volleyball uniforms, it does manage to cover most of the body.  But this uniform proposal does leave me with a few nagging questions:

1.  What is the motivation for the change, and

2.  Will the uniform change equally for men and women?

Now, as this piece in the Powder Room points out, it appears that much of this site is translated loosely into English.  It’s difficult to know how much of this is because of a mangled English translation.  But the site does give me cause for concern.

On the one hand, the site lists a desire to move up to more technical fabrics that move and bend with the body (good) and will allow the sport to attach all of the important sensors that help spectators and judges know what is happening during the match (also good).  But the site also states that:

The most important reason is to take a better advantage of our female competitors because they are a treasure.  It is important to show that practicing Taekwondo gives good health, helps to stay fit and gives a beautiful body shape.  This last issue must be exploited and must be used to promote Taekwondo in this specific moment, after the success in the Olympics and a great World Championship, to attract television and mass media interest.

The site also states:

The most important reason is to take a better advantage of our female competitors because they are a treasure.  It is important to show that practicing Taekwondo gives good health, helps to stay fit and gives a beautiful body shape.  This last issue must be exploited and must be used to promote Taekwondo in this specific moment, after the success in the Olympics and a great World Championship, to attract television and mass media interest.

Female beach volleyball uniforms help amateur spectators (and lecherous camera people) determine the difference between male and female players…

I guess I shoulda seen this coming.  After all the World Taekwondo Federation acronym is “WTF”.  And with last year’s Gold-Medal-winning gymnastics hair kerfluffle and soft core porn “sports reels” this is just one of a long, long line of disappointments.

And I haven’t even begun to speak yet about the IOC’s response to Russia’s “reassurances” that their laws banning “homosexual propaganda” are still in line with the ideals of the Olympic spirit.  Seriously?!  What was the IOC thinking?  How can this ban on “homosexual propaganda” during the games possibly be okay?

We are still a few months out from the Winter Games scheduled to start in February.  But I have to admit I am fearful that the thing that always drew me to the Olympics–the different countries, the spirit of world community, the focus on the incredible athleticism displayed by the competitors, the sheer joy of watching curling at 3 AM–all of these things may be fading away.  I hope I’m wrong.  Here’s to hoping I can continue to enjoy two weeks of 24-hour Olympics coverage (sans sexist “costumes” and blatant objectification, et avec “curling”) for years to come.  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  So go ahead and leave your mark in the “comments” section.


The Fat Chick

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Working Out in High Heeled Shoes and Other Forms of Insanity


When  I came across this in my facebook feed, I thought surely this is a joke.  Clearly this is some sort of Onion-esque wry statement on the deep link between fitness and soft porn.  Alas I was wrong.  Apparently there are exercise classes out there designed to be done by women in high-heeled shoes.

I’m not kidding.  There are exercise classes available here in Los Angeles designed to be done in high heeled shoes.  Why, you ask?  Well one of the websites (that I refuse to provide links for) features a buff fitness instructor in some strappy stilettos saying that this workout is for women who want to have it all.  And since far to many of us have become resigned to the fact that beauty equals pain, she’s going to help us with this workout designed to help us wear and walk in high heels the right way.  She says we can work out and feel sexy.  She says we can wear high heels without being in agony.  Which leads me to a few questions…

Naturally, the video promos on these sites feature slinky women, undulating around to soft porn sound tracks.  But somehow I can’t envision myself feeling sexy in that class.  I imagine myself calling 911.  And while it’s possible that I would meet a super sexy EMT in the back of the ambulance, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it because of the you know, agonizing pain of whatever foot, ankle, knee, hip or shoulder (choose your point in the kinetic chain) injury I was sporting.  And even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to take any more of those super high-heeled sexy classes after settling my massive insurance co-pay.  Look, I’m for whatever makes you feel hot in the bedroom, but I have to admit Ben Gay, crutches, splints, braces, and the like don’t work for me as aphrodisiacs.  I’ve experienced all of the above apparatus, and I can tell you, regardless of how much I glittered and bedazzled, they did not work for me as sex toys.

I wonder, why does working out have to be like a low-budget soft-porn production anyways?  Can’t I just dance and swim and lift and sweat?  I was reminded of this question by this excellent blog post from Caitlin on Fit and Feminist.  She talks about the reasons that personal trainer Nia Shanks gives for not feeling the need to post pictures of herself in a bikini.  Here’s some hints: 1) There are videos on Nia’s site showing her sumo deadlifting 300 lbs. over three times in a row and 2) You’re kidding, you don’t really need a second reason do you?  I don’t think I need to ask either Caitlin or Nia how they would feel about working out in 4-inch high heeled shoes, do you?

Look, a big part of the reason I call myself The Fat Chick is that I’ve had just about enough of the fallacy that if you work out regularly, you will look like a super celebrity, red carpet-ready, porn star rock singer.  Now, I don’t have anything against anybody who looks like that.  But that look is simply unattainable for a great many of us.  As  points out in her terrific blog post on the subject, yoga is not necessarily going to lead to what we’ve come to accept as the “yoga body”.  And I think the notion that working out a few hours per week is going to give everybody the exact same body with thin muscular arms, flat and prominent six-pack or eight-pack abs, a round perky butt and thin muscular legs with no visible cellulite is patently ridiculous.  And equally ridiculous is the notion that we all need to look like that to be considered successful or even acceptable.  Bull cookies!  Work out because it feels good while you’re doing it.  Work out because it feels good after you’re done doing it.  In my opinion, at all times before, during and after exercise, lipstick is freaking optional!  As I’ve previously mentioned, one of the major selling points in turning my career towards fitness is the fact that I can wear sweat pants, sports bras and athletic shoes to work nearly every single day.  If I have to wear spike heels with my spandex pants I am out of here!

But I before I leave, I have to ask just one more question.  If wearing high heels causes agonizing pain, couldn’t you simply choose not to wear them?  I mean, maybe I’m being completely unreasonable here, but doesn’t that seem a little simpler than sumo lifting in spike heels?  I guess not (sigh…)  Better dim the lights, cue up the oom chicka mow mow music, and pass the body oil; I’m gonna go work out.


The Fat Chick.

By the way, if you want to work out with me at home wearing whatever you darn well please, there are a few options.   You can pick up a copy of my DVD, “The Fat Chick Works Out!” which features a safe, easy and fun workout for beginners or you can join me for my FREE live streaming classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:30 AM  PST.  Workout in sweats, jammies or even totally nude, I don’t care!  Just join us and have fun!

Is Exercise Sexy?


The Shake Weight demonstrates the sex/fitness connection, sort of, well not really…

I saw one of those ads for athletic shoes the other day.  You know, one of those ads where a perfectly shaped pert little body, glistening just so with perspiration shows a sexy godess of fitness–and I burst out laughing.  I was giggling because I thought about how different that particular view of fitness is from fitness in my actual, real life.  First of all there is no low mood lighting with special spotlights to highlight the shape of my rear end.  I don’t, as a rule, casually drape a perfectly white fluffy towel over my shoulders.  There’s no semi-pornographic, oom-chicka-mow-mow music playing where I work out.  And there’s nothing that glistens, glows, or gently shines, because girlfriend, I SWEAT. And I think it’s pretty unrealistic that any amount of exercise is gonna make me look like that chick in the advertisement (even if I had the ARMY of stylists and digital re-touchers she’s working with).  So I asked myself, given the huge yawning gulf between the advertising view of fitness and what exercise looks like in my world, is exercise sexy?

Well, I think exercise can be really sexy, but not usually in the way depicted on television.  I think it can be sexy when it’s a kind and wonderful thing that I do for myself.  I don’t think exercise as punishment is particularly sexy (even in a S&M sorta way).  But I think the way that exercise makes me feel, is sexy.  For example:

Improved Self Esteem–Feels Sexy

Stronger Body–Feels Sexy

Better Sleep/Better Rested–Feels Sexy (and more likely to be awake for sex)

Better Stress Management–Feels Sexy (and a lot more in the mood for sex)

And when you come right down to it.  Research indicates that people who exercise regularly have better sex lives.  So is exercise sexy?  Yes, YES, OH GOD YES!!!!! Just don’t expect it to look like it does on TV.


The Fat Chick

The West Wing and Moderately Sexy Exercise

Can we sell it? No! We need an idea!

I’m sure quite a lot of you have seen this tongue-in-cheek walking PSA video that went super mega viral today:


I love this video for so many reasons, not the least of which is my deep love for the West Wing. (Although nobody I know loves this show more than Ragen Chastain.)  But another reason I love this video is it points out one of the real challenges of a rational, easy-does-it approach to exercise.  Moderation just ain’t that sexy.   In the video, which touts the benefits of moderate walking Joshua Malina asks, “Can we sell it?”  This is a question I ask myself every day.  And I think the jury is still out.

We’re constantly bombarded by images of exercisers doing totally amazing things like climbing mountains, doing Ironman races, swimming the English Channel and swinging from Giant Mushrooms.  There’s no doubt that this Phys. Ed. competitiveness has led me to some crazy things in my life (like my one and only marathon finish).  Add to this the millions of before and after pictures showing rock-hard, six-pack abs and super-model thin bodies wearing teeny-tiny, tight spandex outfits and going for a walk can seem like a real let down.

Fitness "Extreme Elimination Challenge" Style

People ask me all the time why I call myself The Fat Chick.  There are many reasons, but perhaps the answer I give most often is, “Because not everybody who exercises looks like a supermodel.  I want people to understand that some people who exercise a lot look just like me.”  And I think that’s a really important lesson.

For many of us being fit isn’t anything like what we see on TV.  Fitness is taking the dog for a walk in our sweats and flip-flops because it’s late and the little guy just needs to do his business already.  Fitness is impromptu dancing in the living room in our pajamas with the kids.  Fitness is not kind to a perfect hairdo and flawless makeup.  Fitness is sweaty, jiggly, floppy and slightly uncoordinated.  But real fitness is awesome just the same.

So my little chicklettes, here’s wishing you some plain old, silly, sloppy not entirely sexy but genuinely wonderful exercise experiences.  Go on out there and use what you got.


The Fat Chick