There’s no question, I’ve been away for a while. As this video demonstrates, I’m still spending plenty of time talking about Health At Every Size and loving the skin you’re in. And now I am BACK baby, and I am super excited to tell you what my dear friend and business partner Ragen Chastain and I have been cooking up while I’ve been gone. It’s called the Body Love Obstacle Course or BLOC. We’ve been working on it for a while now, and I think you’re going to love it. It’s designed to help you over around and through the body love obstacles that keep you from the life of your dreams.
And we’re super excited to be kicking it off with a brand spanking new FREE video. I think this might be the best video we’ve ever shot….
(There’s only one catch – you *might* have to renew your email subscription in order to see this video.)
Ragen and I had a blast shooting this one – even though we live less than an hour apart, we don’t get to see each as often as we’d like, so before we shot the video we rehearsed over
a delicious dumpling lunch, and got super psyched to shoot the video! So we got to eat fabulous dumplings AND we get to share some of our most powerful ideas about overcoming body hatred, kicking butt and taking names. Talk about a WIN/WIN situation. I hope you’ll take a moment to hop on over to look at our first free BLOC video. And looking forward to talking to you soon!
(AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. This video will only be up for a few days…
go check it out right now:
Ragen Chastain and I are so very pleased to release our first video on our brand new YouTube Channel: Fitness for All of Us. We’ve released our fight song to announce our intention to create a safe space where bodies of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities can rejoice in joyful movement. Here’s our first video:
For far too long, fitness has been a space relegated to those who have a certain body type or begrudgingly to those who are actively and seeking that body type. Some have said that “Fit is the New Skinny!” without understanding that “fit” as defined by most is predominantly skinny. It may include an extra pert rear and muscular legs. It may include a six pack (or eight pack) and carefully-chiseled Michelle Obama biceps. But the fit often referred to in the “fit is the new skinny” or even “strong is the new skinny” memes bounce right out of fitspiration with rock hard, totally toned, glistening, fitness model bodies.
But what about the rest of us? Those of us who have bits that jiggle and flow? Those of us with rolls and cellulite? Those of us with big, bountiful bellies and big hips? Those of us who are not exactly the slightly-upsized Barbie ideal of big boobs, tiny waist, swelling hips and tiny, pointed feet? That is who this channel is for, it’s for ALL OF US who are interested in fitness in any capacity and at any level.
Because this is so much of what my work is and has always been about. Fitness should be fun and encouraging and welcoming and physically and emotionally safe for all of us. Fat and skinny, young and old, high powered athlete and folks who just want to walk their dogs. Runners and walkers and boaters and swimmers and yogis and dancers and kickboxers and cyclers and multisport mavens. Seasoned experts and frightened beginners. Fitness should be for every BODY!
We should be able to get help when we ask for it and be left ALONE when we don’t. We should be encouraged the same way as everyone else. We should get a quiet thumbs up or even a shout of welcome for joining the posse for being part of the fitness community, not because somebody imagines that exercise is particularly difficult for us, or that we serve as some sort of weird inspiration for them and especially not because people imagine that we are forcing our bodies to comply to some ideal of shape, size, weight, or any other parameter.
Let us move. Let us breathe. Let us enjoy fitness on our own terms. Above all, let us be.
Hope you like it!
Love, Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. Want to show us some special love? Don’t forget to subscribe!
MASSIVE MEGA TRIGGER WARNING. I’m going to be talking about an unbelievably annoying Weight Watchers ad. If you don’t want to hear about a lot of icky concern trolling, food phobic, fat phobic nonsense, please skip to the bottom and look at the video with the Sparta the fighting Kitty in it. (‘Cuz Sparta rules!) Otherwise read on.
Scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a post from a friend of mine calling out a recent ad from Weight Watchers. Here it is, watch at your own peril…
Okay, let’s break this down. Weight Watchers took a happy little children’s song that happens to be all about being happy right now as you are and letting everybody around you know the same thing and turned it into a fat-phobic hate fest. It basically says, if you’re happy and you know it, and you happen to also, you know, eat something, then you are bad. If you are sad and you eat something you are bad. In fact if you are doing anything in the whole wide world other than calculating the WW Points value of anything you are eating to eight decimal places, you are bad. Because clearly, experiencing any emotion at all at the same time means you are EMOTIONALLY EATING. (Well at least emotionally snacking to be precise about the lyrics.) And everybody knows emotional eating is bad, right? RIGHT?!
Except kind of not. Just because we are eating an ice cream cone or potato chips or broccoli while we are sad or happy or lonely or angry or bored doesn’t mean we are eating those things because we are daring to have feels while we are putting food in our mouths. It doesn’t mean that that food has no nutritional value or we are somehow not allowed to eat those things while we are feeling all the feels. It’s the whole correlation versus causation argument demonstrated using snack foods and a rhyming children’s song. I simply refuse to submit to the notion that the only feelings I am allowed to feel while masticating my meals is either:
1. Guilt because clearly I am ingesting too many WW (TM) points, or
2. Smug righteousness because I am ingesting the proper number of WW (TM) points.
Because, best I can tell, the commercial indicates that I shouldn’t eat when I am:
Which pretty much covers all of the things. Which means I am not supposed to eat any more ever. (Which is kind of counter intuitive, because then how could I buy all the WW frozen, tasteless, low-points, you know, THINGS?)
No freaking way. Sometimes when I am happy I will eat ice cream. Sometimes when I am happy I will eat salad. These conditions are also true if I am sad or lonely or bored or angry. I am an emotional person. Hell, sometimes I dance around the living room at the mere thought of ice cream. I have a special SONG I sing almost every night to signal that it is time to wear my jammies. If I find that I am using food as a primary method for avoiding the feeling of any of these feelings, I may or may not choose to find some help to change that. But I guaran-freaking-tee you that I won’t be seeking help from the double doubleyou. But there is no way at all, that I’m going to let some company tell me that it is not okay to have feelings and eat at the same time. Because I want to live!*
*Oh, in the interest of full disclosure, while I am from a “Jazzed Up Generation”, I haven’t killed anybody and most of my friends are pretty good. Just so you know.
I want to live. And I refuse to let a weight loss company tell me how I can live, including when I can be happy or when I can eat. Or when I can look at ADORABLE CAT VIDEOS like the one below.
Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. Want me to talk about intuitive eating at your school or organization? Click HERE!
Let me be clear. I think people should learn to love their bodies, full stop. I don’t think they have to wait until they lose ten pounds to love their bodies. And I CERTAINLY don’t think they should “love their bodies enough” to lose ten pounds. If you want to lose ten pounds and you can safely lose ten pounds and it makes you happy then you should go for it. I mean, it’s your body and you should do whatever you think is best. But let me be clear. I don’t think body love means fixing up your body in a way that is more socially acceptable and then grudgingly deciding it’s okay. And I don’t think insisting that other women do to their bodies exactly what you chose to do to your body in order to learn to love their bodies is okay either. I think body love means being grateful and happy for your body the way it is right now.
Let me be clear about another thing. Loving your body isn’t always easy. We are surrounded by images and toys and directives and advertising that convinces us that we can only love our bodies after certain conditions are met. We are told we can love our bodies after we get rid of stretch marks and cellulite and age spots and wrinkles and back fat and rolls and achieve a perfect thigh gap. In fact we are encouraged to love our bodies ENOUGH to spend the gobs of money and time purchasing creams and potions and pills and exercise torture devices and DVDs and costly and painful medical procedures to ensure that our body no longer has cellulite or wrinkles or stretch marks or age marks or chubby thighs and is finally, eventually (for the moment) acceptable.
And loving our bodies isn’t always easy, because as we age, our bodies change. We sag in places we didn’t. Strange marks appear on our skin. Our bodies are sometimes less able to do things they could before. We have to pee all. the. time. And sometimes we get sick. And if we get sick, there are plenty of people including medical professionals, large multinational companies, friends, families and complete strangers eager to tell us that if we had only tried their procedure or exercise or potion or pill or program or cleanse we wouldn’t have gotten sick in the first place. They tell us if we had loved our bodies enough to fix our bodies the way they said we should, everything would have been okay. So sometimes it’s hard to love our bodies.
Body love can be a rewarding but often frustrating and deeply confusing process. That’s why I get so angry about companies and experts that are taking the “body love” theme and turning it into a tool to sell their “body improvement” messages, products and other crap. Because that ish is NOT OKAY. If you want to sell body improvement. Sell that. Sell the heck out of it. But don’t make body acceptance conditional on the thing or the process or the potion or pill or exercise torture device or major surgery you are selling and then call it body love.
There have been some striking examples of this in the past. One that immediately comes to mind is Kellogg’s and Marilyn Wann. You see, my dear friend Marilyn Wann came up with this amazing idea. She makes bathroom scales that say positive words like “sexy” or “beautiful” instead of numbers. Go to about 1 minute in to the video below to see what I mean.
Now a while after Marilyn’s wonderful Yay! Scale was released for sale, Kellogg’s released a scale that looked pretty darn similar. What’s wrong with that? Well aside from the fact they seem to have “borrowed” an idea from an inventor without giving credit or compensation, they were using their scale to promote the idea that you should replace meals with cereal in order to lose weight. And the promotion around the new scales had the tagline, “What will you gain when you lose?”. Check it out in the video below:
This strongly implies that those words on the scale will apply to your body only after you lose weight using their products. You see the difference between the two messages?
Look, I don’t think loving your body means that you stop doing things to care for your body. I don’t think loving your body means you can’t change anything about your body. But I don’t think body acceptance should be conditional on those things. It’s the difference between “I’ll love my body after I”, or “I love my body enough to change it” and “I love my body. Oh and I’ll do this too.” It’s subtle, but it’s important.
It’s important because we are seeing other companies and special interest groups using the power of the body love movement to dress up body improvement products and schemes. And that’s not only confusing, but dishonest and wrong.
It’s been a tough week for me and in many ways a tough week for our country. So I thought for today’s blog I would post a FRIDAY DANCE BREAK!
Whatever else you may have to say about this week, it has been a great week for dancing. Here’s just a few of the things that have popped on my feed this week.
First, I ran across this wonderful piece of a plus-sized pole dancer on Britain’s Got Talent. I braced myself for Simon to be a total tool, but (spoiler alert) aside from some eye rolling, he managed to keep it together and be a gentleman. And perhaps the best news is that the comments are disabled on this YouTube clip so I don’t even have to tell you not to go there! Sweet!
And then there was this fabulous clip. This is a group called Company and they took SECOND place in the Vibe Dance competition. Props for the fabulous dancing and at least a teeny, tiny bit of body diversity. There were definitely some khaki’s above a size 00 out there. And this group is tight. And SO much fun to watch. Check it out!
There’s another version of the video with more closeups available here. This gives you a better chance to see the different bodies that are rocking it out.
And last but not least, this week, I ran across this adorable dancing kid on my Facebook feed. I mean how cool is she? Seriously?
Werk it girl. WERK IT! And it just goes to show, that when you get on our there and shake your thing, other people will want to join the fun. It takes the little guy a while to get with the program, but he does eventually get to steppin.
So there you have it. Not a lot of thought or philosophy. Just chock full of wiggling, jiggling bodies of all ages, shapes and sizes. You’re welcome!
You’d think since being rated the top Junior player in the United States, tennis phenom Taylor Townsend would be best known for her prowess on the court. However, aside from Townsend’s legendary on-court tennis battles, are plenty of battles of a different sort. Two years ago, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) asked Taylor to sit out of the 2012 Open Junior Tournament due to concerns about her “conditioning”. And by conditioning, they meant body shape. And by body shape they meant how Townsend looked in a dress. According to Tom Perotta of the Wall St. Journal:
Her coaches declined to pay her travel expenses to attend the Open and told her this summer that they wouldn’t finance any tournament appearances until she makes sufficient progress in one area: slimming down and getting into better shape.
“Our concern is her long-term health, number one, and her long-term development as a player,” said Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program. “We have one goal in mind: For her to be playing in [Arthur Ashe Stadium] in the main draw and competing for major titles when it’s time. That’s how we make every decision, based on that.”
But it doesn’t just stop at funding. According to Perrotta, the USTA actually requested that Townsend skip the U.S. Open, denying both her petitions for wild cards into either the U.S. Open main draw or the qualifying tournament. In the end, Townsend’s family decided to pay out of their own pockets for Taylor to compete in the U.S. Open Junior Tournament. She was ultimately defeated in the quarterfinals by Anett Kontaveit of Estonia.
It’s clear that Taylor knows on which side her baguette is buttered. In 2012 Townsend said: “I’ve gotten a lot of great opportunities, great fitness, great coaching,” she said. “I’m doing everything that they ask me to do and being professional about everything.”
Nevertheless, Townsend has to be feeling more than a little gratified over Tuesday’s French Open results. The match had some moments that seemed straight out of a movie script. In the first set of her first match, Taylor got behind 1-5. She then won12 of the following 13 games to win over her U.S. opponent Vania King 7-5, 6-1. Today (Wednesday, May 28) Townsend (ranked 205th) is scheduled to battle top-ranked Frenchwoman Alize Cornet (ranked 21st) at the 10,000-seat Suzanne Lenglen Court. So surely at this point we’re focusing on her playing prowess, right? Right?
Well, today’s New York Times article on Townsend is titled “Questioned About Body, Townsend Rises and Inspires”. Now the article goes on to say that Taylor is playing amazing tennis, and that Wednesday’s matchup promises to be very exciting. The article contains quotes from Taylor’s new coach (Zina Garrison) talking about how Townsend is “fine”, and how she doesn’t wish her young tennis protege to suffer over criticism or worry about her weight. So I’ll offer some slight props to the Times for inserting some body positivity into the article. But let’s not forget that the first three words of the headline are not “Powerful Tennis Star” or “Young Tennis Phenom”. The first three words of this headline are “Questioned About Body”.
I guess it’s not surprising. As I’ve reported before, even winning Wimbledon does not protect you from the need to be attractive to men. The top title in tennis does not forgive you for being less than supermodel gorgeous.
I hope that Taylor kicks some serious butt on the court tomorrow. I hope she plays really well and ultimately triumphs. I have to admit that I don’t hold out a lot of hope however, that Taylor Townsend will ever win victory over a public that is most interested in how she looks in her little tennis skirt.
Okay, so we have a few things to talk about today. One is to share with you my latest entry to stuff that weighs more than me. In the above photo, I am posing next to the world’s largest chess piece. I encountered it completely by chance in the Central West End of St. Louis today. I stopped for lunch and there it was, in all it’s geeky glory–a really, really giant chess piece. I looked at my husband and he grinned as he said, “Do you want a photo for your blog?” “Heck yeah,” I replied. “I’m quite sure THAT weighs more than me.”
Indeed it does. As the above photo indicates, the chess piece is as tall as a giraffe. And were it used in an actual game of chess, it would require a chess board measuring over 70 feet per side–large enough to park 12 school buses. Here’s the stats:
Height: 14ft. 7in.
Width: 6 ft. at the base
Material: 3/4″ plywood
Weight: 2,280 pounds
Conclusion: whether king or pawn, the world’s largest chess piece weighs more than me.
Japanese fans are up in arms about the new Americanized Godzilla’s hefty size–citing poor diet as cause for the unwelcome change.
The trailers for the newest Godzilla film have hit American shores and has spawned some significant controversy. It appears that Godzilla has come “under fire” not for his acting (which has been notably wooden in the past) but for his BMI. No we are not talking about the Bad Monster Index–where Godzilla holds the undisputed title of King of the Monsters. We are talking about the Body Mass Index. Many are currently arguing that Godzilla is just sporting too much weight on his 350-foot high frame. Using the current BMI, Godzilla could weigh about 750,000 pounds before he hit the dreaded “Obese” category. Godzilla has not been forthcoming about his weight, but many Japanese fans have calculated that the hapless lizard may have stomped out of the “ideal weight” category.
“He’s so fat I laughed,” was one particularly cutting remark found on Japanese forum 2chan. Others have referred to him as “metabozilla”, “marshmallow Godzilla” and even “pudgy and cute”. Some have speculated that Godzilla’s size is due in part to his American diet and sedentary lifestyle. “That’s what happens when all you do is eat Snickers bars,” said one commenter.
Much of this has led to speculation about Godzilla’s diet. He has never been shown on screen eating (although he has ingested a nuclear reactor and seemed to absorb energy from that). He has been seen in comic books eating raw seafood. Most people guess that he lives largely on radiation and sushi.
It seems pretty likely that Godzilla has to eat quite a bit to sustain is 350 foot high body. An African elephant weighs in at about 7,000 pounds and needs to eat about 500 lbs. of plant matter per day to sustain itself. Using that same ratio, Godzilla would need to eat about 50,000 pounds of plant per day. Now the King of Monsters might be able to absorb some of his energy via nuclear radiation. And naturally protein sources like fish are more dense in calories than say, trees. But I ask you, do we really want a creature that needs to eat 10,000 pounds or more of food per day to turn to a protein diet? So far as we know, Godzilla does not eat people, yet. But I don’t know if I want to encourage him.
But Godzilla hasn’t always been svelte. A quick look at his film debut publicity photos in 1954 show a relatively “fluffy” monster with more of a pear-shaped figure.
There is no question that Godzilla has gotten bigger over the years. Traditionally, the giant lizard has grown larger in proportion to the buildings he stomps around. The Godzilla of 1954 was a mere 50 meters tall. The newest Godzilla is over 100 meters tall and noticeably beefier:
But if you look carefully at the creature’s shape, you might notice something very interesting and somewhat familiar. It’s even clearer if you look at this picture here:
Clearly the great monster’s shape has cycled too. He appeared to have shed some pounds in the the MusoGogi period (1964) beefed up considerably in the BioGogi period (1989-91) gone through some sort of radical weight loss program in the Shodaijira period (1998) and bulked back up for his current appearances. Seem familiar to you? Seemed that way to me too. In fact, I think Godzilla is experiencing the most common outcome of trying to stay slim. I think the King of Monsters is weight cycling–probably from yo-yo dieting.
Now there is no way to know for sure. As my good friend Ragen Chastain says, the only thing you can know about a fat person (or monster) by looking at them is your own prejudices about fat people (or giant lizards). But if our good friend Godzilla is experiencing weight cycling, he would certainly be experiencing the same thing that most people who try to lose weight experience. Most people are able to keep some weight off for a while, but the vast majority of folks (90 percent or more) regain the weight they’ve lost and often a little more.
So this leads us to the question of what should be done about Tokyo’s most famous building-stomper. I think if we are seriously going to spill digital ink regarding the size of a fictitious reptile who bangs buses together for fun, we should use this as a truly teachable moment. Let’s talk about what really works in making creatures of all shapes and sizes happier and healthier. I think the first thing we should do, is to stop trying to shame the poor creature. There is ample evidence after all, that shamedoesn’thelpanybodyloseweight. I’m sure the producers at The Biggest Loser are planning epic monster battles between Godzilla and their “Monster Trainers” as we speak. And even though the King of Monsters’ agent is probably taking calls right now from diet companies seeking his endorsement for the new “Monster Weight Loss Formula”, we should probably discourage him from falling into his old habits of dieting and weight cycling.
I recommend the same thing for Godzilla that I recommend for everybody else. He should eat a varied diet including foods that he loves (but not including people). He should engage in joyful and pleasurable physical activities (not too close to major cities). In fact, I think he should try my DVD. He should sleep well. And he should manage his stress (again, hopefully not too close to major metropolitan areas). At 60 years old, Godzilla is showing no signs of slowing. If he follows these simple recommendations, he’s likely to stay happy and healthy for many years to come. Which is good. Because I freakin’ LOVE this guy.
In it’s quest to ensure that all its models are sporting an appropriate thigh-gap, Target PhotoShop artists appear to have removed a junior model’s vagina altogether. The image was pointed out by several watchdog groups and blogs not only for it’s garish wardrobe malfunction, but also for the fact that it appears the junior model in question may have also been mutated into an alien creature with a very long torso and very long arms, best seen in the larger version of the photo here:
The photographic evidence of Target’s tampering have since gone viral and Target has issued an “apology” stating:
“In response to your query about the swimsuit image on Target.com, this was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize. We have removed the image from our Web site,” a company spokesman said. Asked how the mistake occurred, “It was the result of a photo editing error on our part.”
Which leaves me with a few things to say to our friends at Target. First of all, in your “apology” I have to say that I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Sure, your PhotoShop guy or gal messed up. I can certainly understand how that happened. I doubt that it’s some sort of malicious protest on the part of the graphic designer as some have suggested. I really don’t imagine that some designer wanted to point out the brutality inherent in the system of PhotoShopping images by blatantly messing up and releasing a picture. I’ve produced websites and games and DVDs. I understand that stuff slips through the cracks. That poor graphic artist is probably not being paid less per hour than your minimum wage checkers and is probably working 80 hours per week on “salary” in a web sweat shop somewhere. And the junior manager or producer doing Quality Control on those images is probably working just as hard and not getting paid very well either. And if anybody gets fired over this whole mess, it will probably be them.
Apology? Hmmm. Maybe not.
But I’m sorry to say Target, that you apologized for the wrong thing. Don’t apologize to me that a graphic artist messed up and released a photo that makes it blatantly obvious that you drastically altered a young woman’s body to convince 12-year old girls that they need to be seven feet-tall, size 00 and have a thigh gap that could hold a soccer ball. Don’t apologize to me that you got caught. Apologize to me for feeling the need to PhotoShop these images this way in the first place. Apologize to me for altering photos to create impossible beauty ideals to products aimed at 12-year-old girls in an environment where hospitalizations for eating disorders in kids under 12 are up 119% (see Pinhas et. al.) Apologize to me for being so certain that your model needs to sport a thigh gap, a trendy body trait that is nearly impossible to maintain for all but a microscopic percentage of the human race, that you were willing to graphically stretch her on the rack and excise critical bits of her anatomy to accomplish it. (You could consider the techniques shown in the video below. These are kinda cool actually.)
Target, you make me sad. I adore your wide, bright aisles and fun POP displays. I love your colorful and fun, yet generally affordable housewares, camping gear and sporting goods. But this has GOT to stop. It’s time for you to retract your fake apology and give us a real one. Then tell us how you are going to stop digitally dissecting the already beautiful bodies of your models to sell us a dose of unreality we just shouldn’t have to swallow.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
Don’t miss out on another day of body loving, booty shaking fun! Join me here.
I think one of the most difficult barriers I’ve encountered on my journey towards self acceptance is the constant barrage of input telling me that people in larger bodies can’t really be “happy”. In stark contrast to the “fat and jolly” stereotype is the notion that all fat people are unhappy deep down. And this information is everywhere. From our television and magazine advertising to barroom pop psychology to well meaning friends and relatives, it seems like a lot of people are pretty sure I would be a lot happier if I would just lose weight.
“But I am pretty happy,” I tell folks. Their reply, “Not really. If you were really happy you wouldn’t be fat.” Sigh… One of the pieces of prejudice I find most daunting is the notion that all people who are fat are eating to compensate for some life deficiency. Either we were sexually abused as children, or didn’t get enough love at some stage or are facing some buried psychological trauma. “It’s not your fault you’re fat,” they state, while patting you on the head. “We just need to fix what is broken with you emotionally, and the weight will just flow off your body.”
Think I’m making this up? No lie, when I was getting one of my fitness certifications, one of the teachers pulled out a magic marker and headed towards the big paper pad she was using to sketch out the “fitness wisdom” she had to impart. She drew a picture of a fat person (small oval over big round body–it was no Monet). Then she drew another circle inside the fat tummy circle. “Fat people have a hole in their lives,” she stated. “There is something missing inside them that they attempt to stuff full with food.”
I was mortified. And I was pissed. This clearly wasn’t in any of the written materials that she or we had received with the course. This teacher was just making this stuff up and stating it as fact in a training course that is designed to train people to teach exercise to other people.
But most of the extremely thin people in the room simply nodded their heads knowingly and accepted it as fat fact. Along with this notion is the notion that if we lose weight, if we become visibly and socially acceptably skinny, all our problems will melt away and we will finally be happy. This idea is so pervasive that people spend billions of dollars in pursuit of the happiness level of thinness. I believed it. I got thin. For a little while after a ridiculous diet that made me very sick, I was thin. And I waited for the happy. And waited. And waited…
There was some euphoria over increased clothes shopping opportunities. There was some afterglow from the constant validation and encouragement I got about how much better I looked. (Although there was also frankly a lot of pissed off wondering what people thought about how I looked before.) But did I experience magical, mystical happy–smiling while eating a salad, orgasmic swooning over eating yogurt happy? I’d have to say that never arrived.
Oh God, I think I’m… AHHHHHHH!
And now that I’ve lived and loved in a fat body for a while, I can say I’ve found a modicum of relatively reliable happy. Am I happy all the time? Nope. Do I swoon over yogurt? What, are you kidding? But I’m pretty happy most of the time.
That is why I was so very, VERY excited to see this music video by Pharrell Williams and what seems to be half the population of Los Angeles. Take a look. I’ll wait…
Honestly, this music video is what got me on this whole subject with you in the first place. First of all, I have to apologize. This great song is likely to leave you with an earworm that lasts for days. Sorry about that. But on the upside here we have a video with lots and lots of people who are boogying down and singing about being happy. And remarkably none of these people look the same. There are kids, young people, middle aged people and old people. There are men and women. There are single people and families. There are people who are extremely mobile and some who are less mobile. There are people of all different colors. There are thin people, fat people and in-betweenies. They all look happy as hell, and there is not one single carton of yogurt or salad in the entire music video!
The video is actually compiled from a much bigger project called 24 Hours of Happy. Go check out the website. It’s the coolest! I’ll wait. The website contains a 24-hour long music video to this song compiled by Pharrell and his team. I have absolutely no idea how much raw footage they shot, but I imagine it must have been epic. The net result is a web-based clock. At any given moment, you can click in and watch Angelinos of all stripes shaking their thing.
Aside from being a super cool project, the thing I love about this is that it helps demonstrate an idea. Happy doesn’t look the same on everybody. You don’t have to be a particular color or size or shape to be happy. You don’t have to be young. You don’t have to be thin. You don’t have to eat dairy products of any kind. But it is still possible for you to be happy.
Now don’t get me wrong. Privilege and wealth and security and a lot of other things can certainly make happy easier. And there is absolutely no doubt that the rampant discrimination that accompany fat stigma can make it much harder to find happy. But I do know that I found it extremely helpful on my journey to learn that happy was at least possible at any size. It made it much easier for me to fight for happy for myself and for all my fat brothers and sisters.
So I will continue to blog, because, I’m happy…
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
P.S. If you like, you can join in the happy RIGHT HERE.