Tag Archives: young

Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones But Words Can Hurt You Forever

I was recently having lunch with a beautiful and talented young woman, one who was enrolled in a good school getting a professional degree at a good school, who had a wonderful boyfriend who adored her, who was working at a decent job to help pay her school bills and is kind.  I was somewhat surprised when I heard this woman say that she had seen a television commercial showing a lazy chubby young boy, calling his grandma on the phone to ask her to bring something to him from the other room.  Not surprised that she had something to say.  But rather surprised that she had something so vicious to say about that pudgy, fat kid.  That if she was that fatty’s parent, she would smack him.  I was surprised not only because this seemed a little out of character for her, but also because she knew very well about my work as The Fat Chick and my views on this subject.  She went on to say, she used to be thin but then this happened (pointing to her stomach) and this happened (pointing to her butt).  I told her that she was of course beautiful, and further more, she was under no obligation to look any particular way for anybody’s approval.  Then she burst into tears.  At a recent family gathering, a close family member of hers had commented about whether or not she should wear a bikini and whether or not she would keep her boyfriend in light of her current weight.  She was devastated.  She didn’t eat for the rest of the day until her worried boyfriend brought her some food and asked her please to eat something.  Apparently this same family member had given her grief some time before for not eating, for being too skinny and suspecting she had an eating disorder.

As I talked her through the pain and drama, my heart was in my throat.  It brought me right back.  I was 15 again and listening to haranguing by family friends and family members about my weight.  About how I would never find a man, or if I found one, he would cheat on me and ultimately leave me because who wants to be with a fatty.  I was listening to people constantly asking if I “needed to eat that?” if I was sure I “should wear that?” and if I knew “what I looked like?”.  I was there with the constant self doubt, the devastating and crippling crash in self confidence, the firm desire to wait until I looked the right way to pursue the life I wanted.  I remembered how many years I wasted, obsessed about the size of my weight.  And I got monumentally pissed off.

How dare people do this to aspiring young women with so much to give in the world.  How DARE they pass off their insecurities and bullying as concern for a woman’s well being.  HOW DARE THEY?  Once my little PTSD moment passed, I told my friend in no uncertain terms that if people feel the need to spread their own insecurities around this way, it is her job to tell them to stuff it.  She is the gatekeeper for her own soul.  She gets to decide who she lets in.  And perhaps, if people are going to behave in such a toxic way, they don’t get to talk to her any more.  Not until they learn how to behave.

I honestly don’t know if she will find my comments helpful.  But I sincerely hope she does.  Because the world needs bright, young, talented, kind young people.  And it would be sad to think they won’t leave their house and make their way in the world because of how somebody feels about how they look in a bikini.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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Fitness is for ALL of Us

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)

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Young Guns in Self Acceptance

I was excited to see this video on YouTube this week.  It’s so exciting to see fresh, young faces who are embracing elements of the size acceptance, size diversity and self acceptance movement.  Laci Green has a lot of wonderful things to say in this video about the end of diets.  (Although some of the things she defines as a lifestyle change still sound a little bit like a diet to me.) She covers a lot of ground in this short time in a charming and fun way.  And she ends up eating pizza in a bikini!  How awesome is that?!

I am so inspired by the courage demonstrated by these young guns in the social media space–not only Laci Green, but also Stella Boonshoft with her brave photo, former Green Bay Packers cheerleader Kaitlyn Collins and so many others.  A big part of why I became the Fat Chick and started blogging and writing and teaching in the first place is the deep hope that I can, at least in a small way, help young people discover body acceptance a little bit earlier in life.  I hope to help them avoid putting decades of their lives on hold waiting to be thin, to help them reclaim a year, a month, a week or even a day that they might have spent obsessing about diets or their weight.  I hope to add my one small voice to the chorus of voices that are singing of loving and living life out loud–full tilt boogie in the body you have right now.

The voices are all different.  It takes different sounds to make a beautiful ensemble.  The music is so much more subtle and nuanced when it is sung by high and ethereal soprano voices, and deep chocolatey contralto voices and brightly shining tenor voices and deeply booming baritone/bass voices.  It takes all of these voices to make a choir.  I am thrilled and deeply honored to be singing the same tune as these amazing new talents in our community.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Warts and All: New Sources for Inspiration in Body Diversity

tumblr_mjds6nBBln1rvkvumo1_1280Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen a number of new sources for inspiration in the world of body diversity.  Of course we have new inspiration from tried and true sources like Adipositivity (BTW notoriously NSFW).  But there are some exciting new sources as well.  For example, The Body Images Project contains a number of scrumptious photos of folks of all shapes, sizes and ages.  And we’re not just talking about cellulite here.  There’s grey hairs, scars, scabs, freckles, warts and more.  And we’re also seeing some especially awesome feeds on facebook and tumblr lately, including THIS one and THIS one.

And beyond the pictures, there’s the dancing–OOOOHHHH the dancing.  Aside from the toddler dancing that I posted a few weeks ago, we have awesome dancing old ladies.  HERE’S an 88 yr. old lady who boogies down the stairs:

And there’s old ladies doing Zumba and old ladies standing proudly for portraits and there’s just bodies, all different kinds of bodies EVERYWHERE!  In a sea of previously perfectly toned and tanned and coiffed and waxed bodies, it’s so exciting to me that social media can also be a source of difference.  It seems that just now in cyberspace, I’m seeing big bodies and small bodies and smooth bodies and wrinkly bodies and white bodies and black bodies and freckly bodies and scarred bodies.  All are sacred bodies.  All are unique packages encompassing the divine.  And all I can say is, HOW DELIGHTFUL!  Rather than a one page menu of clone, drone, Barbie types, I’m seeing a bodacious BUFFET of bodies of all different kinds.  And I ask you, how can this NOT be a good thing?

So click away.  Click at links and click at cameras.  Show us your gorgeousness you cyber cuties.  And let us see how decidedly, deliciously DIFFERENT you all are!

Love,

The Fat Chick