cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
Last week, that disgusting, fat shaming video that Strong4Life has released was posted to a local parents' FB group I belong to. I am not linking to it. It shows a fat man having a heart attack and then goes backwards through his life to show all the "bad" foods he ate ending with his mother giving him french fries when he is a baby. Oh, that is after the doctor is an asshole because the dude is fat. Ugh. Fat-shaming, mother-blaming, and shitty docs all in one video. Anyhow, I was just too cranky to let it stand and here is what I posted in response.
*************************************

That is a really dehumanizing video and I am not sure what the point of it is expect to shame fat people. Yes, ostensibly the point is to encourage healthy eating by kids, but its focus is on shaming the fat person in the video. Oh, and shaming the man's mother for feeding him french fries as a baby--I assume we are supposed to feel good about ourselves if we don't give our kids french fries, which I think is also the point of the video, to encourage disgust towards parents of fat children for what they are supposedly feeding them.

Throughout the majority of the video we don't see the man's face, we only see his stomach, hear him breathing hard, see the food in front of him. His face is removed from the picture, the most common way fat people are dehumanized by media outlets. He is supposed to be having a heart attack but we are not supposed to have compassion for him, apparently because he is a fat person. The doctor in the video sets the tone by quipping "How does that happen?" in a disgusted tone when he learns the man's height and weight. At least the video got that detail correct---doctors treat fat people HORRIBLY on a regular basis, but apparently, according to this video that is cool and justified because, you know, us fat people don't deserve compassionate, respectful health care. Glad to know that if I am having a medical emergency the doctor will be more interested in fat-shaming me than actually trying to save my life. (Oh, but I am already painfully aware of that possibility).

Kids can eat a variety of foods including french fries and ::gasp: birthday cake and not end up having a heart attack at the age of 30. Many of those kids don't end up being fat. People of all sizes eat fast food. People of all sizes eat french fries. People of all sizes do, in fact, get heart disease and diabetes. People of all sizes get out of breath doing certain physical activities. And, yes, there are plenty of fat people walking around with no health issues. And those that do have health issues deserve compassionate, respectful health care. Nobody can tell what someone eats by the way they look, by the size they are. Nobody can tell what a particular person's health status is by looking at them either.

If you are interested in promoting healthful eating in kids one of the most important things is not demonizing certain foods, and not making it about their body size. Kids self-regulate pretty well and having a variety of foods available to them is really important. The goal of having kids eating a varied, nutrient-rich diet should be so that they get the nutrients they need, not to keep them a certain size. Some kids are bigger for part, or a lot of, their childhood. Some of those kids end up thin/average adults and some end up fat adults. Some thin children end up fat adults. And all those people, as children and adults, should be allowed to live freely in their bodies without shame. But this video didn't talk about any of that. It just acted out the same, tired stereotypes of the child-like fat person who can't be trusted to be make their own food choices and those choices alone (not genetic factors, not other environmental factors, not other health issues) caused them to have a heart attack.

I am really disgusted by this video and do not think it serves any purpose other than to shame fat people and engender a lack of compassion for fat people who have life threatening health issues. No thank you.
cassidyrose: (2008)
Powerful. If I had to describe The Next Big Thing in one word it would be that. Powerful. This is an unapologetic promo for the show. I am asking you to come, to watch, to experience, to witness this amazing show.

I want to start with the dance. The dance and music themselves are amazing, strong, beautiful, fun, powerful, moving, interesting, sometimes silly, and engaging from both emFATic DANCE and all our guests. emFATic DANCE has thirteen dancers and all thirteen of us are featured in five of our pieces, and the other has twelve of us. We, quite literally, fill the stage. Whether we are in high character in a musical theater piece, gracefully turning and jumping about the stage in a lyrical piece, or head-snappin' and shoulder-rollin' our way through a jazz piece you will be entertained.

But it goes beyond that. Beyond, even, seeing a show full of fat people onstage, which is undeniably powerful and revolutionary. While a few of our pieces don't address themes related to fatness, a few of our pieces got more personal and political this year. They are a bit more raw, more emotional, more confrontational. They are challenging. We are sharing with you, the audience, more of the challenges of being a fat person in our society, a fat performer. These themes wrapped up in some fan-freakin'-tastic dance packs a powerful punch.

It is not just us. Raks Africa and Magnoliah Black are bringing some seriously personal and political performance to our stage this year that is going to touch you deeply and make you really think, all while watching them dance beautifully. I want to be clear, ALL the guests are amazing, and whether directly addressing personal/political themes or not, the very fact that they are up on stage doing their thing and being willing to share it with you all is, well, powerful.

Also, the show is just FUN!!! Seriously, so much fun! What a way to spend a couple of hours. You get to be entertained and have fun *while* supporting fat performers.

Our dancers, our guests, our team, have worked so hard to bring you the best possible show this year. This truly is, The Next Big Thing. Don't miss out.

Show Details:
The Next Big Thing
Saturday June 14th, 2014 at 8:00pm (doors at 7:30pm; and
Sunday June 15th, 2014 at 2:00pm (doors at 1:30pm)
Laney College Theater
900 Fallon St., Oakland, CA
Across the street from the Lake Merritt BART station

Tickets $13/advance; $18/door
Get tickets here: http://thenextbigthing.brownpapertickets.com/
Kids 3 and under and free, 10-17 are $10 at the door***
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
This. So, so many times this.

"This is my problem with concern trolling as a general concept -- if people really cared about the health of fat people, they wouldn't be suggesting self-harm via starving, guilt, and self-hatred as some sort of penance for fatness. They'd be supporting a movement that has reconnected fat people with their bodies and their own health, both mental and physical, whatever the state of their health might be.

Because being healthy, especially in alignment with any one person's arbitrary definition of health, is not actually a moral issue, nor should it be a cultural yard stick of whether or not someone deserves quality healthcare or to be treated like a human being."

http://www.xojane.com/healthy/ive-only-got-1-thing-to-say-to-folks-who-dont-understand-fat-acceptance

I suggest reading the whole article.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
One thing that has been on my mind a lot is the way that we are trained to think of our actions and choices as individual behaviors that a.) are not influenced by the greater cultural norms around us and b.) as not affecting other people. In particular, I think about this in regards to how people talk about both dieting/weight loss and gun ownership. A lot of people talk about both things as if they exist and occur in a vacuum with no impact on anyone else. I hear a lot of "I just want to lose weight" in an attempt to divorce that desire from extreme internal and external fatphobia as well as "I just like guns" as a way to divorce their existence from their purpose of killing people.

Neither are neutral.

I am all for bodily autonomy, but make no mistake, if you are giving money to any sort of weight-loss product/institution you are giving them money to continue to sell products based on fatphobia and fat shaming. You are giving them money to fill all our FB feeds and other websites we use with diet advertisements. You are giving them money to continue to tell people they are not good enough as they are. The diet industry (and this includes all medical institutions that sell weight-loss surgery, fat camps for kids, etc.) is a HUGE profit-machine based on fat hate. You can give them money, but please don't distance yourself from what those companies are doing. If we give them money, we are participating.

If you talk, write, or otherwise share about how much you love participating in diet culture/industry then you are helping promote it. You are helping sell body shame to other people. There is NO WAY to say, in our incredibly fat-phobic culture, that wanting to lose weight is just about you. There is nothing weight neutral about the world we live in. Our choices are informed by a culture which rewards people for losing weight, no matter the means, and that punishes people for being fat. Of COURSE, given that context, it is easier to be smaller, but let's be real about it and not pretend it feels better to be smaller because "it just does" and not because from day one we have been taught that smaller is better, more desirable, more attractive, more healthy, more employable, etc.

I feel similarly about gun ownership. Guns exist, primarily at this point, to kill people. I mean, the vast majority of us do not and have no need to hunt animals for food. If you have one to "protect your home" you are planning to kill or wound someone with it...otherwise you would not have it. When you buy a gun, when you participate in the culture, you are helping fund the gun industry. You know, the same one that resists regulation and that has George Zimmerman show up at a gun show to sign autographs. The greater gun industry survives and thrives on racism, on selling people fear of non-white people, on telling people they need to "protect" themselves from all the scary people in the world. It doesn't matter *why* you bought a gun, by purchasing one and participating in the culture, you are supporting companies that sell them to people for the purpose of killing other people. You are giving them money to do that. If you are cool with that, fine, but distancing yourself from that is not OK. Own that you are participating.

None of this happens in a vacuum. Our actions are not without consequences. How we spend our time and money have huge implications, far beyond our personal lives, and far beyond what we can see.

****And this is not to say that I do not have sympathy/understanding for people who do choose to participate in the the diet industry, but I do think that when we do participate we need to stop framing it as an individual choice devoid of all cultural context. We are pushed at every turn to participate and our participation is not meaningless.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
I don't like apologist-themed things that are supposed to make us hate fate people (or queer people) any less. I mention queer here as I have seen a lot of similarity in how fatness and queerness are apologized for (the most common, and one of the most obnoxious to me, is the "born this way/it's genetic" argument). It does us no favors as it still implies that fat (or queer) is something bad to be. I am speaking currently of that J.K. Rowling quote floating around FB again. It reads, "Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me.”

Let me deconstruct that for a minute. First, this is NOT a fat-positive quote. It is *barely* not fat-negative. It frames fat as something bad and is simply stating that it is "not the worst" thing we can be. No thanks.

Second, it compares fat, a physical attribute, to undesirable personality traits. This inherently implies that fat has something to do with our moral character, which is does not. Comparing being fat to being cruel and saying being fat is better is like comparing curly hair to being cruel and saying having curly hair is better. See, it makes no sense in that context, does it? Then why does it make sense to compare fatness to cruelty? We accept the comparison because fatness as a measure of our moral character is so ingrained in our thought processes that we cannot even see how ridiculous that is so much of the time.

Third, why are we so happy when someone, especially a celebrity, says something vaguely not-fat-hating? I mean, this quote is no beacon of fat-positivity. There is no celebration of our fierce fat selves here. When I see this quote posted in fat-positive places as something positive it makes me sad. We can do better. We ARE doing better. I don't care what J.K. Rowling as to say about fatness, honestly, unless she is actually doing something to promote body liberation (hint: this quote is not doing that).

I would like a quote like this to read: "Is being fat worse than being thin? No, it is not. It is only different. There is nothing wrong, bad, amoral, etc. about being fat. There are social structures, beliefs, and infrastructures that make it more difficult to navigate the world as a fat person than as as a thin person, but being fat is not inherently worse than being thin and no one needs to apologize or justify their fatness. The End."

Or something like that.

We stand

Feb. 6th, 2012 09:13 pm
cassidyrose: (performance)
Big Moves/Phat Fly Girls contribution.


View them all here: I Stand Against Weight Bullying

Stand4Kids

Jan. 23rd, 2012 03:28 pm
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
Some very powerful stuff is coming out in response to Georgia's anti-fat-kids campaign. Check out the responses here: http://fatkidsunited.wordpress.com/ and here: http://stand4kids.tumblr.com/

I just submitted my photo and caption to Marilyn for use in the photo campaign.

I am so disturbed the original campaign and I don't really have the heart to detail it here. See above if you are interested.

And, trust me, shaming a fat kid never results in a healthy thin kid.
cassidyrose: (Great American Music Hall)
I spent the bulk of the past weekend at the fabulous nolose conference in Oakland and overall had a really, really great time. I came home at nights because of the kids, but the bulk of the past three days were spent at the conference. I attended five workshops and gave one, modeled in the fatshion show, performed in the cabaret, swam, got sunburned, ate, laughed, cried, shopped, and saw countless familiar and unfamiliar friendly faces.

As much fun as I had, it was, at times, tremendously emotionally overwhelming. I am just *spent*. There was a lot of pain expressed during those workshops, and not poor pity me type pain, but serious, real motherfuckin' *pain*. It is just a lot to absorb.

There is hope too. Expressing the pain is one path to recovery and hope. Sharing the pain helps others in the same situation learn they are not alone. It is ultimately good, and I left feeling hopeful, but I am still overwhelmed.

Our performance went very well on Saturday night and Kentucky Fried Woman put together a great show, as always. Being in the fatshion show on Friday night was fun, and I decided that the dress I modeled made me look like a Pan Am stewardess from 1968 sporting a tropical look. It was...a lot of look. It was a fun dress, but too tight and too short for my tastes for me. I didn't buy the dress I modeled but I bought another that someone else modeled. It is a very cute newsprint-esque t-shirt dress which looks great belted.

In other news, the nolose board announced on Friday night that they are officially changing their gender policy, to well, throw out gender. See, nolose was originally a lesbian-only deal. Then it opened to other queer women, then more recently to trans men and women and non-queer women. Cisgendered men have been the only group specifically excluded. This is ending with the next conference in the interest in becoming truly trans-inclusive and more inclusive overall. It means no one will feel gender-policed (hopefully). The reaction to the decision is largely split generationally...those older than me are generally less pleased with the change, those younger than me are generally much more pleased about the change, and those my age are split. Exceptions exist, but that is what i was experiencing. I am very happy, if marginally apprehensive (for a number of complicated reasons), about the change. It think this change in policy is long overdue. I did not expect the announced and am still somewhat stunned by it. The announcement was accompanied by a three-page explanation which helped lessen the shock, and which was quite informative. I think that overall this change, if implemented and negotiated appropriately, will be for the best, despite it being difficult and problematic for many long-standing community members.

Also? I love the distinction between "safe space" and "comfortable space". That? For the win.

More later...now I must deal with the children...
cassidyrose: (aerial_upsidedown)
My HAES thought for the day: Try not to assume what physical activity you or others are capable of based on body size. Our body sizes and shapes *can* influence what we can and cannot do, but there are few absolutes here. Many a Fly Girl at one time or another believed their size limited them in ways it actually did not. Just sayin'.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
My (belated) HAES thought for the day: Stop using the word "fat" to mean ugly, less than, repugnant, shameful, bad, wrong, or anything less than the simple size-descriptor that it is. Stop using it as in insult to yourself or others. Neutralize the word in your own language usage and others may follow.
cassidyrose: (performance)
My HAES thought for the day: Have you done anything that has helped you accept and love your body? Have you embraced the principles of HAES in any way? Tell your story. Sharing your own story of learning to love yourself or living to your fullest at any size can deeply touch those around you and have a far greater impact than you ever imagined.
cassidyrose: (Great American Music Hall)
My HAES thought for the day: Step away from the weight-loss "reality TV" humilitainment shows. Shows like "The Biggest Loser" et al, do not exist for any reason other than to make money for their producers, networks, and advertisers. They are not helping *anyone*. This type of programming is harmful all around and is actually a rather shameful by-product of a fat-phobic society.
cassidyrose: (garden goodies)
My HAES thought for the day: When you go out to eat, order what you want, not what you feel will be deemed "acceptable". And then enjoy your food! I know many of us fear judgment from the servers, other patrons, our even fellow diners at our own table, etc., but really, our food choices are our own business and not theirs.
cassidyrose: (glasses/high contrast)
My HAES thought for today, a little late since I was out being all HAES-ish with the Fly Girls: Try reading a size-positive/HAES/fat politics-related blog. Lesley Kinzel's Two Whole Cakes (formerly Fatsionista) at http://blog.twowholecakes.com/, Big Fat Blog at http://www.bigfatblog.com/, and Well Rounded Mama at http://www.wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/ are just a few you could check out.
cassidyrose: (performance)
My HAES thought for the day: Instead of focusing on how your body looks, think about what it can do. What things are you happy/proud/thankful your body can do? I love that I can leap and jump high and fearlessly (when not injured). I have my strong legs and feet to thank for that.
cassidyrose: (looking over shoulder)
My HAES thought for the day: Do something that makes you feel good in your body. It could be a walk, a massage, a soak in a hot tub, going for a swim, taking a hot shower, getting a facial, getting your hair cut, doing yoga, going to a dance class, etc. Just do something, anything, that makes you feel good in your body.
cassidyrose: (looking over shoulder)
HAES for the day: Have you put off treatment for a medical issue because you fear getting weighed and fat-shaming by your doctor? PLEASE seek treatment. Saying, "I'd prefer not to be weighed" or asking to be weighed backwards are helpful strategies. If the doctor insists on discussing your weight you can say "I am here to discuss issue X, not my weight. Please tell me how we can treat issue X in the absence of weight loss."

Also, bring an advocate! Having another person in the room with you can really help make the visit more productive and professional by helping to keep the doctor focused on why you are seeing them that day, and not on weight loss. It can also help ease your anxiety in the situation, and your advocate can help take notes and ask questions.

baby steps

Jan. 7th, 2011 02:49 pm
cassidyrose: (burly-q legs)
HAES related-thought: You don't have to absolutely love everything about yourself and your body 100% of the time. None of us do. We all have bad days and bad moments. Try first to just stop *hating* your body. You don't have to love it, just try to stop the hate. The absence of the hate will soon breed some level of acceptance and eventually appreciation and love. Baby steps to body love. Baby steps.
cassidyrose: (Great American Music Hall)
HAES thought for the day: Don't make self-deprecating remarks about your body. It only feeds your own body hatred and the body hatred of those around you. You are not talking about just you, nor do you affect just you, when you make body-hating comments about yourself. Find a way to be positive, even if you have to fake it until you can make it.

So, instead of saying hateful things about your body, how about finding something positive to say? It can be anything, no matter how small. Your self-love will encourage others to love themselves and their bodies as well.

And this goes double for parents. Your kids take their cues from you. Kids often learn to hate their bodies because their parents' hated their own bodies. Help stop this cycle.

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