Caleb Luna, Jennifer Herman, Corbett OToole, Naomi Ortiz, and The Body Positive Talk about Fat Activism

Promo BannerAs the 2016 Fat Activism Conference draws near, we are excited to share some inspiring advance information about our speakers and sponsors. This is an online conference so you can listen from wherever you are by phone or computer, registrants also receive recordings and transcripts so that you can listen/read on your own schedule. The live conference will take place September 23-25, 2016.  Click here to register for the conference! 


Caleb Luna

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism has been a way for me to reclaim and rethink my fat body and what fatness has to mean. It has been a way to come to terms with my fatness and offered tools to rethink my relationship to my own fatness as well as others’. Through fat activism I have been able to be in touch with my body and work through years and years of shame and internalization and see the value and worth and sexiness of fatness despite so many concerted efforts trying to stifle these realizations.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism has the potential to challenge so much about our relationship to our bodies. Through fat activism we can see the ways in which our imaginings of our body are related to capitalism, white supremacy, misogyny, heterosexism, and so many other systems of oppression. Fat activism can allow to untangle these systems from how we think about our bodies and work to liberate everyone to have a better relationship with their body.

Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?

My talk is thinking about how colonialism has shaped how we think about bodies, introducing several categories of bodies—including ‘man’ and ‘woman’ as well as ‘fat’ and ‘thin’. It will think through the ways in which colonialism has perpetuated and enforced the category of fatness and some questions about what this means for the fat body, especially for people of color.

Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?
Instagram: chairbreaker
Twitter: bashbaq

Click here to register for the conference! 

Jennifer Herman

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism is a great source of comfort for me. The blogs, books, tweets, photos, stories, and in-person words of encouragement and wisdom of the fat activist community help me cope, and find strength, in the daily traumas of living in a fatphobic society. I feel proud to be a fat activist.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Because even the nursing profession—the most trusted profession in the United States for the past 14 years—is fatphobic. Fat shaming is a major public health problem. Fat oppression, dieting, body shaming, weight-based discrimination – whatever one may call it – causes suffering by inflicting pain, neglecting basic human needs of fat people, withholding compassion, and stealing precious time and energy from us. I’d like to see fat-activist-strategizing displace diet-talk everywhere!

Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?

Yes! Imagine what guerrilla theater, improvised or pre-scripted, might be like if you were the only actor and your healthcare provider were the only audience.

Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?

Sure, I’d love to connect with you on twitter: @fatpositiveRN

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I love the fat activist community and am so looking forward to getting to know more of you! xo Jen

Click here to register for the conference! 

 Corbett Joan OToole and Naomi Ortiz

Note: Naomi Ortiz and Corbett Joan OToole are co-presenting.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Corbett: Fat Activism means being proud of the bodyminds we live in. Taking up all the space we need while being conscious of the privileges that having an empowered body gives us. Fat Activism means embracing ALL fat women.

Naomi: Fat activism is the lived action of bringing integrity to my body. Informed by other types of activism, fat activism reminds me my body is home.

As fat disabled women we live at multiple margins. Fat Activism says we are embracing our beautiful bodies who resist societal restrictions.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Everyday the world tries to make fat people disappear. Tries to make all people hate their bodies so that we will participate in a fat-hating commercial culture.  Fat Activism challenges that erasure. Fat Activism helps us to name the ways that fatphobia tries to diminish us and gives us tools to fight back.

Can you give us a hit of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?

Naomi Ortiz and Corbett Joan OToole read body-loving letters to each other honoring our fat disabled bodies. We invite conference attendees to accompany us on a journey of inquiry, discovery and community. We explore the ways that our age, race, orientations and experiences shape us and provide us with powerful tools of resistance and the strategies we’ve cultivated to recharge, revitalizing our hearts and spirits.

Can you provide us a link where people can connect with you or learn more about you?

Naomi Ortiz writes at

Corbett Joan OToole’s work is at

Anything else you  (briefly) want folks to know?

We speak our truths with honesty, humor and loving kindness.

To read more about Self-Care for Social Justice, visit:

Click here to register for the conference! 

We’d also like to acknowledge one of our very special sponsors, the folks at The Body Positive. We want to thank them sincerely for their support and share with you a statement that they made about Fat Activism.

The Body Positive

Fat Activism means working to change the way society views fat people and fat, itself. It means shifting the overwhelming belief and perception that fat is bad into one that embraces and accepts body diversity. This can be done through conversations, fashion, art, public speaking, education and more! It’s pointing out the double binds that are so pervasive, confusing, and damaging to our well-being, calling out the companies, organizations and individuals who use them, and demanding that they do better. It’s recognizing the micro-aggressions that are inflicted upon people of all sizes everyday, especially fat people, and educating those who knowingly or unknowingly enact them. It’s taking up the space that we need and deserve and empowering others to do the same. It’s demanding that the space needed is offered and available to those who need it.

Fat Activism is important because without it, the prejudice, discrimination, and unnecessary suffering of all people will continue! Fatphobia and prejudice affect people of all sizes. Since everyone in our society is taught that fat is bad, those who are fat suffer from social stigma, lack of accessibility, and often times, self-hatred and disordered eating, and those who are not fat suffer from fear of fat and often disordered eating in an attempt to prevent themselves from becoming fat. So much energy and so many resources are directed towards perfecting and hating our bodies that so many of us have nothing left to devote to other pursuits; our fatphobia produces billions of dollars each year! We must help one another open our eyes to the extremely damaging effects of the diet industry and the ways that we are all preyed upon. We must demand that fat people be treated with dignity and respect and shed light on the ways that they are denied this basic human right so that it doesn’t continue.

Please check out our website at where you can learn more about what we do to fight fatphobia and help people of all sizes to lovingly care for their bodies.

Click here to register for the conference! 

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors

ASDAH Banner 2

Friend of Marilyn Banner


Silver Sponsors

The Body Postive Banner

Melissa Fabello Banner

Community Partner

More of Me to Love

Click here to register for the conference! 


About Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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