Jeanette Miller, Saucye West, Kerry Beake, and Friend of Marilyn Talk Fat Activism

We are so very excited about the wonderful sponsors and amazing speakers we have lined up for The Fat Activism Conference this year that we can’t possibly wait until September to tell you all about them. So we’re continuing with our pre-conference interviews from a few  of them every week so you can see what an amazing team we’ve got lined up for The Fat Activism Conference to be held September 23-25 on a phone or a computer near you.  Don’t wait to sign up. Hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlights:

Jeanette Miller, The Writer Girl

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

For me, Fat Activism is about everything from the authenticity with which I try to live day to day life in my own fat body to the outward action—conversations, writing, presentations, political actions, push back against the medicalization of fat bodies, etc—about fat and weight oppression and the liberation from that oppression.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?
Fat and weight oppression is not limited to fat people. And so, for me it is important that my activism is about All Bodies. I think the “body positivity” movement, popular at the moment, can provide for opportunities to do Fat Activism much more visibly. The movement itself doesn’t go far enough, and as you’ll hear just a bit of in my presentation, it’s not always possible to be positive about your body. But that uncomfortableness with one’s body shouldn’t be based in oppression, this is where Fat Activism comes in. Bodies are diverse, complex, individualized “machines” and they change and behave in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with the size of one’s body. It’s on those days, like today when I’m fighting a summer cold, when I’m not in love with what is happening with my body, that I also find Fat Activism to be a critical aspect of my daily life. I also think that in doing Fat Activism, it’s important to be specific, to name the oppression and to share the specific experiences of those involved. It’s not always my place to do so, as I can only speak to the experiences of my fat, white, cis-gendered body. So in my activism, I’m looking at ways of handing the microphone to others, be it encouraging them or giving people a platform to share their experiences and their stories in ways that work towards an increasingly diverse and intersectional view of fat and weight liberation.

Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?
My presentation will stem predominantly from the last year and a half where I’ve taken my life and activism “on the road,” I’ll share some experiences, how it’s impacted my approach to activism, how I am in my own body and the importance of taking chances on yourself and others.

Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?
Websites: http://www.wr1tergurl.com/ & http://wr1tergurl.weebly.com/

Click here to register now!

Saucye West

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism is my daily walk. Every day I strive to be an example that. It’s something that I have embodied and I am very proud of how far we have come and where we are going in this movement.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is important because we need to change the perception. It is important that we continue to fight for the right to own our space and love ourselves without having to apologize for our bodies, When we have a united front it shows people that we will live and it is not their opinion when and how we live or die 

Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?
I will be discussing how the plus size community is beginning to separate and the events that have taken place to where there is not a hierarchy in terms of plus size. And how we need to come together to stop this.

Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?
Facebook: www.facebook.com/saucyewestplusmodel

Instagram: @saucyewest

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

My name is Saucye West, I am your favorite fat girl. And I am here to change the standard of beauty

Click here to register now!

Kerry Beake, Unleashing the WELL in every BEING!

What does Fat Activism mean to you?
When I first heard this term I wasn’t sure what it meant because fat was a bad word. But now it means a place, a voice, justice, respect, connection, existence, strength for those who have been made to feel and been told they should not exist because their body fails to conform to a narrow largely unachievable ideal. It’s friendship, leadership  and community. Fat is not a bad word, it’s a word and it’s a word. It’s a word that is being reclaimed and in the process expanding what it means to be fat where a single negative stereotype no longer applies.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?
Without activism things don’t change. Injustice exists and it can only exist in fear and apathy. Injustice is bullying and it’s where some benefit at the expense of others. It uses silence and fear to continue the process. Activism is the collective voice that’s shouts stop, no more, this needs to change. It’s been said that less than 10% of people will ever speak up, 10% never will and it’s the 80% in the middle who are undecided in a bullying environment. Activism helps to sway and give courage to the 80%.

Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?
I will be focusing on building connections, community and belonging. This is something that for people who may be isolated (I live in one of the most isolated cities in the world), and or have felt they don’t belong and how to begin to change that. Belonging and feeling like we matter is so fundamental to us a humans and its intrinsic to our wellbeing. But it can be difficult, maybe uncomfortable, our past bad experiences can leave us feeling vulnerable and mistrustful. Activism can also seem daunting perhaps for some people for example if you’ve believed all your life that you need to be nice and agreeable, not cause a fuss etc. I will be exploring these ideas to help people realise there is a place for them and they can relax and feel comfortable and belong and they can be themselves.

Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?
Website: http://www.haeshealth.com

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I love cats! I’ve always loved cats.

Click here to register now!

Sponsor Spotlight

We are so happy to have Friend of Marilyn as one of our sponsors for 2016! We spoke with her about why she’s involved in fat activism and supporting FAC.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism means fat people are the ones who know about their lives. Fat activism means fat people have their voices included in conversations around fatness.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is important because fat hate hurts people of all sizes – and while we may not be able to change everyone’s mind about fatness, we can damn sure make it illegal to discriminate against us for our size. And we can strive for a society in which fat people are able to lead their lives the way they want, without apology or shame.

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

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/nz/podcast/friend-of-marilyn/id462034226?mt=2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FriendofMarilyn

Twitter: @FOMNZ

Tumblr: FriendofMarilyn

Blog: https://friendofmarilyn.com

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I hosted Fat Studies: Identity, Agency, Embodiment in New Zealand in June. All of the speakers were video recorded using Mediasite, and people can still register for the online option to get access for up to a year (Tinyurl.com/fsnz16); it’s the only Fat Studies conference in the world, so I’d recommend checking it out if you are interested in fat scholarship. 

Click here to register now!

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

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Gold Sponsors

ASDAH Banner 2

Friend of Marilyn Banner

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Silver Sponsors

The Body Postive Banner

Melissa Fabello Banner

Community Partner

More of Me to Love

Click here to register for the conference! 

About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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