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 October 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 October 6-8 on a phone or a computer near you, and recordings and transcripts are also provided.
Steff Ivory Conover – Examining, dissecting and debunking the politics behind body policing, fat shaming, misogyny and the disappearance of the divine feminine
What does Fat Activism mean to you? Fat Activism can be as complex as petitioning our governments (both local, provincial and federal) for more inclusivity, speaking out and fighting for visibility and inclusivity for fat bodies, or creating ground breaking art that forces fat bodies to be viewed from a more inclusive lens. Fat Activism is showing up – showing out, and refusing to back down. Fat Activism is reclaiming spaces we’ve been denied access to – reclaiming a love of sports, a healthy sexuality, form fitting clothing or being unafraid to eat in public. Fat Activism is knowing your worth, and reminding every other person around you of just that. Fat Activism can also be as simple as existing, surviving and THRIVING in today’s society, in a body that has been otherwise declared “unlovable” “disgusting” or “unappealing”. Fat Activism is waking up, and going for your dreams each and every day, despite the constant stereotypes and judgments that threaten our very existence.
Why do you think fat activism is important?
Fat Activism is important because it is imperative that we reclaim our bodies, and the space that they take up, for our mental health, our physical health and our emotional health. Fat people have just as much right to be happy, to be loved, to be respected and to be valued as individuals. We need to end the stigma surrounding bigger bodies, and dispel the negativity and shame surrounding “existing while fat”.
Give us a hint of what your talk will be about: The (Female) Body Politic examines the disappearance of the divine feminine, and the way that disappearance has influenced how we look at curvy female bodies, and female sexuality, in today’s age.
Tell us about your favorite bit of activism, or your favorite activism success
My favourite bit of activism has been my storied career as an artist. I constantly look to create imagery which pushes the boundaries of what the viewer may find as an “unconventional” beauty. As a plus sized performer, I love to invite people to find beauty, decadence, sex appeal and attraction to a body type they might’ve previously thought “wasn’t their type”. Creating boudoir, burlesque and high fashion imagery in a fat body forces the audience to reframe what they might’ve previously considered their preference – and invites the viewer to discover that truly, EVERY body is beautiful. My art is a radical act. Loving my BODY is a radical act.
Can you provide us with a link where people can learn more about you or connect with you?
Joanne Soolman – Coexisting with Dissent: How to practice Size Acceptance and Health at Every Size
What does Fat Activism mean to you?
Fat Activism is an important movement to help fight against anti-fat and weight-biases in our society.
Why do you think Fat Activism is important?
Being fat in our society is an act of bravery as many of us are subjected to discrimination and hatred. Fat Activism is a way for me to speak out against these injustices and feel solidarity with other people of size (and their allies).
Can you give us a hint of what we’ll hear from you at the conference?
My talk is about how to deal with family members, friends and health care professionals who not only do not understand Health at Every Size, but also might actively disagree with the HAES principles. It’s a survival guide for those living in larger bodies who have difficult interactions with their family/friends/doctors.
We are so happy to have The Body Positive as one of our Silver Sponsors for 2017!
The Body Positive does powerful work by giving people tools to reconnect to their innate body wisdom so they can have more balanced, joyful self-care, and a relationship with their whole selves that is guided by love, forgiveness, and humor. Get more information about our trainings for students and professionals, our workshops for the public, and our book Embody at www.thebodypositive.org.