Road to the Conference – Saucye West, Sarah Harry, Justine Sutton, ASDAH

We are so very excited about the wonderful speakers and amazing sponsors 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 online at a phone or a computer near you.  Don’t wait to sign up.

Register Now!

Keynote Spotlight

Saucye West

She began modeling in 2010, when she joined the team at Full Figure Entertainment based in Oakland as a promotional model. She has made a name for herself in the Bay Area as one of the only extended plus size models. She has done dozens of fashion shows for local designers. As well as worked with plus size designers in other regions.

Along with modeling Saucye is also an activist for size acceptance and a fat activist. Via her social networking sites, you will see her post inspiring messages and photos promoting body love and telling women to take back the word “fat”. And changing the energy behind that word from being a negative into a positive. And helping women of all sizes love themselves.

Saucye has been published in over a dozen print and online publications. Has been featured in body positive campaigns. And is a body positive influencer and inspiration leader.

In January of 2013 she lost the father of her child tragically. And she has been balancing grief with raising her daughter, modeling and working full time. But he always told her she was a star. So that is what gives her the drive to continue on, to give her child a good life and to make him proud.

Her goal is to let the world know that fat can be beautiful and glamorous, and that women of all sizes can be represented positively and work together. She also wants to bridge the gap between the fat activist community and the plus modeling community. She believes that it is imperative to have strong examples of what beauty is in all forms. And that there is a young girl out there who sees her and will be inspired. She says, “I didn’t have those examples growing up so I want to make sure this next generation does!” She believes that it is imperative to have strong examples of what beauty is in all forms. And that there is a young girl out there who sees her and will be inspired.

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

Website:  www.saucyewestplusmodel.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/saucyewest
Tumblr: www.saucyewestplusmodel.tumblr.com
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/saucyewestplusmodel

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Speaker Spotlights

Sarah Harry – Why working with Kellogg’s was a Fat Positive and Body Positive win

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat Activism to me is like breathing. It’s essential for all of us to realise the inherent bias we have against fat bodies and start moving towards equality.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

It’s not OK to stigmatise and discriminate against one group of people for any reason, so fat activism to me is purely part of the intersection of equality for all people.

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

I am going controversial maybe in my talk! I am going to talk about something I was criticized for and why I did it…hint…it involves “big food”

Justine Sutton – Asking For What You Need with ZAP! (Zero Apologies Plan)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

To me, it means being visible, advocating for myself and other fat people… letting ourselves be seen in the world.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

It is necessary to break down the anti-fat bias so prevalent in our society.

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

I will share the benefit of my experience in advocacy and requesting accommodation in various public venues, with my Zero Apologies Plan—ZAP!

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Sponsor Spotlight

We are so happy to ASDAH as one of our Gold Sponsors for 2017!

ASDAH partners with service providers, educators and advocates to dismantle weight-centered health policies and practice, and is guided by the Health At Every Size® principles. ASDAH envisions a world that celebrates bodies of all shapes and sizes, in which body weight is no longer a source of discrimination and where marginalized communities have equal access to the resources and practices that support health and well being.

See more at https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org

Register Now!

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Road to the Conference – Jane Arlene Herman, Lindsay Marie, Ashleigh Shackelford, Friend of Marilyn

We are so very excited about the wondAffiliate Banner 300x250erful 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.  Don’t wait to sign up.

Register Now!

 Keynote Spotlight

 Jane Arlene Herman 

I am old and I know a lot. I have been a lecturer, educator, organizer, and activist since (almost) the beginning of time. I know how to share, how to say what needs to be said (which is not necessarily that which people want to hear…), and how to create tiny shifts in the world. I am also a fat, disability, environmental health, LGBTQ, old, and Jewish activist. In my teaching, I encourage people to understand that if you’re oppressed, your life makes you a political activist; wherever I can, I teach that “the personal is political.” During the 1970s, I was a member of the Los Angeles Radical Feminist Therapy Collective. This group, whose members included the visionary and pioneering fat activists Vivian Mayer (a.k.a. Aldebaran) and Judy Freespirit, birthed the Fat Underground and helped shape the early fat feminist movement.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

All oppressed people are activists, even if one never says a word in one’s own defense. Every time a cruel, harmful, or judgmental word, look, or action is thrown in our direction, our bodily, psychic, or emotional reaction is the reaction of an activist. Some of us, by luck or privilege, are more able to speak up or act. We activists need to claim responsibility for our privilege and speak up for those who are not living in the best circumstances to speak for themselves.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is a very special movement. Not many other activist groups or people are willing to do the necessary work to halt their own fatphobia, or to speak up for us. We fat folks are too often ridiculed and emotionally discarded by folks who are ashamed to even be seen with us. We must not wait for others to shine our light. We fat activists and our allies need to work together to keep our light bright and our words bellowing.

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

In this talk, I will discuss the problem of secret dieting, which is something that we all do. Secret dieting means that we restrict what, and how much, we eat, but we convince ourselves that we’re not really dieting—we’re just being careful about health, cholesterol, diabetes, the environment, the children, whatever. Pretty much everyone—fat, thin, and in-between—is doing some kind of secret dieting, and it hurts us in many ways. It makes us squash down our anger and act too “nice,” and this in turn causes our political activism to become watered down and timid. I’ll talk about how you can recognize secret dieting and put a stop to it. Then you can join together with other fat folks and get support in nurturing yourself by eating all the food that you want and need. Together, we’ll get in touch with our radical political anger and edge!

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 Speaker Spotlights

Lindsay Marie – When Was the Last Time You Called Yourself Fat

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Body Positivity is to Fat Activism what Humanism is to Feminism. One is for “everyone” and the other recognizes that oppression exists. Yes, all bodies deserve to be loved by their owners but fat bodies, bodies with disabilities, queer and trans bodies, and bodies of colour are the ones lacking representation and facing oppression. Fat activism recognizes this and works to create a society where all bodies are accepted.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

The fat activism movement has always been about centering marginalized bodies and when the body positive community constantly puts thin, white, straight, able-bodied women on a pedestal to represent all of us, we are doing that history a disservice. I think we got a bit lost in the message of body positivity being for all bodies when it was actually created by a very specific group of individuals who have faced violence and hatred because of their oppression. There is always a historical context when we talk about oppression and we can’t ignore that. While I do want all people to love their bodies we need to be making space for those least allowed to do so, according to societal standards. That is what fat activists have always stood for and what I am all about because I am a queer, fat, femme. I am a fat activist and a fatshion blogger.

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

Selfies, selfies, and more selfies! Plus the word “fat.”

Register Now!

Ashleigh Shackelford – I Wish a Nigga Would: Why You Don’t Have to Love Yourself to Defend Yourself

 What does Fat Activism mean to you?

F​at activism means Black lives mattering. Fat activism means Black fat bodies at the beginning, center, and end. Fat activism means shifting the narratives that fatphobia is a separate violence from antiblackness. Fat activism is challenging the narratives of ableism and classism to include the narratives around fat bodies. Fat activism is resistance in a world designed to shrink and kill me.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is imperative because fatphobia is inherently derivative of antiblack violence. In order to free fat bodies, it starts with the centering of Black resistance that has always included a narrative of anti-fatphobia and anti-body shaming but whiteness has always kept it fractured. Black history is fat history. My existence as a Black fat femme cannot be put into fractions. So fat activism is something inherently tied to my Blackness, my femmeness, my queerness, my disability, and my poorness. I’m always a fat nigga wherever I go, and my story will always be both/ and, never either/ or.

Register Now!

Sponsor Spotlight

We are so happy to Friend of Marilyn as one of our Platinum Sponsors for 2017!

Friend of Marilyn (@FOMNZ) is a fat positive radio show on Access Manawatu 999AM. It provides counter programming to the normative discourses on fatness and obesity in our culture, hosting conversations in which accepted ideas and stereotypes about fatness are challenged. FOM believes that safe spaces for fat people are important, and the show is committed to providing a forum where fat people get to speak for themselves (not just have their lives thinsplained by others). FOM began in August of 2011, and is currently on a tour around the world – make sure your city is a spot today!

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Road to the Conference: Ivy Felicia, Hilary Kinavey, Dana Sturtevant, Esther Rothblum, BEDA

We are so very excited about the amazing speakers and wonderful sponsors 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 group we’ve got lined up for The Fat Activism Conference on October 6-8, 2017. It’s an online conference so you can listen online or by phone from wherever you are. Don’t wait to register –  Hurry to get your spot now!

Keynote Spotlight

Ivy Felicia – My Healthy is Not Your Healthy: Redefining Holistic Wellness For All Bodies

Ivy Felicia is dedicated to helping people strengthen their love for themselves. Ivy is a certified holistic wellness coach, a motivational speaker, a body image and body acceptance expert, a coach with over 3 years of acclaimed service, and a passionate public advocate for body acceptance and diversity. She has offered body image coaching to people of all sizes, offering strength, peace, and radical self-love to all who struggle to achieve it.

Through her own powerful journey to body acceptance, Ivy has developed an innovative system of Body Relationship CoachingTM. By using simple strategies, mindful accountability techniques, intuitive listening, and ongoing training, Ivy facilitates shifts in mindset and perspective that help people achieve positive, sustainable changes in their relationship with their body.

No matter what stage of life a person is in, no matter what body they have, no matter their health complications, or their lingering feelings from the past, Ivy teaches that body peace is possible, that self-love is a choice, and that body freedom is a birthright.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

I believe that Fat Activism is simply about doing the work to ensure that people who navigate the world in a larger body are treated with dignity, afforded equal opportunities, and given the resources necessary for them to thrive in life as they wish.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

I feel that Fat Activism is important because discrimination, exclusion, and aggression towards fat people are issues that affect their quality of life and overall well-being. By working towards inclusion and equality for fat people through activism we are inevitably ensuring that they have access to resources that will enable them to flourish and thrive in every area of life. When fat people are able to thrive, they are able to positively impact our society and in turn that is a benefit for all people.

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

Holistic wellness has a tremendous potential to help people experience enhanced well-being and connect with their bodies from a place of compassion. However, due to marginalization and exclusion many people will never get to experience the benefits that holistic wellness has to offer. It’s time to change the narrative and redefine holistic wellness in a way that makes it inclusive all people. I’ve already begun and in this presentation I share ways that you can join me.

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

Website: http://MeMyBodyAndLove.com
Blog: http://www.memybodyandlove.com/naked-blogging/
Instagram: http://Instagram.com/IAmIvyFelicia
Twitter: http://Twitter.com/IAmIvyFelicia
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheBodyRelationshipCoach/
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MeMyBodyAndLove/

Register Now!

Speaker Spotlights

Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant – Reclaiming Body Trust in a World Filled with Weight Bias

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

All oppression is connected, and unfortunately, weight stigma is often left out of dialogue about discrimination. Fat activists make the lived experience of being fat visible, known and understood. Fat activism helps to name, address and unravel the harm that could otherwise be internalized.

We want to help create a world where people can live authentically and be unapologetic about how much space they take up in the world. Much of our work is focused on addressing the rampant fat phobia in health care settings, including the eating disorder treatment community. We work to create a future where people feel safe and receive respectful, non-biased health care. When we stop pathologizing and stigmatizing certain bodies, people will be better able to live compassionately in the bodies they have today, and feel worthy of love and belonging regardless of size. The existence of fat activism creates a collective voice—we are holding each other up and have the power to address the systems that need radical change.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Kids today are growing up in a weight- and food-focused culture, and as a result, body shame, disordered eating, and food worry start at young ages. Many of the clients we’ve worked with over the years have lived their entire lifetimes completely disconnected from their body, repeating a cycle of shame, deprivation, and backlash eating. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned health care providers are steeped in diet culture, and end up promoting myths and leaning into personal responsibility rhetoric while ignoring the social determinants of health. We are also concerned about the rampant weight bias in eating disorder treatment settings and until we address this, recovery will remain elusive and incomplete for many.

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

We believe body trust is a birthright that gets hijacked in our youth, and we’ll be offering strategies and a process for reclaiming it.

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

Website: www.benourished.org

Esther Rothblum – Fat Visibility Through Publishing

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

I have been conducting research on the stigma of weight for over 30 years. My own activism is to get women and members of oppressed groups to publish. So much of what has been written about women, about fat people, etc. has been by thin white men in lab coats. Once something is in print it will be available for thousands of years! My aim is to get more people to publish about fat studies and fat activism.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat people are visible in our bodies but also made invisible by society in the sense that news coverage, marketing, etc. is focused on people who are at the “norm,” leaving out members of oppressed groups. So it’s time that we throw our weight around! I advocate fat visibility through publishing, because it’s hard to destroy the published word, and published writing will be available for centuries and across the world. The 1960s were a time of civil rights groups–for people of color, LGBT people, women, etc. At that time some of these organizations published informal newsletters, many of which are quite valuable now, saved in archives, and used in college courses. I want to make sure that early writing on fat activism is also published for future generations.

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

I want to show that publishing is a political act. Fat activists, like members of other oppressed groups, are rarely mentored by leaders in the publishing word on how to make their ideas into print. So I will talk about ways to find time to write (few people are paid full time to write), how to get invited to publish (believe it or not, editors are often looking for authors), how to submit writing to sources (newspapers, newsletters, articles and books) in unsolicited ways (when you don’t know the editor personally and she/he doesn’t know you), and how to deal with fat-phobic feedback.

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

 Website: www.rothblum.sdsu.edu

Sponsor Spotlight

We are so happy to have BEDA as one of our Platinum Sponsors for 2017!

The Binge Eating Disorder Association does amazing work providing leadership in the recognition, prevention, and treatment of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) in people of all sizes, as well as working intersectionally to increase fat positivity in Eating Disorder Community and the world, which makes them a perfect partner for the Fat Activism Conference! Find out more at http://bedaonline.com/

Register Now!

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Jane Arlene Herman and Velvet D’Amour Talk Fat Activism

This is the last in our series previewing the amazing speakers and sponsors of the Fat Activism Conference, because the conference starts tomorrow!  Today is the last day to register with regular conference rates (the prices increase to our “last chance” rates tomorrow) so click here to get your spot now! Remember that the conference is online so you can listen from wherever you are, you’ll receive recordings and transcripts so that you can listen and read on your own schedule, and there is a pay what you can afford option. Here are this week’s interviews with two powerful fat activists:

Jane Arlene Herman, Healthy Me

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

All oppressed people are activists, even if one never says a word in one’s own
defense. Every time a cruel, harmful, or judgmental word, look, or action is thrown in our
direction, our bodily, psychic, or emotional reaction is the reaction of an activist. Some of us, by luck or privilege, are more able to speak up or act. We activists need to claim
responsibility for our privilege and speak up for those who are not living in the best
circumstances to speak for themselves.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is a very special movement. Not many other activist groups or people are willing to do the necessary work to halt their own fatphobia, or to speak up for us. We fat folks are too often ridiculed and emotionally discarded by folks who are ashamed to even be seen with us. We must not wait for others to shine our light. We fat activists and our allies need to work together to keep our light bright and our words bellowing.

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

In my talk I will discuss how oppressed people gain power by learning to identify the ways in which we are oppressed. Much of our oppression has been hidden or “mystified” by people and corporations (and now, we are told that corporations are people, too!) who financially, emotionally, and politically profit from encouraging us to think that there is something “wrong” with fat folks. Mystification keeps us feeling fearful and powerless. It steals our compassion for ourselves and each other.

I will also talk about our fear of fat and how none of us escapes experiencing this fear. People are going to become fatter. Just about everyone knows deep down in our hearts that this is true, and just about everyone fights this (do you want to become fatter than you are today?). Everybody is afraid of fat, fatter, fattest.

This has led almost every person (fat or not) to some fear of eating. We become the constant judge and jury of our own food dis-pleasure. Add to this the corporate planned alienation and mystification of the freedom to really understand and act on liberating ourselves from our oppression, and we become afraid to allow ourselves to just EAT, eat all that we want, and whatever we want. Mystification tells us that we are “binge eating” and “addicted” to food. But really, we are hungry—actually, starving. Our bodies need more food, and that is why we crave sugar and desire more fats, oils, salt, carbs, and meat. Our so-called addictions are the result of physical HUNGER. But we have become too afraid to eat, just damn it EAT, eat, and then eat more. We must relearn how to nourish our bodies, minds, and souls.

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

Email: healthyme@gmail.com
Facebook: Jane Arlene Herman

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

Professionally, I am a radical therapist and consultant. I teach people how to organize and create ongoing problem-solving groups. I provide consultations, in person or by phone, for people and groups who are in crisis or who need guidance in regard to specific problems, especially problems that come up in relation to political oppression and activism.

We need to talk with each other in safe, supportive, ongoing organized groups where we can share our feelings, because keeping our truth hidden isolates us and makes us feel deep-down loneliness. We need support to bring our truths into the light.

Click here to register for the conference! 

Velvet D.Amour, VOLUP2

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

It means making the change I want to see.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat Activism is important due to the inundation of fat prejudice rampant in modern society.

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

I speak about my career and magazine VOLUP2 and fat within the fashion industry.

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

Website: Volup2
Instagram @volup2
Facebook: Volup2

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

BEDAwebBanners-02

Gold Sponsors

ASDAH Banner 2

Friend of Marilyn Banner

btc-rsz_twitterheader

Silver Sponsors

The Body Postive Banner

Melissa Fabello Banner

Community Partner

More of Me to Love

Click here to register for the conference! 

 

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Rajah Jones, Harriet Brown, Mirna Valerio, and Beyond the Curve Talk Fat Activism

The Fat Activism Conference is right around the corner, and we’re continuing to bring you in depth information and previews from our incredible speakers and sponsors.  The Fat Activism Conference is an online conference that will be held September 23-25 on a phone or a computer near you!  You’ll also receive recordings and transcripts so that you can listen/read on your own schedule.  There’s even a pay-what-you-can-afford option. Don’t wait to sign up, hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlights: 

Rajah Jones

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

For me it’s about breaking the stigma and stereotypes that are projected on our bodies. Decolonizing these standards of beauty and what bodies are supposed to look like in the binaristic lenses of society. While creating a space where our bodies are celebrated and loved no matter the size or shape no matter the gender, race, sex, economic, and ethnic background.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important

I feel it’s very important to me because the medical complex, media, and society don’t have a right to push their agenda and create this sense of insecurity in ourselves because the standard is very unattainable for a lot of us. While fighting for fat activism will decrease mental illnesses, body image issues, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders and let everyone know that they can love their body how they are and should be able to have the freedom to live freely how they deem fit and not by anyone else’s standards.

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

Well I may touch on different things that can relate to body image, meeting oneself where they’re at and defying these stigmas and stereotypes.

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

Instagram @miss_o_jones
Facebook: Rajah Olivia Jones
Twitter: @rajah_jones

Click here to register for the conference! 

Harriet Brown

What does Fat Activism mean to you? 

It means taking an active role in challenging stereotypes and assumptions and misconceptions around weight.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Because we live in a culture that demonizes and actively punishes people whose bodies don’t fit the rigid body norms. For me it’s a social justice issue as well as an issue of information and paradigm-changing.

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

How to help move people from a fat-fearing/fat-hating stance toward a more nuanced view of weight.

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

Website: www.harrietbrown.com

Click here to register for the conference! 

Mirna Valerio, Fat Girl Running

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism is simple: allowing people who live in big bodies the same rights to be seen, heard, loved and respected like everyone else.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

It ensures that beyond being bullied, shamed, and discriminated against for various reason, that big-bodied folks continue to have a strong voice and presence.

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

About a year ago, I wrote a blogpost entitled “How to be a Fatrunner in 10 Simple Steps). This post has received probably the most hits on the blog and continues to be shared over and over. In my workshop, I’ll be going IN on how to become a runner, and how to set yourself up for wild and uncontrollable success!

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

Facebook: Fat Girl Running
Twitter: @themirnavator
Blog: Fat Girl Running

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I am currently working on my running memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress due to be published in October of 2017!

Click here to register for the conference! 

Sponsor Spotlight

Beyond the Curve

Beyond the Curve Retreats are boutique body love coaching retreats. Run by two body-positive sex-positive certified life coaches, Beyond the Curve Retreats combine cognitive-based coaching work to improve your body image with fun and exciting body love adventures (we’re talking personal boudoir photo shoots with professional hair and makeup and burlesque workshops with internationally-renowned teachers). It all takes place in luxurious accommodations, with gourmet food, in the company of other fabulous women who are on this transformative journey together. As we like to say, loving your body starts in your mind – but a little luxury doesn’t hurt!

What does fat activism mean to you?

For us, fat activism means social and political efforts to normalize the bodies and lives of fat people – to dismantle structural size bias so that fat people can live freely. We see our coaching work as a form of fat activism – we both come from social justice backgrounds and our coaching is an extension of that work. Fat people who know how to live freely and happily in this world are the biggest threat to fat bias and the biggest boon to fat activism, and that’s what we help people do.

Why do you think fat activism is important?

FA is important because it teaches us that we are not just individual fat people with individual problems. We are part of a community that experiences systemic discrimination – and the solution lies in collective organizing and advocacy. As coaches, FA informs our approach with our clients. We don’t deny the existence of fat bias at all, but we work with people to help them experience full and expansive lives that include both personal development and collective efforts.

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

www.beyondthecurveretreats.com

Click here to register for the conference! 

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

BEDAwebBanners-02

Gold Sponsors

ASDAH Banner 2

Friend of Marilyn Banner

btc-rsz_twitterheader

Silver Sponsors

The Body Postive Banner

Melissa Fabello Banner

Community Partner

More of Me to Love

Click here to register for the conference! 

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Courtney Marshall, Amy Pence-Brown, Cat Pausé, and ASDAH Talk Fat Activism

Here is the next installment of  pre-conference interviews from our powerful and inspirational speakers and sponsors, 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: We are so excited to highlight three more of the amazing speakers who will be sharing their wisdom with us in September.

Courtney Marshall, Wrong is Not My Name: Black Feminist Fitness

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism means, to quote Michelle Cliff, “claiming an identity they taught me to despise.”  I celebrate the beauty and resilience of fat communities while working to dismantle structures that punish fat people for simply existing.  To do this I have to work against other systems like white supremacy, predatory capitalism, and misogyny.  It also means that I make spaces for fat Black female joy and happiness.  It means constantly working for a world that isn’t here yet.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism teaches me that feelings of unworthiness or disgust were all taught to me.  They have material consequences and incentives, and they can be challenged and unlearned.  I can’t participate in my own destruction, right?  I have to create something new in order for me and other fat people to survive.  This is what the very best activism does.

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

I’ll talk a bit about my journey out of diet culture into fat activism, my ongoing theorizing of the stereotype of Mammy, my obsession with Fannie Lou Hamer, and my Black feminist fitness program.

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

Facebook: Black Feminist Fitness

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

Holla at me if you want to talk.  We all we got!

Click here to register for the conference! 

Amy Pence-Brown

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

To me, it means taking up space. Using my voice to add to the conversation. Showing up in my fat body. Being brave and rebellious. Living a happy and fulfilling life out loud. It’s about creating my own media, changing the narrative, and standing for self-love.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

I’ve been asked repeatedly about my reclamation of both the terms “fat” and “activist,” since they both have negative connotations in our contemporary culture. People continue to see them both as something untoward and scary, unsavory and daunting. That right there proves to me that our work is not only necessary, but revolutionary.

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

As a body image activist for the past seven years, I believe in opening my mouth and my heart. From both of these places I tell a powerful story of vulnerability, courage, body positivity and the importance of taking a stand for something you believe in – yourself. You’ll hear more about the making of a fat, forty-year-old feminist mother who recently became famous for stripping down half-nude in a blindfold and a black bikini at a farmers market downtown Boise, Idaho, bravely asking people to draw a heart on my body if they believed that all bodies are valuable and how a video of this radical stand for self-acceptance went viral and has been now seen over 150 million times and covered by media all over the world, including CNN, People, Cosmopolitan, NPR, the Dr. Oz show, Bustle, xoJane, USA Today, Huffington Post, and SHAPE magazine.

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

Website: www.amypencebrown.com
Facebook: Amy Pence-Brown – Writer, Artist, Body Image Activist
Facebook: Boise Rad Fat Collective
Instagram Idaho_Amy
Twitter @IdahoAmy

Anything else you want folks to know?

I recently gave a TEDx talk titled The Stand for Self-Love that really tells an inspiring story of how I became a fat fierce feminist from Idaho and came to be at peace with my body.

 

Cat Pausé, Friend of Marilyn

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

I’m talking about weight discrimination in employment. We explore weight discrimination, and efforts that have been made to make this illegal in pockets across the world. I share my experience of having my employer (a University in New Zealand) add physical size as a protected category in policy documents.

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

iTunes: Friend of Marilyn
Facebook: Friend of Marilyn; Cat’s personal page
Twitter: @FOMNZ
Tumblr: FriendofMarilyn
Blog: Friend of Marilyn
YouTube: Friend of Marilyn
Google Citations: Cat Pausé
Academia.Edu: Cat Pausé
Research Gate: Cat Pausé

Anything else you 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. The price has dropped to 25NZD/18USD, but you only have until 30 Sept to register!

 

Click here to register for the conference! 

Sponsor Spotlight

ASDAH

What does Fat Activism mean to you? 

Fat Activism means taking action and speaking out against weight stigma, bias, and discrimination so that we can begin to dismantle the ways oppression operates systemically in our lives and ensure that all bodies are welcome. Fat Activism does not exist in a vacuum. People experience inequalities differently, so fat activism also means recognizing the ways that fat stigma intersects with other identities.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat Activism is important because it brings vital attention to the essential humanity of individuals with larger bodies. Unfortunately, bias, stigma and discrimination won’t just work their way out of our cultures without effort, and Fat Activism is important because it sits at the forefront of that effort, demanding respect for all people and all bodies, regardless of their size, weight, health status or ability.

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

Website: www.sizediversityandhealth.org

Anything else you  want folks to know?

ASDAH recognizes and is grateful for the many Fat Activists who have come before us and paved the way.

We hope that many of you will join ASDAH and work with us to push forward the intersection of the work that the Fat Activism and Health At Every Size® communities are doing.

Click here to register for the conference! 

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! 

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Mirna Valerio, Alysse Dalessandro, Andrea Nevins, and Jay Solomon Talk Fat Activism

Today we’re continuing with our speaker and sponsor pre-conference interviews so you can see what an amazing group we’ve got lined up for The Fat Activism Conference.  The conference will be held online September 23-25 – you can listen in by phone or computer, and you’ll also receive recordings and transcripts so that you can listen/read live and on your own schedule.  Don’t wait to sign up, hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlights: We are so excited to highlight three more of the amazing speakers who will be sharing their wisdom with us in September.

Mirna Valerio, Fat Girl Running

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism is simple: allowing people who live in big bodies the same rights to be seen, heard, loved and respected like everyone else.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

It ensures that beyond being bullied, shamed, and discriminated against for various reason, that big-bodied folks continue to have a strong voice and presence.

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

About a year ago, I wrote a blogpost entitled “How to be a Fatrunner in 10 Simple Steps). This post has received probably the most hits on the blog and continues to be shared over and over. In my workshop, I’ll be going IN on how to become a runner, and how to set yourself up for wild and uncontrollable success!

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

Website: fatgirlrunning-fatrunner.blogspot.com

Twitter/Instagram: @themirnavator

Facebook: Fatgirlrunning

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I am currently working on my running memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress due to be published in October of 2017!

Click here to register for the conference! 

Alysse Dalessandro, Ready to Stare

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat Activism represents a group of individuals fighting for the fair and equal rights of fat individuals. Everyday as fat individuals we encounter discrimination and size bias because we live in a society that believes as people are not worthy of existing. This bias has greatly affected my own life and for a long time, I felt controlled by what other people thought about my body. Discovering Fat Activism and people who practiced radical self love, changed my life and gave me back my power.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat Activism is important because there is still so much work that needs to be done towards equality. Health bias is still seen as normal. Fat shaming isn’t considered bullying or harassment. A lot of the unequal treatment experienced by fat individuals isn’t just accepted; it’s encouraged. Fat Activism is actionable steps taken by passionate individuals to tackle this. Fat Activism gives me hope.

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

I am going to be talking about fashion! I have used fashion in my own life as both as means for personal empowerment and an impetus for social change. I will be talking about how we need to shift the mindset of fashion from criticism to fashion as tool of fat liberation.

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

Website: www.readytostare.com

Instagram/Twitter: @readytostare

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

I am so excited and honored to be speaking at the Fat Activism Conference!

Click here to register for the conference! 

Andrea Nevins

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Awareness. It means gaining an active understanding of how the tyranny of slenderness is a cultural construct and working towards an emancipation of our sensibilities about body aesthetics.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Liberation. It provides a mechanism for the rest of the world to recognize and address the various ways in which people are marginalized based on body size.

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

Lecture Title: “If Loving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right”: Aspiring Towards a Smaller Body Later While Loving the Larger One You Have Now

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

Website: http://www.andreaeshaw.com/

Anything else you (briefly) want folks to know?

In addition to being an academic with an interest in body image, I am also a life coach who helps people work through a variety of concerns including body acceptance.

Click here to register for the conference! 

Sponsor Spotlight

Jay Solomon—More of Me to Love

This is our third Fat Activism Conference, and it’s the third time that Jay Solomon and More of Me to Love have sponsored us.  We recently interviewed Jay about Fat Activism.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat Activism is any action that defies culturally acceptable norms, stereotypes and requirements imposed on fat people’s bodies. Fat Activism is going on national television and saying “Fat is beautiful,” just as Fat Activism is wearing a sleeveless shirt that shows the skin of your fat body. Fat Activism is not apologizing for taking up space, just as Fat Activism is loving – or even just trying to love – the body you have for all of its girth, jiggle, curves and more. Fat Activism is working, whether in public or private spaces to embrace one’s body and help other people do the same. What Fat Activism means to us at More of Me to Love is that we’re allowed to do things for the bodies we have today. It reminds us that it’s okay to buy the pants that fit, not ones we aspire to fit in. It tells us that exercising and prioritizing health are a choice that we get to make, and should we, we’re entitled to do so without shaming and an emphasis on weight loss or changing our bodies.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

 Fat bodies – and therefore fat people – are stigmatized and demonized in our culture and many others. They are made to feel less worthy and associated with numerous stereotypes and judgments. Fat children are bullied and fat adults are charged more for everything from airline seats to health care. Fat Activism is the effort to start righting these wrongs, to start changing the narrative and to start embracing the bodies that bring us through the world, whatever their size. Fat Activism means that spaces will become safer for everyone.

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

Website: http://moreofmetolove.com/

Click here to register for the conference! 

Thanks to our amazing sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

BEDAwebBanners-02

Gold Sponsors

ASDAH Banner 2

Friend of Marilyn Banner

btc-rsz_twitterheader

Silver Sponsors

The Body Postive Banner

Melissa Fabello Banner

Community Partner

More of Me to Love

Click here to register for the conference! 

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