Road to the Conference – Jen Ponton, Aja Yasir, Carmen Cool, Mycroft Masada, Curvy Girl

Today is the day! The road to the conference has lead us to opening day!  Below you’ll find our final “Road to the Conference” Blog, as well as a preview of our (new for this year) Spoken Word Collective.   There’s still time to register –  Hurry to get your spot now!

Check out this preview of our powerful and amazing fat positive poets:

Speaker Spotlight

Jen Ponton – SO LONG, WACKY NEIGHBOR–BUH-BYE, BEST FRIEND: CHANGING THE GAME AS A FAT ACTRESS.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat Activism, to me, is a lot like the way feminism is summarized–it is human rights. Fat activism encapsulates the growth of self-worth, -respect, -confidence, and requires the same of others. It requires ownership and destigmatization of your body. Most importantly, to me, FA is a bit of a miracle–the proof that, even against all odds, you can forge a new relationship with yourself and turn your life around.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Aside from being a very prominent majority that happens to be an oppressed minority, fat activism requires embracing and accepting and owning your body. This is wildly important in a society where bodies are oppressed left and right–women, trans folk, LGBTQ. We are a microcosm of the promise that can be held for a world where everyone’s body is cherished and respected.

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

I’m here for the Hollywood scoop, but it’s not all doom and gloom–there’s a silver lining to being a fat actress. The best is yet to come.

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Aja Yasir – How Dieting Makes Us Poor

 What does Fat Activism mean to you?

I wouldn’t call myself a fat activist. I’m just fat. I’m a fat person who believes that everyone deserves to live life on their own accord and to go after whatever they want. They (we) deserve this regardless of limitations society attempts to impose. We deserve this even if we impose those limitations on ourselves.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Freedom. The things I value most in life are the freedom of choices, the freedom of movement, and the freedom of self- expression. Why should any of these be restricted simply because I’m fat?

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

The correlation between dieting and poverty.

Carmen Cool

Carmen is a psychotherapist, educator, speaker, abortion counselor, rebel and a cupcake connoisseur. She has been a therapist for 17 years and works primarily with binge eating disorder. She has also started and run a nonprofit, created youth programs, and speaks internationally on Health At Every Size ®, feminism and eating disorders, and weight stigma. Her work is focused on dismantling diet culture, being our body’s advocate, and supporting the next generation of body positive leaders. She believes that psychotherapists need to start addressing their roles, as healers, in contributing to larger social healing and is increasingly passionate about bringing together activism and therapy. She is the past Board President of the Association for Size Diversity and Health, was named “Most Inspiring Individual” in Boulder, Colorado and was the recipient of the Excellence in Eating Disorder Advocacy Award in Washington, DC.

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Mycroft Masada – Spirituality At Every Size : A Call To Action

 Mycroft Masada is a trans queer faith leader who moved to the Washington DC area of Maryland (Montgomery County) from hir lifelong home of Boston in 2014. A member of TransFaith’s National Council, steering committee member of TransEpiscopal, and former board member of Congregation Am Tikva, Mycroft is also a member of the Visionaries group that created the MoCo Pride Center (the first and only LGBTQ center for Montgomery County MD). Mycroft is particularly called to work for justice at the intersections of LGBTQI+ and fat communities, and is a writer and artist.

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

People of and at every size deserve equal access to, and equal membership in, spiritual practices and spiritual communities of all kinds. And as in every other aspect of communal life, fat people face intense and distinctive barriers in this sphere; the more so the more they struggle with intersecting oppressions — racism, ableism, classism and much more. From the Christian weight loss industry to the replacement of fatphobic Gods with fatphobic ‘Science’ to a plethora of other issues, there are many ways in which most of the faith community is unwelcoming to fat people. Too, in many senses, fatphobia has become a religion in its own right, especially among people who identify as secular. What is being done to lift up and better this facet of access and inclusion, what more is needed, and how can we take action towards social justice that not only includes fat justice and spiritual justice but is mindful of their intersection?

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Sponsor Spotlight

We are so grateful to have Curvy Girl as one of our Silver Sponsors for 2017!

At Curvy Girl, my passion is showing the world how sexy and beautiful fat bodies are. We feature lingerie that fits bodies from size 12/14 to size 28/30. We love to feature our customers and followers in our lingerie! http://shop.curvygirlinc.com.

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Road to the Conference – Rheonna Thornton, Aaron Flores, Annie Maribona, Fresh Out the Cocoon, Marci RD

The conference starts in just a few days!  Keep reading for pre-conference interviews from a few of the amazing speakers and sponsors we have lined up for conference on Oct 6-8. Don’t wait to register to the conference, hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlight

Rheonna Thornton – Ode to Facebook! (part of the Spoken Word Collective)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism to me is a woman over 200 lbs. wearing a crop top, baring every stretch mark and love handle and not being ashamed but embracing her body for all of its worth. Being confident regardless of the fat shaming or ridicule a plus size woman is supposed to feel because she’s not a of a smaller size. PLEASE!

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

To be woman, to be a black woman, than to a fat black woman who is fighting for me in society. It’s time to fight back against “you have a pretty face. ” comments, the “I’ve always wanted to date a plus size woman comments or the stigma that all fat people are unhappy and gross. Tired of being fat skeletons in closets. Fat activism needs to continue to be the voice.

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

My poem will address that issue of clothing. That because I am a certain size I have to stick to wearing a particular type of clothing that covers up everything.

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Aaron Flores

Aaron Flores is a registered dietitian nutritionist based out of Los Angeles, California. With nearly 10 years of experience, Aaron has worked with eating disorders in a variety of settings. A large part of his career was spent working at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System where he helped develop and launch one of the first Binge Eating Disorder programs to help Veterans struggling with this disorder. Since leaving the VA, Aaron has continued to work in the eating disorder community helping run groups and providing individual counseling to adolescents at Destinations to Recovery and with adults at La Ventana Treatment Centers. He currently works part-time at Center for Discovery and part-time in his private practice in Calabasas, CA. His main areas of focus are Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size® and in his work, Aaron helps individuals learn how to make peace with food and develop body-positive behaviors. Aaron’s work has been featured during Weight Stigma Awareness Week, in blogs for the National Eating Disorder Information Centre and was the closing keynote speaker of the 2016 Binge Eating Disorder Awareness Annual Conference. Along with his work with eating disorders, he also is a co-host of the podcast, Dietitians Unplugged.

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Annie Maribona – From the Bus to the Break Room, Ways to Sneak Fat Activism into your Every Day Life

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Fat activism is great and all, but how can we integrate it into our every day lives? How do we ‘burst the fat bubble’ so to speak and spread fat positivity & fat acceptance world-wide? This talk is meant to spark some ideas and inspire some chill comebacks.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat people are still treated like shit. We’re still the butt of too many jokes. We’re still kept out of stores and establishments. People still think pigs are bad and lazy and think fat means bad/lazy/gross. Fat kids still get made fun of. I’m guessing it’s still hard to grow up a fat kid. Many people who are fat suffer from chronic dieting that never works and mountains of self-hatred.

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

I’ll be giving out hot tips, pro-tips & q-tips, about how to interject fat activism into your every day life. Just kidding about the q-tips…

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Sponsor Spotlight

We are so grateful to have Fresh Out the Cocoon and Marci RD as sponsors for 2017!

Fresh Out the Cocoon is the podcast that gets real about being Black, being fat and being fabulous all at the same damn time! Join host and mastermind, Joy Cox every other Sunday as she educates & entertains her way through this journey called life! She’s here (and occasionally with friends) to offer a breath of fresh air to those ready to take life by the horns and live unapologetically, rejecting societal norms of thinness and beauty. Also, don’t forget to visit the store and grab you a tee that “speaks” for itself! Check out the podcast on www.soundcloud.com/fotc_podcast & get fresh gear at www.freshoutthecocoon.com.

We are so happy to have Marci Evans as one of our Gold Sponsors for 2017!

Marci Evans is a self-proclaimed Food and Body Imager Healer™. She has dedicated her career to counseling, supervising, and teaching in the field of eating disorders and has been practicing with a weight inclusive lens for a decade. In 2015 she developed an online training platform to teach clinicians how to help individuals recover from an eating disorder utilizing a size inclusive counseling approach. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian and Supervisor, certified Intuitive Eating Counselor and Certified ACSM personal trainer. In addition to her group private practice and three adjunct teaching positions, Marci co-directs a specialized eating disorder internship at Simmons College. She volunteers for a number of national eating disorder organizations, speaks on a variety of topics related to food and body image healing and loves social media so tweet her @marciRD, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, and check out her blog at www.marciRD.com.

Register Now!

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Road to the Conference – Rachel Wiley, Misia Denéa, Lesleigh Owen, Tony Harrell, Frannie Zellman, Kimberly Dark, and Food Psych Podcast, Thigh Society

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. It’s an online conference so you can listen live by phone or computer, and  and recordings and transcripts are also provided so you can listen/read on your own schedule. Don’t wait to sign up. Hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlight

Rachel Wiley – Glory in Two Parts (part of the Spoken Word Collective)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

It means living my life without apology for the space my body requires and encouraging others to do the same.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Because the world is full of fat people who are told every single day that we are not worthy when we very much are.

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

Confronting the idea of “Glorifying Obesity” from people who want me to be less visible.

Misia Denéa – BI/BLACK/ BODY POSITIVE/BLISS – An ODE to my Queer Plus-Sized African-descended Self

 What does Fat Activism mean to you?

To promote Body Positivity despite the overwhelming fatphobia in the wellness industry. To artfully exalt the beauty within the Plus Size Body.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is important because of the rampant discrimination toward fat people, body love should be promoted for all , not just the status quo fit the mold thin, slim & athletic body type.

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

I’ll be sharing my journey on how body love has manifest in my life as a queer fat black woman.

Register Now!

Lesleigh Owen – Diet Talk Blues (part of the Spoken Word Collective)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

Challenging the automatic normalization and valuation of thinner bodies. Addressing how fat hatred intersects with other -isms. Celebrating the resistance inherent in fat, marginalized, loathed, fetishized, and ignored bodies. Living so loudly and largely, no one can ignore my fat body and identity.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

All forms of resistance to constructions of “normal,” “right,” and “docile” bodies are essential.

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

It’s a response to an acquaintance of mine who gushed about her weight loss via Weight Watchers.

Tony Harrell – Navigating the World of Travel as a Fat Person

Tony Harrell has spent the new millennium working in both the travel industry and the Fat Acceptance movement. He owns Abundant Travel whose focus is on assisting travelers of size in planning accommodating and memorable travel experiences. He also has served under NAAFA (the National Association To Advance Fat Acceptance) as both a Chapter President and on its National Board of Directors. He currently lives in Washington DC with his wife Cathy and their dachshund Pep.

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

It means working to secure human and civil rights for people who make up a significant amount of North America and the world in general. Fat people deserve to be treated with respect.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

I am an advocate for equal rights and opportunity for everyone and fact people certainly deserve those benefits as much as anyone.

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

I will be discussing how one can negotiate the world of travel as a fat person, from deciding where to go, where to stay, to how to get there.

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Frannie Zellman – Fat Bronx Walking (part of the Spoken Word Collective)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

There are many kinds of fat activism and fat activists. Some of us write so that other fat activists can unite behind both old and new ways of expressing our activism. Some of us write to congresspeople about discrimination against fat people. Some of us defiantly go out each day and do what we must in spite of egregiously appalling treatment (catcalls, eggs thrown, hate mail (online especially)). To me, fat activism means a) succoring our sister and fellow fat activists and fat people in their own struggles and triumphs b) letting the world know all about the fact that fat people deserve every right and privilege accorded slimmer people in this society and in any society, and that there is no reason for them to consider becoming un-fat.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Fat activism is vitally important because there are still so many people in the USA and in the world who don’t think that fat people should be happy in our own fat skins. In our lives, in our actions, we need to convince these people that fat is another size in which many people come, and there should be no moral or physical or psychological onus on anyone, but especially on fat people, to change our size.

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

My poem is about a borough of New York -the Bronx- personified as a fat woman, who walks through streets and years, receiving comments about her shape, and who walks proudly through them anyway.

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Sponsor Spotlight

We are so happy to have Kimberly Dark, Food Psych Podcast, and Thigh Society as Silver Sponsors for 2017!

Kimberly Dark is a writer, sociologist, and raconteur working to reveal the hidden architecture of everyday life, one clever story, poem, and essay at a time. Where’s Kimberly? Check the website calendar at www.kimberlydark.com. Want to know more about Yoga Is For Every Body retreats in Hawaii June and December each year? Here’s the next one: https://kalani.com/workshops/2017/yoga-every-body-0

Food Psych is a podcast dedicated to helping you make peace with food and your body. Each week, registered dietitian nutritionist and certified intuitive eating counselor Christy Harrison talks with leaders in the fat-acceptance and Health at Every Size movements about their relationships with food, body image, eating disorders, size acceptance, non-diet nutrition, self-compassion, and self-care. Launched in 2013, Food Psych is now one of iTunes’ top 100 Health podcasts and the world’s leading anti-diet podcast. Learn more and subscribe at foodpsychpod.com!

Thigh Society Breathe a thigh of relief and say goodbye to chafing with our stretchy, breathable and moisture wicking slip shorts that hug your curves without making you feel squished like shapewear. Lightweight, soft and oh-so-comfy… you’ll forget you’re wearing them. At Thigh Society, we’re on an anti-chafing crusade to END the taboo around thigh chafing, and kick-ass (kick-thighs?!) on our body positive mission to help women love themselves at any shape and size. If we added up all of the minutes we spend being critical of our bodies and instead turned that time into something positive…imagine the possibilities! Learn more at www.thighsociety.com

 

 

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Road to the Conference – Steff Ivory Conover, Joanne Soolman, The Body Positive

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.

Register Now!

Speaker Spotlight

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?

Website: www.pureivory.ca
Twitter: @pureivorydotca
Instagram: @pureivorydotca

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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.

Register Now!

Sponsor Spotlight

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.

Register Now!

 

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Road to the Conference – Tatiana Gill, Natalie Baack, Jessica May, EDRDpro

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 amazing speakers we’ve got lined up for The Fat Activism Conference, October 6-8 on a phone or a computer near you.  Don’t wait to sign up. Hurry to get your spot now!

Speaker Spotlight

Tatiana Gill – Representation matters: Body positivity in comics and pop culture

Tatiana Gill is a Seattle based cartoonist who uses her art to show strength and vulnerability, reflecting the diversity of women so often underrepresented in the media. Themes include body positivity, feminism, mental health and recovery.Tatiana has created dozens of self-published comic books, teaches comics, and contributes to local & global publications.

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

In this talk I explore what happens when we take comic books and pop culture archetypes and make them fat, differently abled, gender-bending, and/or old. In popular culture we tend to see only one type of female representation. Small deviations from the norm occur but rarely do we see women depicted with various weights and sizes, skin colors and textures, differing abilities, or even strong expressions of anger. We rarely see transgender or gender fluid characters. Men, while being allowed more variety, are still limited to a narrow archetype of a desirable leading male. When I was a young lady I didn’t see bodies like mine represented anywhere: on TV, magazines, movies, or the comic books I loved so much. I thought I had to make my body look like the bodies in my favorite media, instead of vice versa. As I got older I found a few comic books that depicted women with different bodies. In recent years some popular artists have raised the bar for inclusivity of representation, depicting people of all genders and gender identities, abilities, sizes and skin colors. (I still have not seen a spectrum of older ages being represented as dynamic and heroic, and I hope that is what comes next.)

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

Website:  www.tatianagill.com
IG: https://www.instagram.com/comixxen/
Tumblr: https://tatianagill.tumblr.com/
FB Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/tatianagill/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TatsGill

Register for the Fat Activism Conference Now!

Natalie Baack

The Curvy Confidence Coach, is a body positive wellness and life coach for women who are done with trying to hate their bodies thin, and are ready to re-claim their power and health. She guides her clients through a soulful, mind-body approach to nutrition and life so they can release food rules, reconnect to the intuitive wisdom of their bodies and embody confidence in their curves at any size. Burnt out after 10 years of a high stress film industry job and a lifetime of dieting, body image challenges, and low self-esteem, she dug deep into personal development and wellness, got certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, and transformed her life, body, and self-confidence, discovering a passion for women’s empowerment and body positivity along the way.With a background in marketing research, Natalie brings a unique approach to coaching. Combining her analytical skills with a soul-centered approach to mind-body health, she helps her clients uncover the conditioning and beliefs that prevent them from embodying confident and vibrant health and empowered self-expression in all areas of their lives.Natalie is the founder of The Curvy Confidence Sisterhood, The Bikini Breakthrough Beach Day Experience, and a frequent contributor to The Curvy Fashionista. She works with clients in a one-on-one practice, and facilitates group programs and workshops both online and off.

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

Website: www.thecurvyconfidencecoach.com

Register for the Fat Activism Conference Now!

Jessica May – Stakes (Part of the Spoken Word Collaborative)

What does Fat Activism mean to you?

It means living my life out loud, head held high, advocating for my accommodation needs as well as others. I love sharing the positivity of living life in a fat body and watching others explore another way of thinking when it comes to themselves and others.

Why do you think Fat Activism is important?

Because no one lives in a box. There are so many experiences that are different and the same regardless of the size of my body. Stigma is alive and well, whether a person is aware of it or not. My primary activism happens within the healthcare environment and other settings where I need accommodations for distance and seating.

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

My poem is about my evolution out of shame, awareness, hope and courage.

Register for the Fat Activism Conference Now!

Sponsor Spotlight

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

Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian Pro (EDRDpro), provides online continuing education, taught by leading experts, to dietitians and students with interests in eating disorders and HAES. We partner with top professionals around the world to bring our members training that can be watched from the comfort of their office, classroom, or home. As one of the fastest-growing web-based education platforms for dietitians, EDRDpro offers continuing education through both a membership option and an annual online conference, the EDRDpro Symposium. Our mission is to support and train dietetics professionals on evidence-based Health at Every Size research and emerging science to help broaden their skills in identifying, treating, and preventing disordered eating and eating disorders. Sign up now for early bird access to the 2018 symposium or become a member today.

See more at https://eattolivehappy.com/edrd-pro/

Register for the Fat Activism Conference Now!

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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!

Register Now!

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.

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 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.”

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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.

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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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