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Harriet Brown's 'Project Body Talk'

The amazing Harriet Brown has started Project Body Talk, inspired by the StoryCorps oral history project. 
According to the website:

Project BodyTalk is a safe place where people can share how they feel about their bodies and body image, their relationship with food and eating, and the cultural pressures that are so much a part of American life today.

We invite you to send us your commentaries—and to listen to other people’s. Record your story and submit it here. Learn about efforts around the country to spread body-positive messages and awareness. Start coming to terms with your body, whatever its size and shape, and see how that simple act can change your life.

I love this idea! Awhile back I was going to do a roundup of fat-related StoryCorps submissions, few that there were, but Harriet has literally created a body hub for these stories.

You can submit your story through the Contact Page. Here's how it works:
1) Record your story!
2) Download the release form and sign it (I'm assuming you have to sign and scan it back in)
3) Fill in your information on the Contact Page and upload both the signed form and your story.
4) Ta-da!

There are featured stories on the home page, but you can listen to them all right HERE.

I said it on Facebook, and I'll say it here: I <3 Harriet Brown. Srsly.

Support Your Local Badass Fatass

If you're in the Bay Area and like to support businesses that promote fat liberation, hit up

Carrot's Coffee and Tea
in San Bruno.*

This cafe, run by the super-rad fatty Notblueatall, has organic and gluten-free offerings...and I hear she makes a mean panini.

Earlier this year, Notblueatall celebrated Love Your Body Day in her cafe, and from the beginning has made a conscious effort to encourage her customers to eat without guilt and body shame, and to educate themselves about food issues. She has even started a Fat Meetup at the cafe, bolstering fat community in the area.

Carrots, Coffee and Tea

So if you like supporting local businesses--all year long, but especially this time of year--and you support fat liberation....what are you waiting for!  Tell your friends! Like the cafe Facebook page! Repost!
Have a craft meetup or a fat meetup there! Or a fat craft meetup!

Carrot’s Coffee & Tea is located at:

440 San Mateo Ave

San Bruno, CA 94066

Phone: 650-871-2725

Mon: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wed: Fri: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sat:: 9:00 am - 2:00 am

*Bloggers get pummeled with e-mails from random people all the time who want their product promoted, just so they can get the webspace and advertisement. Notblueatall has never asked me to promote her cafe on BFB. I do it not only because I consider her a friend, but because she's a badass, a small business owner, and she's fighting the good fat fight every day.

Kiss-in Makes the News

This just came to my attention, but the Boston Phoenix published an article a few weeks ago called Rad Fatty Stonewall, discussing the fat activist reaction to Maura Kelly's offensive Marie Claire article, including the kiss-in publicized on BFB (and in other places, too). Cheers!

BFB's Virtual Kiss-In!!!

Last updated November 3, 2010.

Kiss this, Marie Claire!!! 

Mmmm, Maura Kelly, fat kisses and love and existence!!!!

I present to you BFB's Virtual Kiss-In!!!!!!!!!  Thanks to everyone who has submitted photos!
Keep on sending them to withoutscene at gmail dot com, and I will keep on updating them! XOXO

Stef and Sarah

Awww, fat love!


Nichole and Roy

"Here's a picture of my husband and I kissing. That lady at M.C. would cringe to see us in person! I wish we could be in NYC - we'd be front and center!!"


SurferKM with her wife and son

"(fat! *gasp* lesbian! *faint*). We kissed before and after the shots, so I figure it counts."



Virtual kiss-it!

Gif Created on Make A Gif

withoutscene and Chris

Fat lovin!


Shannon Campos and Anthony M.

"I want it to be known that I am fat and I have no regrets and it should be shown that fat people live... and live happily."

ShannonCampos_Anthony H.




Michele and Chris






Jenna from AxisofFat with her little brother

"Am I too fat to kiss or be kissed in public? My bro didnt think so!"


Claudia and Shelley in San Francisco

Livin and public kissin!


G and J

"Two fatties, deeply in love, and sharing a chocolate shake! Not
kissing in this scene, but it happened right afterwards ;)"


nettaP and seanP

At NYC Big Fat Kiss-In! nettaP has a video on her blog which includes some footage of the kiss-in.

Beth and Luke

"We're newlyweds and we'll kiss and hug wherever we like, thank you very much."


Marilyn and her squeeze

Photo credit: Kathy Barron.


Regina and her partner

"I wanted to submit my own rolls and rolls of fat kissing picture for your blog!"


Jamie and Josh

"This was taken after we had spent the day snorkeling, hiking, and kayaking around the island. (Yes, Marie Claire- my fat ass did all these a swimsuit no less! You would have been super offended by my rolls that day!)"


Katie with Jordan and River

"This is me and my sister and her two foster daughters."


Tami and River

Look at that smile!


SunflowerP and JFPBookworm

So sweet!


Buttercup and her husband

"Here's my husband and I at our wedding, kissing and being fat, with cake, no less!"


"How could I resist a kiss for that cute face?"


Jeanette and her husband



Substantia Jones documented the NYC Big Fat Kiss In with her madd photo skills.

Lesley Kinzel is also turning the Museum of Fat Love into a Tumblr, so check it out and submit your love there too!

I Love Bacon

You always suspected, right? But actually, I'm not talking about tasty, crispy pieces of pork. Rather, I'm referring to the work of Linda Bacon, Health at Every Size (HAES) researcher and advocate extraordinaire. She's a professor in the Biology Department of City College of San Francisco and an Associate Nutritionist at the University of California, Davis.

HAES is the idea that a non-weight centered approach to health is more effective and sustainable than a weight centered approach. In other words, the best way to promote good health and a long life is to focus on habits rather than on trying to become thin. With HAES, weight changes may or may not occur and are considered side effects rather than results.

Dr. Bacon is perhaps best known for "Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight," a very readable book laying out the principles of HAES and discussing the research that supports it. She is also interested in sustainable farming, and that comes across in the book; it contains nutritional advice that readers may or may not find valuable. Dr. Bacon has also performed and published research comparing the health effects of HAES to dieting.

Recently, Living ~400 pounds posted a link to an interview with Linda Bacon on the Weightless Blog at PsychCentral: "Why Health Matters and Size Shouldn't." The interview is well worth reading. Part one is here and part two is here. The Weightless Blog itself has a lot of good posts on body image (it also focuses on eating disorder recovery) and is worth a look.

Also recently, an FA friend passed on a link to one of Dr. Bacon's FAQs. This led me to read both of them, and they're great examples of how to respond to people with common questions about HAES. One is on orthopedic concerns, and the other is on calorie monitoring.

Dr. Bacon's excellent HAES resource page is here, and it includes her full publication list. If you're interested in reading her academic papers and don't have free access to an university library system, then you can usually buy the pdf - or you can ask a friend or family member who works at or attends a university to download the article you're interested in.

Enjoy the Bacon!

HAES disclaimer: HAES is an approach to health management that's compatible with fat acceptance. However fat acceptance is primarily a social justice movement. Not everyone involved in fat acceptance is interested in HAES.

Fat & Health Rebuttal on Feministe

You might wanna check out this fantastic post on Feministe, which basically covers almost everything I say ever (when arguing about fat & health), including institutional and structural arguments.

And while you're at it, check out this one too!

HUGE Mistake

So, I kept hearing about Huge. A friend told me about it, and I saw it mentioned around the internets. But I ignored it or shrugged it off.

Why? Because I totally had it CONFUSED with that other fat comedy coming out, Mike & Molly, which I won't even bother linking. I had seen a preview for Mike & Molly, and it made roll my eyes so far back in my head that I could see my brain explode. It also made me want to cry, especially since Melissa McCarthy is involved. But I forgot the name, thought that was the show people were talking about (you gotta admit two shows about fat people is rare), and therefore I never actually read anything about Huge.

Then I was reading Lesley's shift in attitude about it over at Fatshionista, along with bits of an interview with Nicci Blonsky, and I was all, "Wait, this can't be the same show. Nicci Blonski? Fat camp? What happened to Melissa McCarthy?"

And that's when I decided I HADN'T seen previews for it and that what my friend said about the mention of fat-acceptance in a preview for HUGE could be, like, not a joke. Then off I went to see what all this was about.

Fat-related shows go in one of two three four boxes for me---1) You've got to be kidding me, so much fat hate...headxplosion (think Biggest Loser). 2) Errr, fatpos fail (think More to Love). 3) Mmmhmm, okay, there's something to this but it's also problematic and will probably irritate the piss out of me (think Drop Dead Diva). Or 4) Wow, this is kind of impressive, possibly radical enough for my tastes. I'm very fucking interested.

Let's be real, a TV show has never fallen in the 4th category. Not ever. Until now. Nicci Blonsky had me with her bad attitude, her purple blue-striped-hair and her generally rebelious temperment. The deal was sealed when they said it comes from the creators of My So-Called Life. A fat show in the vein of MSCL? I am THERE. I am also intrigued the an almost-all-fat cast.

Go here or here to watch the previews/videos, read the interview with Nicci Blonsky, and then tell me what you think.

PS--"I feel like inside me there's an even fatter person just trying to get out," may be one of my favorite lines ever. It also makes me think someone up in there might have a clue. I'm also interested in the gender/sexual orientation issues they are going to address, but admit I'm a little cynical about how that will turn out.

A Fatshion Scholarship? Brilliant!!!

NAAFA has just debuted their brand new Fashion Scholarship on their website. The scholarship, aimed at getting young designers to focus on plus-sized fashion, is for $1000 and the opportunity to unveil one of your pieces at the 2010 NAAFA Fashion Show in San Francisco!

From their website:

Deadline for Submission: June 1, 2010

Date of Award: June 15, 2010

How to Enter:

Complete the online application below and submit one pdf file that includes:

* Three (3) drawings of plus-size designs (women’s sizes 16 – 32)

* Proof of current enrollment in an accredited Fashion Design School

* An essay (750 words or less) outlining why your fashion entries are unique/innovative and explaining your interest and motivation for a career in the plus-size fashion industry.

Non-electronic submissions will not be accepted and the file can not be larger than 2MB. All materials must be received no later than June 1st 2010 to qualify for consideration.

If you are selected as the Scholarship winner, you will be required to participate in the 2010 National NAAFA Convention Fashion Show on Friday, August 6, 2010 at the Westin San Francisco Hotel in Millbrae, California where you will be introduced as our Fashion Design Scholarship winner and show One (1) garment from your designs/collection. Information on the 2010 NAAFA Fashion Show will be formally outlined to the winner after the award.

NAAFA will cover travel expenses (up to $400) and will reimburse (up to $200) in expenses associated with creation of the garment. NAAFA reserves the right to determine the allocation of those expenses (airfare, hotel, etc.) The winner is responsible for any and all taxes as a result of this scholarship

Application is online via the website.

HAES Retreat!!

Every so often I get an email from the contact/tip form about some new weight loss product or service that "really works" and that I should "tell [my] readers about". Usually I just roll my eyes and delete. You can imagine my surprise then, when I received a tip email from the proprietors of the Oakledge Wellness Retreat and it turned out to not be (as I assumed) another weight loss business. It looks really cool, actually. The program is based on the principles of Health at Every Size and stresses actual healthy behaviors rather than focusing on weight as a measure of health. It's not cheap, as you can imagine, but for a week in Massachusetts surrounded by HAES folks working out and eating great food, I bet it's well worth it. Cool!

UCLA Lectures Update

Just in case you hadn't heard, the other two UCLA talks are up on YouTube.

First, we have Katherine Flegal. Haven't watched this one yet.

Then we have the infamous Marilyn Wann. Not any arguments unfamiliar to most of us, but totally fun. And I want her boots.

Fat Lectures at UCLA

If any of you live in the L.A. area, sociologist Abigail Saguy has put together a series of lectures on Fatness and Gender. The first lecture, by Paul Campus, happens tonight at 5pm. Katherine Flegal lectures in February and Marilyn Wann lectures in March! More information below.

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 5 p.m.

Fat and Identity Politics: Lecture by Paul Campos, professor of law at the University of Colorado and author of "The Obesity Myth: Why America's Obsession With Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health" (Gotham, 2004).

Wednesday, Feb. 10, 4 p.m.

Weight and Mortality: The Health Perspective: Lecture by Katherine M. Flegal, senior research scientist and distinguished consultant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Monday, March 1, 4 p.m.

Fighting Fat Fear During the War on 'Obesity': Lecture by Marilyn Wann, activist and author of "Fat! So? Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size" (Ten Speed Press, 1998).

All lectures will take place at Royce Hall, Room 314, on the UCLA campus.

Check out this great discussion

This humble article on The Adipositivity Project over at Sociological Images has spurred a hell of a good discussion on fatness. There are a few folks beating the fat=unhealthy drum, but there are so many other thoughtful comments it's totally worth it. Check it out!

Fat Studies Reader event in NYC!

Those of you in NYC, get in there! I wish I could go...

Published by NYU Press, The Fat Studies Reader is a milestone achievement,
bringing together fifty-three diverse voices to explore a wide range of
topics related to body weight. From the historical construction of fatness
to public health policy, from job discrimination to social class
disparities, from chick-lit to airline seats, this collection covers it

Edited by two leaders in the field, Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay,
foreword by Marilyn Wann, The Fat Studies Reader is an invaluable resource
that provides a historical overview of fat studies, an in-depth examination
of the movement’s fundamental concerns, and an up-to-date look at its
innovative research.

Our reading will include 4 essays from the reader.
There will be time for mingling, book signing and a Q & A.

Lara Frater - Fat Heroines in Chick-Lit: The Gateway to Acceptance in the
Kathleen LeBesco, PhD - Quest for a Cause: The Fat Gene, The Gay Gene and
the New Eugenics
Elena Andrea Escalera, PhD - Stigma Threat and the Fat Professor: Reducing
Student Prejudice in the Classroom
Heather MacAllister - Embodying Fat Liberation (read by Kelli Dunham)

We will have books on hand to purchase.
Hope to see you at this event celebrating this important contribution
to academia and the exploration of body liberation.

Date: Friday, December 4, 2009
Time: 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Re/Dress NYC
Street: 109 Boerum Place
City/Town: Brooklyn, NY

Shining a light on Fat Love

Are you or your significant other Fat? Are you in super magical love? Go here and send your story and photo to Lesley for inclusion in The Museum of Fat Love!

If, like me, you are perpetually single and every so often wonder if being fat might not just disqualify you from love altogether, check out the gallery. It will restore your faith in the possibility of love for every body. Srsly.

The power of visibility

If you have been even idly thinking about adding photos to Here come the Fat Brides! or Athletes at Every Size, stop what you're doing at this very instant and go do it! Your photos, along with everyone else's, stand up and shout to the world that fat people are people first and we will not be put in a box. Every day when I look at the new additions to the gallery it makes me feel a little bit more normal...a little bit less "other". If they have that effect on me that means they could be having that effect on fat people all over the world. Because of you, fat people you don't even know will look at your photos and feel better about their fat lives. Why, that's practically activism..and all it takes is a few clicks.

Fat people exercising!!

I am in love with this photo gallery at I would like to squeeze it all over and marry it and have little blogger/photo gallery babies. Check it out!

Also here's Athletes of Every Size which is the same basic idea but, you know, not on

Fat and the Fear of Movement

I want to direct your attention to this fantastic post at Fatshionista about how we as fat people cut ourselves off from sports and other physical activities because we see them as things fat people aren't supposed to do. I have experienced this a million times in my fat life and I'm betting some of you out there can relate. I can come up with a whole list of physical things I have avoided at times in my life because fat people "don't" or "shouldn't" do them:

Riding my bike (this is a big one that still gives me trouble...I have an irrational fear of being mocked on my bike)
Walking around my neighborhood
Running in my neighborhood
Going to the gym
Joining a community sports team
Learning to salsa dance

I'd like to say I've consistently ignored the fear and accomplished all of these things, but there are a few on the list I'm still a little reluctant to try because of those irrational thoughts. It's a process.

Are there things you have avoided or flat out not done because you are fat? Let us know in the comments!

Paul Campos and America's Moral Panic

Paul Campos gave a great interview over at The Atlantic yesterday, but what I found most interesting about the whole thing were the comments on the article. Almost every one is well thought out, literate, and full of good discussion about the topic at hand instead of devolving into 'fatties are stupid and gross and OMG should just lose weight' territory. I'm not saying they're all favorable or that I agree with all of them, but I find it so much more enjoyable to read a well-constructed point that I disagree with than what amounts to a handful of insults or ignorant BS one might find in comments on other articles.

Anyway, give it a read. A lot of commenters brought up the type II diabetes question which I couldn't immediately debunk in my head. Anyone have good information on the correlation of fat and type II diabetes and medical costs?

Check out Kate Harding on WTTW Chicago

This segment is definitely worth a look. Kate does a great job of presenting a cool and logical argument against the war on obesity. What kills me about the concept is that the doc they had on to discuss the anti-fat side espoused a lot of good HAES principles. How can you get HAES and not get that the war should be on crappy food and sedentary lifestyles, not body size? How can you still be comparing fatness with smoking when smoking is a behavior and fat is a characteristic?

Also, does anyone have any sources for data on whether the rates of fat-correlated disease have actually risen as sharply as fatness is claimed to have increased? Because really, if one in three people is now overweight but fewer than one in three people has a heart problem or the diabetes, doesn't that prove the point right there that there are plenty of non-sick fat people out there and that the government should leave us the heck alone?

Your thoughts?

The Onion Shows 'Not Eating' to be Ineffective

If you loved Joy Nash's Fat Rant II and the now apparently defunct *very sad face* Health Institute for Nutrition, you will love this article over at The Onion debating the pros and cons of abstinence-only lunch programs.

Here are some gems:

"There's no evidence to suggest that instructing teens not to chew, swallow, or even think about food is actually going to stop them from eating," Sebelius told reporters. "Let's face it: Kids are already eating. And not only during lunchtime. They're eating after school, at the mall, in their parents' basements. Pretending like it's not happening isn't going to make it go away."

"After all, they're teenagers," Sebelius continued. "Eating is practically the only thing on their minds."

An interesting commentary on how making natural things taboo (like sex and eating) only fosters obsession. Not to mention how urges for food and sex are conflated and treated as sinful.

Also, the key to not getting fat:

"I'm never ever going to eat, because eating is wrong, and I'm worth more than a chicken sandwich with asparagus and rice pilaf," Woodbridge seventh-grader Tracey Holmes said. "I heard Jennifer Hines eats all the time, like 50 times a day. I heard she eats all her ice cream upside-down, though, so she doesn't get fat. That's how it works."

Thanks to GiniLiz for this!

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