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PCA/ACA Fat Studies 2012 Call for Papers

From Julia McCrossin:

Fat Studies is becoming an interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary field of study that confronts and critiques cultural constraints against notions of “fatness” and “the fat body”; explores fat bodies as they live in, are shaped by, and remake the world; and creates paradigms for the development of fat acceptance or celebration within mass culture. Fat Studies uses body size as the starting part for a wide-ranging theorization and explication of how societies and cultures, past and present, have conceptualized all bodies and the political/cultural meanings ascribed to every body. Fat Studies reminds us that all bodies are inscribed with the fears and hopes of the particular culture they reside in, and these emotions often are mislabeled as objective “facts” of health and biology. More importantly, perhaps, Fat Studies insists on the recognition that fat identity can be as fundamental and world-shaping as other identity constructs analyzed within the academy and represented in media.

Proposals in the area of Fat Studies are being accepted for the 2012 Popular Culture Association/ American Culture Association (PCA /ACA) National Conference in Boston, MA on April 11-14, 2012 (meeting after, not before, Easter Sunday), at the Marriott Boston Copley Place. We welcome papers and performances from academics, researchers, intellectuals, activists, artists, and others, in any field of study, and at any stage in their career. We also welcome panels and roundtables on a variety of topics under the heading “Fat Studies.”

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • representations of fat people in literature, film, music, nonfiction, and the visual arts
  • cross-cultural or global constructions of fatness and fat bodies
  • cultural, historical, inter/intrapersonal, or philosophical meanings of fat and fat bodies
  • the geography and lived experience of fatness and fat bodies
  • portrayals of fat individuals and groups in news, media, magazines
  • fatness as a social or political identity
  • fat acceptance, activism, and/or pride movements and tactics
  • approaches to fat and body image in philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology
  • fat children in literature, media, and/or pedagogy
  • fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, ability, gender, and/or sexuality
  • history and/or critique of diet books and scams
  • functions of fatphobia or fat oppression in economic and political systems

By December 15, 2011, please send an abstract of 100 - 250 words or a completed paper to Fat Studies Area Co-Chairs Julia McCrossin (jmccross -at- gwmail.gwu.edu) and Lesleigh Owen (goddess_les -at- yahoo.com). Please include your complete contact information and a CV and/or 50 word bio, along with anticipated A/V needs. All submissions are welcome, but please use the information above to ensure your paper fits within the academic and political scopes of Fat Studies. Please also be mindful that Fat Studies is a political project and not merely an umbrella term for all discussions of larger bodies. Also, we encourage submitters to rethink using words like “obesity” and “overweight” in their presentations unless they are used ironically, within quotes, or accompanied by a political analysis.

Presenters must become members of the Popular Culture Association. Find more information on the conference and organization at their website.

Lonie McMichael: The Sisyphean Bind

Background:
• Post 5: Lonie McMichael: Medical Rhetoric and Fat
• Post 4: Lonie McMichael: Love
• Post 3: Lonie McMichael: Resistance
• Post 2: Lonie McMichael: Internalization
• Post 1: Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination
• BFB introduction and dissertation abstract.

_____________________
Whether it be Jenny Craig’s assertion that “we change lives,” the Mayo Clinic’s claim to provide “reliable information to achieve weight loss and maintain a healthy weight,” or the Ad Council’s campaign showing disembodied fat body parts as the reason for taking “small steps to get healthy,” the American public is inundated with the message that weight loss is possible and necessary to obtain health. Fat individuals can often become temporarily thinner, leading the majority of persons, including fat individuals themselves, within the dominant U.S. culture to believe that fat people can become slim with the application of enough will power and effort.

When we look closely at this idea that fat is permanently changeable we can see that fat prejudice deviates from some other forms of oppression. hooks noted that “Exploited and oppressed groups … are usually encouraged by those in power to feel that their situation is hopeless, that they can do nothing to break the pattern of domination.” Fat individuals, on the other hand, are expected by the oppressors to change their status, to lose weight in order to gain the rights and privileges afforded other individuals. However, no effective solutions for losing weight have been found, say Gaesser and Gard. This situation leaves fat individuals in an untenable situation: they are expected to do the near impossible in order to be treated like normal human beings.

As of yet, we do not have a word for this bind in which fat individuals find themselves. I choose to call the situation a Sisyphean bind: a demand that the individual succeed at a futile task, one that must be performed over and over again, before being considered worthy to receive what others are granted automatically. The OED says we can consider a task Sisyphean when it is “endless and ineffective,” based on the story of Sisyphus and his rock. The god Zeus bound Sisyphus, because of the human’s hubris, to the eternal task of rolling a rock up a hill only to watch it roll back down again. Dieting is often a Sisyphean task. Traci Mann says that dieting usually creates more fat than it eliminates. Therefore, the concept of a Sisyphean bind is particularly applicable to intentional weight loss when considering weight cycling: the endless losing and regaining of weight – many times causing eventual weight gain. Fat individuals can often lose weight, at times through almost Herculean efforts, only to see the pounds come back, even when they maintain weight-loss behaviors, says W.C. Miller. So, by its very nature dieting is a fruitless task that demands a great deal of energy with little, and even negative, results. And yet society expects the fat individual to succeed at this futile task rather than itself change to accommodate fat individuals.

This bind is exacerbated by the medical community through rhetoric touting the expectation of weight loss. This bind that fat individuals find themselves in – a bind created when society promises acceptance and respect if they will only become “normal” – leads the fat individual internalize fat hatred, believing themselves that they should be other than they are. The overwhelming rhetoric argues that fat individuals should change to be more acceptable rather than society changing to be more accepting. On the surface, this pressure to lose weight is seeking to normalize the fat individual, but, in reality given that weight is seldom changeable, sets them apart as deviant; as the “Other.” To eliminate this bind, as a society we must eliminate the expectation of weight loss by fat individuals and, instead, embrace human diversity.
_____________________
Thank you for letting me share a bit of my research results with you all. I am currently in negotiations with a publisher on the possibility of two books: one on medical rhetoric and fat and one on social justice issues surrounding fat. I hope to have the first one out within the year.

Lonie McMichael: Medical Rhetoric and Fat

Background:
• Post 4: Lonie McMichael: Love
• Post 3: Lonie McMichael: Resistance
• Post 2: Lonie McMichael: Internalization
• Post 1: Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination
• BFB introduction and dissertation abstract.

_____________________

When we consider the inception and focus on the Obesity Epidemic, making fat about health instead of looks was an absolutely brilliant rhetorical move by the anti-fat industry. In the early 1990s, an anti-dieting movement started growing, emphasizing the fact that diets did not work, a fact pointed out by Laura Fraser in _Losing It_. Even a 1992 NIH (National Institutes of Health) consensus panel also found that weight-loss dieting does not work and was actually detrimental to the physical and psychological health of the individual, a statement that was later retracted and is no longer posted on the NIH consensus Website. The movement against dieting continued to expand through the early 1990s until the anti-fat community responded to this anti-dieting message with a vengeance. Researchers who had spoken out against dieting “found themselves once again underfunded” (Fraser). Another dazzling rhetorical move on the part of those making money from weight loss attempts, instead of arguing that weight-loss attempts worked the obesity researchers “raised the stakes by suggesting, with very sketchy substantiation, that obesity had become one of the nation’s biggest health problems – a “disease” (Fraser). Now, fat became about health rather than aesthetics.

By stating that obesity itself was a disease – rather than a genetic characteristic or an effect of other factors such as illness or prescription drugs – a number of groups were able to profit in some way from trying to contain that disease. Whereas beauty issues might not have appealed to certain groups, such as feminists or men, making fat about health made it a moral issue (Campos; Oliver). Oliver says that “we have created a disease out of a physical symptom that, in turn, we are unable to treat” and that “we are ascribing moral characteristics to what is largely a biological phenomenon.” This calling overweight and obesity a disease in and of itself creates a number of implications for the fat individual, implications that provide legitimacy to fat prejudice and discrimination and promote negative attitudes towards the fat individual. Whereas the proponents of Fat Acceptance believe that fat is just normal human diversity, calling fat a disease seeks to force the fat individual into a narrow ideal of what is “normal.” Since it is seen as a disease, it must be eradicated at all costs, making extreme measures such as enforced fat camps seem not so farfetched.

Moreover, the anti-fat industry, this time working through the surgeon general and other government entities, again made a smart move by calling the increase in rates of overweight and obese individuals in the U.S. an epidemic, a rhetorical move that has incredible implications for fat individuals and for attitudes about fat in this country. Oliver claims that Dietz, the director of the Division for Nutrition and Physical Activity, started the idea of an epidemic; in fact, Oliver calls Dietz “patient zero” of the epidemic. By using a PowerPoint slideshow to reveal the growing “problem,” Dietz portrayed obesity as a disease slowly engulfing the U.S. Then, in 2001, a report, actually a high profile Call to Action, from Surgeon General David Satcher, reinforced this idea by declaring that we were indeed experiencing an obesity epidemic. Mitchell and McTigue state that the word epidemic “sounds an alarm bell” to the American people since it is a term “historically reserved for describing infectious disease outbreaks.” Epidemic has two potential meanings with two significant implications: the first being a medical term implying an infectious disease that can be transmitted causing quick and imminent death and the second being a rhetorical metaphor suggesting “the rising prevalence of excess body weight as a universal problem requiring collective response.” Secondly, using the term “epidemic” makes fat about public health, not about an individual’s wellbeing, and creates an atmosphere of urgency.

These moves provide legitimacy for practicing fat prejudice as a culture since people see this as a public health crisis that must be stopped.

Lonie McMichael: Love

Background:
• Post 3: Lonie McMichael: Resistance
• Post 2: Lonie McMichael: Internalization
• Post 1: Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination
• BFB introduction and dissertation abstract.

__________________________________

Love.

hooks says that love is the solution to domination. This isn’t the warm fuzzies like we tend to think of the feeling love. Rather, this is a force – a change in actions, a paradigm shift – that fights against domination. In hooks’ ideals, everyone is understood, appreciated and valued. “This vision of relationships,” hooks said, “where everyone’s needs are respected, where everyone has rights, where no one need fear subordination or abuse.” The resistors’ job, hooks argues, is to create “a critical discussion where love can be understood as a powerful force that challenges and resists domination.”

So what would hooks’ vision of love, this choice to connect, look like in terms of fat acceptance? Specifically, love in fat acceptance calls for all individuals, but most especially fat individuals, to accept their bodies while asking, even demanding, that fat individuals be treated with respect and value along with their thinner cohorts. In my work, I saw evidence of this in the Fatosphere and Fat Acceptance in a number of ways: how to love the fat body, how Health At Every Size is a form of love in action, how fat acceptance holds implications for everyone in American society, how the online environment acts as a safer space, and how self-love and activism can interact.

The fat individuals I studied found that loving the fat body can be a place of empowerment and strength. Though loving their body didn’t offer the fantastical panacea that dieting used to promise, it brought about true change for the individual. Many participants found more serenity in their daily lives, a stronger ability to stand up to the dominant ideas, and more compassion for themselves and other fat individuals.

hooks says that such transformation must take place in both the dominators and the dominated. When fat individuals fight to accept themselves and their bodies as they are when considered so very socially unacceptable, they provide an excellent example of body acceptance to those who may struggle with body issues at a smaller size since non-fat individuals are harmed by fat hatred as well. Fat activists argue against seeing skinny individuals as the enemy repeatedly, claiming that thin bashing is part of fat hatred. hooks (1984) emphasized that the idea is to move beyond contention to connection, where “dehumanization that characterizes human interaction can be replaced with feelings of intimacy, mutuality, and camaraderie.”

The Fatosphere has been a source of fuel for the Fat Acceptance movement and a source of love for the fat individual. hooks’ idea of love gets acted out in this conglomeration of blogs and discussion groups. Overall, this digital environment creates a safe space, or at least a safer space (Kirby & Kinzel), for fat individuals to come to understand fat from a different point of view and to find support for facing life in a fat-hating culture. Love also appears in the form of support for the fat individual within the Fatosphere and Fat Acceptance. Such love creates a positive upward spiral: being part of a community provides individuals the power to fight internalization which in turn helps the individual resist the dominant rhetoric.

Love can overcome fat hatred in so very many ways. This is a force that is embodied by the very nature of fat positive communities – communities that are succeeding in overcoming domination with love.

Lonie McMichael: Resistance

Background:
• Post 2: Lonie McMichael: Internalization
• Post 1: Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination
• BFB introduction and dissertation abstract.

____________________________________________________________________________________
Added to the difficulty in resisting the internalization, resisting external forces can be a frustrating, exasperating, and even treacherous situation for fat individuals. Nevertheless, succeeding at resisting the external oppressor can be an empowering and liberating experience.

One of the primary ways in which fat people resist the dominant rhetoric is by being visible, an idea that is championed by bloggers Marianne Kirby of The Rotund and Lesley Kinsel of Fatshionista. Being visible “is the single most important thing we as fat individuals can do” to fight fat oppression, Kirby asserts. Being visible includes just being seen in public, eating in public, exercising in public, wearing bright colors or bold accessories, etc. Kirby argues that such visibility aids in normalizing the fat body.

One of the most powerful ways to resist fat oppression, some fat individuals are changing how they talk about fat – an idea that is right up my alley. hooks maintains that language plays an important part in the effort to resist: that we are rooted in words, that oppressed individuals must create a shared language, and that such a transformation requires a paradigm shift, a new way “to talk – to listen – to hear.” Language as resistance takes on two different aspects within my study: how individuals within the fat acceptance communities talk among themselves as well as how fat individuals talk to the “status quo.” These individuals within the Fat Acceptance Movement and the Fatosphere have used language to resist fat prejudice by redefining terms for themselves (such as what “health” means), by reclaiming the word “fat,” by coming out of “the fat closet,” by resisting medical rhetoric and by employing humor.

Humor is perhaps the greatest tool for resisting oppression used by individuals on the Fatosphere. Interestingly enough, hooks never mentions humor as a way to undermine oppression. However, especially in the Fatosphere, humor is proving to be an incredibly powerful tool against fat-hating forces.

Fat activism is another form of resistance, though there exists a great deal of confusion on exactly what fat activism is. Some individuals felt like they were not a fat activist because they only talked to family and friends about fat acceptance; others felt like they were an activist because they talked to family and friends about fat acceptance. Blogger fillyjonk notes that there is disagreement on what exactly fat activism means, “both what it should mean for the community, and what it means for us personally,” yet speaking up for one’s self is important in any situation.

I also found that conflicts within the fat acceptance movement reveal just how powerful the dominant rhetoric is while showing the success of the movement as well. Regular conversations on “good fatty vs. bad fatty,” “inbetweenies vs. deathfat,” and dieting show not only the natural conflicts within a social justice movement, but also reveal how hard it is to move past the idea that fat is bad.

hooks asserts that the responsibility for resistance lies with those who are oppressed; that the margin is a space of “radical possibility.” By this belief, fat people are those who should be speaking up, speaking out against fat prejudice. However, fat individuals can find this to be very difficult since they are often perceived as lazy and slovenly; resistance for fat hate can be seen as an excuse not to lose weight. Fat individuals who choose to resist the dominant ideals must be aware of such undermining tactics. For example, we have seen numerous attempts from the diet industry to appropriate fat positive ideas and make them into “love yourself thin,” what paul of BFB called “fat acceptance lite.” Weight Watchers’ claim that it isn’t a diet and Kellogg’s use of the Yay! scale are great examples of this undermining.

Together, individuals in the Fatosphere and Fat Acceptance are learning to reinterpret the dominant rhetoric in a more fat-friendly light. My research shows resistance working in the lives of fat individuals: we are learning to resist the self-hatred of internalization; we are learning to resist the external dominant rhetoric; we are learning to use language and survival techniques to make this resistance possible.

Lonie McMichael: Internalization

Today, I am going to discuss bell hooks’ idea of internalization in terms of fat. When a culture has ideas of inferior and superior, those that are perceived as inferior often hate that aspect of themselves which is seen as inferior; they become self-hating. So, in the dominant American culture (the location of my research) fat individuals have a tendency to hate their fat – not really a big surprise.

My research revealed that the message that fat is not ok comes to the individual from many different locations: friends, family, the media, the medical community and the stranger on the street. After having the message that fat is bad inundate them from all sides, it is not surprising that fat individuals turn the message that “fat is bad” into the message “I am bad” and, in turn, hate themselves.

When the fat individual chooses to deny the belief in their inferiority and see themselves as worthy, it can be a hard fight. hooks says that the oppressed individual must first resist the “oppressor within,” the belief in their own inferiority. The idea, hooks says, is “to reclaim and recover ourselves.” The oppressed can do this by changing the way they think, talk and act about the quality which makes them oppressed. So, fat individuals can recover from fat hatred by changing how they talk about fat – we see evidence of this all over Fat Acceptance and the Fatosphere.

In my research, I saw the struggle to be ok with the fat self over and over again. Many individuals experienced this struggle as an arduous journey that included bouts of anger, grief and the cognitive dissonance of wanting to be smaller but knowing dieting won’t work. I also observed that many were succeeding in the struggle. Some of the solutions to internalized fat hatred included: being part of a fat positive community such as the Fatosphere, seeing positive fat body images such as those on Fatshionista, and treating the body and self with care.

Internalization is very powerful, and the fight to overcome it can be challenging. However, as I will show later, the rewards for doing so can be quite wonderful.

Background:
• Post 1: Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination
• BFB introduction and dissertation abstract.

Lonie McMichael: Intro & hook's ideology of domination

My name is Lonie McMichael; I just graduated with a PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric. For my dissertation, I focused on the rhetoric surrounding the obesity epidemic including the rhetoric of Fat Acceptance. Many of you participated in either my online focus group or digital interviews, so I wanted to provide the community an overview of my work. Thanks to BFB for hosting this series of blog posts.

My area is rhetoric; rhetoric can be defined as persuasion. I tend to focus on persuasion through language. For my research, I used bell hooks’ ideology of domination as my theoretical focus. hooks says that Western society has a belief that some people are inferior and others are superior and that the seemingly inferior ones buy into the belief that they are inferior. In order to overcome the ideology, hooks says that those in the margin – the ones perceived as inferior – must be the first to resist the dominant ideals. She says that love is the solution. This is not the feeling love, but a force that fights dehumanization and seeks connection. Hooks says that both the dominated and the dominator must come together to overcome domination in the end.

Now, hooks is an African-American woman and writes from her own perspective. She intertwines her ideas about domination into her experience, and it’s not always clear which she is speaking of. That being the case, I had to skirt the line on comparing prejudices. At the same time, the primary question I asked throughout this work was, “why does our society consider some prejudices unacceptable while others are considered acceptable?” hooks says that allowing any prejudice to exist hurts all oppressed people, that all domination must stop. My research supports this assertion. By allowing fat prejudice to continue, we are actually allowing a number of other prejudices to continue including: sexism, racism, ageism and ablism.

So, for the next few weeks, I will show you what I found out about internalization, resistance and love in relation to the rhetoric of fat. Since I gleaned many of my ideas from what I learned in Fat Acceptance and the Fatosphere, much of this will be familiar; I just take it from the rhetorical perspective.

(BFB introduction and dissertation abstract here.)

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.

Call for Body Positive Artists, Speakers and Crafters!‏

Check this out, BFBers!!

What: BODYSLAM! Poetry Jam & Story Telling
Where: The Trumbullplex, 4210 Trumbull St., Detroit, MI, 48208
When: February 19th, 2011 6-11pm
About:
Love Your Body Detroit will be holding its first ever fundraiser and we
need your help to make it a huge success! We are looking for speakers for
our main show a poetry jam and story telling session that will be happening
on the main stage.

Poetry / Stories can be related to but are not limited by,
• Fat phobia / hatred
• Ethnic or racial diversity
• Appearance based oppression
• Eating Disorders
• Body Image
Basically anything that will make us think critically about our bodies or
how it feels to live in yours! Submissions should be at a maximum 10
minutes in length and emailed in a word document to the address below.
Please also include your name, contact information, and a short personal
bio.

Artists or vendors:
We are also looking for body positive artists / craft vendors whose work
shows size, racial or ethnic diversity through any form of media.
Please send the following in a word document,
• Name / Business
• Contact Info
• Kind of Work / Products you sell
• Links to examples of your work
**Crafters who make clothing and wish to participate should make sure their
clothing sizes are just as diverse as the people in attendance. Also vendor
fees will be on a donation basis only, if you wish to give we will love you
for it!

Participant Submission Deadline: 1/20/11
Submit Application to: LYBDetroit@gmail.com

I hope some of you can participate...what a cool idea!

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!

Stef_Sarah



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!!"

Nichole_Roy



SurferKM with her wife and son


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

SurferKM_wife_son



withoutscene

Virtual kiss-it!

Gif Created on Make A Gif



withoutscene and Chris

Fat lovin!

Mychii_Chris



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


Smooches!

michele



Michele and Chris

XOXOXO

michele_partner



Buffpuff


Kiss-kiss!

BuffPuff



Jenna from AxisofFat with her little brother


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

Jenna_axisoffat_littlebro



Claudia and Shelley in San Francisco


Livin and public kissin!

claudia_shelley_sf



G and J

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

gretchen_partner



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."

beth_luke


Marilyn and her squeeze


Photo credit: Kathy Barron.

Marilyn_Sqeeze



Regina and her partner

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

regina_partner


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 things...in a swimsuit no less! You would have been super offended by my rolls that day!)"

Jamie_Josh



Katie with Jordan and River

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

katie_jordan_river

Tami and River

Look at that smile!

Tami_River



SunflowerP and JFPBookworm


So sweet!

SunflowerP_JFPBookworm



Buttercup and her husband

"Here's my husband and I at our wedding, kissing and being fat, with cake, no less!"
102_0239_1

Brie

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

Brie



Jeanette and her husband

Awwwww!!

jeanette_partner




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!

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.

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
all.

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
Mainstream?
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

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170087632668&ref=nf

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.

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