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Dr. Pattie Thomas' Call for Stories

Guest post by Dr. Pattie Thomas, introducing her new project!
Last January (2011), a number of fat activists held a slacktivist campaign, conceived by Marilyn Wann, to raise awareness of size/fat acceptance/liberation during the month most often selected to go on a diet to attempt to lose weight. For those of you who do not know what "slacktivism" is, it is basically a low-effort, social media attempt to raise awareness of an issue. Often it results in a news report about how silly the "action" is, which in turn gets media coverage for the cause behind the action. To my knowledge, we did not get a lot of media attention, but we did have a lot of fun tweeting, changing our profile pix and using our status to encourage people to make ReVolutions, not Resolutions. We created a website to aid with the action, and it is now a central resource on HAESĀ® and other fat-acceptance/fat-liberation resources: I engineered a lot of the nuts and bolts of the website, but content and graphics were provided prominently by Marilyn Wann, Amanda Evans and Amanda Levitt. The resources were collected from people on FaceBook and various listservs.

About 3 weeks ago, I became aware, through Amanda Levitt, of an upcoming television talk/reality show, called The Revolution. Airing on ABC, this is the latest weight loss show brought to us by 3 Ball Productions, makers of The Biggest Loser, among other shows. The show will feature women whose lives are in turmoil and who believe that if they can control their weight, other issues will fall into line. Several "experts" will guide them in their makeovers, including, disappointingly, Tim Gunn. I say "disappointingly " because Tim Gunn has spoken out against the fashion industries "thin and young" ideals and has featured plus-sized women on his own makeover show before. But then, I guess it isn't too surprising, because he often advises "slimming" techniques to these women.

Several things about this show caught my eye, not the least of which is the name and logo for the show. Note that the logo has a check mark that looks very similar to our ReVolutions spelling from last January. Then I found out that the show premieres in January 2012. Now, I'm not saying that our little slackivision is the inspiration for this, but the other thing that started happening not long after we started our campaign was Kellogg's put out a commercial that used a scale not unlike Marilyn Wann's Yay Scale. I'm beginning to think maybe someone is paying attention.

That thought led to a discussion on FaceBook which inspired me and my husband, Carl Wilkerson, to develop a Call for Stories similar to their casting call. Our call, however, is to celebrate ourselves right now, exactly as we are, without losing an ounce and without waiting for that magical someday when we have our lives all together. Our spokesperson, Trimm Nunn, issues the call in our video on PDA Nation (Positive Displays of Adiposity -- our YouTube Channel):

So we encourage everyone to come over to PDA Nation and either submit a "response video" telling us your celebration stories or put a story in the comments on the video. We will be collecting stories until the end of the year (December 31, 2011) and hope to use them in January to encourage people to give up resolutions and start a ReVolution! This is a chance to show (just in case they are really listening) that there are a lot of us, women and men, tall, short, fat, skinny or in between, who are not waiting for that perfect life and perfect body, but are enjoying ourselves right now, in the bodies we're in! I hope you will participate. I think it's time to say "no" to these reality shows that perpetuate self-loathing, not to mention reinforcing hatred of others. And it's fun!

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