Fat, Thin and Everything In Between is What We Want Feminists to Look Like

Hello Cupcakes — I am excited to announce that today – your very own feminist cupcake has written a guest blog for Soapbox, Inc.  Check it out here or read below:


Fat, Thin and Everything In Between is What We Want Feminists to Look Like

By Lindsey Averill

Kelly Martin Broderick posted this picture on facebook: Kellyfeminist

Only to have it changed into this meme:


It is clear that the meme attempts to use Kelly’s body type – her fatness –to insult feminism and underscore the a misogynistic misnomer that only women who are outside of the male gaze, i.e male sexual desire, chose become feminists. Clearly, the meme is childish, cruel and not factual (many people are attracted to fatness… there are whole dating sites dedicated to fatness…sigh). But, the meme also underscores exactly why feminists need to continue to concern themselves with issues like body-positivity and fat-empowerment – because when women speak up about their rights, they are still being pigeon holed based on their appearance.

Whenever something like this happens, I am reminded why, as a feminist, I still need to be fighting this particular fight – the fight for each woman to feel excellent about her body and the bodies of other women. I hate to say it – but sometimes even smart, savvy, dynamic, influential, informed, feminist women feel that they have a right to judge their bodies and the bodies of others, particularly if they are judging that body for being FAT.

In the mainstream, fatness is understood as always negative and therefore we are allowed to shame and torment it in ourselves and others. We discuss weight gain and loss endlessly: cabbage diets, juice cleanses, nutrisystem, weight watchers…We call out our muffin-tops and condemn our saddlebags. We pose in pictures with our chins stuck out or turned to the side to look thinner. We fear fatness at every turn and we save our “skinny jeans” because we refuse to believe that our bodies are awesome at any size.

I don’t mean to oversimplify, but arguably anytime we are accepting of shaming and brutalizing our bodies or the bodies of others, we are failing to see and dispute a source of oppression. As women, particularly feminist women, we need to constantly examine the messages that the media projects about our gender and our bodies and try to stand up and speak up when we see injustice.

I see injustice towards fatness. I see this injustice keep amazing women from feeling powerful and confident. I see internalized fat-hatred keeping women from being and doing awesome in the world.

I’m over it. picresized_ece6e5_1a97205ae8d4232b2a1e39a9226c626e.png_srz_205_195_75_22_0.50_1.20_0

This fed-up-with-it-ness is why I’m telling you about Kelly Martin Broderick because she is over it too. In response to the meme Kelly wrote an article for xojane entitled, “My Picture was Stolen and turned into a Fat-Shaming Anti-feminist Meme on Facebook,” and she created a tumblr, “We are What Feminists Look Like.” The tumblr calls for “folks” to send in their pictures or thoughts that make it clear that feminists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, sexualities, genders, nationalities, political parties… you get the idea. I was thinking you should send in your picture – be over it too.

I sent in my picture: Feminist Bride

Also, if you’re ready to stop feeling oppressed by fat-hatred you should check out these amazing body-positive blogs, speakers, books, and coaches:

The Routund – Marianne Kirby
Big Fat Feminist – Kaye Toal
Dances With Fat – Ragen Chastain
Riots Not Diets – Margitte Leah
The Adipositivity Project –Substantia Jones
Body Love Wellness – Golda Poretsky
Extraordinary Being – Lindsey Averill
Two Whole Cakes – Lesley Kinzel
Big, Big, Love – Hanne Blank
Fat! So? – Marilyn Wann
Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere: Quite Dieting and Declare a Truce with your Body – Kate Harding
Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion – Virgie Tovar
Body Drama – Nancy Redd

These suggestions are just the beginning – the world is full of amazing body-positive people, all you have to do is look.

Body Revolution Telesummit

I just registered for the Body Love Revolutionaries Telesummit! Join me for free by checking out this website and signing up!!!

For more info and to register, go to http://www.bodyloverevolution.com.

Here’s a very brief rundown of the topics and interviewees:


1/31 — FAT ACTIVISM with Peggy Howell, Amanda Levitt & Marilyn Wann

2/2 — FAT HEALTH with Linda Bacon & Ragen Chastain

2/7 — FATSHION with Marie Denee, Rachel Kacenjar, & Yuliya Raquel

2/9 — FAT SEX with Hanne Blank & Virgie Tovar

2/16 — FAT BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA with Marianne Kirby, Margitte Leah Kristjansson & Brian Stuart

2/21 — FAT FITNESS with Jeanette DePatie & Anna Guest-Jelley

2/23 — FAT/QUEER INTERSECTIONS with Bevin Branlandingham, Charlotte Cooper, & Jessica Luxery

2/28 — FAT POLITICS & HISTORY with Paul Campos & Amy Erdman Farrell

Again, the address to register is http://www.bodyloverevolution.com..

Also, I’m not sure how many of you would be interested, but I heard about this by belonging to the yahoo fat studies group – which is perhaps the most awesome and informative “listserve” I’ve ever been part of – the group is super smart well informed and genuinely engaged in thinking about how fat studies and fat-phobia and hatred are with us everyday. Check it out.

Fat Studies Blogs and Sites That Bring a Tear of Joy to my Eye

I am not sure that many of you even realize that there is a field of study devoted to the discrimination and opression of fat bodies, but it is something to which I devote a lot of thinking and therorizing and something that has been written about in the New York Times. In particular, I am presenting a fat studies paper entitled, “RESISTING THE EXPANSION OF PATRIARCHY’S FEMININE AESTHETIC, IN FAVOR OF A TRULY FEMALE REVOLUTION” at the annual conference of the National Association of Women’s Studies on November 9th in Atlanta.  In light of this event I thought I might turn you on to the field of fat studies and the fatosphere by noting some of my favorite fat studies blogs and websites.

  1. The Chubsters – Eat your heart out Charlie’s Angels
  2. Obesity Timebomb – This is the blog of Charlotte Copper, who wrote Fat and Proud: The Politics of Size
  3. Uppity Fatty – This site features nudes of fat women – while there is some conversation to be had about male gaze and objectification, there is also something amazing about women who choose to be this comfortable and beautiful in a world that tells them to hate everything about their bodies.
  4. Fat dialogue – Just an amazing resource, particularly the Fat Hub pages.
  5. Big Fat Blog – Paul McAleer’s blog about fat discrimination is huge. So much info, so little time.
  6. Shapely Prose – Written by Kate Harding, this now defunct blog may be the most famous fat acceptance blog. Check out the archives.
  7. The Rotund – Marianne Kirby is on a mission here to let people know that fat people are not the enemy. And skinny people aren’t the enemy either.
  8. Red No. 3 – features Maggie – check her out.
  9. Fathuffalump – smart, funny, real.
  10. Communications of a Fat Waitress –  the fat feminisms of Amanda Levitt.
  11. Badass Fatass – another fabulous fat feminist, Michaela Null.
  12. Two whole cakes – written by Lesley Kinzel,  who describes herself as “a mouthy fat broad who deals in body politics, social justice activism, and pop-cultural criticism, usually from a feminist-flavored perspective.”
  13. Corpulent – Frances writes about fat fashions and provides resources for finding hip clothes.
  14. Adopostivity –  A project with a mission: “The Adipositivity Project aims to promote size acceptance, not by listing the merits of big people, or detailing examples of excellence (these things are easily seen all around us), but rather, through a visual display of fat physicality. The sort that’s normally unseen. The hope is to widen definitions of physical beauty. Literally.”
  15.  Riots Not Diets  – a blog written by Margitte Leah, an Fat activist and scholar.
  16. Fatuosity – a blog that critiques  “not only of dominant ideas about fat, but also on occasion, of dominant ideas about fat acceptance.”
  17.  The Art of J. Rose – Fat positive art.
  18. Natalie Perkins – a illustrator who is interested in Fatness and body image.
  19. Big Fat Deal – a blog that looks at weight in popular culture.
  20. The Big Ballet