NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

High On Fat Activism!

May9

International No Diet Day proved to be my new favorite holiday of the year! I started out with just a great mood, lots of caffeine (my drug of choice, thanks) and lots of energy. As the day progressed I became more and more giddy about that evening’s activities. As you may have noticed from my many and even silly posts on that day. My first public fat activism! With Marilyn Wann!!! My good mood and high-energy seemed to rub off on friends and customers throughout the day, too. I was on cloud 9 before I’d even left the cafe to head up to San Francisco. I was wearing my Fat necklace with pride, explaining INDD to any/all who seemed interested and chatting with all of my favorite peeps online. Plus, it was Friday! Who could ask for more?!

I was nervous, but in an excited way and not at all in a fearful way. After picking up my fab-fat friend Margarita, we headed to the meet up spot. While my parking juju wasn’t with me, we did find a parking spot a few blocks away. We hustled our bustles with glee and exhilaration. When we met up with the group, well, I can’t describe what it felt like. All of these fabulous faces smiling at us in recognition of why we were there. So welcoming and sweet! We were handed baby blue ribbons that read “INDD 2011” on the tails. We pinned them on our bosoms and headed towards the venue. The excitement in the air was palpable! We were all giggling and chatting amongst ourselves, waiting for Marilyn’s signal.

Marilyn waved to Carol who gave us the go ahead and we crossed the street en masse. Then again we waited near the entrance to be sure that the coast was clear. You see, friends, this was an Obesity Treatment and Prevention conference. The last day of a 3-day conference whose only aim is to rid the world of us/fat. They weren’t expecting us and we certainly were not welcome. With the help of Marilyn’s fab friend Geoffrey, we were able to enter without a problem. And then time seemed to stand still. I was right behind Marilyn inside the conference room (one of those big hotel conference rooms, filled with tables and people so bored you actually felt sorry for them). She unzipped her satchel, pulled out a boombox and hit play as we single-filed down the center isle of this conference room and she blew a whistle. This caused a bit of a stir in the audience. Some might have thought we were some sort of surprise entertainment, only not quite. Ha-ha!  And who was at the podium speaking but none other than Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer! In fact, he was talking about adipose tissue. His voice droned on and on, even as he saw we were heading right towards him. I didn’t catch a glimpse of his face or reaction, but could hear him attempting to maintain his composure and he did continue speaking, though he stopped and started again a few times.

As we were heading down that center isle, I found the sudden urge to place my hands upon my hips and just sashay my way up to the front of the room. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. We were strutting our stuff and singing along to a song penned by Ms. Wann and produced/composed by Alan Garber of the band Nothin’ But Fun (full lyrics below). The recurring lyrics consisting of us pantomiming with “Chins, Bellies, thighs…Hips and ass…hips and ass” as we gestured and strutted and smiled at those in attendance. I couldn’t keep a smile off my face! I was trying to catch the looks on people’s faces, but it’s all a blur to me now. We got up to the front and finally Dr-dude gave up for a moment. Then suddenly the conference organizer came up to us threatening to call security if we didn’t leave immediately.

And just like that, Marilyn blew her whistle again, we turned, re-filed into a line, and headed back down that center isle towards the exit. Only this time, we handed out flyers to those at sitting at the tables. This was the coolest part I think. The people who had obviously been sitting in those same chairs for the last three days seemed delighted at the distraction and some actually wanted our flyers and reached out or even moved towards us to grab one. The ladies ahead of me in a pseudo-soul train line, said things of encouragement and positivity to the conference goers. “Happy International No Diet Day!” Amy shouted with a big ole grin! Some smiled back at us, others just looked too tired to care. It was an interesting group of mixed feelings and of course Dr so & so went right back into his lecture on adipose tissue. Ha! I felt as though I was positively floating!

As we were filing out, the conference organizer shouted at us/me (it seemed we made eye contact at that moment at least), “Shame on you!” Without knowing it I shouted right back, “Shame on us? No! Shame on You! We exist and we just want to live our lives! It’s San Fracisco!” Don’t even ask me why I felt the need to add that last bit in there. I had no control over those words. But it came out and I’m fine with this. Ha!

We reconvened at a nearby fountain surrounded by foliage, concrete structures and shops. I recall someone saying that Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer sounded like the teacher on Charlie Brown. True! We all giggled and cheered and clapped and then Marilyn Wann addressed the group, “I want to show you the secret handshake of fat activists!” and we all bumped bellies with one another. It was so freeing, I cannot even tell you. I have only ever bumped bellies with my husband, I think. It was so nice to not give a flying fuck what anyone thought of my fat or belly or anything! We were together and we were one at the same time. It was so nice to get to meet and talk with so many lovely people, too. The woman video taping our flesh mob asked each of us to share our favorite moment. So many wonderful moments in such a short amount of actual time, but like I said, it felt as though time had stopped.

Many photos were taken, personal information exchanged, hugs and love were spread around generously and without hesitation. We were absolutely high as so many brightly colored kites in the windy spring skies! My life has forever been changed in the best possible way! The smiles and the electricity of the moment. I am so grateful to have been part of something so radical, so honest and so fucking fat! These people at that conference were in there discussing and dissecting us for 3 days, yet we were not invited to the discussion. We were told we weren’t welcome. But how can you talk about fat, how can you dissect and weigh the values of adipose tissue and obesity without welcoming those who are and have said fat?! Well, I think we proved that you just can’t! It’s not okay! And at least in San Francisco (ha-ha!), you can expect the unexpected. You can look forward to the radical and the true. You can be surprised by what so many fatties can do!

“Chins, bellies, Hips…and Ass! Hips…and Ass! Say it with pride! Chins, bellies, Hips…and Ass! Hips…and Ass! One more time! We love our bodies, the weigh we are, the weigh we are! Wouldn’t change a thing! Chins, bellies, Hips…and Ass! Hips…and Ass! Oh yes!”

Special Thanks to Marilyn Wann for inviting me, encouraging us all and for being such a bad ass!
And to Twistie & WithoutScene: You were each on my shoulders, cheering me on! I love you both!

<3
S


Me & Nicole with our fat necklaces and the wind blowin’ our hairs like models!
Margarita, Nicole & Virgie:

For more pictures (far better quality, too) check out Nicole’s post about INDD!

 

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29 Comments to

“High On Fat Activism!”

  1. On May 9th, 2011 at 6:15 am Patsy Nevins Says:

    Sounds wonderful. Bravo for all of you. I only wish I could have been there.

  2. On May 9th, 2011 at 8:46 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you! I like to think that all fats were there in spirit!

  3. On May 9th, 2011 at 8:25 am wriggles Says:

    Well done all and thanks for making me laugh. Is the video going to appear anywhere?

  4. On May 9th, 2011 at 8:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you! Um, I am not sure about the video. I know plenty of editing will be required, but I will keep you posted once I hear something. Thanks again! <3

  5. On May 9th, 2011 at 8:51 am Dee Says:

    Thanks for posting that awesome first hand account!!! I wish I could have been there too!!

  6. On May 9th, 2011 at 8:57 am Not Blue at All Says:

    You’re very welcome. I cannot wait to do more things like this. <3

  7. On May 9th, 2011 at 9:22 am sabrina Says:

    oh my gaaaawwwd it sounds awesome! thanks for posting the pics!! you. are. fabulous!

  8. On May 9th, 2011 at 9:41 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, hun. It was awesome and life changing/affirming. The pics are still coming in from all over. Best to check out Marilyn’s facebook page, I think.

  9. On May 9th, 2011 at 9:37 am RachelB Says:

    I shouted right back, “Shame on us? No! Shame on You! We exist and we just want to live our lives! It’s San Fracisco!” Don’t even ask me why I felt the need to add that last bit in there. I had no control over those words. But it came out and I’m fine with this. Ha!

    Awesome! Also, the last bit of what you said on your way out of the room totally makes sense to me as a Bay Area resident. The Bay Area has a reputation for being politically active (often in theatrical ways), for being interested in liberation struggles and free speech. It has a reputation for enjoying human variation, rather than looking at human variation as a problem to be fixed.* As far as I’m concerned, the Bay Area should be into Fat Activism on general principles.

    *I’m not always convinced that it deserves that reputation. But I do think of taking delight in diversity as being a civic virtue here– a thing someone would want to claim, even if it’s not true.

  10. On May 9th, 2011 at 9:39 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thank you! Yes, upon recounting the exchange I was quickly reassured by those in the flesh mob with me that it made sense and wasn’t just gibberish. My husband, too, insisted that Sf has this reputation and anyone would understand why I said it (except me of course). Ha! I wish I could do things like this every Friday forever! <3

  11. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:13 am Amanda Says:

    I’m so happy for you! and the comment you made to the organizer was fab! I’m sad that I live on the east coast, but hopefully more activism like this can happen around the country. It would be awesome!

  12. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:16 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Thanks, doll. Don’t be sad, you already do so much activism where you’re at! I wish I could participate in something like this weekly/monthly…forever! It was so incredible. I think it’s a special time for our society. I am so grateful to know so many radical fats!

  13. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:31 am Eselle Says:

    This recounting is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever read.

    Thank you for having the courage to go out and be seen. I, too, think what you said to the coordinator was perfect. For me ( and I don’t live in SF) the city is a place where free thinking forward looking people get to be themselves.

    By going in that room you made people think. And in so doing perhaps a few might see fat people as human instead of as other. Maybe a few will see that not every fat person WANTS to be cut and become normalized. If so, that would still be the most magnificent victory.

    As someone who has been pressured for YEARS to have WLS (still just saying no) I thank you sincerely for going to bat for people like me.

  14. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:36 am Not Blue at All Says:

    Wow! Thank you! I…I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I am so very grateful to have these lovely people in my life. And you! To inspire and motivate me and keep reminding me why it is that I want to be a part of this amazingly positive movement. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! <3

  15. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:41 am Nicole Says:

    Yay! It was so much fun. It was my first fat public activism too. Aside from well, being a proud, fat woman in public. Glad we could be there together! I can’t til the next event.

  16. On May 9th, 2011 at 10:43 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I can’t wait for the next one either! I was so glad you were able to make it. I wasn’t sure on the day of, but when I saw you across the street? I was so comforted by the site of stylish as ever, Nicole! <3

  17. On May 9th, 2011 at 12:35 pm Twistie Says:

    Oh how I wish I had been there in the flesh! But you know I was there in spirit.

    Next time, my friend, next time.

  18. On May 9th, 2011 at 12:36 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    Oh! Absolutely next time! <3

  19. On May 10th, 2011 at 6:03 pm Mulberry Says:

    Can you send a Marilyn clone to the East coast? Or do we already have one and I just haven’t heard of her?
    Also, notblueatall, I see you’re wearing your not-color! What’s up with that??
    You guys are awesome! I bet you really Pi-S.sed off the speaker!

  20. On May 11th, 2011 at 8:36 am Not Blue at All Says:

    I don’t think there’s a Marilyn close yet, but let’s hope the technology becomes available before we ever lose her!
    What’s up with my wearing blue? I love the color, but my moniker is in reference to a quote from a rock star saying that people assume he’s always depressed. His response, “I’m not that blue at all.” I just loved that! It has man meanings for me, but I won’t stop wearing blue. And I got too many compliments on it that day! Ha! Thanks, hun! =0)

  21. On May 10th, 2011 at 6:31 pm Not impressed Says:

    Wow. I hope you and your friends feel really proud of yourselves. All you did was embarass yourselves and disrupt an event which people paid to attend.

    I’ve organised conferences and it’s hard work. Did you give a thought to the conference organiser and how your pathetic display made her feel? She would have accepted that commission on a commercial basis, not because she is part of the “anti-obesity alliance”. The conference organisers, hotel staff, and security guards are not the enemy – they’re just ordinary people doing their jobs.

    Do you really think you made an impact? Sure, people were probably bored at the end of a long conference and you gave them something to talk about afterwards, but do you really think that’s the best way of getting your point across?

    The conference participants and organizers are laughing at you right now.

    And the next time you want to disrupt an obesity conference, you’ll be blocked by security guards. Who won’t be the least bit impressed by your “fatshion”.

  22. On May 11th, 2011 at 8:48 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Not Impressed:
    Hmmm…seems you’re making a lot of assumptions here. I have in fact organized many a conference such as this in my old career. I do know the amount of work that goes into it.
    My “friends” and I are proud of ourselves, actually. Thanks for hoping that we are. What is truly funny is that none of us were the least bit embarrassed. Not sure why you would assume that we would be. Were you in attendance? We crashed their conference, sure, but it was the last speaker on the last day of the conference and it was a total of 3 minutes out of their day. Those in attendance seemed quite relieved at the distraction. Some were very interested in our message and what/why we were doing. I think the biggest part you’re forgetting is that we’re just regular people, too! That conference was about ridding the world of us, specifically! Why shouldn’t we have a voice in the dialogue? I don’t mind if the participants are still talking about us a week after the fact. Actually that makes me smile. Thanks for that. Why do you think it’s okay to oppress and marginalize an entire group of the world’s population without them being allowed to speak? Have you walked in our shoes? Have you been hated upon on a daily basis? Do you come from such high privilege that you cannot see that we’re fighting for equality? I am always open to differing opinions and beliefs. I appreciate you taking the time to google this and comment on my humble blog.

  23. On May 11th, 2011 at 4:03 am NotBlueAtAll » Blog Archive » The Fat Necklace Phenomenon Says:

    […] a side of “That’s awesome!” with it. But I especially loved wearing it to the Flesh Mob on INDD. I held my head high and wore my “Fat” necklace as a sign of my comittment and […]

  24. On May 11th, 2011 at 9:04 am wriggles Says:

    I hope you and your friends feel really proud of yourselves.

    I hope they feel proud too and I hope they know we are proud of them also for representing us fatz, who are apparently not deemed important enough to be invited to conferences about ourselves.

    As for your sob story about the conference organiser PHOOEY, she got paid.

    And if there is anything more classist that this odious gravy train of obesity nonsense I don’t know what it is. This rancid crusade which regularly slanders low paid working people, like security guards and hotel workers etc., because their lives expose their calories in/out for the lie that it is.

    I know people like that and have worked in the latter myself, after working all the hours sent to make something approaching a decent living, exhausted and time poor-women especially- are expected to half starve themselves and attend the church of gym.

    Because all their hours of running around, fetching and carrying somehow don’t count as “activity” of the magically slimming kind claimed by crusade pinheads.

  25. On May 11th, 2011 at 9:06 am sabrina Says:

    @Not impressed. What notblueatall said. I honor and admire her and everyone else’s strength and courage to stand up and demand to be treated with dignity.

  26. On May 11th, 2011 at 9:29 am Amanda Says:

    @Not impressed Well if you were organizing a conference whose main goal is to spread hatred, shame, and eliminate the very kind of body that I live in then I hope it does get crashed. Just because someone is ‘doing their job’ doesn’t mean that their job is left not having a profound impact on how society looks at fat bodies. They don’t offer differing opinions on the subject at conferences like these, it isn’t a debate on who is right, but a slanderous misrepresentation of health and weight.

  27. On May 11th, 2011 at 9:55 am Carmdog Says:

    Awesome… looks like you got a reaction 🙂

  28. On May 11th, 2011 at 8:04 pm Mulberry Says:

    Have I got news for you, NotImpressed! We could all be on weight-loss diets and spending all of our free waking hours in a gym and they’d STILL be laughing at us! Didn’t you know that? If I’m going to be laughed at, I’d rather do so in the act of making a positive difference in the world.
    Instead of whining, “Ya did it WRONG”, do present some positive tips on how to triumph over those who hate fatness. Go ahead, tell us some effective civil rights ploys. I’m listening.

  29. On May 13th, 2011 at 7:08 pm Rachel Says:

    Best.Comeback.Ever. *High-fives everyone*

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