body acceptance, Body Image

The Project: We were fat on it.

21 July, 2012

I was going to write a big post about my (and Nick and Miffy’s!) appearance last night on The Project but I have compiled a rushed recap instead because I had to get off the couch to do this and we are in a co-dependent relationship. First, here is the video for your viewing pleasure (if you are outside Australia it may not work but give it a go anyway.) I’m anticipating that this embed won’t work, so here’s a link to the video on the website.

We open with the classic fat zinger footage, headless fatties and motorised scooters. Fat people going about their days having their butts filmed without permission, drinking drinks and shopping for food like they aren’t essential requirements for living or anything.

Dr Cat Pause arrives and is cute! I want to be sure to stress that we need to step away from the good fatty/ bad fatty dichotomy. It’s not helpful. Also, some fat people are unhealthy (i.e. live with disability and disease) and it’s not for reasons you might automatically assume by looking at them. Some thin people are unhealthy (i.e. live with disability and disease) and you might dismiss that because their bodies are read as healthy. Quit the oversimplification of body size, health and disability, ok? It harms people.

Screencap of Nick and I sitting on our couch.

It’s not really called Fat Pride, or that’s not what Nick and I identify with. We say we are fat activists. There are zero things wrong with being proud of your body (at whatever size) but it’s hard for many fat people to find pride because of the burden of stigma, and “fat pride” doesn’t welcome those folks. We talk about stigma, frustration, ill treatment and at a very basic level, try to reach people with the message that fat people are humans and we have heads.

Nick and I arrive. We talk about stigma against fat people. Dr Sam Thomas arrives, talks about overstatement of risks of being fat.

Screencap of Anna Peeters, expert of not letting fatties into her club. Hand drawn text says “No fatties club soz”.

Anna Peeters arrives, we are worrying her with our fatness, she is part of a society for obesity. I wonder if any fat people are in that society? Probably not. Her testimony about health risks makes aforementioned fatties seem all footloose and fancy free, but fails to consider the non-fat related illnesses they have. Also it’s very nice they care so much about scaring fat people, I wonder if Stephen King advises them on their thriller skillz. Can we get a price check on who is funding the ANZOS please? Considering Peeters worked for C.O.R.E at Monash, who are funded in part by Allergan (A LAP BAND MANUFACTURER), I am highly dubious.

Screencap of me walking Miffy on a leash, the camera is at her height! Also hearts are everywhere.

Peeters redeems the case for fat stigma when she says it exists. Unfortunately most viewers probably didn’t believe us when we said that first. Thomas agrees, SOCIETY IS FIGHTING FAT PEOPLE. All we wanna do is have a groovy time and daydream about unicorns — WAIT THERE IS MIFFY. Nick and I demonstrate that we can walk.

Screencap of a close up on my hands typing. Hand drawn text says “bloggin bloggin bloggin”.

Screen cap of me concentrating really hard on sending out laser beams.

Happy music, focus on our blogging! Dramatic music change, I am concentrating very hard on doing up a jump ring on my fat necklace for the 100th time. Peeters bastardises the Sound of Music and stages an elaborate number called, “How do you solve a problem like fat people?”

Screen cap of Nick concentrating on making people fat with laser beams.

Screenshot of The Project panelists: Lehmo, Charlie, Kath and Waleed. A speech bubble says “We have opinions” and text saying NOT FAT with arrows points to each person.


We return to comments from non-fat panelists because they have feelings and opinions.

Charlie Pickering says we do judge people based on weight. Another thin person legitimising things fat people said first! I would give him a cookie but I ate them all.

Waleed Aly pulls out the concern troll card, which coincidentally wields an internet connection and a false sense of entitlement if you look closely. He thinks we are driven to being fat by stigma. Oh so it’s not like our bodies and personal health, environment, class, race, gender have anything do do with it. Thinking is hard for many non-fat people.

Kath Robinson admirably doesn’t even bother with concern – FAT PEOPLE ARE INTENTIONALLY BEING FAT AND STIGMATISING THEMSELVES. “These people could potentially be unhealthy and risk bad health problems!” Like suicide and death by neglectful health professionals or NOT seeking medical help because they know they’ll be treated awfully! At this stage I am laughing bitterly and bringing fat forehead to fat palm with rapid and great energy.

Lehmo, who only has one name because he is special and important, winds up for his big finish: “if you need a motorised cart to get around then you need to lose weight”. What ableist guff that doesn’t consider the intersection of fat & disability! (Not that I expected that degree of nuance on a light entertainment teev program.) Fat people on scooters don’t do it because they think it’s cool and hip and that people will say “SWEET RIDE YOU ARE COOL”. Fat people on scooters get abused because they are fat and SO RUDELY using mobility tools to move about their lives!

EVERYONE LAUGHS AT A FAT JOKE
THE END

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  • I can’t watch the vid (in the UK) but I am digging your dress/hair/cardi/lipstick combo. What lipstick are you using?

    KEEP UP THE FANCE WORK

  • You summarised that segment PERFECTLY.
    I love you.

  • Esmilu

    The Obesity Society! LULZ. Their funding page is light-on but their annual conference page sponsors are http://www.anzos2012.com/sponsorship/ And there are pharmaceutical companies which sell diet pills and chalk-based shakes, a diet company, fat-hatin’ charities like the Heart Foundation, a company which sells fatty monitoring devices, and some food companies. SURPRISE!

  • Esmilu

     And wow that sponsorship page is a riot. “ANZOS 2012 will provide a superb opportunity for you to interact and
    target the most influential figures in the field of Australasian obesity” and “The opportunity to deliver a clear message that you have a genuine commitment to the industry” i.e., “demonstrate how much you want to make money out of hating on fatties”.

  • Pi

    Can someone please reblob the video on Youtube or Vimeo or something? I need more fat fance in my life. Thanks.

  • Sonya

    omg i am dying of lulz.

  • Shell

    Do they not see they are showcasing exactly what you are explaining to be the issue? Very proud of both of you though. Ah, thinking for yourself. Apparently a remarkable feat.

  • Katie_m1290

    I saw you on the project, took me a minute to realise and I yelled out “omg, i read her blog” lol, you looked wonderful, and i remember the post you did about that dress

  • Fun post and Congratulations! 

  • Kathryn OHalloran

    This is why I don’t own a TV set. Love your recaps with the added text.

  • skinny women telling fat people that its ok to be fat is counter-productive. and that whole segment made me want to fucking  punch someone! if only they played your interview and your point of view and didn’t add any other biased bastard opinions, it would’ve been much better. Boycott the 7pm shitproject!

  • thirties girl

     Argh!  Can’t watch the video because I’m in the U.S.  But may I say: I think you look fantastic with lavender hair!

  • Cate

    I get angry when I see those headless shots, don’t fat people deserve to not simply seen a a grouping? and the reference by the panelist to ‘these people’ made me want to kick something! Nick and Natalie, you were wonderfully articulate and  I love your hair Natalie!

  •  Nick and I have been trying to rip it from the website with no success :(
    It might pop up on youtube at some stage but we don’t have the skills to do it!

  •  Thanks! The lipstick is Shiro Cosmetics Shoop da woop!

  • elizabeth albert

    I <3 you so hard

  • Mostlav

    not available in my country :(

  • Elizabeth

    Kath Robinson *sigh*. So self acceptance is now a potential health hazard? I, for one, have taken far better care of my health since I accepted my body than when I hated it. IMHO self love is a prerequisite for good health, as good health requires self care and nurturing. 

    IMHO the media keeps insisting that we hate ourselves so we are vulnerable when they bombard us with advertising for products that claim to fix ‘the problem’ they created in the first place.

    Good job Natalie, you spoke very well and looked fantabulous. :)

  • Style Revival

    ‘The Project’ or working title (scrapped) ‘listen to people talk utter bollocks about that which they know nothing – then laugh about it’. Hmmm …. How did we ever survive without their incredible insights?? (Cue noise of my head repeatedly banging on desk). You rock Natalie – nuff said.