Announcements, Fat, Media

We’re Famous!

Check out this Reuters article on the BMI Project.

Thank you to all the brave souls who gave permission for their photos to be used in the slideshow! (And to the one who didn’t — sorry! I tried to get that error fixed before it was posted, but I was too late!)

And thank you to reporter Terri Coles for not using any of the quotes that would have made me sound like a crackpot! ‘Cause I’m sure there were lots.

82 thoughts on “We’re Famous!”

  1. Dude! Although I’m curled up on my couch being sick, I did a tiny dance of joy for you. Getting linked by Reuters is awesome.

    *does wonder woman stance of victory*

  2. Aw, Julia, after all the trouble you went to to get permission, I just realized they didn’t use your Wonder Woman pic! HOW COULD THEY SKIP THAT ONE?

    I love all of our morbidly obese poster girls, but seriously, that costume just fucking wins.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  3. Eric, I was two steps removed from the decision-making process. It went like this… The reporter asked for permission from a specific list of people. I e-mailed all those people and the majority of them gave permission. (A couple people ended up in the slideshow after having given permission for a different media outlet, as well — hope they’re not freaked about being used by Reuters.)

    They didn’t use all of the people who said yes, and in one case, they used a photo of a woman with the same name as someone else who said yes, though the one they used hadn’t actually given permission. (That’s who I was apologizing to in the post.) Fortunately, I got in touch with her this morning and she’s okay with it.

    But the short answer to your question is, no, I had nothing to do with it. The reporter compiled a master list of people who agreed, and then the photo editor picked some from that.

  4. The project was a great idea and I’m glad to see that Reuters took notice. There is some backlash against this OBESITY CRISIS!!! bullshit.

    And no, I’m not hurt that I wasn’t in the Reuters article, I’ve already had about 13,000 people view my picture, and that’s PLENTY! But I must admit I’ve enjoyed the 15 minutes of fame, especially for such an important project.

  5. Thanks for the info Kate. Congrats on the exposure you’re getting. Maybe you could do an entire post about how the whole process worked, or did they simply email you a couple questions and a list of the people they wanted the pictures of? (Sorry, I suffer from eclectic curiosity. If I don’t really know anything about a subject, say media and interviews, I want to know more, even if it is in a non-media blog)

    (And Julia – two words: Chicken. Soup. Good Luck.)

  6. Oh, and I agree, Julia “Wonder Woman” was such a cool picture that they really should have used it. She was my favorite!

  7. Hooray! That was, like, a sane article. Nice.

    And, as I tend to describe myself as a “two-hour hourglass,” I like the waist-to-hip ratio math a lot better.


  8. Congrats! And I like that article a lot. Not only does it do a good job criticizing BMI as a health statistic, but it tells people NOT to panic if other measures aren’t what we’re told is ideal.

  9. Congrats! It’s so awsome that Reuters pick up on this, and in a positive way. I better not get too excited, I am morbidly obese after all, and I just might keel over and die :)

  10. I’m so sad they didn’t use Wonder Woman. I mean WONDER WOMAN! *does dramatic pose* Still, the article was good and the range of body types they picked was good.

    I’m sad they picked only pictures of white women. I know you weren’t involved in which pictures they used Kate. This isn’t aimed at you. I’m feeing really frustrated by the white face of fat acceptance and fat acceptance blogging. Are there any people of color in the Fat-O-Sphere? (the RSS feed which I use to concentrate my fat acceptance reading)

  11. Good point, Julia (nice name, btw ;)).
    I must say, I often think of black women when I think of beautiful, strong fat women. I’m also interested in seeing more than a “white face” of fat acceptance blogging.

  12. Julia-not-Faye, I actually thought of that when I saw the pics this morning, in part because you made me more conscious of it when I was compiling the project. I’m really sorry they didn’t include any women of color.

    As for your question, I know Shannon of Nude Muse and Jon B. aren’t white. (Interestingly, they’re both also very young, compared to most of us. So maybe there’s hope in that?) And the Fatshionista group blog is only in soft launch mode right now, but there’s at least one blogger of color (Tara/Bias Cut) there.

    If there are others I’m not thinking of/just don’t realize aren’t white, I hope they’ll identify themselves here! Fat Bloggers of color? Are you out there?

  13. These articles about how it’s okay to be fat as long as you don’t have a high waist-to-hip ratio always depress me, since I do.

  14. These articles about how it’s okay to be fat as long as you don’t have a high waist-to-hip ratio always depress me, since I do.

    Peg, I hear you. But as someone else said, one of the things I really like about this article is that even the doctor who thinks that’s a more accurate measure of health said people shouldn’t panic, ’cause it still doesn’t mean that much.

  15. *omgnewswiresquee*

    Anyway, that was a fantastically well-done article — I even learned something!! Congrats on such an amazing project. I’m thrilled I could be part of it!

  16. Peg: ditto. It’s always something with these folks, innit? (The “experts,” not the FA/HAES community!) But this is a major step in the right direction! And remember–it’s okay to be fat, period. The MSM doesn’t know your health status, nor do they know your personal desires to be an Apple or a Pear. They can eat my elastic waisted pants.

  17. Eh, it turned out for the best. Like I said, I freak out when shit I write gets on the wire. I can’t tell you how much I’d freak out if my picture got there :-)

    Besides, if a photo editor has a gazillion great shots that are free and one great shot they have to pay for, they’re gonna go with the free lunch. That’s corporate media for ya :-)

    ps — that bitch debate is still getting comments. I wonder when I’ll finally stop checking it :-)

  18. I wonder when I’ll finally stop checking it

    For the moment, I have. :) I might take one more swipe, but right now, I don’t need my blood pressure raised that much.

  19. And the Fatshionista group blog is only in soft launch mode right now, but there’s at least one blogger of color (Tara/Bias Cut) there.

    We have three bloggers thus far that I know for sure ID as WOC. Honestly, that’s a hugely important part of my vision for the site; it bugs me that fat acceptance is frequently portrayed as being so very white. Plays into the ridiculous (but disturbingly common) assumption that WOC are somehow immune to fat hatred.

    Sorry for the drift! :)

  20. I think I keep reading it because the more I see certain comments, the thicker (er, fatter) my skin gets. One day I hope it just feels like gnats instead of fire ants.

    Something tells me I need an intarweb break for a few days :-)

  21. Yeah, I kinda wish we could keep the new header year-round.

    Me too! But who knows what I’ll come up with for Thanksgiving…

    BTW, I was torn between “We’re gonna give your children candy” and “We’re gonna cover your brains in barbecue sauce and eat them” as a tag line. The first one fit better, though.

    WYW, I have no idea how the Reuters reporter found the BMI project, but it did get a lot of links and a bit of other MSM attention, so it could have been anywhere.

  22. BTW, I was torn between “We’re gonna give your children candy” and “We’re gonna cover your brains in barbecue sauce and eat them” as a tag line. The first one fit better, though.


    Both great… but “we’re gonna give your children candy” is pithier.

  23. Woohoo!!! Although it would be cool if I could give this to my (weight obsessed) fat mom and have me on the front page!

  24. This is just brilliant, Kate!

    (Though, as a fellow apple, I have to agree with Peg and Phledge. It’s always us the health buck seems to stop at, no matter what the context. So the guilt-tripping hits us with a double blow – you’re fat and you’re the Bad/Wrong Shape).

  25. Hey, Buff-
    I think that both apples and pears are cosidered the “wrong shape.” I mean, apple-shaped women have big boobs. Big boobs are considered by many to be the only advantage of being fat. Pears are fat, with small boobs. When something is going bad, the slang term is “going all pear shaped.” Yeah, we have defined waists, but they don’t make very many plus sized clothes that fit those defined waists/ very big hips.

  26. Dee– this apple woman doesn’t have big boobs! I barely fit into a B cup. I’m basically the ruler-type body gone “bad.” The only curves I have are my round stomach, which I like to drum on ;-)

  27. YES! Great article, but it kind of played into the whole “one body type means your ok and others do not” thing. But the whole “everyone is just themselves and judging by physical appearence is bad” idea is pretty revolutionary for most mainstream news.

    But it is definately a wonderful start! I think its awsome your finally getting some recognition!

  28. What fascinates me about the apple/pear thingy is that apples are presumed to be unhealthy, while pears are mocked for their appearance. So it cuts both ways. And I know lots of apples like Artemis whose “only redeeming quality” (snort) is absent or diminished in comparison to national fucktard standards. How about this, then: ALL SHAPES AND SIZES WELCOME. :)

  29. Phledge — I’ll go for that!

    And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who participated in the BMI project — you are awesome and brave! Double congratulations to Kate who made it possible. I just went to reread the article and it is a breath of fresh air. Did you guys see the poll in the upper right hand corner saying that only 29% of responders think that the BMI is “A good gauge of a person’s general health”? Hopefully we are making progress.

  30. So. Last night I was grumping to a friend in IM about whitness of fat acceptance and it felt like no one felt racial and ethnic diversity was important. Then, I roll into this thread today and see….lots of people talking positively about increasing diversity, and I find there are PoC fat blogging I didn’t know about. This has seriously improved my mood about this issue.

    And now…nap time with my cat (I’m getting over a cold).

  31. Wow! That was quite a good article, overall. The waist to hip ratio thing is a little annoying. I mean, it’s really not something people have any control over. An apple shaped person can lose all the weight they want and still have a big waist circumference relative to their hips and the rest of their body. We can’t control where the fat goes. And there are lots of apple shaped women with small breasts. Some people just mostly carry weight in their stomach region. It does seem like in our society the only “right shape” (as far as appearance goes) is an hourglass, particularly for fat people but for thin people as well… my thin apple shaped sister hates her body because she has small breasts and a relatively large belly. *sighs*

  32. Yeah, that really bugs me, Becky. The waist-to-hip ratio is so goddamn Calvinist, since pretty much every other source will tell you that you can change body size but not overall shape, and of course spot reducing is impossible.

    It would make a little more sense if they were positing abdominal girth as a risk factor in the sense of “if you are relatively bigger in the tum, you have a higher risk, so make sure you monitor your blood pressure and eat those veggies,” instead of “so take steps to make your waist smaller.” That’s how genetic predisposition is treated, after all — you make sure you’re aware of the things you have a predisposition for, and perhaps you take some prophylactic steps, but you don’t try to change your genetic history. Saying “WHR is a good predictor, so reduce your waist” is nearly as ridiculous as saying “genetic predisposition is a good predictor, so disown your parents.” But of course since a bigger tummy is related to fat, we have to turn it into a “flagellate yourself until you reduce” thing, instead of a “be aware of myriad things related to risk and take care of yourself” thing.

  33. Kate – did you disable comments on the BMI slideshow? I was going to leave a note for another participant who is practically my body twin, but either I’m a dumbass and couldn’t figure out how, or there wasn’t the option. Either is possible. ;)

  34. Elusis, I did disable them at the Flickr site, because I didn’t want the assholes from MeFi, etc., leaving comments directed at specific people. Sorry about that.

  35. Fillyjonk, exactly. The waist-to-hip ratio part of the article bothered me too, because even if there WERE a way to lose weight permanently and safely, no one’s fundamental body shape can change. (And even if you forced it to, like through surgery, would it change the underlying metabolic profile? I doubt it.)

    And I said exactly the same thing you said re: encouraging people with inherited risk factors to be more aware of things they CAN change, rather than brow-beating them to change their phenotype. Absolutely ridiculous. I’m glad you’re putting it out there.

  36. Pinky, are you thinking what I’m thinking?

    I think so, Kate, but where are we going to find rubber pants our size?

  37. Saying “WHR is a good predictor, so reduce your waist” is nearly as ridiculous as saying “genetic predisposition is a good predictor, so disown your parents.”

    Yes! I went to a doctor one time complaining of a pinched nerve in my shoulder. She kept on staring at my breasts with an expression of fascination and horror. (at the time GG). Her suggestion was taht I should “do something” about the size of my breasts. I said I was opposed to reduction, which led to her suggestion that I diet. I pointed out that for me dieting does not reduce my boobs, and also that wasn’t really relevant to the immediate issue. Still staring at my chest, she said I needed to do something about my breasts. Oh and some advil might help my shoulder.

    Yes I made a complaint to my HMO the next day. She denied the inappropriate staring/comments, so nothing really happened. Although her contract was not renewed the next year.

  38. Wow, Julia, that is creepy. I’m glad you made a complaint to the HMO. That doctor pretty much failed at everything you could expect from a competent medical professional: medical advice, bedside manners, and basic human decency.

  39. Can anyone help me out with a WordPress question? I’m trying to get to Sarah’s blog, fatgirlonabike. First, I got a request to log into WP. Once I registered for a username, all I got was the Global Dashboard, and I can’t seem to move on from there. Is her blog now invitation only (which I completely understand givien some of the comments I’ve seen), or is it just a WP glitch? Sarah, if you see this and don’t mind me reading your blog, can you add my username to a list or something (art3mis)? I have no idea how WP works.

  40. I don’t suppose I could put in a request for LilahMorgan to be added as well? I was just coming over to ask the same question.

  41. Ditto, I was really sad when I couldn’t get to it today! (I thought it was a WP glitch, though… didn’t even realize you could set a blog private.)

  42. Hi Kate – just wanted to let you know that this was picked up by 24 Hours, one of the free papers here in Vancouver. It’s a generally anti-fat paper, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the blurb this morning!

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