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  • I'm here today to talk to you about a very powerful little word,

  • one that people will do almost anything

  • to avoid becoming.

  • Billion-dollar industries thrive

  • because of the fear of it,

  • and those of us who undeniably are it

  • are left to navigate a relentless storm

  • surrounding it.

  • I'm not sure if any of you have noticed,

  • but I'm fat.

  • Not the lowercase, muttered-behind-my-back kind,

  • or the seemingly harmless chubby or cuddly.

  • I'm not even the more sophisticated voluptuous or curvaceous kind.

  • Let's not sugarcoat it.

  • I am the capital F-A-T kind of fat.

  • I am the elephant in the room.

  • When I walked out on stage,

  • some of you may have been thinking,

  • "Aww, this is going to be hilarious,

  • because everybody knows that fat people are funny."

  • (Laughter)

  • Or you may have been thinking, "Where does she get her confidence from?"

  • Because a confident fat woman is almost unthinkable.

  • The fashion-conscious members of the audience

  • may have been thinking how fabulous I look

  • in this Beth Ditto dress --

  • (Cheers)

  • thank you very much.

  • Whereas some of you might have thought,

  • "Hmm, black would have been so much more slimming."

  • (Laughter)

  • You may have wondered, consciously or not,

  • if I have diabetes, or a partner,

  • or if I eat carbs after 7pm.

  • (Laughter)

  • You may have worried that you ate carbs after 7pm last night,

  • and that you really should renew your gym membership.

  • These judgments are insidious.

  • They can be directed at individuals and groups,

  • and they can also be directed at ourselves.

  • And this way of thinking is known as fatphobia.

  • Like any form of systematic oppression,

  • fatphobia is deeply rooted in complex structures

  • like capitalism, patriarchy and racism,

  • and that can make it really difficult to see,

  • let alone challenge.

  • We live in a culture

  • where being fat is seen as being a bad person --

  • lazy, greedy, unhealthy, irresponsible

  • and morally suspect.

  • And we tend to see thinness

  • as being universally good --

  • responsible, successful,

  • and in control of our appetites, bodies and lives.

  • We see these ideas again and again

  • in the media, in public health policy,

  • doctors' offices,

  • in everyday conversations

  • and in our own attitudes.

  • We may even blame fat people themselves

  • for the discrimination they face

  • because, after all, if we don't like it, we should just lose weight.

  • Easy.

  • This antifat bias has become so integral, so ingrained

  • to how we value ourselves and each other

  • that we rarely question why we have such contempt for people of size

  • and where that disdain comes from.

  • But we must question it,

  • because the enormous value we place on how we look

  • affects every one of us.

  • And do we really want to live in a society

  • where people are denied their basic humanity

  • if they don't subscribe to some arbitrary form of acceptable?

  • So when I was six years old,

  • my sister used to teach ballet to a bunch of little girls in our garage.

  • I was about a foot taller and a foot wider than most of the group.

  • When it came to doing our first performance,

  • I was so excited about wearing a pretty pink tutu.

  • I was going to sparkle.

  • As the other girls slipped easily into their Lycra and tulle creations,

  • not one of the tutus was big enough to fit me.

  • I was determined not to be excluded from the performance,

  • so I turned to my mother

  • and loud enough for everyone to hear

  • said, "Mom, I don't need a tutu.

  • I need a fourfour."

  • (Laughter)

  • Thanks, Mom.

  • (Applause)

  • And although I didn't recognize it at the time,

  • claiming space for myself in that glorious fourfour

  • was the first step towards becoming a radical fat activist.

  • Now, I'm not saying that this whole body-love thing

  • has been an easy skip along a glittering path of self-acceptance

  • since that day in class.

  • Far from it.

  • I soon learned that living outside what the mainstream considers normal

  • can be a frustrating and isolating place.

  • I've spent the last 20 years unpacking and deprogramming these messages,

  • and it's been quite the roller coaster.

  • I've been openly laughed at, abused from passing cars

  • and been told that I'm delusional.

  • I also receive smiles from strangers

  • who recognize what it takes to walk down the street

  • with a spring in your step and your head held high.

  • (Cheer)

  • Thanks.

  • And through it all, that fierce little six-year-old has stayed with me,

  • and she has helped me stand before you today

  • as an unapologetic fat person,

  • a person that simply refuses to subscribe

  • to the dominant narrative

  • about how I should move through the world in this body of mine.

  • (Applause)

  • And I'm not alone.

  • I am part of an international community of people

  • who choose to, rather than passively accepting

  • that our bodies are and probably always will be big,

  • we actively choose to flourish in these bodies as they are today.

  • People who honor our strength and work with, not against,

  • our perceived limitations,

  • people who value health

  • as something much more holistic

  • than a number on an outdated BMI chart.

  • Instead, we value mental health, self-worth and how we feel in our bodies

  • as vital aspects to our overall well-being.

  • People who refuse to believe that living in these fat bodies

  • is a barrier to anything, really.

  • There are doctors, academics and bloggers

  • who have written countless volumes

  • on the many facets of this complex subject.

  • There are fatshionistas who reclaim their bodies and their beauty

  • by wearing fatkinis and crop tops,

  • exposing the flesh that we're all taught to hide.

  • There are fat athletes

  • who run marathons, teach yoga or do kickboxing,

  • all done with a middle finger firmly held up to the status quo.

  • And these people have taught me that radical body politics

  • is the antidote to our body-shaming culture.

  • But to be clear, I'm not saying that people shouldn't change their bodies

  • if that's what they want to do.

  • Reclaiming yourself can be one of the most gorgeous acts of self-love

  • and can look like a million different things,

  • from hairstyles to tattoos to body contouring

  • to hormones to surgery and yes, even weight loss.

  • It's simple: it's your body,

  • and you decide what's best to do with it.

  • My way of engaging in activism

  • is by doing all the things that we fatties aren't supposed to do,

  • and there's a lot of them,

  • inviting other people to join me and then making art about it.

  • The common thread through most of this work

  • has been reclaiming spaces that are often prohibitive to bigger bodies,

  • from the catwalk to club shows,

  • from public swimming pools to prominent dance stages.

  • And reclaiming spaces en masse is not only a powerful artistic statement

  • but a radical community-building approach.

  • This was so true of "AQUAPORKO!" --

  • (Laughter)

  • the fat fem synchronized swim team

  • I started with a group of friends in Sydney.

  • The impact of seeing a bunch of defiant fat women

  • in flowery swimming caps and bathers

  • throwing their legs in the air without a care

  • should not be underestimated.

  • (Laughter)

  • Throughout my career, I have learned that fat bodies are inherently political,

  • and unapologetic fat bodies

  • can blow people's minds.

  • When director Kate Champion,

  • of acclaimed dance theater company Force Majeure,

  • asked me to be the artistic associate

  • on a work featuring all fat dancers,

  • I literally jumped at the opportunity.

  • And I mean literally.

  • "Nothing to Lose" is a work made in collaboration with performers of size

  • who drew from their lived experiences

  • to create a work as varied and authentic as we all are.

  • And it was as far from ballet as you could imagine.

  • The very idea of a fat dance work by such a prestigious company

  • was, to put it mildly, controversial,

  • because nothing like it had ever been done on mainstream dance stages before

  • anywhere in the world.

  • People were skeptical.

  • "What do you mean, 'fat dancers?'

  • Like, size 10, size 12 kind of fat?

  • Where did they do their dance training?

  • Are they going to have the stamina for a full-length production?"

  • But despite the skepticism,

  • "Nothing to Lose" became a sellout hit of Sydney Festival.

  • We received rave reviews, toured,

  • won awards and were written about in over 27 languages.

  • These incredible images of our cast were seen worldwide.

  • I've lost count of how many times people of all sizes

  • have told me that the show has changed their lives,

  • how it helped them shift their relationship

  • to their own and other people's bodies,

  • and how it made them confront their own bias.

  • But of course, work that pushes people's buttons

  • is not without its detractors.

  • I have been told that I'm glorifying obesity.

  • I have received violent death threats

  • and abuse for daring to make work that centers fat people's bodies and lives

  • and treats us as worthwhile human beings with valuable stories to tell.

  • I've even been called

  • "the ISIS of the obesity epidemic" --

  • (Laughter)

  • a comment so absurd that it is funny.

  • But it also speaks to the panic,

  • the literal terror,

  • that the fear of fat can evoke.

  • It is this fear that's feeding the diet industry,

  • which is keeping so many of us from making peace with our own bodies,

  • for waiting to be the after-photo

  • before we truly start to live our lives.

  • Because the real elephant in the room here is fatphobia.

  • Fat activism refuses to indulge this fear.

  • By advocating for self-determination and respect for all of us,

  • we can shift society's reluctance to embrace diversity

  • and start to celebrate the myriad ways there are to have a body.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I'm here today to talk to you about a very powerful little word,

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B1 AU TED fat people laughter body fear

【TED】Kelli Jean Drinkwater: Enough with the fear of fat (Enough with the fear of fat | Kelli Jean Drinkwater)

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    yucyan posted on 2017/04/06
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