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Being Fat on Radio National

Posted: February 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: fat hate, fat politics, media | No Comments »

This morning, Radio National’s Life Matters program focussed on cultural attitudes to fat.  I was invited in as a guest along with the wonderful Dr Cat Pause, and eating disorders specialists Professor Cynthia Bulik and Professor Stephen Touyz.

While I don’t agree with everything that was said on the program (when will that fat-is-the-last-acceptable-prejudice meme die? And can we please get over shaming-fatties-for-their-own-good already?), I think the overall program was really positive.  It was great to have some non-fatties talking about how diets don’t work.

You can listen here (though be warned, there’s some concern-trolling from the callers).


Fat Mook – Request for Submissions

Posted: January 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Taken from Vignette Press:

mook –
1. A bound hybrid publication issued in a series.
2. Not quite a magazine, discount not quite a book.
3. A collection of surprising, tadalafil unconventional new writing.

fat –
1. The ester of glycerol and one, cialis two, or three fatty acids.
2. Obesity; corpulence.
3. The best or richest part.

Vignette Press is seeking new work for the latest in its acclaimed series of mooks. After The Sex Mook, The Death Mook, and Geek Mook, comes Fat Mook.

In a climate where fat bodies are ridiculed, controlled, and feared, Fat Mook seeks to expand the ways we think about fat. We’re looking for work that says something both new and real about fat – work that is accessible but makes us think, that goes to hard places and takes us through them, that is ugly and beautiful and changes the way we breathe. We’re keen on art, photography, poetry, memoir, fiction, comics, non-fiction, and other innovative forms – surprise us!

We are looking for work that goes beyond stereotypes and broadens the existing take on fat. To this end, we particularly encourage contributions from people of colour, queer folk, gender diverse folk, disabled folk, and people from around the world. We also encourage submissions from men, as most fat work is written by women, but we welcome all submissions – we want to read your work.

Fat Mook will be the first collection of creative work on fat to be published in Australia.

Possible topics include but are in no way limited to:

  • Aesthetics – beauty, ugliness, the specificity of the fat body
  • Fashioning fat – clothing and adornment
  • Gender – identity and presentation
  • Food – eating while fat, the care and feeding of the fat body, fat vegans and other alternative foodways
  • Health and illness – fat athletes, finding movement, dealing with illness
  • Sexuality – sex, love, dating, and attraction
  • Activism – community, performance, DIY, resisting anti-fat messages
  • Space – built environments, safe spaces, comfort
  • Fat characters – write one that’s new and different and real; fat lives
  • Alternate realities and imagined worlds

Submission guidelines:

  • Prose submissions should be a maximum of 3,000 words, however shorter submissions are encouraged.
  • Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, 1.5 spacing (unless your writing is in another form, such as a comic).
  • Margins should be 2.5cm at top and bottom and 3.25cm at left and right
  • On the first page please include your name (Last Name, First Name), title of the piece, genre (eg Fiction, Essay, Memoir, Reportage, Poetry), word count and a 50-100 word bio (not in a separate file).
  • When referencing or referring to books in your piece, please incorporate them into the body of your work. If in doubt, use Harvard referencing style (as at http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/recite/). We will not include footnotes in the book; writers should include information in the body of the text.
  • Artworks should reproduce well in black and white.
  • Poetry and prose should be sent as a single Word (preferred) or rtf file.
  • Artworks should initially be sent in .jpg format with a maximum file size of 200kb. If selected, we will contact you for high quality files. Artist bios should be sent as a separate Word or rtf file.
  • Your submission should be emailed to fatmook@vignettepress.com.au. Files should be named with the author’s surname followed by an underscore and the title of the work, eg, ‘Lee & Wykes_Fat Mook.doc’.

Vignette Press appreciates the guts, labour and dedication required to produce good writing and art. Unfortunately, at the moment, we are not in position to express this monetarily. Each contributor will receive a complimentary copy of the Fat Mook.

Submissions close on 1 April 2012

Chub love,

Jackie Wykes and Jennifer Lee, Fat Mook Editors
Amy Espeseth, Publisher, Vignette Press

Follow us on Twitter @vignettepress and @fat_mook. Like us on Facebook: Vignette Press. Befriend us in real life.

A Fabulous Fatshion Extravaganza!

Posted: August 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: fashion, fat politics, fun | No Comments »

Have you hear about Chub Republic? It’s this little group I’m involved with, and we’re hosting a plus-size clothes swap in a few weeks!

It’s on Sunday 11 September at Loophole Community Centre, 670 High Street, Thornbury.  You can drop off clothes between 11am-1pm, and then the real fun goes from 2pm-5pm!

Chub Republic Presents a Fabulous Fatshion Extravaganza!

Chub Republic Presents a Fabulous Fatshion Extravaganza!

 Are you size 16 or more, and have nothing to wear?  Do you own clothes you’ll never wear again and they’re just taking up precious space?

Well here’s a clothes swap just for you!  Drop off your pre-loved plus-sized garments between 11am and 1pm, then enjoy the Thornbury shops and cafes until 2pm, when doors open and a whole new world of sartorial brilliance will be yours.

Entry is $5, after which the clothes are FREE! All genders are welcome, and drinks and baked goods will be available.

Follow us on Twitter: @ChubRepublicMel
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/175134172549558/
Check out our website: http://www.chubrepublic.au.com/blog/
And reblog us on Tumblr: http://chubrepublicmelb.tumblr.com/

CFP: Queering Fat Embodiment

Posted: August 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: academia | No Comments »

Call for Papers
Tentative title: Queering Fat Embodiment

Type: Edited book
Submission deadline: January 15th, 2012


Contacts and editors:
Samantha Murray Samantha.murray@mq.edu.au (Main contact)
Cat Pausé c.pause@massey.ac.nz
Jackie Wykes wykesj@unimelb.edu.au

Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation and pathologisation of fatness, the field of Fat Studies has emerged in recent years to offer an interdisciplinary critical interrogation of the dominant medical models of health, to give voice to the lived experience of fat bodies, and to offer critical insights into, and investigations of, the ethico-political implications of the cultural meanings that have come to be attached to fat bodies. This focus on the regulation, discipline and representation of fat bodies make it critically invaluable to the advancement of scholarship on embodiment.

This edited collection seeks to publish recent scholarship that embraces ‘queering’ as a mode of critical engagement in examining fat embodiment. Queer is a heterogeneous and multidisciplinary practice aimed at ‘bringing forth’ and thus denaturalising the taken for granted, the invisible, the normalized. This collection seeks to challenge and destabilise existing ideas of fat and fat embodiment both outside of and within the emerging field of Fat Studies. This volume will bring together scholarship from various disciplines in order to examine the ways in which fat embodiment is lived, experienced, regulated and (re)produced across a range of cultural sites and contexts. In queering established ideas about fat bodies, and presenting challenging inquiries/inqueeries into these notions, this collection will represent an innovative and critically invaluable contribution to the advancement of scholarship on fatness, and indeed on embodiment more generally.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
• fat activism and embodiment
• fat mental and physical health
• queer(y)ing ‘hard data’ on fatness/obesity science
• queer(y)ing health policies related to fat
• cross-cultural or global constructions of fat bodies
• cultural, historical, or philosophical meanings of fat and fat bodies
• fat embodiment in literature, film, music, nonfiction, and the visual arts
• fat as queering sex, beauty, gender, and other embodied performances
• fat sexuality
• fat materialities
• fat and space
• fat and biopolitics
• fat and citizenship
• fat and neoliberalism
• fatness and consumption

Please note that we are already in the process of completing a proposal to submit to publishers, which we will complete based on the submissions we receive. We have had some preliminary interest from publishers, but as yet, we have not secured a contract.

Full paper submissions are due January 15, 2012. Articles should range between 15 and 20 double-spaced pages. Please send submissions, along with an abstract of your paper and a brief biographical sketch, directly to Samantha.murray@mq.edu.au.

ETA:  There’s been a few queries regarding what types of submissions we’re looking for.  We’re happy to consider non-academic submissions which reflect on the lived experiences of fat embodiment, but they should be intellectually robust and engage with relevant literature.

Cherchez La Femme

Posted: August 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: academia, aquaporko, fat politics, fun, personal | No Comments »

Well, it’s been a good long while.  And this isn’t a ‘real’ post so much as a drive-by thank you to all the folks who came along to Cherchez La Femme on Tuesday night to talk about fat and feminism with us.  Y’all were awesome and amazing, and it was great to have the opportunity for a public discussion about fat in such an open forum.

I’m also in awe of my co-panellists, Jenny, Elizabeth, and Lili, who were all incredibly articulate, generous, and damn funny to boot.  And of course massive thanks to Karen, who put the whole evening together.  It was a really fantastic night, and it’s reinvigorated my enthusiasm for fat activism and community.

I also wanted to post a few links to some resources for folks who might be new to fat acceptance (or just looking for new things to read).

First, some Melbourne fat groups you should check out:

Chub Republic – a newly formed group of rad fatties intent on changing the world through dance, fashion, and other joyful things.  Check out our inaugural Fabulous Fatshion Extravaganza on Sunday 11 September.

Aquaporko Melbourne – a fat femme (and femme-friendly) synchronised swim team.


We also mentioned (and in some cases, forgot to mention) a bunch of books.  These are a great place to start, but there’s plenty more out there.  Omission from this list is in no way condemnation; it’s necessary to get this post up.:

Screw Inner Beauty: Lessons from the Fatosphere, Kate Harding & Marianne Kirby (You can also read “The Fantasy of Being Thin” on the Shapely Prose archive.  Do it, it’s brilliant.)

Fat!So? Marilyn Wann

Revolting Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity, Kathleen LeBesco

Bodies Out of Bounds: Fatness and Transgression, edited by Kathleen LeBesco & Jana Evans Braziel

The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solovay

The ‘Fat’ Female Body, Samantha Murray

Health At Every Size, Linda Bacon

Big Big Love, Hanne Blanke (NB: A new edition is due out in September)

Fat & Proud, Charlotte Cooper


Also some blogs:

You should definitely read Elizabeth & Lili’s blogs (linked above), but there’s a whole big wide fatosphere out there.  Here are a few places to get started (ditto with omissions here):

Two Whole Cakes

The Rotund



Fatshionista Flickr Pool

Notes from the Fatosphere feed (one of a number of fat-activists feeds)


Happy reading!