Episode 20: Weight Loss Surgery Isn’t Selling Out, But Justifying it by Fat Shaming Is

The fat positive community was shaken up last week when Ashley Nell Tipton, one of our few fat representatives in mainstream entertainment, announced that she had weight loss surgery last month. But the community’s shock and hurt wasn’t for the reason you think.

Sure it smarts to hear that we’re losing one of our tiny threads of representation, but what hurts more is when a representative who built her brand (with the support of her loyal fat fan and customer base) using fat-positive, self-love language turns that self-love around and wields it as a weapon against people who choose to remain fat. This is fat shaming at its most damaging, and we shouldn’t stand for it.

Please consider supporting the show on Patreon! You can help with as little as $1 an episode (or $2 a month.) Learn more at patreon.com/thefatlip.

The music on today’s show is by Starcrusher. Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com.

A transcript of this episode can be found here!

Episode 19: Desiring Fat People: Normal Preference or Fat Fetish?

If you’re a fat person (particularly a fat woman,) you are no stranger to the “I like big women” comment. It’s awkward, and it often feels like the speaker feels entitled to special privileges or access based on this admission. For fat people this can be a wholly unwelcome message. We want to date people who want to know us as people, not just as soft bodies. We deserve to have that.

Because of interactions like this, though, a lot of fat people have developed a distrust for anyone who exhibits a preference for fat partners. The “fetishist” is reviled in a lot of fat spaces. But are all people who prefer fat partners fat fetishists? And what does that mean for fat people?

Music in this episode is by Starcrusher. Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com.

Read the transcript of this episode here. 

Episode 18: The Fat Lady Sings- A conversation on fat people as patients of psychotherapy with author Cheryl Fuller

Cheryl Fuller is a Jungian psychotherapist and a fat woman, and throughout her career she has confronted the common approaches to working with fat people in therapy. Her new book, The Fat Lady Sings: A Psychological Exploration of the Cultural Fat Complex and Its Effects, explores the trauma of fat stigma and the troubling practice of recommending significant weight loss–an effort that will probably fail from the start and is overwhelmingly proven to be unsustainable in the long-term–to fat patients of therapy. In this week’s episode I talk to Cheryl about how she came to this work and how acknowledging biases is essential for patients and therapists.

Purchase The Fat Lady Sings here.

Read Cheryl’s The Fat Lady Sings blog for further discussion.

The music in the episode is provided by Starcrusher. Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com

Become a Patreon patron! Go to patreon.com/thefatlip to learn how.

Facebook: facebook.com/thefatlippodcast
Twitter: @fatlippodcast
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Episode 17: My 600Lb Life, Infinifats, and Darlene Cates: Fat activism is underserving our fattest peers

I recently got an email from a listener asking for my thoughts on My 600Lb Life, a TLC show about very fat people, most of whom are pursuing weight loss surgery. I have been thinking about this show for a while, but my problem with shows like these have nothing to do with the fat people profiled or their pursuit of surgical weight loss. As I’ve said before, I believe in unconditional body autonomy–even when the decisions people make for themselves are contrary to the work that I do on this podcast.

The problems that I do have with the show, though, are on the production side. The show’s recruitment tactics are pretty creepy. But I also believe that if the fat positive community did a better job of including people in this size range (or really made any effort at all to do so,) fewer very fat people would turn to shows like My 600lb Life.  Often the people profiled on the show feel hopeless and isolated, and they need the support that the fat pos community offers to its smaller fat peers. We are not acknowledging these people, not giving them voices, and not advocating for them. That makes the fat pos and fat activist community part of the problem.

The music in today’s episode is by Starcrusher. Find more of his music at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com!

Become a Patreon patron! Go to patreon.com/thefatlip to learn how.

Facebook: facebook.com/thefatlippodcast
Twitter: @fatlippodcast
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Episode 16: TSA Pat-Downs, SheWees, and the Wonders of Pre-boarding–Air Travel for Superfats

Alison covered superfat air travel extensively in her blog post (Read it here!) but we wanted to take an episode to go over some of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re traveling by air. In this episode we talk about how to prepare for your flight, how to get through security, and who to talk to to make your boarding process as  easy as possible. We also talk extensively about what fat people face when going through TSA security screenings and how we can move towards protecting the privacy of everyone (not just fat people) at the airport.

If you have had a TSA pat-down experience that you feel has infringed upon your privacy, please tell your story to the ACLU here: https://action.aclu.org/secure/think-your-rights-have-been-violated-while-traveling-internationally

The music in this episode is by Starcrusher! Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com


And if you’d like to learn more about becoming a patreon patron, go to patreon.com/thefatlip

Facebook: facebook.com/thefatlippodcast
Twitter: @fatlippodcast
Instagram: fatlippodcast
Tumblr: http://thefatlip.tumblr.com

Episode 15: Fats of the Resistance–You can resist even if you can’t march!

In the last couple of weeks especially, we’ve seen millions upon millions of people around the world protesting the actions of the new US president. Immediately following the election, Ann Coulter tweeted in response to protests that “without fat girls, there would be no protests.” And for once I think she’s absolutely right! But some of us, though we support the resistance movement, are unable to march or to stand in protest. But we can still participate! In this episode I run down ways you can voice your opposition to government actions without marching.

Also, from February 1 to February 14, the Fats of the Resistance shirt will be available on Teespring with 100% of proceeds going directly to the ACLU. If we sell 50 shirts, that’s over $500 that the ACLU will receive, and they will need it. We will be relying heavily on the ACLU in the next four years. Check teespring.com/thefatlip starting on February 1 to get one and to prove to Ann Coulter that yes, fat people are essential to this resistance!

Organizations discussed in the episode that are providing easy ways to contact your representatives:






Also, there’s an app that I forgot to mention in the episode! Go to https://www.countable.us/ to download it.

As always, thank you to Starcrusher for the music you heard in today’s show. Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com

And if you’d like to learn more about becoming a patreon patron, go to patreon.com/thefatlip



Episode 14: Alternative Fats–Low key fat-positive action you can take during this crazy year.

This year is already pretty intense, so it’s been hard to figure out how to talk about fat positivity lately—it just feels like there are so many other things of critical importance right now. But making fat peoples’ lives better matters and it’s a worthy cause, so we have to keep going. In today’s episode we’re talking about little shifts in attitude and low-effort changes that can move the fat acceptance cause forward during the upcoming year.
On Wednesday, January 25 I was a guest on WPKN radio in Connecticut speaking with Harry Minot about fat positivity and The Fat Lip! If you are interested in listening to the show, there’s a recording available here: http://archives.wpkn.org/bookmarks/listen/172416/harry-minot-fill-in-for-wednesday-night-fish-fry-with-rod-ross-
The music you heard on today’s show is by Starcrusher! Hear more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com
Please consider becoming a Patreon patron! The support of patrons is what keeps this show going, and we are so thankful for it. Go to patreon.com/thefatlip to learn more.

Episode 13: The Big Fat Holiday Episode–Strategies for Surviving Fat Holiday Hell

The holidays can be a real shitshow when you’re fat. Travel is terrible, family dinners are a minefield, and sometimes you just have to find a place to hide and cry.  Or read a book on your cat, apparently? In today’s episode Alison and I are talking about strategies to get through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate.

The music in this episode is by Starcrusher! Find more at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com.

Please consider supporting the show on Patreon. Learn how at patreon.com/thefatlip.

Follow the show on all of the social media! Find us on twitter at twitter.com/fatlippodcast, on Instagram at instagram.com/fatlipash, and on Facebook at facebook.com/thefatlippodcast.

Happy Holidays!

Episode 12: This Is NOT Us–NBC’s Hit Drama Doesn’t Do Fat People Any Favors

Believe me, no one was more hopeful than I was when I learned that NBC’s new show, This Is Us, featured a very fat woman in a lead role. But we’ve learned time and time again that mainstream media doesn’t treat us well, and this time is no exception. This is Us treats its fat characters like a sad spectacle–their eating is out of control, they can’t stick to their diets, and they hate themselves. And these are their only character traits!

Fat people deserve characters that actually represent them as whole people with worries and triumphs that are not related to their size. NBC doesn’t give us that here. This is not us.

The music in this episode is by Starcrusher. Go to cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com to get his new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days.

Please consider supporting The Fat Lip on Patreon! Learn more at patreon.com/thefatlip.

And if you have a minute, don’t forget to rate and review TFL on iTunes, and drop us a comment while you’re at it to tell us what you think of the show so far!

Episode 11: Fat Dating Series – Devyn of ChunkyLemonade

Fat dating (and sex and love) is just a subject that mainstream culture doesn’t talk about. If popular media were to be believed, fat people barely date at all because we’re too busy dieting and hating ourselves. But fat people of all sizes, cultures, abilities, and orientations do date and have sex and fall in love just as often as their thinner peers. This series will explore the real dates and sex and relationships that fat people engage in every day. Well maybe not EVERY day. Jeez.

Today’s episode features Devyn, a guy who has a lot to say about traumatic relationships; navigating the gay singles scene as a fat, disabled man; and learning not to settle for less than you deserve. Be sure to check out his blog ChunkyLemonade for more of his thoughts.

The music you hear in this show is by Starcrusher. Go to cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com to get his new album Goodbye Halcyon Days. Support artists who support the fat community!

If you’d like to be a supporter of the show, check out www.patreon.com/thefatlip to learn how. Seriously, there are stickers. No one can resist a sticker.

Episode 9: Body Positivity Vs. Fat Positivity

In the last year or two, the Body Positive movement has had some incredible momentum, and it’s even getting some mainstream media coverage. But is the actual message of body positivity actually getting through? It’s not hard to find a tweet that says “I’m all for #bodypositivity as long as you’re healthy” or “#bodypositive does not mean morbid obesity.” Fat women, the ones whose hard work built this movement, are increasingly feeling like their bodies aren’t represented by #bodypos in its current state. And retailers aren’t helping! Major plus fashion brands have co-opted “body positivity” for use in huge marketing campaigns that include remarkably little body diversity (see Lane Bryant’s “Plus is Equal” campaign.) So what can we do to claim our space and to keep from being pushed further to the fringes? That’s what we’re talking about in today’s episode.

The music in this episode is provided by the incredibly talented Starcrusher, whose new album Goodbye Halcyon Days is now available at cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com. Go buy it. Support artists who support fats!

If you’d like to be a supporter of the show, check out www.patreon.com/thefatlip to learn how. Seriously, there are stickers. No one can turn down a sticker.

Episode 8: Fat Trans Activist Shane Brodie’s Nude Protest of the Trump INDECLINE Installation

shanebrodie, fat, transWhat do you do when you wake up one morning to find that the whole country is mocking a body like yours? If you’re Shane Brodie, you tell people how hurt you are. And then you do something about it.

Shane Brodie is a fat trans man who lives a quiet life as an artist in Berkeley, California. That morning in August when the Trump statues showed up, Shane saw social media buzzing about the one that occupied San Francisco’s Castro district for a full day. He noticed what a public spectacle it had become—people were traveling from all over the Bay area to take selfies and make rude gestures with it—and he noticed how the features people were mocking looked remarkably like his own. So the next day Shane did something that took every ounce of his courage. He went down to the Castro, stood on the spot where the Trump effigy had been glued to the pavement, and took off his clothes.

Shane joins me on the show today to talk about his protest, the public reaction, and how one shy person can stand up and push back.

You can see photos and video from Shane’s protest on a special Fat Lip guest page at http://thefatlip.com/guests/shane-brodie/ and please, please follow Shane on social media and share his message. Find him on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sbroad.eye and on twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaneHBrodie and see the (NSFW) video of his protest here: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ShaneBrodievideo1.webm

The music in this episode is by Starcrusher, whose new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days is now available! Go to http://cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com to buy your copy.

Episode 7: What’s the difference between Fat and Superfat?

The fat positive movement is bigger than ever, and it’s starting to get noticed by mainstream media. Fatshion bloggers and fat activists are building real bridges to mainstream culture, and the benefits to fat people are incredible. Unfortunately, though, in some spaces fat-positivity doesn’t reach those who are outside of regular plus sizing.

We call these people Superfats, and today on the show, you’re going to hear from two of us! I’m tackling this subject with my friend Alison Zwecker (you may remember her from the Good Fatty show) and we’re talking about the experiences of very fat people in the fat pos community and in the world. Mostly we’re talking about access and visibility, and the ways that fat advocates and allies can invite Superfats to the table.

The music in today’s show is by our friend, the very talented young DJ Citizen Starcrusher. His new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days is now out! Go to https://cstarcrusher.bandcamp.com/ to listen to samples and give him your money.

And if you have a minute, leave us a review, check out thefatlip.com or take a look at patreon.com/thefatlip!

Episode 6: Donald Trump’s Junk

On August 18, 2016 an activist art collective erected five nude statues of Donald Trump in five major American cities. The project was meant as a criticism of the candidate, presumably for his racist, regressive, and violent opinions, but the message that the American public received is that Donald Trump is fat and gross. There are a million things wrong with Donald Trump as a candidate for president, but his body is not one of them.

The music in today’s show is by our friend, the very talented young DJ Citizen Starcrusher. His new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days will be out soon! In the meantime make sure to check him out at https://soundcloud.com/cstarcrusher

And if you have a minute, leave us a review, check out thefatlip.com or take a look at patreon.com/thefatlip!

Episode 5: Maura Penn. What’s it like to be a fat white kid in the Middle East?

When The Fat Lip started, telling real fat people’s stories was a big part of the mission. As fat people, we don’t really hear ourselves in media. We don’t see relatable stories about people like us that often, and that lack of representation can be very alienating.

When Maura Penn wrote to me about her childhood as a Canadian living in the Middle East and how it shaped her body image and her journey to self-acceptance, I wrote back immediately to ask her to come on the show.

In this episode Maura talks about how her experiences in the Western world have differed from her early life in the Middle East and how her size acceptance journey has shaped the way she’s raising her kids.

The music in today’s show is by our friend, the very talented young DJ Citizen Starcrusher. His new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days will be out soon! In the meantime make sure to check him out at https://soundcloud.com/cstarcrusher

And if you have a minute, leave us a review, check out thefatlip.com or take a look at patreon.com/thefatlip!

Episode 4: It’s a Big Big World, A Response to This American Life’s Tell Me I’m Fat

Last week This American Life, possibly the most popular podcast there is, ran an episode called “Tell Me I’m Fat.” Leading up to the episode’s release I had read and listened to some teasers and learned that Lindy West and her book, Shrill, were featured, so I was really excited. I love Lindy and loved Shrill and I’ve been a huge fan of This American Life’s thoughtful, nuanced reporting for years, so I thought that someone was finally going to get the subject of fat right.

When I actually listened to the episode, though, I was really disappointed. Lindy was fantastic and hilarious and everything I hoped she’d be, but there were so many other elements of the episode that were really flawed. I listened to it over and over again hoping I was just hearing the most offensive parts wrong, but the more I listened, the more disappointed and angry I became. And this has happened over and over. No mainstream media outlet has ever learned how to talk about fat respectfully and it has gotten really old. So today I’m doing something about it. This is my big fat response to This American Life’s “Tell Me I’m Fat”.

The music in today’s show is by our friend, the very talented young DJ Citizen Starcrusher. His new album, Goodbye Halcyon Days will be out soon! In the meantime make sure to check him out at https://soundcloud.com/cstarcrusher

Episode 3: My Own Mom, A Conversation About Bodies

When I started this podcast I didn’t tell my mom that I was doing it, but one of my brothers did. Then after the first episode was up, she texted to tell me that she had listened to it and that she wanted to talk about it. For a split second I was completely terrified that I had said something that offended her, but then she  told me that she had gained some weight in the last year and that her long term boyfriend had been making fatphobic comments.

 After I talked to my mom that night, it struck me just how crazy it was that I started a podcast about fat positivity, something that is such a huge part of my life, and the first person to really be touched by it was my own mom.

 So a couple weeks ago, right after the second episode had been published, I started to think about how little my mom and I had talked about body issues my entire life. Actually, I don’t recall a single conversation about it. So I thought that maybe it was time to have that conversation.

 And why not have a sensitive conversation about body image with your mom and then post it on the internet?

 The music in this podcast is on loan from a super talented DJ and friend of the fat positive community named Citizen Starcrusher. He’s working on a new album now, so you should follow him on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/cstarcrusher and become a fan before he gets big (no pun intended!)

Episode 2: Good Fatty: How To Avoid Participating in Diet Culture

In our culture, fat people are expected to be making every effort to become un-fat. Every day we must be proving that we’re trying our hardest to lose weight in order to make sense to the rest of society, and as long as we continue to prove our efforts and talk about our healthy decisions we get a pass.

My friend Alison Zwecker joins me as co-host for the day, and we’re talking about social inclusion and the “good fatty.”

So “good fatty” is a concept that refers to a fat person who is deemed exempt from social exclusion based on how they handle or react to their fat. There are several different types of fat person who are generally considered “good” in our culture, and fat activist Stacy Bias outlines these types thoughtfully and beautifully on her blog (http://stacybias.net/2014/06/12-good-fatty-archetypes/). It’s a huge concept and way more than we could take on in one 30 minute show, so we’ve chosen to focus on the good fatty archetype that we encounter most frequently: the work-in-progress.

A work-in-progress fatty is one who is fat but who is doing everything in their power to become un-fat. This good fatty is on the swirling ride of diet culture without even knowing it and without knowing that they can choose to get off. They have been dieting their whole life and they know that part of the deal they have made with society is that they must announce their desire and intention to lose weight in return for its approval.

In this episode, Alison and I talk about the tornado of diet culture, the good fatties who are trapped inside, and what we can all do to keep the vortex at bay in our own lives.

The music in this episode is Talking With You by Artificial.Music and is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Episode 1: The F Word: Why The Word Fat Is Okay

“Fat” is a loaded word in our culture, and it can take years to unpack the feelings and shame this tiny little word can create in a person. But “fat” is also bold and powerful. That’s why it’s so integral to the name of this show, and that’s why embracing it can change your life for the better. Today we’re talking about the word “fat” and I’m excited to welcome Virgie Tovar, celebrated fat activist, editor of the acclaimed anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love, and Fashion, creator of the body positive hashtag #LoseHateNotWeight, and designer and host of Babecamp, a course on body image, self love, and breaking up with diet culture.


The music in this episode is Talking With You by Artificial.Music and is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Episode 0.1: Introducing The Fat Lip!

Welcome to The Fat Lip! We’re calling this Episode 0.1 because it’s not a full length episode but just a quick introduction to the show and to what you can expect going forward. Take a listen and let us know what you think!

A transcript of this or any episode of The Fat Lip is available upon request.

The music in this episode is Don’t_Stop by Mr. Logistix (buukwerm) and is licensed under a Creative Commons License.