I love to swim. It is hands down my favorite exercise. Floating almost weightless is the closest I will ever come to being in space. Not to mention that I am a strong swimmer.
Am I graceful in the pool? No. I've been fat since I was nine but even before that I was a girl with almost no coordination and two left feet. I swim laps and I don't do anything fancy. I am there for movement and to enjoy myself. I'm not an athlete and I never will be. I could never hit a ball, I barely got the ball over the net playing volleyball. However I find that if I don't regularly exercise I got tired and depressed.
Dancer Ragen Chastain recently posted how her body was put up to ridicule in a fat hate forum.
They took the heel pull picture that you see on the left and put it beside a thin person doing a similar move – they claimed that because we looked different mine was wrong. They said that I lumbered and waddled and that I lacked grace, which is interesting because the most common compliment I receive is about how graceful I am.
Attacking Ragen's dancing boggles my mind. Ragen is a a fat person and she is dancing, doing exercise and movement. This is a woman who regularly wins international dance competitions. Fat haters scream how we should just put down that doughnut and go for a run but when we do, we are told we look stupid. We can't win.
And that stigma about fat people exercising is causing them to exercise less.
“Some stated they were unwilling to participate in exercise because they “expected” that people would “laugh at”, “ridicule” “stare at” or “abuse” them. One participant (a 34 year old female) said that she rarely participated in physical activity, because she felt constantly “on display”.
This was a study in Social Science and Medicine of 141 fat people and found that that about 2/3 of them suffered from stigma.
As I mentioned before I am Queen of the Klutzes. I don't like to dance. My wedding dance consisted of my husband and I rocking back and forth because I lose count during waltzes.
However everytime Ragen comes to New York to teach a dance class, I am there. Why? Because Ragen is a fantastic teacher. Not only does she make the room comfortable and fun because there is no judgement or stigma but she makes the moves so easy that I don't lose count.
But if fat haters had their way, she wouldn't dance anymore. I know Ragen is a strong, very self assured woman who is unapologetic about her fat. I don't see her giving up her life to appease the fat haters any time soon. And she is a damn good dancer.
But what about the other fat people who are not good dancers but love to dance? Should they give it up because they don't look graceful or should enjoy the movement?
Fat haters seem to think we should quit.
So I say fuck fat haters. I will dance like an idiot and swim like whale.