I’m Fat and Not Fit—So Where Do I Fit In?
Why do we only celebrate fat women when they’re physically phenomenal?
Recently I stopped by a local bookstore for a Q&A session with Jessamyn Stanley, the plus-size yoga instructor of Instagram fame. The store was packed, mostly with heavyset women like me. Stanley wore a sheer black dress, her powerful physique on full display as she chatted candidly with fat activist Virgie Tovar about her new book, Every Body Yoga.
Stanley started by charting her journey as a yoga practitioner and public advocate. She addressed some of the problems with yoga in America today. Too often, she pointed out, the practice of yoga is defined by those who are white, thin, and able to afford all the trappings: a mat, dedicated clothes, and a studio membership. The conversation ranged from fat acceptance to systemic racism to why she still teaches pay-what-you-can classes.
It was a meaty, thought-provoking discussion. And it felt geared toward people like me: an overweight woman who does Sun Salutations in her living room but has never set foot in a yoga studio. I felt a pang—not of surprise, but of frustration—at how easily the nuance and edges of a story like Stanley’s have been sanded down in much of the media coverage of her work. The woman on that stage was sharp, funny, unapologetic. …Read full original article…
15 August, 2017, 5:00 pm