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D-licious, D-lightful, D-lovely

April 7, 2014

Fat News

Back in the 60s we had “Be-Ins “or “Love-Ins,” when people would gather in the same place and meditate on love and peace. Sometimes LSD was involved, sometimes sex and nudity, most of the time music was definitely a factor. But no matter what form they took, the “prime directive” was to raise awareness about the need for peace, unity, and acceptance of diversity.


Allen Ginsberg chanting mantras at the first Human Be-In.

In thinking back, it amazes me how massive these events were considering we had no social media to help spread the word and using mainstream media to organize was out of the question.  Yet somehow word got around and there we would be feeling strong, powerful, and most importantly, catalysts for change.

Human Be-In

Today… we have flash mobs. 

I am a relative newcomer to flash mobs. I recently went to my first mob when I heard about a hot flash mob for peri-menopausal and menopausal women from Ragen Chastain and Jeanette DePatie via Facebook. The word spread via social media, I learned the dance steps from a video posted on Facebook, found the staging area using the GPS on my iPhone, and tweeted about it during and afterward. The energy was infectious and inspirational. And yes, a part of me felt nostalgic  and wondered how much more awesome the Be-Ins could have been if we had had all of this technology to connect us!

Now there is a new flash mobs in the works and in the name of bashing the stereotype that some of us old hippies are resistant to change and reluctant to embrace this new world of Tweets, Tumblrs, LinkedIns, and Instagrams, I am using this blog to help spread the word!  After all, one of our anthems warned the generation before us that they had better.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

So in the spirit of Change, not wanting to be a hypocrite, and all the goodness that can come from combining the wisdom of age with the knowledge of youth, I contacted Juicy D. Light after I read this message on my FatStudies Listserve:

Burlesque performer Juicy D. Light (head of the Rubenesque Burlesque troupe in Oakland) is putting together a FAT FLASH MOB to dance to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in May. She is holding regular classes in Oakland for those who are local, and also offering videos for those who want to coordinate mobs in other cities. There are ways to adapt the choreography for many levels of ability, including those who would prefer or need to remain seated.

Information is here: Please consider joining, whether you’re local or distant. She would love to have fat flash mobs all over to spread the message of being HAPPY with your fat body!

I thought it would be cool to interview Juicy, find out more about the fat flash mob taking place on May 3, and get the word out ASAP so we could let as many people as possible know about the event. Here is what Juicy had to say, and I for one, found her answers to be truly d-lightful!

Dr. Deah: Could you please tell us a bit about what burlesque is and how you got involved with Rubenesque Burlesque?

Rubenesque Burlesque

Rubenesque Burlesque Photo copyright of Johnny Crash.

Juicy: Burlesque is the art of the tease. It can be just pretty or political or poignant. This art form can tease and titillate or it can educate. There’s all kinds of burlesque at this point. Before there was just classic, evening gowns, gloves, boas, feather fans, lots of bling; but now there’s boylesque, queerlesque, nerdlesque, sadlesque, all kinds of things you can do while taking your clothes off. I got involved when Heather MacAllister came to town. She taught a burlesque class and after the class she asked me to join her troupe.

D: How do you see Rubenesque Burlesque intersecting with the Fat Acceptance movement?

J: Rubenesque Burlesque shows that fat women, in particular, are beautiful, sexy, in demand, worthy, active, healthy, etc., which is an uncommon thought. We work hard, we dance hard. People see us and sometimes change their minds. Sometimes they make an adjustment to the stereotypes they hold so close. Sometimes they are even able to love themselves a little more.

D: What was one event, book, person, or any other catalyst that first opened your eyes to the Fat Acceptance movement?

J: Chaya Gordon. She taught a class called AbunDance at the Women’s Building in San Francisco. She was a fat dancer. She is the one that gave me my body back.She was the first one that let me know that I was ok AND fat. I could still move my body joyfully, I could still dance.From there, I started to meet others, learn about and understand this thing called Fat Acceptance.

D: What do you tell people who argue that burlesque is contradictory to the women’s movement because it sexualizes or objectifies bodies?

J: This is always an interesting question to me. For me, feminism is about choice. We are all sexual beings. Burlesque is what I like to call consensual objectification. I am dancing before you expecting to be objectified and sexualized on MY terms. It’s also a little different for fat women. It’s often assumed that no one finds us attractive, sexually attractive or sexually confident. The pendulum needs to swing far the other way to find the balance. This is our choice.

D: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is struggling with Body Acceptance?

J: I would ask them how do they really feel. Inside. Take inventory. Do they hate themselves because they organically feel bad or is it they’ve been taught to hate themselves for so long. I realized a while ago that I was taught to hate myself and my fat body. As a little, fat kid on the playground, I played as hard as everyone else, was a good little athlete (always chosen in the top three; never, ever chosen last), I ran, I jumped, I played!! It was over time the hate and the shame became internalized. It was never organic. I would imagine it’s the same for many. We just have to reclaim the happiness most of us had. It’s hard work, but well worth it

D: So true that body hate is learned. None of us are born hating our bodies! I recently heard that you were organizing a fat flash mob. What gave you the idea to do this and what do you hope it will accomplish?

J: YES!! It’s happening on May 3, 12 pm PST, 2 pm CST, 3 pm EST. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions actually. And when I heard the song, “Happy” by Pharrell, that just kind of clinched it.  It’s more for those that participate than those watching, although I sincerely hope those watching will be positively affected as well. I want people of all body types to be out in the sun, dancing out loud, enjoying their bodies moving! Together, happily! Without hate or shame.

D: If someone wants to get involved with the fat flash mob, what do they need to do?


Juicy D’Light.

J: The first step is to email me at ms.juicydlight at gmail dot com. I would love to have organizer’s all over the place!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I for one am psyched about this event on so many levels. The one that feels the most precious to me, however, is knowing that despite what title, label, or name we attach to it, the “prime directive” is still alive and there is a thriving community of people out in the world using creativity, artistic expression, and togetherness to continue the tradition of raising awareness about the need for peace, unity, and acceptance of diversity.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Feminist Cupcake permalink
    April 7, 2014 12:40 pm

    so excited for this!

    • April 7, 2014 3:24 pm

      woo hoo! It as all I could do to NOT call it a flesh mob!!!! You know my thing for puns!!! 🙂

  2. Twistie permalink
    April 7, 2014 12:44 pm

    As a thoroughly unrepentant old hippie type, myself, I am definitely going to do my best to participate!

    Okay, full disclosure, I was a little too young to be an actual hippie and the green smoke at Woodstock would have killed me… but in my heart I have always been a hippie.

    • April 7, 2014 3:25 pm

      Heart and soul baby!!! That’s all that counts!! “Let’s Twistie again, like we did last summer”

  3. vesta44 permalink
    April 7, 2014 1:35 pm

    I love the fact that there were fat people dancing in the video, and there was even a woman with a parasol on a mobility scooter – awesome! This is something that people should be taping and posting on social media – happy flash mobs!

  4. Oxymoronictonic permalink
    April 7, 2014 3:00 pm


  5. April 7, 2014 3:17 pm

    Reblogged this on drdeahstastymorsels and commented:

    Join us for this flash mob! D-tails as follows!

  6. April 9, 2014 11:32 am

    I’ve asked the question before, why do fat women always have to get naked to get noticed?

    I think that is a theme right there. I am old enough to remember when feminism was against objectification, now everything is about sexing it up.

    With fat women I think it is one way to keep us debased where sexuality is focused above everything else.

  7. April 9, 2014 11:36 am

    One thing for you all to think about this makes the fat world as “looks” based as the mainstream world that oppresses women. So the sexy and hot fat women get all the attention while the less hot and introverted nerds sink to the back of the room? Also this brings an extreme focus on YOUTH. I suppose the hippies who have now ascended to positions of power [I am Gen X not Baby Boomer} are still obsessed with sex and youth. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is really how I see it.

  8. April 9, 2014 12:11 pm

    I really agree with you in many ways 500poundpeep. When will women have to stop showing up in their underwear also, just to make a point. The Dove body diversity ads, and the like, all have women in bras and panties to show that bodies can be beautiful in their skivvies…but why do we have to continue to show ourselves in our underwear to prove a point? It’s a question as old as the hills. The grand master painters painted nude women of all shapes and sizes…but why have nude women always been considered a theme for art? It’s all really complicated…and I have written quite a bit about trying to understand the evolution of feminism as a person born in the 1950’s…and it is important to keep the discussion alive and to welcome debate, and to accept diversity of opinions. Thanks for writing!!!

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