Monday, December 16, 2013

A goddess confronts fat bashing in San Francisco

The Willendorf Venus vs. Santa the Hutt. Marilyn Wann constructed a Venus of Willendorf Selfie Station outside the offending/offensive store.

This prompted some thoughts on the Willendorf Venus and why such a small statue (less than 5 inches tall) is so scary.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Make Love Not Porn, Cindy Gallop's Voyage of Discovery

I've just posted on Body Impolitic about Cindy Gallop's Make Love Not Porn

She makes the point that porn has become the primary form of sex education (nature abhors a vacuum and commerce expands to fill it, right?) But what are the real world consequences of modeling actual sex after what we see in the movies?

Gallop started with a TED talk and launched a website so popular it almost crashed the first day, and it even became a TED book (which is how I found it). Now it seems to be morphing into a participation forum.

Friday, November 8, 2013

30th Anniversary of Shadow on a Tightrope - taking back our lives

Many activists are joining in a blog carnival today honoring the anniversary of this groundbreaking book

Shadow on a Tightrope, Writings by Women on Fat Oppression

I don't have a post to contribute myself but my wonderful publisher, Peggy Elam at Pearlsong Press posted this eloquent appreciation

A hundred years from now, or more, people will have the collection of writings in Shadow on a Tightrope as a record of the early days of and need for fat liberation. By that time I hope fat oppression and its many manifestations are extinct. But they're still alive and kicking now, so I recommend arming yourself with a potent weapon. If you don't have your own copy of Shadow on a Tightrope, get one. Now.

I'd like to end (after thanking Substantia Jones for use of her marvelous photo above) [LM note: wonderful photo can be seen on the Pearlsong Press post] with an excerpt from the poem from which the title of the book is taken, "whoever i am i'm a fat woman" by Sharon Bas Hannah:

certain truths

will make your heart beat fast

when you hear them from a fat womon

you'll grow pale

get chills


but she's marching toward you

she's here and she's taking back her life.

Happy Birthday, Shadow on a Tightrope. Thank you, and your editors and contributors and publisher.

Also here's a link to Golda Poretsky's list of links! Noting that this was something that couldn't be done 30 years ago!

Other Cool Carnival Posts!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rebel Wilson and Celebrity Dieting for Dollars

Now on Body Impolitic I offer up some thoughts on Rebel Wilson, star of ABC sitcom, Super Fun Night and the media expectation that a fat performer must be invariably be in need of a diet. photo from Wikipedia

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Big Brother (by Lionel Shriver) is watching your weight

My primal scream reply to Lionel Shriver's use of the word "fat." She attacks fat activists by suggesting that fat phobia is a natural and unavoidable cultural idea. She's promoting her novel, Big Brother, in NY Mag and I'm ardently disagreeing on Body Impolitic. The headline was an inspired addition by Debbie Notkin who edited my post with her usual elegance (thanks!) I like that title way better than my original idea: "A Convex author replies to a (presumably) concave author"--though I remain outraged that Shriver talks about "the convex" as a euphemism for "fat people".

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A letter I didn't know I needed to read

Sometimes you run across a statement that makes you take a deep breath and feel like you found something you needed to hear, even though you didn’t know you needed to hear it. That’s the way I feel about Iris Higgins’ “An Open Apology to All of My Weight Loss Clients” posted in her blog on 07/27/2013

Higgins comes from a different perspective than I do. She’s “New-Agey” enough to invite readers to call her “your fairy angel.” She now works helping clients build self-esteem and empowerment without dieting, but for 3 years she worked at Jenny Craig. The rest of my post is at Body Impolitic

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Celebrate Independence Day with Free Trouble...hmm, that sounds wrong...

From July 4th for a week, Pearlsong Press is offering free Kindle editions of Josephine Fuller's 4th Adventure, A Ton of Trouble, and Lonie McMichael's excellent examination of Acceptable Prejudice.

Here's what Pearlsong Press founder, Peggy Elam says:

FYI, in response to the American Medical Association's recent decision to declare "obesity" a disease -- against the recommendations of its scientific advisory committee -- we have decided to release the Kindle ebook of Acceptable Prejudice? Fat, Rhetoric & Social Justice by Lonie McMichael, Ph.D. a month early -- and give it away for free for five days starting July 4.

We had already scheduled a free giveaway during that period for A Ton of Trouble, Book 4 in Lynne Murray's Josephine Fuller mystery series, so we're combining the promotions. I've scheduled a blog post for tomorrow/Sunday morning announcing them, and just sent out a press release to the ASDAH, Show Me the Data and Fat Studies egroups, asking that word be spread. (A separate blog post just announcing the ATOT giveaway will be published Wednesday morning.)

Links to the blog post(s) will go out over Facebook & Twitter, so please like/share/retweet as you can. And spread the word whatever other ways you think of. The Acceptable Prejudice? ebook has been called "Fat Acceptance 101" and could be a great opportunity for someone unfamiliar with the issues to learn about them for free.

Read more about Acceptable Prejudice? at . More about A Ton of Trouble at .

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Murder in the California Wine Country -- A Ton of Trouble, now it's an ebook!

Sleuth of size, Josephine Fuller's fourth adventure A Ton of Trouble has just been released in paperback and ebook form for the first time by Pearlsong Press. The earlier edition only came out in hardcover.

We decided to take the Amazon Select option, so the ebook version will be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, but the trade paperback is available from many Pearlsong, Barnes & Noble, Powells and the Book Depository.

The book was partly inspired by what was probably the most fun job I ever had.

For several years I worked in the word processing department of a law firm whose founding partner owned a winery in Sonoma County. Each 4th of July, he invited the staff to a picnic where we could spend a day rambling through the vineyards and admiring his winery, stables, small lake, politically important guests, etc. in between competitive, picnic-style events. Alas, the job and the picnics ended with major staff cuts.

Knowing that I was writing mysteries, some of my fellow laid-off co-workers asked me to murder a particular manager who enjoyed getting rid of workers. He wasn't shy about what pleasure he took in replacing even the most loyal long-term employees. He did it with some glee.

Oddly, A Ton of Trouble is not the book wherein a character similar to the manager met his fate. But my former co-worker enjoyed that book so much she asked me to kill him again. This I could not do, one murder request per customer. She did suggest an interesting place to conceal the body though, and a wonderful line to accompany the discovery. These are in A Ton of Trouble. ,p. The winery in the book may be similar but its owner could not be more different from the lawyer who hosted us so long ago. No actual humans are ever harmed or even accurately portrayed in any of my books. I enjoy my fictional characters much more. In A Ton of Trouble, Wolf Lambert is a legendary horror movie director who has retired to indulge in his hobby--making porn films with plus-sized leading ladies. The research for that aspect of the book was interest too--but I'll talk about it another time!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Brenda Oelbaum Goes National with the Goddess at Her Back

Feminist artist Brenda Oelbaum’s use of the Venus of Willendorf as the sculpture made from diet books strikes at the very heart of fear and prejudice toward larger bodies. Now she is bringing her work turning diet books into Venus of Willendorf sculptures onto the larger stage with “a national ad campaign to take down $66 BILLION Diet Industry.” I just posted about it on Body Impolitic. She calls her project “DUMP THE DIETS! a Fight for Freedom from self-loathing.” Brenda’s work shows bravery worthy of a goddess–I adore the picture of her, resolute, nude, surrounded by towering walls of diet books.

Friday, April 26, 2013

1984, 1954 and 2013....the more it changes, the more it stays the same--can we change it?

In a new Body Impolitic post, on hate speech as popular group activity, am I the first to quote George Orwell, Charlotte Cooper and a couple of FBI criminal profilers all in one place? I think so. Also there's a healing reimagining by Rebecca Weinberger of what Charlotte Cooper calls LIFE Magazine's 1954 "vintage fataphobia."

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Turning the Princess Narrative Sideways

At Body Impolitic Debbie Notkin and I consider the marketing of Princesses and Girlz to little girls, where it came from, who profits, how it affects girls and some thoughts from mothers trying to keep daughters from getting swept away.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Who's Afraid of the Swedish Plus-Sized Mannequins?

From the country that brought us Ikea and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, department store mannequins that look more like real women. And that's scary because....? At Body Impolitic, some thoughts on the controversy and the history and politics of mannequins from King Tut's tomb till now,The Meaning Behind the Mannequins.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Junk Food Addiction and Diet Deprivation: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Two different ways of manipulating people that both end in binge eating. I’ve recently come across articles about the seemingly unrelated topics of engineering food to be addictive and conditioning teenagers to be lifelong dieters. The first common element that struck me was disconnecting the body’s natural relationship with food and turning it into a marketable commodity. More at my Body Impolitic post.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Looking at "literary" novels and wondering, if I'm not "against fat" am I "pro-fat"?

I posted on Body Impolitic just now about some so-called "literary" novels that portray fat characters through the lens of prejudice. They wish to accept praise for accurate observation, yet their views on fatness owe more to myths than to keen insight, and their solutions for their characters' problems use what I have dubbed the Diet Ex-Machina. So does my view make me "pro-fat"?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Huge, a TV series that transcends the book

Some thoughts on Body Impolitic on the ABC Family TV series Huge

Usually a book contains subtle layers and little touches that are missing from the more streamlined film version. But Huge is that rare video that adds depth and nuance. Some thoughts on Body Impolitic on how the TV series transcends the book. (also that cool Nikki Blonsky strip tease confrontation at the fat camp weigh-in.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

At Large Free on Kindle Jan 22-26 ... free is good...

To celebrate Healthy Weight Week we're offering the Kindle copy of At Large, the 3rd Jo Fuller Sleuth of Size mystery Kindle Jan 22-26 At Large on Amazon You can read it on any computer with the free Kindle Reader software.

Friday, January 18, 2013

As time, and ex-husbands go by....

Josephine Fuller's third adventure, At Large, has just been reissued as an ebook and in trade paperback. The first line is a nod to Casablanca: Of all the women's job skill centers in all the towns in all the Pacific Northwest, he walks into mine. To read the first two chapters click At Large sample

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'll drink a cup to Fat Friendly Fiction in 2013!

This year I'm collaborating with Pearlsong Press to put out a Fat Friendly Fiction list. The blog is in progress with information and links to all the titles. Eventually an ebook version wil be available. But I want to start by posting the authors by genre. Please feel free to visit Fat Friendly Fiction for more info or to comment.

Email me at for a one-page printable Word version of the author list.

Here it is for your reading pleasure! FAT FRIENDLY FICTION


Backauskas, Staci

MacAfee, Stephanie

Murray, Lynne

Palmer, Liza


Carlson, Nancy

Corum, Ann Kondo

Ka, Olivier


Armstrong, Mechele

Brown, Leila

Blank, Hanne

Davis, Justine

Hunter, Adriana

James, Karolyn

Lane, Gretchen

Lee, Marilyn

Lovell, Christin

Moore, Alexis

Scott, J. S.

Verdenis, Angelina

Wick, Christa


Bertauski , Tony

Fox, Andrew

Murray, Lynne

Owen, Lauri J.

Pratchett, Terry

Price, Susan

Truant, Johnny B


Ballard, Pat

Biggers, Earl Derr

Carr, John Dickson

Chesterton, G.K.

Collins, Wilkie

Dickens, Charles

Dickson, Carter

Langton, Jane

Le Carré, John

Lorens, M.K.

Lovesey, Peter

Lovett, Charlie

McKevett, G.A.

Mortimer, John

Murray, Lynne

Smith, Alexander McCall


Bagshaw, Judy

Ballard, Pat

Blank, Hanne (Ed.)

Chesterton, G.K.

Irving, Washington

Jaffarian, Sue Ann

Jarrell, Donna (Ed.)

Koppelman, Susan (Ed.)

Ira Sukrungruang (Ed.)



Adams, Essa

Dickens, Charles

Shakespeare, William

Stinson, Susan


Bellairs, John

Bennett, Cherie

Berk, Josh

Bethancourt, Ernesto T.

Healy, Karen

Hoffman, Nina Kiriki

Lovett, Charlie

Newman, Leslea

Purtill, C. Leigh

Rex, Adam

Strickland, Brad