Kelli Jean Drinkwater: Enough with the fear of fat
Kelli Jean Drinkwater - Artist, activist
Kelli Jean Drinkwater is a multi-disciplinary artist and activist recognized for her creative practice and voice in radical body politics. Full bio
about a very powerful little word,
chubby or cuddly.
voluptuous or curvaceous kind.
that fat people are funny."
"Where does she get her confidence from?"
is almost unthinkable.
members of the audience
so much more slimming."
that you ate carbs after 7pm last night,
your gym membership.
at individuals and groups,
be directed at ourselves.
is known as fatphobia.
in complex structures
really difficult to see,
is seen as being a bad person --
bodies and lives.
we should just lose weight.
so integral, so ingrained
we have such contempt for people of size
we place on how we look
their basic humanity
to some arbitrary form of acceptable?
to a bunch of little girls in our garage.
than most of the group.
our first performance,
about wearing a pretty pink tutu.
into their Lycra and tulle creations,
was big enough to fit me.
excluded from the performance,
recognize it at the time,
in that glorious fourfour
a radical fat activist.
that this whole body-love thing
a glittering path of self-acceptance
what the mainstream considers normal
and deprogramming these messages,
abused from passing cars
to walk down the street
and your head held high.
little six-year-old has stayed with me,
stand before you today
through the world in this body of mine.
community of people
than passively accepting
and probably always will be big,
in these bodies as they are today.
and work with, not against,
self-worth and how we feel in our bodies
to our overall well-being.
that living in these fat bodies
of this complex subject.
who reclaim their bodies and their beauty
that we're all taught to hide.
teach yoga or do kickboxing,
firmly held up to the status quo.
that radical body politics
to our body-shaming culture.
that people shouldn't change their bodies
of the most gorgeous acts of self-love
a million different things,
to body contouring
and yes, even weight loss.
that we fatties aren't supposed to do,
and then making art about it.
through most of this work
often prohibitive to bigger bodies,
to prominent dance stages.
is not only a powerful artistic statement
of friends in Sydney.
a bunch of defiant fat women
without a care
that fat bodies are inherently political,
company Force Majeure,
in collaboration with performers of size
and authentic as we all are.
as you could imagine.
by such a prestigious company
on mainstream dance stages before
for a full-length production?"
a sellout hit of Sydney Festival.
in over 27 languages.
were seen worldwide.
people of all sizes
has changed their lives,
shift their relationship
their own bias.
that pushes people's buttons
that I'm glorifying obesity.
that centers fat people's bodies and lives
with valuable stories to tell.
the diet industry,
from making peace with our own bodies,
in the room here is fatphobia.
and respect for all of us,
to embrace diversity
there are to have a body.
About the speaker:Kelli Jean Drinkwater - Artist, activist
Kelli Jean Drinkwater is a multi-disciplinary artist and activist recognized for her creative practice and voice in radical body politics.
Why you should listen
Kelli Jean Drinkwater uses the fat body as a site to investigate the complex relationship we all have with our bodies and how that defines the world we live in.
Recurring themes in Drinkwater's work are notions of taking up space, queering fat embodiment and how this reclamation can transform and reimagine the potential of self and community. Her work is motivated by how these ideas intersect with gender, race, class and ability.
Drinkwater's work has featured in major international galleries, festivals and magazines. Now based in Sydney, Australia, her recent performances in include Force Majeure's "Nothing to Lose" for Sydney Festival, "NightCraft" for the Museum of Contemporary Art, "Tableau Vivant" for Underbelly Arts Festival, and "MonstaGras" at The Red Rattler Theatre.
Drinkwater's film Aquaporko! won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2013. Drinkwater is currently in production on a documentary feature that follows the making of the "Nothing to Lose" live show.
Kelli Jean Drinkwater | Speaker | TED.com