{Ep. 053} Anna Chapman on Navigating Body Love and Checking Thin Privilege


In this episode Anna and I talk about what the term “Body Love” means to us, how she developed Body Love Yoga, how ableism in the yoga and fitness industry is rooted in the patriarchy, and how to get comfortable taking up space in this world. In this episode we cover how to navigate difficult conversations around asking for seat belt extenders, chairs without arms (AKA fat positive chairs), and writing open letters to public figures to elicit uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Anna also answers a listener question about her favorite fat positive yoga clothing brands.

Navigating BodyLove IRL

At the Airport
It’s no secret that airplanes are uncomfortable. But if you’re living in a thin body, you might not realize that this discomfort is heightened if you’re living in a larger body. Anna gives some practical tips on how to make traveling more physically and emotionally comfortable.

  1. Get a seat belt extender (bring one or ask for one)

  2. Keep bags in the overhead to save leg room

  3. Always bring your own snack

  4. Noise cancelling headphones to block out sighs or negative comments

  5. Hoodie or scarf to “cocoon up”

  6. Make sure to go to the bathroom before getting on plane

  7. Travel with a friend + put the armrest up!

  8. Breathing - 3 counts in and out

  9. Grounding practice - Feel your feet on the ground

With Public Figures
Anna talks about how author Brene Brown has played a vital role in her ability to navigate fatphobia, but also doesn’t recognize how some of her writing perpetuates the shame that people in larger bodies feel on a regular basis (see episode 47 to learn more about this!). Anna went to one of Brene’s events a few months back and felt empowered to ask for a more comfortable chair (without armrests), and when she returned home, wrote an open letter to Brene Brown which is one of my favorite things ever written.

Listener Q/A

What are your favorite plus size activewear brands?

Did you like this episode? Share my favorite quote on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Make sure to tag me, @JessiHaggertyRD and #BodyLoveProjectPodcast so we can start a conversation!