Introducing… Stocky Bodies!

Published June 18, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Some of you might remember a few months back I was talking about a photographic project I was working on with Dr Lauren Gurrieri of the Griffith Business School and photographer Isaac Brown of the Queensland College of Art, where I (and several other activists) were being photographed to document the lives of fat people.

Well, with no further ado, may I introduce you to…

Stocky Bodies!

On Friday night we launched the online image gallery to provide an alternative to headless fatties in the media and in marketing.  In a world where fat bodies are constantly othered and dehumanised, we recognised the need to have images that identify fat people as human beings with lives, loves, careers, hobbies, passions, families and rich experiences.

Not only can these be used for media and marketing purposes, but can be used by anyone who wishes to illustrate an article, blog post or other piece with non-stigmatising photographs of fat people.  It is free, and can be used for any non-commercial, non-derivative purpose, (the terms and condition are found on every image page).

How awesome is that??

It has been an incredible experience participating in this project, and we have more photo sessions in the future.  The other participants have been Zoe, Sonya, Frances, Nick and Natalie.  And in October, there will be an exhibition of more photographs at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

So to introduce you to the project, and show you how awesome the photos are, I have selected a few of my own favourites to share with you.  I only chose from photos including myself, so as to let the other activists showcase their own fantastic photos.

Tootling on My Bike.
Photo by Isaac Brown for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Getting a haircut!
Photo by Isaac Brown for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Feminist Reading
Photo by Lauren Gurrieri for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Getting Inked
Photo by Isaac Brown for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Photo by Isaac Brown for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

I’m ready for my close-up!
Photo by Lauren Gurrieri for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Market shopping.
Photo by Lauren Gurrieri for ‘Stocky Bodies’.

Blogging, or as I prefer to call it… BOOBS!
Photo by Isaac Brown for ‘Stocky Bodies’.
(Proof that you can remove faces from a photo and it be non-stigmatising)

Well that’s enough spamming you with photos of me!  I hope you like the teaser and please do go and have a look at Stocky Bodies.  And spread the word – this is an amazing project that I am very proud to be part of.

27 comments on “Introducing… Stocky Bodies!

  • The first I heard of Stocky Bodies was a tweet from Kath last week. I followed it with interest as I am always struggling to find positive pictures of large people I can use on my website. But my heart sank when I read the terms and conditions.

    It is clearly really important that there are more fat-positive images in the media, and it’s good that you, and others (eg Rebecca Puhl and her team at Yale, and I gather something similar in Canada) are creating databases for that purpose.

    But what is so wrong with commercial businesses? Why are we not allowed to use these images too? There are so few relevant images in stock photo databases that I see the same ones on site after site after site. I run a company called Never Diet Again. We provide workshops and education regarding HAES, body image, self-esteem, intuitive eating and so on. I would like to show a range of really positive images on my site and in my marketing material, but struggle to do so, and each new database that is developed remains off-limits to me as a business. I write a blog too, under the name Done Dieting. The blog has a link to my business webpage. I presume that means I couldn’t use one of your images on my blog either?

    The development of these collections of stock images depicting fat people doing positive things (and with heads!) is great, but how about considering the businesses who cater to this market. Perhaps you could just charge more for commercial use?

    • Commercial use is acceptable if you apply for permission – there is a contact on each image. It’s only the free/open use that is prohibited for commercial use. Apply to the admin and explain what you want to use the images for, and you’ll be assessed for suitability.

      But this is there because a) not all of us want people making money off our images and b) we want to ensure that we have control over what businesses use them and for what purpose.

      Remember, these are images of real people going about their real lives, not stock photos of models posing for staged shots, so commercial use is always going to have to go through an approval process – both from the photographers AND the subjects. I’d be horrified if some business used my image that I didn’t condone.

      I don’t feel that is unreasonable at all.

      • I don’t feel it’s unreasonable either. I completely understand. I’m just frustrated. That’s good to know about consent being possible on application. I approached the Yale database with the same explanation and they said no, not under any circumstances.

        • Yale Rudd Centre is a different organisation (besides, they still promote weight loss.)

          But do be aware that the participants may not want their images used on any commercial sites. I have to admit, there would be very, very few, if any, I would allow my image to be used on. If someone wants images of fat people to promote their business, they can pay fat models, not cash in on a group of activists who are changing the public face of REAL fat people. That’s my life up there, not advertising for some business, even if it is fat friendly.

  • These are great, Kath! My favorite is the one of you on the bench reading. I poked through the database and it’s fantastic. I wish I was in Australia so I could join in.

    Also: we’re computer twins!

    • Big Liberty that’s actually not my laptop, it’s one I borrow from work. At home I have a honking great iMac.

      And I am hoping that the project will expand worldwide with time, so that you CAN join in.

  • I love this. Thank you. This morning the TV news was on in the background and they were showing a bunch of headless fat torso shots as usual. Sickening that they dehumanise people in this way.

    Also, it’s just wonderful to see all different bodies doing everyday things. It reminds me fat is not to be feared as my eating disorder would try to have me believe.

    I love bodies. All bodies are remarkable. And I love how so many awesome people are doing their bit to bring more size acceptance into society.

    • The news media is the worst offender for headless fatties, aren’t they?

      Bodies are complex and they’re bloody miracles, no matter what shape, size or abilities they have. I think we should celebrate our bodies more – they bear us through life!

  • COOL! I had a feeling this project was going to be important, but I had no idea it was gonna be this awesome!

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