TWIH Episode 10: Does God hate your body? with Ragen Chastain

This week our guest is Ragen Chastain of the Dances with Fat blog. In this episode, we talk about how body policing and body shaming in a religious setting can do spiritual damage. Where does the religious body shaming come from? What is the responsibility of clergy when it comes to the health of their members? What are clergy telling people when they have “Biggest Loser” type contests in their churches?

This episode coincides with the online Fat Activism Conference. The conference is completely online and has a sliding scale.

Ragen Chastain is a trained researcher, three-time National Champion dancer and marathoner who writes and speaks full-time about self-esteem, body image, and health.  Ragen is the author of the blog DancesWithFat and the book Fat: The Owner’s Manual, and her writing has been published in forums including the Huffington Post, and The  She has been a guest on programs including Fox News, Alberta Primetime, HuffPost Live, NPR, BBC,  and NBC News, and has been featured as an expert in media including The Associated Press, Bloomberg Businessweek, FITNESS, and the Chicago Tribune. She is the editor of the multi-volume anthology The Politics of Size – Perspectives from the Fat Acceptance Movement, due out for Praeger in late 2014. She is the body image and women’s health blogger for NBCs iVillage and a columnist for Ms. Fit Magazine. Ragen is a feature interviewee in the documentaries “America the Beautiful 2 – The Thin Commandments,” released by Warner Brothers in 2011,  “A Stage for Size” released in 2013 by USC Films, and “Ragen’s More Cabaret” released in 2014 by PBS Independent Lens.


“Who Would Jesus Body Shame?” on Ms. Fit:

Ragen’s blog:

Ragen’s website:

Rev. Gina’s paper on body size, sexual abuse, and theology:

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