Ragen Chastain is a trained researcher and three-time National Champion dancer who writes and speaks about self-esteem, body image, and Health at Every Size. Ragen wanted to be a fat dancer and learned that she had to be a fat activist to get it done and her blog, www.DancesWithFat.org was born.
That launched a speaking and writing career that includes authoring Fat: The Owner’s Manual. Ragen’s writing has also been published in forums including the Calgary Herald, Democratic Underground, and Jezebel.com. Her work has been translated into multiple languages and her blog has readers on all seven continents. She is also a body image and women’s health blogger for NBCs iVillage.
Ragen took a break from ballroom dance to move to Los Angeles where she founded More Cabaret, a dance troupe comprised of Los Angeles’s Finest Fat Performers.
A leading activist in the Health at Every Size and Size Acceptance movements, Ragen passionately speaks for people of size and against the ill conceived war on obesity. Ragen has recently spoken at Michigan State, CalTech, Dartmouth and Google Headquarters and is a feature interviewee in the documentary “America the Beautiful 2 – The Thin Commandments,” released by Warner Brothers in 2011. She lead the organization that raised over $20,000 in 8 days and put up 6 billboards and 10 bus shelter ads in Atlanta to counter a fat-shaming billboard campaign, and the Skinny Minnie petition which garnered over 150,000 signatures and resulted in substantial changes to a promotion by Barney’s and Disney.