fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

The Overweight Hokey Pokey

I tried to suppress my cold long enough to see Elizabeth Ellis perform her show, "One Size Fits Some" at Seekers Church in Takoma Park. This was the pre-opening event of a new storytelling seres and I was particularly interested as: a) Elizabeth is a wonderful teller and b) the subject ("what's funny and frightening about being obese in America") is one I'm interested in.

I was a little hesitant about some of the material in the early part of the first set, which had to do with overeating in response to a bad job situation, and was followed by a story suggesting (without it explicitly being stated) a history of child molestation. My concern is that people tend to generalize these things and assume that obesity = eating disorders and assume that most (if not all) fat women were abused as children and so on. I can hear it as her own experience, but do other (and, especially, thin) people necessarily realize that it isn't mine?

Elizabeth moved on to an uproariously funny story about clothing - a subject which is a lot less controversial. Her second set was the really shocking one, with a story about two times she was assaulted (once by teenage girls and once by apparently adult women), who physically attacked her for her size. That piece sure made suburban Dallas seem a scary place. It also turned into a satisfying story of healing and compassion. But I still intend to avoid malls in suburban Dallas.

The closing was a rousing audience participation number - "The Overweight Hokey Pokey:"

You put your double chin in
You put your double chin out
You put your double chin in
And you shake it all about
You hope nobody notices
How much is sticking out
That's what it's all about.

She went on to do arm flab, love handles and big butt. I like.

All in all, it was both an entertaining and moving show. I was also glad to see several familiar faces, including someone I haven't seen in a couple of years. I'm looking forward to the real series starting soon. But I was, alas, only partially successful in suppressing the cold symptoms.
Tags: storytelling

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