Melissa A. Fabello, PhD
Melissa A. Fabello, PhD is a feminist writer and speaker who covers issues related to social justice, body image, and sexuality. Melissa is a licensed educator with over a decade of experience facilitating knowledge acquisition and healing through self-development. Her energetic presentations are created around participant-centered learning objectives, so her audiences leave not only with knowledge, but with tangible skill sets (and a laugh or two).
Participants have written that “her teaching style is a fantastic mixture of sharp doses of reality, validating experiences, and humor” and that “she turned the audience into a community, and many left transformed.” The words most often used to describe Melissa’s presentations are engaging, honest, and relatable. One school proclaimed, “We wish we could bring her back every year!”
Melissa has worked in the digital sphere of social justice work for over a decade. Most notably, she worked as Managing Editor of Everyday Feminism for five years. Melissa has also done extensive work for The National Eating Disorders Association, The Representation Project, Adios Barbie, and Sex+ community. To read her Everyday Feminism articles, click here.
Her work has also been featured in BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and on MSNBC and the BBC.
Reclaiming Our Bodies, Our Selves: Exploring Female Sexuality Through Five BS Body Myths
In a society where women are constantly told that their sexuality exists for male consumption, there can be a lot of confusion about what to do with feelings of attraction and arousal. This seminar, which focuses on five ways that women are taught to hate and distrust their bodies, works to bust myths and educate women about their bodies and their feelings in a feminist, sex-positive way.
Why Feminism? Why Now?: An Introduction to the Movement and Why It Still Matters
Often, when people stand against feminism, it’s because they’re simply not sure what the movement advocates for or what makes it relevant in 2018. If you’re looking to bring a quick and fun “Feminism 101” presentation to your audience, this is the one.
Nightmare Dressed Like a Daydream: Pop Music and the Normalization of Dating Violence
Listen closely to Top 40 radio, and what you find may surprise and disturb you. This interactive presentation gives an introduction to the dynamics of intimate partner violence and then uses pop culture – including an epic takedown (with love) of Taylor Swift – to highlight how ubiquitous harmful messages about sex and dating truly are.
Healthy Is the New Skinny: Wellness Culture Is Just Diet Culture in Disguise
Through the lens of deconstructing our society's harmful value of healthism, this presentation will guide you through peeling back the layers of how wellness is sold to us. Wellness should be a nourishing, empowering experience – so let's talk about how to take back our autonomy and take care of ourselves.
Media Literacy 101: How Pop Culture Seduces You into Gender Roles
This presentation, which outlines the media’s influence on how we see ourselves and others, includes clips from Miss Representation and Tough Guise to inform a discussion around what society and the media tells us it means to express masculinity and femininity. With a healthy dose of unpacking how the media operates and how to analyze our entertainment consumption, this presentation serves to help audience members start thinking critically about media and asking important questions in order to be conscious consumers, while using a gender focus.
Nurturing Imperfect Recovery in the Real World
Eating disorder recovery isn't easy and while most resources tell you that you need to practice self-care, almost none give you the tools to actually do it. This presentation starts with an overview of what eating disorders are, moves into a conversation about what recovery looks like, and then offers practical advice for how to begin an intentional self-care practice, tailored specifically to eating disorder recovery.
Self-Care for Online SJWs IRL
Activism is hard (and mostly selfless) work. This presentation invites participants to explore what makes their activism exhausting and offers practical advice for how to engage in intentional self-care as a daily practice.
If you don’t see a topic that quite meets your needs but think we can cover it, just let us know. We are also willing to create a signature talk or workshop for groups.
"Melissa’s talk was not only engaging, educational, and funny, but also offered a variety of ways for the students to engage with the material."
"Her presentation had something to offer everyone – and almost everyone stuck around way past the time the presentation officially ended."
"Her teaching style is a fantastic mixture of sharp doses of reality, validating experiences, and humor."
"Fabello has an authentic speaking style and is very able to be “real” with students. She established great rapport with her audience."
"Our students have continued to talk about Melissa’s workshop in the weeks after she came to campus."
"She made dense, complicated academic theory and medical terminology accessible and enjoyable."
"I wish we could bring her back every year!"
Past Workshops and Presentations
- Healthy Is the New Skinny – Wellness Culture Is Just Diet Culture in Disguise: Hot and Healthy Habits Retreat, May 2018
- Reclaiming Our Bodies, Our Selves – Exploring Female Sexuality Through Five BS Body Myths: No Body Shame at Sea Cruise, December 2017
- Nightmare Dressed Like a Daydream – Pop Music and the Normalization of Dating Violence: Rape Prevention Institute, July 2017
- Self-Care for Online SJWs IRL: California State University Summer Arts, July 2016
- Nurturing Imperfect Recovery in the Real World: Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt, February 2016
- Why Feminism? Why Now? – An Introduction to the Movement and Why It Matters Still Today: Harvard University, December 2015
- Media Literacy 101 – How Pop Culture Seduces You into Gender Roles: Women and Influence Conference, May 2014