Yo Wellness Web…we got beef.

Hello babes. It is yer problematic fave Auntie and I got beef.

We’re going to be talking about wellness, fatphobia, misleading shit a bunch of people say and how we can do better.

Recently I was doing some research, apparently this whole virus situation has sent me running back to my juices and berries witchy ways. That means I’ve been doing a lot of reading.

Listen wellness people…y’all.

One of the things I’ve been focusing on is stress and anxiety reduction. Those two things are among my highest concerns.

Again, I’m seeing weight loss as the front loaded assumed goal rather than the actual ailments I’m looking to ease. This approach is not only problematic, it is generally misleading and dangerous.

Let’s start with why this is problematic. In the context of researching specific things like herbs and vitamins, especially those that have no connection to weight, you’re screwing up the facts. If you want to know what value adding say a vitamin supplement to your wellness line up could have and what you find is rah rah LOOK lose weight, that isn’t going to give you actual nutritional value.

Also, likely it is going to make you feel like shit. More so if you “should” (we’ll get to that) be doing “something” about your weight but maybe you want energy support or help with your digestion. For instance. I was looking at a multi vitamin and the first half of the list of benefits all had to do with losing weight in a way that was sharply marketed for women.

HEY look it’ll cure your jiggly ass and burn and detox and blablabla. None of those things were true or necessary. It is a multivitamin. Looking through the ingredient list rather than the marketing patter, I could see that it was formulated for women over 40 looking for support in immune health, digestion, fatigue and those wanting to get in more minerals and a higher level of calcium. And interestingly, the dude formula of the same vitamin with a little extra stuff for prostate health, did not mention weight or fat at all.

I’ll drop some resources about why fatphobia is bad below so folks can understand who’ve not learned about the issue.

Now, from my perspective what I don’t need is extra nonsense when it comes to facts about nutrition, herbs etc. There are already so many terrible and untrue things around this doesn’t need to happen. Further, when the marketing for a product with a certain herb or vitamin is focused on frankly untrue weightloss promises, how can we trust the industry to actually have our health and wellbeing in mind?

We know that capitalism ruins everything but in this case, especially in the wellness community it fuels dangerous beliefs and behaviors.

I put a lot of the blame for the rise in the dangers in our community on irresponsible and greedy influencers. If we take to instagram, I would be you my delicious chocolate bar I’m eating, that a lot of those huge influencers so many love to follow, are right now hawking things that are not okay.

Tummy teas are a huge one. Lately I’ve noticed a few companies targeting the Black community promising a flat belly and a big booty. I’ve seen youtuber/instagram influencers use their curated aspirational type of content to sell everything from scientifically questionable diets and supplements to tummy teas so work out programs that are, lets face it not good.

The impact of this can be seen all over. We’re seeing more children with eating disorders, may of us who have an eating disorder history can’t navigate these communities without being triggered and none of this fits into a good view of wellness.

My ideas about wellness include learning to care for ourselves in a holistic and whole way. That also means, putting a critical lens on what we’re being sold, how we’re being sold these things and thinking about ways we can engage with wellness without perpetuating harm. Front loading weight loss, using size or fatness as a morality compass, thoughtless selling of products that can contribute to eating disorders and yoyo dieting need to go.

What do I want? I want to be able to be in the wellness community without the bullshit. I want to be able to engage with wellness in a way that isn’t abusive, greedy or predicated on ONE thing, that thing being my weight.

We’ll talk more about sizeism, fat phobia and body politics later so I’ll leave y’all some links to get started.

Things I’ve written. Items with an * are behind the paywall on Medium but I’m giving you the free to read links. If you are a member of Medium please feel free to share from the page:

On “Inclusive” Sizing, fitness and fatness.*

Post FatAss: Current RageAss*.

Fatness links here in the blog.

Other folks work:

Basic Fat acceptance. 

Ragen Chastain

I See Fat People by Carolyn C. Ross M.D. M.P.H.
Here’s How Fatphobia Is Being Marketed to You – And Why So Many of Us Buy Into It by Kaila Prins.

Fat Acceptance history. 

Great reading list at Wear Your Voice. 

Before I go some extra disclosure. Once upon a time I was a fat blogger. As I’m diving into wellness and new approaches to my own health I’ve decided to dust myself off and get back into talking and writing more about bodies and fatness. I am not currently a fat person. I was now I’m not. I will defer to currently fat people when necessary and if you want to drop any lectures about how terrible fatness is, this is not the blog for you and I won’t approve your comments.

With that. Go forth. Happy reading and I’ll see you later babe.

Wellness- We Got Beef.

OH hi babe.

Let’s dive right on in cause I got a problem.

I have had a very long standing interest in wellness. I’m talking, I started reading about herbs and Indigenous remedies, family remedies, food as medicine etc way back in the early 90s. I’ve always leaned towards treating myself in a holistic manner, I like to look at the whole picture of how my body works and how to support it working as best it can.

This interest both predates and supports my general wooness. I remember reading a book about being a hedge witch and automatically my interest in the woo bits of herbs and food got my interest.

Basically, I am not new in these wellness streets. So buckle up.

I spend a lot of time engaging with media content about wellness. I have some major problems around how wellness is being marketed, talked about and done because it isn’t well.

First problem. The thin, white, cisness of it all. Being that we live in the age of the Influencer, wellness has a very standard face. Thin, cis white women often, they pose so we are confronted by their thinness. The sun shining through their thigh gap, their “candid” yoga poses where, the light hits their taut bellies and their boobs are standing up even though they are upside down, their waists are super tiny and their booties super round. We all know the look. We can’t get away from it.

Want to shop for something to wear while you do yoga? HERE IS A PHOTO OF SOME CHICKS ASS. Now, I love booties. Yes please show me your butt I’m into it but, when brands rely on these vaguely porny images that show bodies that have been facetuned within an inch of life, it serves no one. If you like youtube, we’re confroted with hundreds of videos where already thin women, do “challenges” or talk up suspect weightloss products.

On the topic of influencers, I don’t trust not one. From the terrible ads for “tummy teas” (diuretic or laxative teas) to when they do review diets or workouts, there is no follow up or really a lot of substance much of the time.

Second problem is the front loading of fatphobia and weight loss as the goal. Y’all know if you’be been here for a while that I am absolutely against this. I am absolutely against the notion that health is a single thing, a look or a moral issue. The damage of this is so vast. We’ll dig more into why this is damaging later but, for now suffice to say I hate it.

Wellness has become quite the marker of privilege hasn’t it? And the method of marketing used for this type of wellness is so sneaky. It makes you feel bad and aspire to be doing what the person is doing. I mean, we know how successful Goop is with this. I think that a lot of the people who are doing this, are gross. I don’t want or need my wellness to replicate that particular dynamic.

I don’t like the colonialism and Columbusing that goes on. I find a lot of things I see/read about wellness that carry the idea that Becky from Cleveland somehow knows something like Ayuverda so much better than people who have been doing it for thousands of years. You know? I just hate it.

Now let me stop complaining. One of the original reasons I started this blog was because one of the things I’m interested in writing about is wellness. I want to develop my writing around this in a way that not only nourishes and fulfills me but y’all as well. I want to talk about, think about, do and write about wellness without the bullshit above.

This time of year is the worst for thinking about or doing wellness and if you are struggling with the things above, I see you friend.

One of the other reasons I’ve been dragging my feet about it is that, the culture of wellness is so not welcoming to me. I feel like, what I have to say is so far outside of how we are presented wellness, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try. After years of being a fat blogger, I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the rage my views can engender.

I’m ready.

We ready.

SO TL:DR we’ll be visiting wellness more here. And I really hope to give some of y’all a whole new ass view of this stuff.

Thanks for reading.

How Moral Am I?

Hi babes.

Today we’re going to talk a bit about why the idea that health is a morality issue is not good, in fact it is damaging to a lot of us, ableist, classisist and ultimately antithetical to fostering actual wellness.

Let’s start with the personal shall we?

I am not a Healthy person. For our purposes, when I capitalize the H I’m using health in the context of the binarist idea that there are only the states of Healthy and Unhealthy. I include the group of beliefs that surround front loading things like weight and body size as the arbiters of health, of appearance as proof of health etc.

I was not born a Healthy person. I was premature, quite ill. NICU livin, heavily jaundiced preemie who has had a lot of health problems for life. There is nothing I could do save getting a full body transplant that would put me into the category of capital H Health.

Even if I had made “perfect” food, movement etc choices my entire life, I would still fail. If we look at this idea that if we are Healthy we are good, what does it mean for someone like me? In terms of the idea of wellness in the context of doing things to improve how your day to day life goes, if I am unable to attain the Goodness of Health, why would I bother?

There are many factors that impact how a body deals with or doesn’t deal with their health and wellness. Most of these are not moral qualities. I find that when we start adding morality and ethics to how we approach dealing with our bodies in this context, things get gross quick.

Example. If you use social media and have an interest in health or wellness, try this. Look at an influencer and watch how they speak about wellness and what they don’t say. If they are pushing a “tummy tea” or “detox” do they talk about how most of those things are really just laxatives. Do they talk about things like supporting your natural detox capabilities as in, your kidneys and liver? Or do they show you well edited scantily clad photos that highlight their thinness? Do they tell you that they were holding their breath and had lighting etc etc?

We all know operating under capitalism sucks so on one hand, I don’t hate them for hustling. We all got bills to pay. What I do hate is the way the culture of Health is going.

Why am I talking about these things?

I’ve been really wanting to delve deeper into health and wellness, I want to talk more about my own approaches, stuff I’m doing etc but I also need for y’all to know where I am coming from.

All this is to say, if your ideas about Health and Wellness depend on any of the following:

  • Sizeism
  • Racism
  • Classism
  • A cash hustle
  • Shitty information
  • The idea that there is only one state of healthy

You’re gonna have a hard time here. That said, I DO invite you to stick around to maybe learn some shit.

I don’t believe that we should all have the same methods, ways and means of engaging with our health and wellness. If all things were equal and there was no such thing as biodiversity in humans, these ideas of only one true way would work. And yet they don’t.

So welcome new homies. I’ve got some posts saved and we’re going to explore health and wellness. I want to talk about my personal struggles with my own health and talk more about why, how and when I engage with my health isn’t an indicator of morality.

Feel free to go back and read this post, click around for some of my fat posts and stay a while because we’re gonna talk some shit.

FULL DISCLOSURE also. I will use amazon affiliate links because your auntie likes coins. They aren’t much but every little bit helps and bitches gotta eat. I will not make any promises about stuff I link, I won’t shame you if you’re not into it, we not doin that.

Nor will you likely ever see dramatic before and after photos. I won’t tantalize you with images of me in my underwear or anything like that. I’m not that Auntie.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back soon.

Your Wellness Sucks.

Hello darling dears. Today Auntie Shannon has on their ranty pants so buckle up babes.

So I’ve been doing a lot of research and reading about health and wellness for both the health and wellness of my little famfam AND in relation to some writing I’ve been doing. Y’all mother fuckers.

The first thing that bothers me is this. A lot of people who are supposed experts in these things, have mistaken good marketing for decent advice. I see a lot of people who have taken a 2 week nutrition course on the internet and call themselves experts. I see a lot of people who thinly veil their fatphobia in how they talk about things like diet and exercise and frankly, I think it sucks.

Let’s talk a bit about why these things bother me so much. The first problem is that when we substitute Capitalism and commerce and profit for advising folks or talking about our own experiences, things get weird. I have had folks market dumb Kardashian diets, they want to sell me ebooks on juicing celery to solve all my problems, they don’t know how basic human biology seems to work but, they are making money so who cares right?

Look. While I am not currently a fat person, I have been a fat person. I don’t need my factual nutritional information tinted with fat hatred. It is unnecessary. From my point of view, not everything needs to be that in order to be useful. I turn it off. It isn’t the information I want not to mention, so many people are completely unwilling to remove the object of weightloss from the pursuit of better health.

WHOA.

Right?

Here’s the thing. After years of being within fat communities, the thing that changes folks lives isn’t the constancy of fat hate. It is the moment when they feel free to pursue the health they feel is in reach. In order to get there, we have to start with the idea that health is not an absolute state. The belief that there is ONLY healthy and not healthy, that healthy is a moral imperative and that health is some arbitrary bar set by whomever is not useful.

We have to understand that this view of Health (capital H) as being a single state or a particular appearance is not only destructive but it ignores the actuality of the biodiversity of human bodies. It is ableist. Health is not either or. What looks like better health for me, might be misery in your body and there is nothing wrong with that. That is how we were made. It is how we live and it is far less damaging to accept and acknowledge that than it is to insist that you and I should and must be healthy in the same way.

Part of my issues have involved being triggered by heavily disordered beliefs about food and eating being touted as health advice. I don’t see enough people acknowledge that their intermittent fasting proselytizing could be a serious eating disorder trigger. I would love to see some more judicious use of content notes and warnings. I’d like to see more folks say, hey if you have a history of disodered eating this could really trigger you. It triggered me and it took me a while of not doing nice things to my body under the guise of trying out this wellness thing to realize, I was in a serious danger zone.

In my view, while it is tempting to sit in the position of superiority and have the good feedback that one is the One True Knower of Wellness, it is ultimately damaging. If we look at wellness culture on social media, there is often backlash. When you build your profits and platform on the One True Way methodology, when things change all hell breaks loose. That is not good for any of us.

So all this said, I’ve been doing a lot of changing my eating and nutrition and whatnot and research into different health related things and I will be blogging about that more often.

The rules.

I will not step into the anti fat rhetoric. My narrative and beliefs here do not come from a place of centering my weight, your weight or weight in general as the marker of health. I don’t believe that is a good methodology for me, my body or my life. Also I won’t pander to it for views. Full stop.

I will in time talk more about it but, I do not believe in a binary healthy or not healthy view point. I believe that each of our bodies does some weird shit and we need to be able to get information that isn’t predicated on us being ashamed of that. This includes how fat my or your ass may or may not be.

I will NEVER take you or your ideas about health or wellness if you use the phrase “glorifying obesity” as some sort of methodology about why fat people should hate themselves into change. Full stop. Nope.

Fuck shame.

SO my darlings. That is where I’m coming from about wellness and why I see so much of it as being so flawed and ultimately damaging not only to the folks consuming it but also to the folks creating it.

So if you want to know where I’m going with it, please come back. I’ve got my shit somewhat together and have some posts planned and scheduled for this.

Thanks for visiting babes!

And if you’re interested in my other writing, come check out and like my brand spankin new writer page on Facebook. 

Revisiting Contextual Fatness.

Oh y’alls.

I’ve seen at least five folks who don’t know each other talking about it, so let’s talk about it.

We’re gonna talk about fatness, gatekeeping of fatness, why fatness is not a single thing or experience and why it is important to learn how to deal with varying fatness because y’all ain’t nobody got time for bullshit.

First let’s define some terms.

Who is fat?

Lots of people are. Some folks are really really fat. As (Lesley?) some folks say, Death Fat. As in, folks will look at them and say things like OMG UR GONNA DIE and supposedly they will/are likely to drop dead that moment because FAAAAAAAAAAAT.

Some folks like me are not really fat except according to the BMI chart which, is horseshit.

Why can I say I am fat AND someone who is Deathfat say fat?

Fatness as a state of physical being isn’t like saying, I breathe oxygen. Fatness isn’t a given nor are the boundaries of fat and not fat fixed.

How does that work?

Fatness is more than just BMI, weight, size etc. Fatness is also cultural. As in, maybe inside the microcosm of one culture, fat might not be the same as it is in another. This doesn’t negate said fatness, it is just a different fatness.

There will always be certain aspects to life as a fat person that can be fairly ubiquitous and various levels of terrible.

  • Health care
  • Unsolicited diet advice
  • Fat shaming

Now. The degree to which these things are damaging or how they impact each of us will vary and that is okay.

Let me tell you a secret.

Experiences of marginalization will never ever be monolithic. Playing who has it worse or saying that because someone is X size they can’t speak on an experience they have is bullshit. Don’t.

Differing experiences in the context of experiences, of day to day life etc are fine. They are natural. Maybe the MOST natural thing to happen AND if my experience as a fat person isn’t yours, that doesn’t diminish either of us.

That said, here is another thing. If you are fatter than another person, you also don’t get to necessarily gatekeep fatness. Your experience especially if you are death fat or super fat is different and that is valid and true. What is not valid and true is the idea that because someone doesn’t experience fatness the way you do means they aren’t really fat.

Let’s not do that.

One of the reasons a lot of people are doing body politics in a shit way is the need to grab at the top fat ass spot. Be the MOST oppressed. Folks mistakenly believe that their personal narrative about living in a fat body, is the narrative. That doesn’t work. We can’t talk about bodies, we can’t talk about what happens when we’re fat and do X thing or need resources etc if we’re wasting time doing this.

So what do we do?

I believe that we don’t have to go through these things and it needs work. One of the things to work on,  is when you feel like someone is stealing or infringing on your experience, take a step back. You regardless of how you feel don’t get to be the One True Fat Ass.

That’s just what it is.

Listen, fatter folks. I know a lot of y’all feel very protective of your activism, your space and your bodies. I was dragged to fuck during the inbetweenie saga of Fatshionista. Spaces for folks who are smaller fats and larger fats are in fact important. BUT not all fat spaces must be only for certain fat folks. Doing things that way sucks and eventually doesn’t help any of us.

 

Your experience, you glorious fat babe is HIGHLY valuable. Your voices are HIGHLY important.

We need you/us. We don’t need you/us to reinforce policing of bodies and the idea that fatness is only one thing.

We would all do well to remember some other stuff about fatness.

Some of us are in fact fatter in real life. Photos don’t tell a whole story. Nor do pant or bra sizes.

When we reinforce the Good/Bad fatty dichotomy, it hurts ALL of us. Why do I say that? Fatness is amoral.As in, it is neither good nor bad it just is. Fatness exists in our bodies, as a cultural experience, as identity and as a unifying thing.

Fatness is very involved and multi faceted. It involves everything from just the size of the ass to how we are treated in the world. If we want to do fat activism, body politics or ANYTHING to do with fatness we must, not get mired in fatty respectability politics and deciding for other folks that if they say they are fat, that we have got to say hey, your fatness is different from my fatness and that’s great.

My different fatness is great.

Your fatness, great.

Sometimes our fatnesses will have stuff in common, sometimes not.

THAT IS ALSO GREAT FRIENDOS.

Let’s embrace fatness and how we live, talk and deal with it as the multi faceted thing it is. That means sometimes we gotta let folks work through their problematic fat stuff. Maybe someone doesn’t seem fat to you. Don’t poopoo them.

Before trying or actually policing other folks fatness and their perceptions of it please think and use some deeper than defensiveness discretion.

If you are a smaller fat person, new to saying fat, new to being fat, if you think you’re fat listen.

I’m talking to you too.

If you believe yourself to be fat I won’t question. However, I will ask that you, like me acknowledge and don’t use your size privilege like a bat. Be aware of and respectful of how your privilege can shield you from a lot of fat experiences.

 

Smaller fat folks, me included-

I know when other fat folks want to exclude us it hurts. Some spaces are going to need to be for them so they can talk safely about the intimacies of being X size. That is fine it is okay. Not all spaces are for all people. That’s okay too.

If you are just getting into fatness, some of this will have hurt your feelings.

 

 

 

 

Too Fat For Life. CN: Eating disorder mentions, weight loss, trauma.

First story time.

Once upon a time yours truly was a (as I thought then) super fat fat fatty teenager who was in fact too fat to live. A large part of why I felt this way included:

  • I was not “thin”
  • I did not have a flat stomach.
  • My thighs touched.
  • The culture of my community, made no bones about fatness.
  • Anxiety fueled food disordered behavior.
  • Budding exercise addiction.

Among other things.

I have a distinct memory of a friend talking about how enormous another girl was. HOw she was just SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH a cow. Y’all know, I remember I must’ve pulled a face because I was absolutely a larger person than the girl in question. I don’t remember precisely but I feel like I probably said something like, so what do you think of me and was reassured of my prettiness.

For reference, I was 5’2 and at that point weight about 140 pounds or so. I’ve always been thickly built. Even when I was in the lowest percentile for height, I’ve always had big muscly thighs, etc. In my mind, I was in fact about to drop dead of fatness. Mind you, this was before the Fat Panic swept the world and every other health article wasn’t screaming OH SHIT WE HAVE NO REAL PROOF BUT U GONNA DIE FATASS!

 

After a period of intense attempts at weightloss, I arrived at fuck it. Not a good kind of fuck it. More the, well I’m fat and ugly anyway so I’m gonna do what I wanna do. I decided that summer to run. I got kitted up and started running. The first time I was running, I was chugging my way up a hill and a carload of grown men, slowed to call me fatass, call me a fat bitch and throw garbage at me.

They went around again because I had nowhere to go, did the same thing and I went home in terrified tears.

Fast forward a few years to my first gym membership, I was about the same weight and my second time going, a few older women in the locker room had a long conversation about how unfortunate my body was. I was something like 20 or so and I felt violated.

Another attempt at being a runner later on, more trash thrown. Yelled at. Told to go home. Called a bitch, told to go die.

Fast forward more and I’m fatter and on the internet.

One of my first outfit photos, I found it was taken and used to build a base to make fun of me from.

And the thing is, I’ve never really been that fat. The fattest I’ve been is relatively small fat. Granted, back in the day the availability of clothing for me was very limited but I made do. When I first dabbled in body politics, I had full awareness that I had it far easier than my death fat friends. I didn’t know the term privilege but I understood and respected the concept.

As we head towards Christmas and the post-Thanksgiving OH SHIT U SUCK season, let’s talk about some things that aren’t true.

There is the theory that if you are fat, seem fat, are fat, are really fucking fat that you should be doing the following:

  • LOSE WEIGHT BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
  • HATE YOURSELF INTO LOSING WEIGHT
  • LISTEN TO EVERY SHITBIRD THEORY ABOUT WHY YOU’RE FAT
  • DON’T LEAVE YOUR HOUSE
  • DON’T EVER HAVE A GOOD TIME
  • DON’T GET CAUGHT EATING
  • DON’T GET CAUGHT ENJOYING ANYTHING

If you are Fat, you must always be miserable, self hating, and not be visible to anyone ever for any reason.

You should also if you are a woman, be as femme as possible at all times. You should “at least” have a socially acceptable hourglass type shape but still hate yourself. You should always say, I’m sexy because obviously any one who is a woman and who is fat should be grateful anyone thinks they are attractive but also, you should still hate yourself. You should hate yourself SO MUCH you don’t buy nice clothes. Sackcloth only. You should hate yourself so much, you continuously talk about hating your body and your fatness while you’re also only nibbling a tic tac in public because OMG.

If you are going to be fat, you have to be a Good Fat. You should always start every conversation with, “I’m fat but” insert next bit here. I exercise, I’m a vegan I’m blablabla NOT A BAD FATTY.

You should believe ever click bait sketchily researched “study” that says, YOU GONNA DIE FATASS. You should buy EVERY MIRACLE FRUIT THAT WILL LITERALLY MELT THE POUNDS OFF.

The thing is, the lies we’re told when we’re fat are legion. At the bottom of them, is this.

If you are fat you should not live in the broadest sense of the word.

If the “fat diesases” don’t kill you right this instant, than well fuck you.

The proof of the base lie is that if you are fat and objectively “doing something” as in you’re exercising, talking about wanting access to size 32 active wear, talking about the cost of said active wear if you can find it, talking about access to good food etc- you are still not allowed to just exist.

That is the lie of the Good Vs Bad Fatty dichotomy.

I was inspired to write this by a news story where another fat model in fitness clothing doing fitness, was shamed. There was another one where a famous fat runner was on the cover of a running magazine, photographed while running, and then trolled mercilessly WHILE SHE WAS RUNNING A FUCKING MARATHON- because she’s fat.

My fat friends.

I’m talking to you. Non fat folks, pay attention but this ain’t about you.

My fat friends.

If you are struggling with your own fatness, it’s okay.

You don’t have to be 100% fat accepting or whatever all the time.

You are allowed to be fat and just exist.

All this other shit, the bullshit trolls say, the bullshit you might hear from family at get togethers, the New Year New Me diet push that’s coming, etc etc is just shit.

It is all lies.

This is also heavily on my mind because as I’ve mentioned in the past few years I lost weight. In the ER in October, I was weighed and it turns out I weigh a lot less than I thought. I felt pride for two seconds until, you know what?

The type of people who back in the day when I was a lot fatter could only call me a fat bitch to argue with me, are the same type of people who reach for it now.

I believe in bodily autonomy and you can do whatever you want with your body.

I also believe that narrowing your life to numbers on a scale, a pants size or the idea that there is a right weight for existence and living life is not good for you.

You can be fat and live.

You can.

And in living, if you wanna take up jogging or belly dancing or wanna sit on the couch and eat nachos, you’re allowed because you are your own person.

I don’t say this lightly.

I don’t believe in hate change.

I’m talking about self-hate, hate from outside all of it. Changing because of hate will back fire. I’ve seen it in my own life, my friends lives. I’ve known people who died because they fueled their eating disorders with hate and there was never time to let themselves live.

I’m not saying you have to be all love and sunshine. Nah that’s unrealistic.

I’m saying, instead of buying into the lies get into what they fuel in you and work out how to not use that hate to punish yourself.

I guess, what I want you to know is that you can live.

LIVE.

Some stuff will be harder for some of us for physical or mental reasons. That’s okay. It doesn’t make any of our experiences less valid just different.

As we head into a new year and there’s going to be so much shaming shitty shit in the world, brace yourselves. Start talking to yourself about this before shit gets dire you know?

There’ll be more.

That’s all right now.

 

How to know if your body posi ain’t shit.

Welcome y’all.

I have the urge and this is going to be about as body politics 101 as I get so pull up.

This is your intro in how to know if your body positivity ain’t shit or if it is a lie.

First, let’s talk about Good Fatties who Exercise and why that particularly odious thing is a fuckin lie.

Let me tell y’all a little story about baby Chubby Me in 1994. I was heading into my senior year of high school and wanted to be thinner. So chubby lil me put on my running gear and headed out on a sunny summer afternoon.

I was not really fat. I was fat in the context of my peers, my immediate family and where I lived. Read what I said about fat in context and contextual fatness here (old blog post, there is an adult warning but there’s no boobs or anything) I was going along pretty well and a carload of young men probably a bit older than me slowed and they started mooing and oinking at me. I kept going and they went around again and that time they threw half full sodas and trash at me. I was so humiliated I didn’t exercise outside in my own neighborhood ever again.

Now, if we presume that fat people must be “doing something” about their fatness at all times and that to be a Good Fatty one must be exercising and proclaim a super love of fitness, wouldn’t people be all about seeing fat folks being active? They aren’t.

Read Ragan’s article in Ravishly about the backlash because Nike has released some plus sized active wear. There’s a video of a fat young woman ballet dancing, going around on facebook. We all know FB is a cesspool but, read the comments if it goes by you. People talk about how gross fat people are (while a fat person is doing really lovely pirouettes) talk about how she “can’t help it” etc.

There is no Good Fatty.

One of the other pitfalls of the Good Fatty is when folks who are newer to body posi/fat acceptance circles, is that they base their self-esteem on not being one of those fat people. They build a hierarchy of fatness where they are at the top because (based on things I’ve had said to me/seen in conversations)

  • They don’t need to use mobility devices
  • They eat X diet (vegan what have you)
  • They don’t have X body type (large belly, double belly, they consider themselves “proportional”)
  • They exercise
  • They are “Real Women”

The fact is, none of those things are moral values. And setting oneself apart from other folks based on physical variables is gross. Setting oneself as the superior person because real women have curves is toxic nonsense.

If you by your behavior or how you talk about other people’s bodies are upholding the notions of the evils of fatness, you are not only harming those people you are harming yourself and rolling in a toxic stew of hatefulness.

There is nothing revolutionary, loving or accepting about replicating the hurtful behavior of the larger world in smaller circles. Basing your personal self-esteem off of the idea that you are magically so much better than them, won’t last.

The next thing is that we cannot be played Oppression Olympics. Let me make one thing crystal clear. Different experiences of oppression don’t negate yours. Don’t start trying to on up other people because nothing will come of it. In terms of bodies, let’s put it this way.

Let’s say we have you a person who is thin and super fit and can go literally anywhere and not be bothered because of your weight generally speaking (yes I know some thin folks get harassed, but that is not a global thing), you can pop into a random store and there is a 95% probability you can buy a pair of pants. If you go to the doctor with a say (this actually happened to me) ear infection, you don’t spend the whole visit being lectured on how if you’d just try to do something about your weight you’d feel better. Nevermind that your problem has zero to do with the size of your ass.

Then we have me. Chubby but not that fat. I walk around with the kind of privilege that says I have like a 60% chance of going into most stores to buy pants. Most of the time people don’t hassle me about my weight, except (again based on my life) sometimes people try to sell me diets on the street. My doctors aren’t super keen to look into some of my health issues until I “finish” losing weight.

Now we also have another friend, we’ll call them Bob. Bob is fatter than both of us, say about average. They buy at the low end of the plus size, scale and likely get told by the doctor to do something about their weight before it is too late. They probably get told they are pre-diabetic even if they aren’t. They probably have a hard time getting treatment for things like ankle or foot pain, they get told that any problem with their body, is weight related. Maybe, they don’t go to the doctor unless it is an emergency because they feel traumatized.

Next we have our friend Billie and Billie is death fat. Really fat. Billie can’t go into 90% of stores for pants. Billie, is a headless fatty. Billie experiences harassment for being fat and alive everywhere. Billie will not go to the doctor. Billie has been abused by society and let’s say they are very outspoken about it.

We are all humans right?

Yes, we are.

Now, Billie and Bob will have totally different experiences being human than you and I. It’s important that you and I give Billie and Bob space to talk about their experiences without insisting that we’ve got it just as bad. In terms of our personal lives, our mental health yes a lot of factors could make our experiences subjectively awful but, that doesn’t mean that every conversation has to be about us.

When we engage in the artificial hierarchies of who has it “worse” we waste time squabbling and it does nothing to make sure that NONE of us have to experiences bias because of our bodies.

Whoa right?

If we don’t engage in Oppression Olympics and we remove the ideas about Good Vs Bad Fatties or bodies, we can focus on doing the real work of dealing with sizeism in the world.

NOW.

If you read these things and get defensive, your body politics ain’t shit. Dig out from under and get to work.

This is just like coming to understand that when it comes to matters of race, a lot of the time we need to shut up and listen. Listen to what Billie and Bob have to say.

We’ll stop here for now, but if you are new to body politics or if you’re body politics ain’t shit, sit with this for a while. When you see those supposedly “inspirational” videos go by on facebook, read the comments. Next time, we’re going to talk about how to engage but not take over. And here from 2010, words for non fat folks.  By me.

 

Gender Feels are Upon Me

If you didn’t know already, I am not a cis person. Read about it here.

I’ve been thinking about the gender indicators in my life/aesthetics. I have some more non-fiction in the works about this stuff, and that the best way to describe my gender is Femme. If you want to know about Queer Femme sorts, start here this is pretty great.

When I was lil baby Femme, normally when I felt more like FemmeBoi I would break out my (note most clothes, stuff will be affiliate links) bondage pants, saggy jeans, the occasional snapback and I usually would cut all my hair off. I kind of hated that but kind of loved it.

Looking back, a lot of my gender presentation was based on what I thought was masculine. Boots, oxfords, I wore a lot of oxfords. Trousers if I wasn’t wearing bondage pants. Mens clothes.

Now that I’m older, I realize that masculinity is not one size fit all. So what do I do now?

I’ve been in the long process of unfucking my wardrobe, mainly in figuring out what fits what doesn’t and getting rid of some truly raggedy shit.

If you’ve been here for a minute you know I’m an Aging Goth, I hate wearing pants, I’m not a fan of non stretchy waistbands. My style is pretty Femme. Lately all I want in the world are printed leggings, skater dresses, skater skirts, boots (UGH if those weren’t Demonia I’d buy them  next I love them so much, I’ll make a post about Demona later), tall socks and maybe some big ole ratty sweaters.

So what/how am I altering my gender expression to match my mood?

These days it is still boots but instead of trousers I wear leggings. Or if I’m feeling it, I might wear my only slightly trusty Dickies. And my very worn trusty old Docs. The short ones.  I also tend to wear more masculine scents. Yes, I KNOW scentless but doing that makes me super unhappy and I try not to douse myself. Honest.

The funniest thing to me about my gender expression and style is that it’s fairly genderless at this point. Mainly my gender expression has turned into aesthetic goals.

These include:

  • Looking like an anime villain.
  • Low key cosplay.
  • Regal Goth Prince
  • Kinda butchy Domme in business/sex wear. (Don’t ask I dunno yet)
  • Alien Nazgul Queen (Queen as in Queer not monarch)

What else is in my dream aesthetic? Sex and danger. A little androgyny. Fully beat face, with some masculine swagger. Because I can do that. That is what my body does naturally depending on what gender feels I’m having at any one time.

Later in life when I’ve got the cash I will continue with my body mods as well. We’ll talk about that in another post.

Basically, I want my outside decoration to entirely flow with the tide of my feelings. It will be hard, but I believe in myself.

That’s all for now.

 

 

 

My Body Image is Broken

Content Warning: Body image, negative self talk, weight.

Lately I have not been super nice to my body. My weight shifted slightly again and I’m very disappointed in myself and my ass. I don’t want to be losing weight at all.

I’ve been looking at my body and tend to be thinking shitty things about it. I’m mad because my ass is not as full as I want. Because the random perimenopause bloat means I’m never totally sure what will fit. I’ve been in a lot of pain lately, new pain, different pain and I’m mad about that.

Ugh.

I feel a need to confess some things so y’all understand what I’m struggling with.

My personal idea of the Ultimate Shannon Body isn’t really like a thin body type. Frankly, when I’m much smaller than I am now, I’m mad uncomfortable.

What would make me the happiest would be to be built like a beefy, big titty having, brick shithouse.

Basically, my ideal is all muscle under my chub (my body does not do serious body fat reductions without a lot of harm) with big boobs.

I know how to achieve that. The how isn’t really a problem. The problem is that doing so causes me a bucketful of other problems. That much exercise exacerbates my insomnia, low blood sugar issues etc. It’s just not really worth the toll it takes.

I know that intellectually.

Emotionally, I want it.

Emotionally, I want to resume what I used to do to deal with my feelings. Soul crushing, punitive work outs.

Once upon a time I worked out mainly to punish myself for feeling things. I made my body suffer so I wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with my emotions. That is not okay and was a huge problem for me. It was another way to turn my aggression inward and often I’d wind up having trouble walking because of my knees and ankles, pulled muscles, falls nothing good.

What I’m going through now is emotional.

These are the type of feelings that for me can lead down a real dark path. Disordered eating, depression, etc.

So what do I do?

Instead of muscling, pun intended, through it I’m thinking about it. I’m letting myself have these feelings and examine them.

For right now, there are non brickhouse baby things I’d like to do.

  • Relearn how to bellydance
  • Increase my flexibility
  • Decrease some of my pain as I can

The thing that gives me pause is the potentiality of weightloss I don’t want. Also the cost. I need a sports bra, those are expensive as fuck cause big ass titties. I’m not going to get a gym membership, too much temptation for going balls out.

So what I’m going for is harm reduction. Lately I’ve been doing some power walking (YAY) and light stretching. I am looking for a flexibility training thing to do, we all know I still hate yoga.

I am going to do my level best to take it easy on myself.

Right now, I’m doing what feels okay and not like it is putting myself in harms way. I feel kind of okay about all of it right now. I’m still bitter about my body not being the same fat body I was in love with. I’m bitter about having pain that I can’t really do much about.

My main goal here is emotional soothing rather than physical change. Some extra flexibility is great, but peace of mind is better.

We’ll see how it turns out.

I feel better already.

 

What has been seen…Oh Dani no. CN: rape culture, anti fatness, patriarchy

Many of you may have seen around the internets today that Playboy model Dani Mathers  “accidentally” publicly snapchatted a naked women (who was unaware she was being filmed or watched) with the charming caption:

If I can’t unsee this you can’t either.

Head over here to Good House Keeping to view the story and the photo (I am so glad the photo has been censored) and you can see Ms. Mather’s shitty I got busted fauxpology.

First, let’s establish a few things.

While in some states it might not be strictly illegal to do what she did, it is a fucked up thing to do. As someone who makes money off of her image she should know that first and foremost (because obviously morality didn’t come to play here) that shit is expensive. How mad would she be if her highly valuable image was distributed in this manner without her consent or a paycheck?

Second of all. She is doing exactly the same type of shit that MANY women talk about. Her behavior is dangerous, creates an explicitly unsafe space for someone she apparently doesn’t think is fuckable or based on her ideas of what an acceptable body is. This is the shit that many women rage against strange men doing, this is the type of predation that bathroom scare folks believe trans people will do in bathrooms, THIS is the type of behavior that keeps a lot of people out of the gym.

Now onto the “apology”.

“I just wanted to acknowledge a photo that I accidentally posted on Snapchat earlier today and let you guys know that that was absolutely wrong, and not what I meant to do. I have chosen to do what I do for a living because I love the female body and I know that body shaming is wrong and that’s not what I’m about, that’s not the type of person that I am. That photo was taken to be a personal conversation with a girlfriend, and because I am new to Snapchat, I didn’t realize that I had posted it and that was a huge mistake.”

Ahem.

I call entire bullshit on this.

First of all, it wasn’t a fucking accident. I don’t use snapshot, but I don’t think you can accidentally film and caption things without going through some steps.

Second bullshit. “Not what I meant to do” so, what WERE you doing? If you take a photo and use a phrase like can’t be unseen, what you are saying is that by seeing (I saw the uncensored version) the naked body of a not really fat, but average woman at a sink presumably washing her face or something, you have been traumatized.

If we infer why, it’s because holy shit GROSS A PERSON WITH A BODY THAT IS NOT DESIREABLE TO YOU IS DOING SOMETHING HOLY SHIT YOUR LIFE IS RUINED.

Right?

Now let’s note she isn’t sorry for insulting the anonymous naked woman or her body. She LOVES the female body so much she instead says this, “That photo was taken to be a personal conversation with a girlfriend-“

She’s sorry for getting caught being a judgy douchebag.

One of the reasons I personally stopped going to gyms are people like her. Luckily for me there were no camera phones at the time, but, I more than once found myself changing or shaving my legs or whatever at the gym only to find (usually) thin White women laughing, staring etc.

This is why so many people fat and not won’t exercise in public. Won’t go to the gym.

This is where we put the lie to the idea that people like Ms. Mathers ” I love the female body”.

No if people who ever use the phrase “I love women’s/female bodies” it should be qualified with the truth of the statement. They almost always “love” the bodies they find fuckable.

The use of love is not in the caring, I hope your life is a wonderful type of way. It is in the manner that means, you deserve to live/be because you are STILL desirable. I’d fuck you so your life has value.

So not only is Ms. Mathers replicating patriarchal heterosexist behaviors. She has now deleted her twitter so I can only imagine but come on.

I will say again what I’ve been saying for years. This type of behavior is not demonstrative of any kind of good or the lovely kind of love.

It is a kiss followed by a slap.

If you love someone, you wouldn’t want to humiliate them publicly OR privately.

If you support folks with all kinds of bodies workin on their fitness, you would not want to humiliate them publicly OR privately.

If the immediate justification is something like, OMG IT IS MAH OPINION well your opinion is shitty. I do not believe that opinion that actively harm people are just as okay as opinions that don’t. Fuck that.

Think it if you want to or need to, but understand that I don’t think it need airtime.

And let’s not forget how many fucked up ways doing this sort of thing violates consent and is fallout from rape culture that says that any woman doing anything anytime is fair game.

Rape culture indicates to us who are or present as women that we are always fair game. Whether it is for fap material for random dudes or to be humiliated we’re supposed to just accept it. Now this, this behavior is emblematic of that aspect of rape culture and I hope she’s thinking about it.

Dani Mathers violate another woman in multiple ways. She only apologized for getting caught doing it and I hope she’s having to deal with the ramifications of her behavior.

I sincerely hope that this is a learning thing for her. I hope that she’ll have the time and space to really dig into why she thought it would be so funny to shame this other woman at the gym. About why she thought it was totally okay if it was private. I hope she learns how to apologize for real. I hope she starts thinking about what consent means, especially in terms of being involved in the adult industry and how she can maybe learn to take consent more seriously.