Engaging my Body.

Hello babes. Up front I want to give y’all a bit of a content warning. I’ll be ruminating on exercise, fatphobia, weightloss and eating disorders. Please care for yourselves and if these are not your jams, please take care. That said, I’m not going to be graphic about things but there’s gonna be some stuff.

First I want to preface this by saying a couple of things. I do not believe with any bit of my being that fat and health are the same thing ever. I don’t believe that thinness or even being a “normal” weight are the end all be all arbiters of health. You cannot tell the state of a persons health in any nuanced way by looking at them. Full stop. I will not argue that ever.

Second, with Adele’s weight loss in the news a lot of folks are in their feelings about it. Listen. A multi grammy award winning artist with an amazing voice losing weight is not the peak of her or anyone elses accomplishments. And if you believe it is, you have work to do. I also want to say that I believe that weight loss done from a place of fatphobia or self hate is not gonna be healthy. Sorry not sorry.

If you’re interested in point number two I encourage you to google around and read some stuff because I don’t really have the spoons to go full Fat 101 here today/

OKAY buckle in.

I have recently been as y’all know engaging with my health and evaluating and changing how I care for my meat sack. I’ve been really focused on getting my nutrition to a better place, I’ve been working hard to feed myself well, and the last bit of this has been me looking for movement I can engage in with joy and not hurt myself.

Being that I have a disordered history with both food and exercise, I’ve had to tread very carefully. One of my huge ED triggers is the allure of control over my body. Results. A huge trigger for me. Unfortunately, I thought I had a better handle on my feelings about it. I do not.

What started as me looking for some things to cobble together for some workouts turned into me planning and plotting ways to control my body. I was able to back off of being so triggered and that masochistic urge to continue enough to observe a few things.

This experience I’m having isn’t unique. I know a lot of people who fall into the same hole. Even super fat accepting, body politic heroes. And what I have come back to is that when we front load weight loss and results and massive fast body changes as the point of fitness, we just get swept up in disordered behaviours and feelings and it is not good for anybody.

This is what happens when we don’t separate ideas about being as health as you can be in the body you have, appearance, weight and what health is or can be. What I mean by that is, if you look at a lot of fitness related content the motivation is often based in creating shame in the consumer and turning it into “motivation”.

The language tends to sway between saying, OH you’re not fixing that flat/fat ass? You’re lazy and not worth X thing etc etc. Then the person seems to be pumping you up, following the shame there is the cheerleading. They look great, they are perky and yelling and telling you, YOU CAN DO IT. A lot of the discourse is framed like so.

If you really loved yourself you’d want the flat stomach/shredded abs/big booty/thigh gap and if you REALLY COMMIT you can have it. And if you don’t get the results, well you did it wrong. You ate too much. You’re too lazy. And frankly it is abusive.

This method of selling/gaining followers is the voice of my ED. I recognized that recently and it set me back a little bit. I realized that regardless of my political leanings, my love of bodies, all bodies, my respect for all bodies, I still have a hard time giving myself the same treatment. I caught myself and have been working through it but fuck y’all.

I think I didn’t see it to begin with because my intentions with my fitness are very specific. I have a lot of chronic pain I’ve had for many years and through many pant sizes. I enjoy moving my body and I’ve been really interested in reconnect to that joy. So I went looking.

It was really hard to even find say back pain relief exercises that weren’t also cuddled up with weight loss as a goal. I don’t want that. I don’t need it and it harms me. It harms a lot of us.

What if we could have something different?

What if I could easily find a workout designed for just loosening up and enjoying my body? What if we could skip the toxic messaging about weight and how we should want our bodies to be?

For me, I really wish more fitness professionals would take a step back to look at how their own language and methods can be harmful.

For me it has been a really difficult few months with this. On one hand I’m wrestling with those ED triggers on multiple levels. One part of me remembers the peak/low of my purging via exercise and the memories of having trouble walking because I’d spent 7-8 hours exercising is fuzzy but remembering the feeling of control and doing something “good” are strong.

I remember tearing an ab muscle and powering through it and the warm congratulations of my instructors.

I don’t want to do that again.

I don’t want to contribute to anyone else doing it on any level.

There will be more of this. I have other stuff to say but for now let’s leave it here.

The health, wellness and fitness industries really rely too heavily on toxic and disordered behaviour and we really need to figure out how to not engage with it.

Shit is hard.

I’m workin on it.

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.

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.

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.

 

Fat Bitch Feelings.

Recently after realizing that most of the clothing for Summer that I’d thrifted last fall (yes that is how I shop) is too big, I had to have a big long talk with myself.

I had to tell myself that it is officially official I am not fat anymore.

I’m not fat anymore.

Fuck.

Let me rewind a little bit.

Fat Acceptance and the community has been a big part of my life in meatspace and on the internet for probably at least a decade. I have been deeply into body politics for at least 20 years. From my earliest forays into reading about/writing about bodily autonomy to early feminist readings on bodies. I am about the body. My body, your body, our bodies.

My most formative political fat activist writing started when I was invited to the original Fatshionista community on Livejournal a very long time ago. When the door of fat joy, fat solidarity, fat politics opened, y’all I ran all up in through that mother fucker.

Fat politics really was the thing that got me into working out how intersectionality factors into my work, my life, how I view things.

So my beliefs about bodies, how I live in my body, how I talk about bodies is rooted deeply in fatness. Fatness as a physical state, as a political marker, as a place of comfort and community for me and now, I’m not fat.

My body, this thing I live in and move around the world in has changed without my consent and has set itself outside of my framework.

I am feeling fucked up about it.

I talked about this a bit before mainly in the context of my body image being fucked up.

This latest thing was broader. While yeah, I’d prefer my body to look differently right now it won’t. I can live with it.

What has been bothering me is the idea that I will lose my place in my community because I literally don’t fit anymore.

Fuck.

After I tried to wear something or other, the fact of the matter really sank in and I can honestly say I’ve been feeling adrift and conflicted.

Aside from mourning being separated (by size) from my community I looked at the blogs I like, the fashion stuff I read etc etc are all fat centric. Not body positive, they aren’t the milquetoast white “curvy” bullshit ass version of body politics we get.

They are fucking fat.

I have been struggling with how to use my new found position of privilege. How do I shift the way I write/talk about bodies to reflect that while my thoughts/opinions remain radically Pro Fat my body has decided nah. The process of working this out for myself has been difficult, especially in light of the fact that I absolutely did not want to lose more weight.

I did not.

I’m resentful of it and struggling mightily to deal with it and not feel like shit. That is a whole other entry.

This is the bottom line for me.

I am not going to even try to fuck with “body politics” because currently, the way these are discussed and represented they are Whiter and more cis woman centric than ever and nah son.

I won’t turn what has been the radical backbone of how I learned to deal with my body into one size fits some pap.

I will still self identify as fat with the caveat that, my ass is currently not fat.

Fatness is not just physical.

Fatness is contextual.

Fatness is political and my politics are really fucking fat.

I won’t try to swim and work in the waters of White heteronormative Insta filter LOVE YOSELFness.

Nah son.

My goals here are less for y’all than they are for myself.

I shall:

  • Carry on reading and loving fatcentric content.
  • Write more about fatness.
  • I’m gonna talk about how discussions of bodies and fatness STILL often leave behind Death Fats.
  • I’m gonna talk about how important it is in my opinion to further divorce body size from binarist moralistic views of health and personhood.
  • I’m gonna love the fuck out of my fat community.

And for y’all, look.

Because I have a degree of thin privilege now and previously was a smaller fatty that does not mean that the cultural stuff I say is wrong because I’m not fatter. It also doesn’t mean that your experiences as a fat person, or a Death Fat person or a not fat person are invalidated.

Our experiences are ALL valid and we will not do Oppression Olympics. You gotta hit the ground rollin here homies.

When I refer to other folks experiences, I will defer to them about shit I have not experienced. Because when you are in the position of privilege, that’s what the fuck you do.

Other stuff to look forward to. Guest posts. I’ve made puppy eyes at some friends and it’s gonna be cool.

I’m ALSO going to start writing more about gender and bodies, gender fashion and bodies.

MORE intersections!

More fat.

So yeah.

I feel like this is important to me and I need to hold on to it.

Later this week a struggle bus naturals post AND I’ll have some new protips for online thrifting.

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.

 

I am not an “after”-About Fatness

Folks who’ve known me for a long time to know my weight has fluctuated over the years. Recently someone had a looksy at some old outfit photos of mine and then emailed me to let me know how “proud” they are of my weight change.

Okay, so first of all, do not do that to people. It doesn’t matter how fat someone is or was, unless they ask you mind your damn business. Losing weight, whether it is, on purpose or not is not always something to be applauded regardless of the before. Also, other folks don’t owe you thanks for noticing the size of their ass at all. They don’t. So don’t.

Next thing. I am not a good or bad former fatty. My change in ass size has not changed my body politics or staunch fat acceptance. Actually, no that’s a lie. It’s a hot fucking lie. My stance on fat acceptance, has gotten stronger. The fact that I now reside in an area of privilege where I’m a little smaller than the average American woman, I’m pissed off. It shouldn’t be a privilege for me to now be able to buy 7$ leggings. Or be pretty ding dang sure if I go to Target, there will be at least a few pairs of pants I like or whole lines of clothes I can buy.

My position of privilege means that some makers, now deem my money worthy and will make me a skirt or dress without charging 50$ extra. It means that if I go buy a dress makers dummy, I won’t have to pad it except maybe the boobs. It means that when I go to the doctor, I’m listened to a little bit more. Oh, you lost weight YAY but you still have these health problems? Maybe it wasn’t your weight after all.

Here is where we get body posi graduate level. Rather than looking back at the place where I didn’t have these privileges and wallowing in my relief not to be the face or ass of the bad fatty, I’m pissed off. I want to smash the privilege I’ve slid into because I can see just how shitty it is.

There is zero reason that my smaller ass should mean that suddenly I’m a better, more moral, more trustworthy person. Being less fat, being closer to thinness and having thin privilege by being close to it, did not change my soul.

Now folks who are not fat, I am talking to you right now. Former fatties, I’m talking to you too.

Listen, when we are in this position of having privilege due to proximity to the “ideal” it’s not the time to disappear into the mealy mouthed body posi that pays zero attention to people whoa re really fat. Let’s talk about using our position of privilege as a fucking weapon.

These days when I inquire about sizes, I don’t limit myself to my own size 12ish ass. I ask why doesn’t this come in a size 26? I tell retailers, hey there is a market of folks who want this thing who are above your (insert largest size here). Because of how privilege operates, the response I’ve gotten to these inquiries has been markedly more friendly than they were when I would say things like, I want to give you my money, why doesn’t this come in my size?

That is how privilege works.

Now, as far as my own weight changes, they kind of are what they are. I still don’t really want it. I still am not really okay with the size of my ass, I felt perfect in my body at a larger size, but it looks like this is how things are gonna be so I am making peace with it.

I am enjoying my 7$ “one size” leggings. I am enjoying that I can usually go to big lots and find the size 6 panties I like for super cheap. Those things are great. When I was fatter and didn’t have access to those things, I wasn’t mad at the folks who did, but at the fact that being able to buy a bushel of discount panties is a privilege.

I am angry at a system that magically turns me into a “better” more trustworthy and generally more “worthy” person because my butt is smaller than some other folks.

I am angrier still because, weight changes aren’t moral victories. People who succeed for however long at purposefully losing weight aren’t heroes. It is not some magical morality bullet that turns them into amazing wonderful people. As I said years ago, if you were a fat asshole you’re probably gonna be a thin asshole too.

I don’t want it.

I don’t want jubilant congratulations on something that was not okay with me in the first goddamn place.

I don’t want to be reminded every time I deal with a medical professional that the health problems I have now, had when I was fat, had when I was super thin and have had for decades at this point are suddenly, magically real because my weight changed.

I am not an after shot. I’m not at the midpoint between before and after.

Yes, I live in a body that is often in flux. Yes, my body has changed. Yes, I’ve got some health stuff going on.

No, it’s not actually any of your business. I am not obligated to share my super ass changing secrets. No, I don’t want your speculations about how I’m a whole brand new me. I’m the same weirdo I was when I was fatter.

Can I share with you what weight loss again has not cured?

  • Any-goddamn-thing.

 

The culture of fat stigma has caused me and a whole lot of other people harm. Irreparable, sometimes fatal harm.

The culture of deifying dieting culture and intentional weight loss has done me and a whole lot of people irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

The refusal of people who claim “body positivity” to extend that to ALL bodies, yes, ALL bodies regardless of size, ability or gender has done irreparable and sometimes fatal harm.

So you know what?

If you are in my type of position of privilege, step up. Don’t leave fat folks behind because you’re basking in the glow of conditional acceptance. The same stigma that follows fat folks, will come for you too.

That’s all for right now. We’ll talk more about it later.

 

Fat Fashion Mega Post

Okay my Fat Babes.

This post is going to be a lot of links, some discussion of size and some tips on shopping at some places. Ready?

First a few things to mention:

  1. Shops marked with an asterisk (*) will indicate where if you shop online you can get Ebates. This is my Ebates referral link, Ebates is basically getting a percentage of how much you spend on supporting stores online. I love it.
  2. I will do my level best to let y’all know about size ranges. Also mark what is women’s sizing v’s jrs sizing and stuff marked as man sizes. That said, this is not gender essential. Wear what you like on your butt.
  3. Pricing. I won’t be commenting on that overmuch because quite frankly any garment over 50$ is out of my price range. That said, do check stores out and do this. See a garment you want, it is out of your price range. You can wait to see if it goes on sale, you can look for coupons, you can google search the garment to see if there’s something close or that garment for less. Or use it as a point of reference and find something similar.
  4. I am not going to lecture about ethical shopping. I am not the drones you are looking for for that.
  5. Some of these places aren’t strictly plus size but have plus sizes available.
  6. For some places I picked the sizing based on the jeans section. Always check individual items in case they have different sizing.
  7. Some folks are gonna be like, pfft you’re not even fat anymore. No I’m not. I am interested in providing resources for my fat homes cause everybody needs to cover their asses.

Okay got it?

Let us get started fatties.

First big box stores.

Torrid.* They carry sizes 10-30 or in their range 00-6. They also carry wide calf boots, and wide shoes. Also hosiery, lingerie and accessories.

Fashion To Figure*. They carry sizes 02(straight size) to 22/24. They do carry a lot of knit wear so that 22/24 might be able to extend a bit further size wise. They also carry shoes, accessories, intimates.

Avenue*.  They carry sizes 14-32. They carry wide calf and extra wide shoes, intimates, activewear, outerwear etc.

Lane Bryant*.  They carry sizes 14-32. That said, make sure you check individual items for their sizing. They also carry lingerie, wide calf shoes, designer collections.

Deb Shops. They carry sizes 14-24. They are absolutely more jrs oriented. Trendy wear. Straight sizes available as well.

Ashley Stewart*. They carry sizes 12-32. However, sizes 26-32 are in their own “special sizing” area. They carry wide calf and extra wide shoes, intimates, activewear, outerwear etc.

Woman Within. They carry sizes 12W to 48W. They really carry everything. Pro tip-Often you can buy woman within items via amazon. Note the name of the item from the catalog or website and search Amazon.

King Size Big and Tall. Menswear waist sizes from 38  to 78/80. Medium, wide and extra wide shoes. Pants, shirts, jackets, intimates, socks.

Ulla Popkin. Sizes 12-38. They also carry jrs and menswear.

Eshakti. Sizes 0-38 and also custom sizing. Skirts, dresses, tunics, pants and wedding wear.

Simply Be*. They carry sizes 6-34. Lots of on trend. They do sell shoes in sizes 9+ as well as wide and extra wide widths.

Roamans. They carry sizes 12W to 48W. Lots of career type wear. Business casual to business. They also carry winter wear, wide calf boots, wide shoes.

Hips and Curves– check site for various sizing. Lingerie, costumes, corsets.

Holy Clothing. Sizes 2/4-30/32 flowy dresses, skirts, tunics.

Jessica London. Sizes 12-38/40 focused on professional clothing.

City Chic. Sizes 14-24 On trend, very femme.

Beth Ditto. Sizes 14-28 (1x-3x) Boutique designer pieces.

Chubby Cartwheels. Sizes 14-32. Tees, tanks, skirts, dresses. Boutique, unique prints.

Ready to Stare– Sizes 2/4-30/32 (also see individual item listing) lots of unique skirts, tees, dresses, accessories.

Witch WorldWide– Sizes s/5XL. A lot of their items are meant to be worn oversized, check individual listings. Witchy, nu-goth.

Lovesick– Sizes 10-26 trendy, lots of cute on trend jeans/tops.

Rainbow*-Sizes 1x-3x lots of stretch items, low prices.

Beige– Sizes UK 16-28. Higher end out of the UK. Focus on designer collections.

Yours Clothing– Sizes UK 16-36, wide variety. Dresses, pants, coats etc.

Sealed With a Kiss (SWAK designs)-Sizes 1x to 6x- check individual items for more precise sizing. Trendy.

Plus Size Fix– Sizes XL-3X. Club wear, dresses. Boutique items.

Re/DressNYC-Sizes 1x-5X home of the legendary plus size teggings.

Copper Union– Sizes 12/4-28/30 Unique boutique items.

~

Next up these are direct links to the plus size sections of other stores with their sizes available.

ModCloth-1x-4x/16-26. Unique dresses, tops sweaters.

Nordstrom Plus size. – Sizes 14-28 higher end, designer wear.

Sears*– Sizes 12-30 (some up to 7/8X) some items may not be available for shipping.

Bealls Florida-Sizes 14/16 – 22/24W. Career and trendy clothes.

H&M– Sizes 14-24 Trendy clothes. Basics.

Land’s End– Sizes 16-26W. Jeans, outdoor wear, cold weather gear.

Wet Seal-Sizes 14-22 (looks like Jrs) trendy items, skinny jeans, leggings.

Old Navy*– Sizes 16-30(women)  Pro tip- If you are smaller busted/hipped always check the straight sizes as well up through about a size 22 or so.

Old Navy*– Mens “big” sizes up to 48″ waist 36″ inseam/sizes 2XL-3XL

Charlotte Russe Plus*– Sizes 16/17-26/27 Jrs. Trendy jrs oriented.

Rue21– Sizes 14-24 Jrs Trendy, lower cost.

Belk*-Sizes 14-24W Lots of selection from basics to more fancy things.

Zappos– Sizes 14-26 apparel. Shoes Womens up to size 20 (I checked, there are two styles). Mens shoes up to 20.

Target*– Sizes 14-30. Intimates, basics, skirts, pants dresses.

Walmart*– Sizes 16W-28/30. While shopping keep your eye on whether or not something is shippable.

Forever21*– Sizes 12-20. Jrs very trend oriented.

Zulily– varies. this is a membership shopping site, They have some great sales. Also if you’d like to sign up, please hit me up for an invite.

Rosegal- Sizes Xl-9Xl. Club wear, lingerie, fun holiday prints. They actually had stuff in at 9Xl.

Atomic Cherry- Sizes 8-26/28 (AU sizes) Vintage style, rockabilly boutique.

Sweet Chop Plus– Sizes XS-4XL (varies) Pin up, rockabilly, costumes.

~

Etsy Subsection. Note Ebates can be used all over Etsy. These will lean heavily alt because they are out of my personal favorites/related that Etsy popped up for me. As a rule, if you really want a garment on Etsy don’t be afraid to message the maker about getting one in your size or asking why they don’t carry your size.

Technodolly– Custom sizes fairytale clothes.

Exo Umbra-S-5Xl handmade modern witch clothes.

gloomth and the cult of melancholy- S-1xl, however they do offer custom sizing upon request. Creepy dolly clothes.

Corvus Corone Fashion– Sizes UK8-22 they also offer custom sizing. Grown up goth clothing.

Aakasha– Sizes XS-4XL (msg for above 4XL) Unique designs from a Bulgarian designer.

Spoons and Lace– Waists 32″-58″ (PLS note this store does use G*psy in some descriptions, this is not my store nor is it encouraging use of that slur) boho/hippie/bellydance skirts.

Go Follow Rabbits– All made to order. Nerdy circle skirts.

A few Amazon retailers-

The Legendary CowCow skater dresses. A million fun prints, really great prices and the sizing is very very generous. Sizes XS-4X. I’ve seen babes from sizes 0 up through 30 rocking these. Seriously they are great I have three of them.

Pro tip- If you spot something at Woman Within, check for the same item at Amazon. You might save some money. I purchased a Woman Within coat and on the WW site it was 98$ and  I got it on amazon for 55.

I have a clothing section in my Amazon affiliate store. Pay CLOSE attention to sizing/reviews for these.

Some fat folks shopping tips:

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t be afraid to wear something other than the fit intended. Wear something tight that is supposed to be loose. Whatever, it’s your butt you do what you want.
  2. Don’t let numbers on tags freak you out.In no universe we have access to are sizing even approaching universal so fuck em. Use a number size as a reference only not as a rule.
  3. Don’t be ruled by whether something is Jrs, W, or marked plus. See #1. Be a cat, if it fits you..not sits but whatever. It’s your butt you do what you want.
  4. Don’t believe the hype- DIY is not always the answer. Sometimes yes but often DIY is as expensive or more expensive than just finding and buying.
  5. Don’t skip out on a trend or style because “you can’t pull it off” that is a bullshit lie someone else told you. Wear what the fuck you want.
  6. Don’t shame/be shamed if you’re shoppin at the Walmart or F21 or other “bad” retailer. Not all of us have Lane Bryant money.
  7. Don’t buy the hype about your shape (apple, pear, triangle, mother ship, whatever) see #1- IT IS YOUR BUTT YOU DO WHAT YOU FUCKING WANT.

DOS

  1. Wear whatever the fuck you want regardless of the size of your ass.
  2. Take/know your measurements. Don’t be afraid. Also for extra fit prowess, take your low waist, low hip or mark where you like to wear your undies/pants on your belly and measure there.
  3. Buy clothes for the body you have.
  4. Fuck flattering. Flattering is another bullshit concept. Yes, your ass still looks fat, it’s fine. No it’s awesome.
  5. Shop around. Don’t settle for shit you don’t like.
  6. Have fun with your clothes.

Other tips.

If you are like me and can’t totally afford your personal aesthetic, buy basics that are close to your aesthetic and dress em up with accessories.

NEVER apologize for your size. Especially if you are trying to give somebody money.

Share resources with other fat folks. I mean y’all, we gotta be in there togther. Speaking of solidarity, if you see a plus size line ends at size 22 and we know that we have homies who are above a size 30-say something. You can say, my friend would love this but they are a size 28/30. You might wanna consider providing for those folks.

Don’t be fooled by Instagram fatshionistas. Not all fat bodies are hourglass shaped and that’s ok. Also clothes look different on different body shapes and that’s great.

Now I turn it over to the best folks in the world, y’all.

Know places I haven’t linked? Drop em here.

Do you make stuff? BOOM PUT IT HERE!

Have any other super secret fatty fashion, shopping tip, BRING IT!