I See you 2017

Hello darlings.

I hope this finds y’all well as you can be.

Can we talk about 2017?

I keep saying it, but I’ll say it again. I’m turning 40 this year. Holy damn.

Let’s talk the Old Goth at 40.

I’ve given up cheap ballet flats for good. I gave away my last pair with some sadness. I’ve figured out that because of the shape of my feet, I’m best with mary janes with some stretch, my trusty Doc Martens and boots.

And how about some protips?

If you have feet that are more narrow at the heel, Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus. Look for the thicker padding and stick some of this in the back of your shoes. it can help if your heels slip around in shoes, help breaking in shoes AND it even helps breaking in new Docs. Also, y’all. Be nice to your feet. I know shit is expensive, but do take care of them, especially if you are diabetic, or don’t drive.

Next thing. It’s time to start transitioning from my holy shit I’m cold style (lots of layers and leggings and tall socks) to, oh damn I’m kinda cold but getting sweaty.

I am so tired of wearing leggings. Yes, I look adorable in them. I’m giving some major 90s realness with my big sweaters and leggings, but I miss dresses.

I’m so excited about the return of babydolls to go with my skater dresses. I’m a 90s bb and I just LOVE that there are so many affordable options for the cuts I favor and most of them come in black or kinda fugly dark floral prints.

I’m working up a new pin board (shop style affiliate link y’all) with some of the stuff I really REALLY want to be wearing for spring. I have fancy goth aspirations but frankly, I’m really a comfy femme old goth and that’s okay. A lot of what I like you can easily goth up with accessories and styling.

Along with the season change, I’m changing my whole work day. I’m retiring from being a professional night owl and moving back into the daytime worker world. I’m not enthused about getting up at the buttcrack of dawn, I am pretty excited to think that my partner and I will be able to go out and do stuff!

Also, like since I might actually have a life outside of work I need going out wear right?

I want to stop here to make a note of something I’m experiencing in the post Trumpfuckian nightmare.

As things have progressed, I’m settling into this very uh, peaceful rage. I want to pull out all my weapons all the time and that includes my Femmeness. I am walking around with my booty out, back straight and chin up.

I walk around giving fewer and fewer fucks about a lot of things daily. Among them, what anyone ever has to say about how I look, how I work out my gender presentation etc. Not. One. Single. Fuck.

Being that I’ve been unable to wear the amount of dresses I like, I’ve been opting for feeling like I’m representing some beat face rugged Femme Realness and I look quite unbothered.

My go to look aside from big sweaters and leggings and tall socks has been my new FAVE skinny jeans. Y’all, I actually really hate to wear jeans. I don’t like how denim feels on my skin most of the time. I have the Lovesick High Waisted black skinny jeans.* They are super black, very comfy. I’m kind of chunky teenager size and I have these in a size 15 for bloated days (today) and a size 13 for a tighter fit. I do find the legs a bit too long for me and they aren’t as skin tight skinny on me as they are on the model but I actually really like them. I also have the lower rise version and I would actually pay full price for em.

For a jeans hater like me, they are pretty great.

I also enjoy some nerdy tees. Uniballer and I are both big fans of Tee Turtle (good sizing range, variety of cuts, GREAT prices and cute designs).

And as for my make up, I’m back to dabbling in the slightly weird. Today behold my faceballs.

Okay so I’m wearing a big ass wing today. For my big wings I do not fuck around. I use a very very black gel liner. (Affiliate links ahoy) My current hands down fave is the L’ORÉAL Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner 24 Hour liner in Blackest Black. I’ve used eleventy billion kinds of liner and for a big ole super black wing this is my never fail. It is as dark as Mac Blacktrack Fluidline but it’s not 17 damn dollars. A lot of the time I buy them bogo and always have a back up.

Being that I was really not fucking around, I used my Aesthetica Pro Series Lip Brush for my liner. Now I know some of you are like um, but lip brush? No seriously. If you have a big ole eye and love a bigass wing, this type of brush makes things way easier. Also, remember if you have a bigger brush the line is always gonne be chunkier and you may need to go in with a smaller brush to pack product at your lashline. I have like four of that type of brush and they are perfect for me.

Next I did something a lil weird. I put this random (it is in an unlabled baggie so it may have been a prototype or 1 off) bright red eyeshadow right in the inner corner of my eye above the liner line. That wasn’t an accident I did it on purpose. I used a little flat shader brush like the one in this kit on amazon. I didn’t blend I just packed color in there. To pack color on, you want to press press press and not do wiper motions. I really wanted a splotch of friggin red and didn’t put on another color or blend it at all. I used the edge (this takes practice) of the same brush and packed that color on my lower lash line too. I took it to the end of the cat eye liner (I cannot get a good pic) and a little in the inner corner tear duct area. Then I piled on mascara and finished with my fave griege nude lippie.

NYX COSMETICS Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon. I’ve tried both high end and low end liquid matte lippies and the lingerie line is in my top two for comfort and wear.

Then I powdered the shit out of my fave and walked out the door.

I cut my own damn bangs on this wig, I’ve got a rekindled interest in doing less “proper” make up. I don’t give a fuck.

I want to fully inhabit the fuck out of my GenderQueer Chunky Assed Old Gothness.

How I present my outer body is my armor. It is how I survive and how I shore myself up when I’m flagging. Look at my face, I know that not only am I the enemy of many factions who are now in charge that it will chap their collective ass to have me walking around with my head up, not cowering in fucking terror.

So you know what?

Fuck it.

That said, I’m going to resume my little body modification savings fund. Maybe for my birthday I’ll finally get my septum pierced or get a small tattoo.

If you followed me from the blogger days, y’all know every year at the gentle prodding of friends I make a ridiculous wishlist for my birthday. I made one. If you buy me a book PLEASE buy the cheapest copy. I don’t need em brand new y’all. Find that here. 

I am depressed and scared. I’m making some other life changes that are scary but happening. Life is rolling on and I gotta roll with it or get flattened.

Stay tuned for some other major announcements.

If you want to follow my other writing, sign up to my writer newsletter which is really a love letter to my fellow creatives. I talk about art, resistance, trauma, what I’m workin on. Lots of stuff. Check out the archive here and sign up if you’re so moved.

I love y’all.

Take care of each other and yourselves.

Love,

Auntie Shannon

 

 

The Aging Goth in Fall- Outfit breakdown

Hello. I performed a week or so ago with a group of QTPOC writers and let’s talk about my fashion.

Behold, old Goth in Fall:

ootd

[image description: photo of a black person in a plum.brown wig, wearing glasses. their outfit is all black, a black tee shirt, a black velvet mini skater skirt, black tights, black thigh high socks and black tall sneakers]

About my hair, I’ll do a FULL review soon.

So the outfit I was originally going to wear some layers of lacy dress+skirts but the forecast was windy and stormy and we had a bit of a walk to get where we were going. This y’all is very close to what I liked in the early 2000s. I definitely was going for some Daria vibes along with some cute flirty realness.

And if I’m going to keep it 100 my other outfit was also matched to different hair.

I accidentally (GOTH PROBLEMS Y’ALL) grabbed my terrible control top tights which was a mistake. Y’all, if you are at all prone to any type of bloating DO NOT DO.

That aside, I have to say for a this was not my plan outfit I felt pretty cute.

Can we talk about this being a poor goth miracle?

The shoes. The sneakers are Demonia Tyrant boot. They are from a few seasons ago. My Partner Uniballer spotted a single pair in my size on Amazon a few years ago and snatched them up for like 25$. They have a steel toe and buckle up the back, I LOVE them. And y’all know I have a love/hate relationship with Demonia. These made up for some duds.

The outfit was a win.

Now I want to switch gears a little bit.

A while after I posted my outfit on tumblr, I saw it pass by in my feed and was taken aback. That’s me? That small person is me? I’m experiencing some level of WTF in regard to seeing my body clothed or no in mirrors or photographs.

My weight has been stable for about a year now and I’m still very startled to see that my thighs aren’t the same size as they are in memory. It’s a minor type of dysphoria that I believe (after a long talk about it with my Wifey) a big part of it is that 95% of my clothes are too big. Every pair of pants I own is held up by my favorite personal hack (an elastic band headband looped through the front belt area cause I don’t own a belt) and they only have the illusion of fitting.

It’s rare that I wear things that fit the body I have now and I think because I only see my body in terms of loose/baggy clothes, when I see it in form fitting or things that just fit properly my poor lil mind is kinda blown.

If I’m going to be honest, I don’t like how weird and small I look in photos. I don’t think this dislike will evolve into something harmful. Right now I’m uncomfortable and it’s okay. Sometimes, our bodies will do stuff and it’s weird and it’s okay to be unsure if you like it or not.

I’m hoping that if I can get some basic clothes that fit I’ll feel better.

I’m also going to try to take more outfit pictures because for me, exposure works. I feel weird about my body so I need to see it this way more.

Okay I think that’s it for right now. Next time we’ll talk about shopping for leggings when you don’t have awesome leggings money, wearing printed leggings and ways to find leggings that will work with your particular booty.

Some visual inspo.

So let’s talk about some of the people I find beautiful.

I know I have a few readers who use screen readers and I’ve been trying really hard to do better image descriptions, if any of y’all have suggestions as to how I can do better PLEASE tell me. I’m very not confident that I’m doing them right.

Let’s dive in.

stevie

[image description: Stevie Nicks in a black and white photo posed as if dancing. She is wearing a tophat and sheery layered dress]

Okay, my first Goth flavored love was Stevie Nicks. Y’all, I cannot tell you how many times I was buck naked draped in a blanket spinning and caterwauling Rhiannon or marching to Tusk. I’ve always found her mesmerizing and occasionally to this day I will put on a shawl and spin.

Next up, Sigourney Weaver from Alien. Yes, I probably shouldn’t have seen that movie so young but I did and frankly between her and the Xenomorph queen well….here I am. Between Ripley being the most bad ass woman I had ever seen, her angular handsome face, and how unglamorous she was and so focused on ass kickery- y’all. If I wasn’t pretty fuckin queer at birth I will say that Ripley made me. I mean-

aliens_sigourney_weaver_ellen_ripley

[Image description: Sigourney Weaver with short brown hair, holding a child in one arm and a large gun in the other. 

Looking back, I both wanted to look like Ripley AND be rescued/loved by her.

siouxsie-sioux-e1441057646207-640x421

[image description: Siouxsie Sioux sitting, she has on fishnet hosiery, tall black boots, black shorts and a black vest. Her hair is big and teased, her eyes are close.

Siouxsie Sioux. I mean. I’m a Goth you knew what it would be. I remember seeing a poster of her in my punk babysitter’s room and instantly was in awe. The sharpness of her make up, the red lips, the eye. It was everything I wanted. I fell in early and deep love with punk and goth folks because I love me some dirty not pretty/pretty glamour. Give me grimy. The torn tights, the smeared eye-

Y’all.

I had no chance.

Nothing could have stopped the Gothness.

Now, rather than load up eleventy million more photos, y’all get my drift and I’ll leave some names at the bottom of this entry.

From a very young age, say about 5-6 I understood that I couldn’t be as glamorous as any of the people I found beautiful. I was dark (way darker than I am now) and small and chubby. I had an awareness that dark chunky little Shannon did not exist within the framework of white and pretty.

I couldn’t have said that, but I understood it. What I find most interesting about it is that, it was really just a thing I settled on and didn’t dwell upon. I didn’t know yet to feel bad about it, it was just a thing and I dealt with it. So, I played dress up and I spent HOURS putting on make up when someone let me, and hours studying the walks and poses. I remember once sitting in a makeup artist’s chair while my Mom was getting her hair cut so she could do some headshots for a salon and I sat with a fashion magazine and carefully duplicated a look.

The make up artist was so pleased and I loved it so much. He was pleased that I didn’t make a mess of his stuff and that I was so quiet and glamorous. I remember how good it felt to be acknowledged and seen that way. These days I’d equate it to the moments when other Femmes and I give each other the, YASSS BITCH nod and understand we’re being pretty gay with each other.

It’s the same feeling when friends post thirst trap photos and I can say LOOK at that ass and everybody knows what it is. It’s never gross or whatever because we trust each other to see each other.

When I got to about the 5th grade, then I started to feel bad for not being White nor pretty. I started to equate White and Pretty with value as a human being. That was reinforced by living in America and being one of very few Black kids in my community. I had no mirror for myself. That is when I started to really internalize ALL the anti-Blackness.

Shit is fucked up.

Around that time I also decided that my interests in alternative style was bullshit and stupid because there was no WAY I could have ever subjected people to my fat Black ass in clothes meant for Thin Pretty White girls. I would have told you at the time that I just wasn’t interested, but wouldn’t have been able to articulate why.

That was a burden I carried early.

Outside of my bedroom dress up (which I did and still do to this day) at the time I did not let my real tastes be known. Year’s at home by myself, I learned to wear forty pounds of black eyeliner by the time I was in the 8th grade, but I wouldn’t dare do it out of the house. Parental objections aside, I just didn’t believe I was allowed to engage with fashion or beauty that way.

Through high school beauty became a painful thing for me. I couldn’t buy make up because there wasn’t brown make up for me to have access to, I was just baby woke and just learning about feminism so I decided that I didn’t need it and was weak and anti-woman to want it.

I was lying. I desperately wanted to wear my hair in a caeser (it was the 90s hoes), I wanted to wear ugly babydoll dresses and combat boots. I wanted to wear tight babydoll tshirts and just so baggy pants. I wanted to look like Adina Howard and dress like Siouxsie.

I didn’t because I was of course ALL wrong for all of that.

Later I explored a bit more. I decided since I was fat and ugly anyway, I’d just wear what the fuck I wanted to wear. I wore a lot of glitter on my face, and a lot of costume jewelry, and a lot of masc thrift store vintage clothes. I wasn’t feeling brave but, like I wanted to shock people with my body.

There wre years at the time where I was very uh, self destructive with my beauty and aesthetics because I could not realize that I did deserve them and that I could engage with beauty. Shit was hard.

As I got older, I started working it out. For a few years I was the wears ultra minis and vinyl in the daytime type Goth. I was a fancy Goth for a minute. I gave it all up and wore khakis and sports wear for a couple of years (that was awful) and through my mid-20s I was perfecting my casual Femme office gothness.

Let’s wrap up here for now. Y’all see where it all started.

Next time we talk my tastes, I’ll show y’all what inspires me on a fantastical level.

When Poor Kid Feels Do Me Right

These are from my Twitter stream yesterday-

I put these on storify for easy reading.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of financial anxiety. I can’t say that it’s reasonable levels of anxiety, but to be honest, this is pretty much the last frontier in terms of things that just Fuck Me Up.
For some extra background, I’ll talk about some of where this particular trauma response comes from.
I’m sure we’ve all heard these supposed ways that we poor folks can save 1000$ dollars a year or whatever shit. These ideas are based on the premise that if we just stop spending “frivolously” we’d have savings.
Even way back when in the mid90s when yours truly was a baby adult trying to figure shit out, I was told that sort of thing. Back then I think the highest paying job I had was about 6.25$ an hour.
Right and I bought it. Even back then. I’d learned to budget in school and my budgets typically were basics, rent first, no cell phone back then so everything after rent (even then I had to pay gentrification prices which is a whole other thing) took up about 75$ of my checks. I spent most of the rest of my checks on things like bus passes, feeding myself (usually the dollar menu at Wendy’s. I could eat to stay alive for 2$ a day it wasn’t okay), and the few vices I had.
At that time my main vices were smoking, appetite suppressant pills (for the energy and to save money on food, I vividly recall mathing that out and finding that it was cheaper to do that rather than eat, also a whole other post) and I really loved to do one day every three weeks or so where I splurged. Usually I’d take five dollars, get a very good coffee and go prowl my favorite used book store for hours until I found the perfect book for under 1.50.
Back then I was deeply committed to trying to financially better myself. I took odd jobs, I stripped under the radar, I worked some other not really above board jobs. What I didn’t understand back then was that even when I was doing stuff under the table, normally it did not work out in my favor. For some jobs, the taxes were enough to pretty much negate my ability to save, etc.
Even then I had the low key understanding of how problematic a lot of these savings schemes are. I didn’t have the language, but I got it.
Most of the ideas and plans for savings I see assume a LOT of things such as but not limited to:
  • You have X amount of dollars you spend every day on “frivolities”
  • You drive.
  • You can afford in the most technical sense (as in having 2.5-3 times your rent in income) to live where you do.

Now a lot of the language around these things is very paternalistic and designed to induce guilt if you as a poor person ever treat yourself to “frivololities”

All of us poor folks have heard it. I got it a lot while I was writing for XOJane because obviously I can’t actually be poor if I ever have a nice thing (a Clarisonic), I waste money because I like makeup, I waste money because sometimes I want a beer or a slurpee, I’m terrible because I “encouraged” poor folks buy themselves things if they want to.

I bring this up because I believed it. Up through my early 30s, I still in my heart believed that my poverty was because I was too ignorant to make good choices, that I was somehow morally inferior to other people. I internalized the things I was taught from childhood up, that mingled together to fuck up my self esteem. It caused me to really spend a lot of time feeling like a shit person because I couldn’t afford things, I couldn’t “stick” to a savings plan, I couldn’t pull myself up by my bootstraps out of poverty.

All of this created a cycle of terror, self hatred, shame and panic that became really vicious. I devalued a lot of the poor folks skills I have/had. My ducks ass tight budgets, my ability to even pre-internet access find ALL them deals, my ability to barter, ways I learned to live a better quality of life while being in poverty. It wasn’t good enough.

Looking back over the years, I’ve endured some financial fuckery. Being stolen from, having a landlord go SUPER mega slumlord and rook me out of about 5K, being rooked out of 3-4.5K in shitty dental work. Things that were huge and ruined my entire life.

Fast forward to right now.

I have done a lot of work on this. I have spent so much time reteaching myself and figuring out what I actually believe.

Thus lately I’ve been struggling. I have a deep desire to improve the quality of the life my partner and I are living. We need some stuff and haven’t been able to afford all of it and it sent me into a bit of a shame spiral.SO I was doing that thing, the obsessive balance checking, the self loathing because there was personal self-care stuff I needed, shame because I also need some other stuff like pants and shoes.

But the silver lining is that after my obsessive checking and budgeting, I realized today that we’re 100% on target this month and last month. There has been a dip in my side hustle income through not much fault of my own, but, damn it we’re doing the damn thing.

I am able to plan for my partner’s birthday, we are eating good, satisfying food, I got partner new pants and supplied with his preferred medications.

AND today I realized that I have a little bit of enough mad money to get a new pair of walking shoes and maybe some facial masks.

I realized today that holy fucking shit I am DOING THE DAMN THING. No, I can’t afford to buy name brand shoes, I can’t afford to move  and I’m still living in poverty, but I am not living in miserable poverty.

There’s less coming in but life is good.

That is huge.

Okay, if you struggle with this sort of thing, y’all- it can get better. If I can learn to not abuse myself and let myself live a better quality of life because I fucking deserve it, not because I’ve “earned” it..you can too.

I leave y’all with this.

didthething

Image is a gold star with the text “Congratulations” on top and on bottom “you did the thing”

I love y’all. The next post I’m gonna have some natural hair struggle bus updates, soon another wig review and I’ll give some beginner hair care tips I wish someone had given me.

 

 

[<a href=”//storify.com/Weebeasty/poor-kid-feels” target=”_blank”>View the story “Poor Kid Feels” on Storify</a>]

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.

 

How to Write about Fat People

Lately on the facebooks and around the internet I’ve seen a trend I both love and hate.

I’ve seen clickbaity stories where the big reveal is OMG this person is doing a thing AND HOLY FUCKING SHIT THEY ARE FAT.

The other thing I see is like this:

Video link gets posted and the description is something like blablabla, despite being fat, blablabla but fat/large/rotund/enter other cutesy word that is not fat.

Here is the problem.

It’s not body positive at all to use fat people doing things that seem extraordinary (exercising, being cute in a bikini, walking, living you know being human) in spite of what we perceive as something insurmountable to doing the thing. Being fat.

(This also applies to disability inspiration porn, but we’ll get to that)

We don’t expect fat people to ever, EVER dare to feel good about themselves or have the body confidence or style or an interest in dancing or running or yoga or ANYTHING deemed by our culture as beyond the reach of people who live in fat bodies.

Viewed through the moralistic lens that tells us that in addition to being unsightly, being fat is just immoral, these articles, video shares etc support the idea that being fat is the thing that will make it hard to attain goals. Whether they are flying to Paris, buying a wedding dress, getting a tattoo, whatever. Fat people are often expected to be constantly vigilant about not being fat anymore.

Whether that is through constant dieting, pathological eating or exercise habits, by any means necessary. Fat people are often expected to make that the priority.

There is our setup.

Next, when we present fat people doing things and have the background to understand that their fatness is not only supposed to be unsightly, it is also immoral and as our culture dictates the one thing that might keep fat people from doing things.

If we are coming from that point, of course we have to put the modifiers on our discussions of fat people doing things.

Large but graceful…

Plus size and so brave….

Unhealthy fat bitch but oh wow, I wish I could do that (an actual comment I saw on a dance video last night).

This is such a problem riddle me this.

A photo of one of the fat, like really fucking fat yoga person in a complicated beautiful poses. They had their hams out and fat flyin in the wind and it was pretty amazing. Half of the posts where people (both fat and not) who first wanted to talk about how the yoga person would have been SO MUCH BETTER if they were thinner, and then with the modifiers in place talk about how great it is to see a fat person overcoming their fatness to do something.

The mind fuck is real.

This is not how to write about or talk to fat people. But, I don’t expect better from comments because, we all know why.

I do take issue with writers who are too lazy to stop doing that.

Language matters. How we use it can often start conversations where we can first question commonly held harmful ideas, challenge them and start changing them first for ourselves and like a virus for others.

Before I get into the language miss me with the PC Police whining bullshit. Just don’t. If that’s your stance, why the fuck are you here?

Moving on.

If a writer chooses a phrase like: large but graceful we as the reader understand instinctively that this is an anomaly because large and graceful cannot coexist.

Further, when we add in cultural ideas about fatness we see that this person is virtuous because they are “doing something” (whether the fat person is dancing or doing something for weight loss or not) and by choosing to use this language the writer is othering the person from bad fat people. That type of phrase reinforces the idea that fatness is the barrier to a fat person doing things, rather than as is often the case society.

I will take a risk here and peak for a lot of fat people and say that often when fat folks aren’t doing things they love or that make them feel good it isn’t because of their bodies but how they are treated by people.

I’ll use myself as an example.

I love to dance. I had a period of time where I had money and time to take a class and I took the free one. What wound up happening was this attitude. I was patted on the back for doing something because the presumption was that I was doing it to not be fat anymore and not because I loved it. I was given back handed praise, “you’re doing well for someone your size good job!” And a few times was harassed, women snickering at my fat ass in my yoga pants.

See also when I was running while fat, having garbage thrown at me, people mooing at me, looks of disgust when I was at the gym.

Like a lot of other fat folks, it was not my body preventing me or making me stop doing those things. It was the stress of being publicly humiliated to one degree or another.

Combating this whole problem is pretty simple.

Stop using the modifiers.

Correct them when you share a story or video.

You can say this person is graceful/awesome as fuck.

That’s it.

Don’t use fat people as some sort of personal force to make you feel better about yourself or to shame other people into doing things.

It’s a good start to unlearning the way we talk about people who are doing things while having non-normative bodies or ability or neurological differences.

This is part of doing the work in terms of body politics.

Think about it.

The Life and Times of a Twitchy Flailer.

If you’ve not seen me in meatspace you have yet to witness the awesome elegance and poetry in movement that is me stumbling around in the Spring.

Part of my seasonal allergies that are my ears clog up and I already uh, not super awesome balance is further off. I can’t walk a straight line, I often list hard to port or starboard, I kind of stumble over nothing.

I do it in my apartment, I do it walking around-I just stumble all over and on occasion someone will ask if I’m drunk or have CP.

I tell you this because I have a story to tell you about how elegant and majestic I really am.

Ready?

Picture yours truly at about 22 years old in the summer, it is a warm beautiful day in downtown Seattle circa 1999. I was job hunting and really desperately wanted to work at this bourgie little gallery place. I had a friend help me dye my hair burgundy, I had my eyebrows shaped by a girl I was seeing. I had my I take no shit red lipstick on.

I even remember I was wearing a beautiful vintage sundress I had carefully dyed black. I was in modern parlance feelin myself.

As I strode up first avenue, arms swinging, doing my I have places to go so move walk, something happened.

I was quite thin for me at the time and didn’t have the money for new underwear. I had on my nicest pair, a pretty silky string bikini type. For those with less booty in the pants, if you’ve worn silky undies, y’all know, sometimes they get a little roomy in the butt area. the sensation is weird, loose fabric occasionally rubbing your butt cheeks, but you get used to it.

I was too busy thinking about the interview to realize disaster was about to strike in the form of me walking right out of my panties.

I kind of tripped over them as they slid off of one ankle.

I had a few choices.

I could stop, turn, go back and pick them up and put them in my purse.

I could stand there mortified and hoping the ground would swallow me.

I looked at my abandoned panties, checked the time and sprinted to my interview. No tears and cackling.

Another story, more than a decade later.

I was doing my normal walk to the transit center and one second I was walking the next I was rolling around in some beauty bark showing my entire ass (the ONE day I wore cute undies that fit thankfully) and flailing like a weirdo.

A couple of drunk men helped me, they thought I was crying and I was in fact howling in laughter. I’d managed to not break my phone, not break my glasses and not hurt myself. I was covered in stinky bits of dirt and wood, but, it was hilarious. Once I got to my feet I laughed, they laughed. They offered to buy me a beer, which I declined.

I have fallen in public more times than I can count. Stone cold sober, I fell down a flight of stairs trying to make a grand entrance at a club. I’ve had a boob fall out when I was trying to (again) pretend to be regal.

Just today as I was heading out on my last leg of my commute to work I almost fell out of the bus, got my shit together and went into Starbucks. I’ve got a massive headache and got myself an Americano and because I don’t take room the cup was really full. I managed to get my three raw sugars, a dash of chocolate powder and a bit of cinnamon into the cup, stir it and the lid back on without spilling.

I got a little, uh, stopper thing and made myself walk slowly the last couple of blocks to work because I know, I know damn well had I hurried I would have fallen or spilled on myself or something.

My magical point is this. Know yourself, know your foibles and don’t stress too hard about it.

I am a twitchy, jumpy, bad balance having, frequently unable to operate my body person. That’s just how it is and sometimes it sucks (falling and staining/tearing favorite clothes or hurting myself) I spill things constantly, I’m weird and much like an asshole cat.

And you know what?

Fuck it.

Be as inelegant, awesome and prone to taking falls of epic proportions. You’re still awesome.

Be the Shruggie. I am the Shruggie.

shruggie

Goodbye Fat Booty.

CW: Unintentional Weight Loss. Mourning the fatness.

I have self identified bodily and personally as a fat person for a very long time.  For years I was a pretty comfortable size 16/18ish. Things with my body were going pretty well.

And then (not literally) suddenly I was not fat anymore.

This has not been easy or felt very good. This is not about some new miracle unicorn pee weight loss thing. I realized just past Black Friday last year after I purchased some winter clothing that I no longer knew how to buy clothes for the body I have, I don’t know immediately what size to buy. I don’t know my body anymore.

In the mirror my body doesn’t look like my own. My belly is not my belly. It’s a weird smaller belly. My butt, my fucking butt no longer fills out my pants. Even my smaller pants. There is not enough booty in the pants and it feels weird.

I’ve been really struggling with my body image at this size. I’m (I finally measured) about a size 10-12. Solidly no longer plus size (except in the boobs/shoulders) and in the bullshit limbo between jrs and grown up woman. I feel self conscious and aware of my body in a way that isn’t nice and I don’t like it.

I’ve been hating my body quite a lot.

This is not the body I was in love with.

People have called me tiny. Some friends have been worried about my health in a real holy shit are you sick kind of way.

I’m pretty healthy metabolically speaking. My generally low BP is what it is, I’ve been working very hard to not let my blood sugar crash and to eat regularly and well. I’m working on my stress levels and everything.

But-

Again the magical idea of weight loss hasn’t made anything better for me. When I first noticed it, I was completely devastated. I’d saved up some money for clothes from one of the awesome fatty boutiques priced stores and yeah no. Emotionally, I’m heartbroken.

On one level I feel the loss and fear that I won’t have my fat community anymore. There are folks who I’ve known for years. This isn’t a reflection on them, it’s on my own loss.

I feel like it’s more difficult to explain my body politics because why should the formerly fatass be talking about fat folks stuff? The fact that my opinions and ideas about bodies and fatness haven’t changed, I find it harder to get through the initial impression my actual body makes on folks that then makes it hard for them to engage with the words that are coming out of my mouth.

And, if I’m going to keep it 100% I am in mourning. I’m mourning my fatness, and my belly and my side rolls and my slightly rounder booty and how I could pack it in a size 14 dress and look like a chubby vixen cartoon character and how my butt looked in my size 16 Old navy The sweetheart pants.

I’m mourning having to reteach myself to use my online thrifting super power.

I’m mourning fatness.

I’m mourning the body I loved and it’s been really fucking hard. Folks who follow me around the internet have seen that it’s rare I post OOTD’s anymore. I used to say it was a lack of a good way to take them, but the truth is I just didn’t want people to see my body.

I’ve spent a lot of time denying that this has been  happening. My pants were just stretched out because they are old. It’s totally normal to have to hold up your pants with a hair tie. Totally normal for your new tights (bought for your old sized ass) fall down when you walk. It was fine.

I was fine.

I’m not fine.

I’ve been slowly culling my clothes. Purging the worn out ugly shit I have held on to because I’m afraid to invest in pieces, lest the size of my ass change again.

I’m trying to adjust.

I’m trying not to be angry at myself and my ass. I’m trying to learn to love this new body. I’m suspicious of it. I’m a little afraid of it.

I’m trying to see the silver lining. Clothing options in my price range have increased and because I’m deeply aware of this privilege it makes me very angry.

I haven’t talked a lot about this with anyone even my Wifey (my best friend of almost 20 years) because it’s so fucking hard. My feelings are all over the place, but are mostly bad. I want my fat ass back. I don’t want to be so hateful towards my body. That is something I have done so much emotional work around I feel like I’m having to start over again.

But this is a start.

This is also another reason why I wanted to start blogging again. These are big, complicated feelings that I need my own space to work through.

All this said, in an attempt to do a little bit of reclamation this is me now.

Behold an OOTD from the bathroom of a fancy hotel.

artho

The author, a chubby Black woman wearing a long black dress. 

There I am now.