Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Late night Fatty musings.

I know most people in and around the Fatosphere are not enthused about Forever21's new weirdly named "Faith21" supposedly plus size line.

I am a little geeked however. One because I'm not sized out and more importantly not priced out. There are a few pieces that I really -really- fucking love (at least on sight) and can actually afford.

The size issue for me is way less important to me than the price issue. Economically speaking it doesn't matter what size I am, 80% of the time I can't afford the clothing I like and I don't have the skills to make it myself.

Which is what (okay it's taken me forever to figure this out) kind of chapped my ass about a recent conversation over at Fatshionista about inbetweenie privilege. It wasn't so much the issue that yes, as someone who's on the smaller end of fat there is privilege in me being able to ostensibly walk into a store and buy.

What stuck in my craw was somewhere in that vast conversation there was the suggestion that inbetweenie people only or try to post things that come from actual plus size stores.

I fully own that whomever said it was a.)not talking to me and b.) this is my own shit but that is what got me all butthurt.

I had this intense and bad feeling of being unwelcome. Aside from people expressing discomfort about not as fat bodies. Just a heads up, even if it's your private space that still hurts. I'm not saying how you feel is invalid but it hurts. It might not be a personal thing but it does in fact feel like a personal thing.

Back on topic.

I can't buy clothes from places like Igigi, Eshakti, Torrid (most of the time) unless I do some amazing thrifting and I just had that feeling.

I suppose if you've never been poor you might not get it.

I don't know how to really explain how deeply this particular economic pain is for me personally.

Sometimes I get so frustrated because I often wind up getting what I can afford versus what I would love and after spending a long time struggling, and years making decisions like do laundry or eat for the week it just chaps my ass.

Granted I'm not quite that poor anymore.

But it's still there and highly colors my view sometimes of the things people in the fat community say.

I've learned to separate my personal butthurt feelings from what I feel are more specific issues and it's been hard.

So yeah I can tell you how when whatever company is lambasted for say being a shit company (walmart), sometimes having questionable adverts/product listings (Torrid) or having a shitty start to plus size clothes, there is a part of me (sometimes more of me than I'd like to admit) that is really hurt.

What I often want to say is, "good for you, you have that option but some of us are fucking poor and get it where we can."

I don't usually because other places are not my litterbox to piss in and I don't like engaging about an issue that I quite frankly can't do anything about.

And if I'm telling you my homies the truth, the next person that talks to me about my shopping ethics is getting kicked in the shin.

If I hear one more person give me a yer terrible for buying drawers at Walmart you should buy 18$ all organic fair trade drawers, they can fuck right off.

Now it wasn't just the Fatshionista that kicked up my Poor Folks hackles.

I also missed a really awesome local event because Uniballer and I can't afford tickets to things like that and my work schedule/back problems preclude me from doing a lot of volunteering.

It gets me down.

Also the fact that if we had money for tickets I wouldn't have anything to wear.


Your very own Gothity darkity darkdark dark does not have clubwear anymore.

Because I can't afford it.

Granted, I could cobble something together for say a night out at the Mercury or one of the Vogue nights but I don't have anything fancy and my attempts at fancy have not been uh...fancy.

And it gets me down sometimes.

However, I am pulling out of it I think.

Things are looking up.

I've got some actual stock made for the crocheted uglycute accessories store I want to open on Etsy. Uniballer and I are way more financially stable than we have been in awhile.

And I worked through it which is the most important thing.

For a long time I've had a habit of just pushing these things out of the way because I have to do other shit. I have to work. I have to try to be a better partner to Uniballer. There's all this other stuff and I'm only just learning that sometimes it's okay to slow my roll and deal with my own shit.

So that's where I've been and what Spring is about for me apparently is working through my shit.

You know what I mean?

Now how about some links?

Oh WAIT I have new advice that is like LIFE advice people, I feel so honored anyone would ask me for advice not having to do with sexytimes and I am working on your advice my homie.

Okay so links..worksafe first.

Okay if you haven't heard you better ask somebody Marianne and Kate's BOOK IS FREAKING OUT. FUCK YES you guys. FUCK YEAH. I am so happy and excited for you both.

Peggy posted herself in her underpants and I really love her post go read it. Also I'm still 12 saying underpants makes me giggle out loud no lie. And yeah not totally worksafe if your workplace is averse to ladies in panties.

Via BigLiberty I found a new blog called “Real Stories of Fat Hate and Discrimination”. You should read it.

Now for some totally not work safe stuff mmkay.

So via my latest serious girlcrush (Oh YES baby I am talking about your fine ass) Mollena I have discovered a fetish photographer who's work is hugely representative of some of the things I've ranted about when it comes to fetish and sexual photography. Eurocrush let me show you him.

Fucking beautiful. So many photographs that touch me and not just in a crotch tingly kind of way. His models aren't photoshopped into unrecognizable interchangeable fetish barbies. I just fucking love his photos.

Next up a Sex and Gender blog I discovered on Twitter. Sexgenderbody. Absolutely worth a read.

Next up, yet another girlycrush. Artist Hazel Dooney. I like the way she writes, I love her art. No really I fucking love it because it makes me think and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

One more, more worksafe is UglyArt by UglyShyla. You'll notice I've had her banner her just below the lovely Miss Sarah for a long time. I really like her a lot. I don't always get her art but I enjoy it. I have a couple of her pieces. One clothing item and an art card thingy that I bought from her years and years ago. I also think she's a pretty cool person.

Okay it's late and Uniballer and I have yet to have dinner and I needs a bath.

So I'm back and feeling pretty punchy. I am still having insane allergies. I think this year I'm allergic to fucking Washington in general and the meds that work leave me really groggy and stupid.

And I owe someone an email what the hell?

OH no wait I got it, it's none other than one of my other favorite people and authors M.Christian. Google him, he is fantastic and a total sweetheart.

So yeah email, foods, bath, nails bed.

Homo Out.



Anonymous said...

Okay, so the whole poor thing? Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing that up. I often feel very left out when it comes to fat fashion stuff...I've got the other problem, that I'm on the high end of plus...because all the stores with clothing I like that is of decent-enough quality (not just your standard fattie rayon-spandex thin-as-paper mix), I can't afford in my current situation.

Igigi? Love it. And I wear lots of dresses and need careerish stuff for some events at work. Can't afford even the clearance stuff (which often I'm sized out of, anyway). Torrid? Some of their stuff I really like, but can't afford it except if it's on clearance, and with Torrid there can be a severe quality issue (Torrid bras = pain pain pain!). Avenue? A lot of their stuff is really cheezy and cheapo. Lane Bryant? Too expensive, and most of the time NOT my style. However, they generally score high on the quality scale.

So yeah, most of the time I find myself at brick-and-mortar plus stores like Walmart/Fashion Bug, looking through the clearance there, and looking forward to the day when I can afford a sewing machine so I can make the clothing a little more personalized and cooler. For now, I often feel like a rag-bag where not much that I own fits right, or is that great quality. I just deal, and throw on a sh**load of accessories!

Oh and hey, the "Real Stories of Fat Hate and Discrimination" blog is brandy-new, so only has a couple posts. If anyone has stories, even ones they've already posted on their blogs or journals (I'll be happy to give link-candy), please send them in! Comment on the "About" page with you story (it will go straight to the moderation cue, from where I will post it). You can post anonymously, with a handle, or with your real name.

richie79 said...

Amen on the bashing of cheap clothing outlets. Walmart jeans are a lifesaver for me. Their UK subsidiary ASDA carries only cuts and sizes intended for the UK market (ie. stupidly low waists and tapered legs you can barely get your feet through) but the US stores have lovely big 'relaxed' jeans for $9 in waist sizes up to 52" and if the store is sold out you can buy them online. They've lasted longer than any I've had before or since too.

Oh, and BL? I LOVE the new blog and will be posting something to it very soon. It's a great idea and if it takes off will be an invaluable resource for those seeking to convince the sort of skeptics that accuse us of 'disresepecting REAL civil rights struggles' that fat hate happens, frequently wrecking lives in the process.

spacedcowgirl said...

I had a bunch of other rambling crap typed out, but mainly I just wanted to say that I'm sorry you are stressed about money issues and that part of it is caused by thoughtless people who tend not to consider others' situations before they open their mouths. I will admit that I am guilty of this sometimes myself. But anyway, I hope the Fatshionista thing works out in a way that everyone can feel welcome.

Shoshie said...

I'm a graduate student, so I totally hear you on the poor thing. I do ok for myself because I lucked out with cheap rent in Seattle, but finding clothing in my price range is HARD. Igigi is certainly out. I get my jeans mostly on Avenue clearance because people tend not to like their non-stretchy jeans so they get thrown on clearance. I prefer the non-stretch ones, so it works. Most of my other clothing is from various sales and fashion bug clearance. Or thrifting.

I really disliked the tone of a lot of the comments surrounding the Faith 21 line. I haven't looked at the line itself too much, but there were way negative attitudes towards smaller fats, hourglass fats, etc. There's certainly privilege associated with being a smaller fatty or an hourglass fatty (of which I'm one), but there's no reason to be attacking fellow fatties. People need to learn to express anger towards the thing they're angry at.

Um, sorry, that was a bit of a rant.

Raven Nightshade said...

I understand completely about being financially strained. I can't afford to pay full price anywhere but Wal-Mart, but I still go for clearance first. I still have yet to attempt an online purchase from Old Navy because I don't want to deal with $7 shipping and the possibility of having return shipping deducted from my refund if I return something.

I have to wait for "Extra 50% off clearance" time at Torrid to buy something, but pickings are getting thin. I can't fit into their pants or skirts at all, and the abundance of non-office-friendly clothing have no place in my life anymore. It's starting to become an "accessory" store for me like Hot Topic has been for years.

When I do buy something, it's from a thrift store, or it's on super-clearance. My upper limit is $25 for dresses, $15 for pants and skirts, $20 for shirts, and $25 for shoes. The cheaper, the better.

I don't care about Wal-Mart's business practices because I know several people who have had positive job experiences there. My brother spent 10 years with them, a college friend managed to get his boyfriend on his health insurance plan, and a high school friend got herself promoted to management with them.

Kristie said...

I, too, have noticed the economic disparities among those of us in the Fatosphere. I'll see a new name of a plus-size shop that I've never heard of; then I'll go there and see a $185 dress, and I know why. I'll never shop there, and I am not poor. I'm just not $185-a-dress wealthy. I think those who have choices where to shop should count themselves lucky; I do. When you're barely scraping by, those are the politics you have to focus on--the politics of socioeconomics; for those who are in a better financial place, they can worry about the politics of Walmart. Certainly, there's enough work to do in all areas, and I'm never going to judge someone for shopping at Walmart. Bought the hubbies glasses there the other day, because it was the best deal in town. It's Maslow's hierarchy of needs--you cannot worry about lofty shit when you're worried about feeding, sheltering, and clothing yourself. If you've climbed past those worries, then you're lucky, not superior.

Jesse said...

THANK you, thank you! Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who can't afford to wear stylish fatgirl clothes, and then I read posts like yours, and I feel so much better! I've been wearing thrift store clothing since I was a little, little kid (when I was growing up, field trips were something we could afford to attend only some of the time). Now, I make about two hundred dollars a week if I'm lucky, and eat pizza for dinner day in and day out because I work for a pizza restaurant and it's free. I'd love to be a fatshonista, but cannot afford Torrid, or Igigi, or any of the stores that I'd like to be able to afford.

Just recently, I had a complete teary breakdown because I gained ten pounds and my pants don't fit, and I can't even afford new eyeglasses right now, and how am I going to find the time and the money to go through Goodwill for hours and hours and days and days to find a couple of pairs of work pants that fit AND look professional?

So thank you for being poor like me, and for understanding, and for posting things like this, because it makes things a little more bearable knowing I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm just posting this comment to say, "Poor person solidarity." And, "underpants."

Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you. I'm a grad student, and I haven't lucked out with good rent - rents are crazy high where I live, as is food, electricity, gas, insurance, basically everything else. I *hate* shopping at Wal-Mart for so many reasons, but hey, I can get a decent pair of jeans that will last me years for under $25.

I'd love to buy some of the stuff at Igigi and Torrid - I'm not either a fashionista or fatshionista, more of a hippie chick, but they still have some stuff I like. But the prices are waaaaayyy out of my range.

People talk on the fat-o-sphere about "inbetween privilege" (and at a 12/14 I'm an inbetweenie). But this is the first post I can recall addressing economic privilege, which I think many fat bloggers are still ignorant of. Not all of us can drop $50 on a shirt or $150+ on a dress. That's more like a 6-month+ clothing budget for me.

Anonymous said...

Nudiemuse, you did it again. THANK YOU.

Good to know it's not just me who can't quite afford the *ahem* "fly fatty gear": I too have noticed the economic disparity and the inbetweenie "beefs". The latter, uh, I don't get it.

On a personal note, I just finished circling BCF's plus section: selection's not bad and and I did grab three tops in the end. Like many of you, I'm also a "wallet inbetweenie"--far from wealthy, but not poor either. I grab what I need when I need it, even when same is from the thrift store. Again, thank you.

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