Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am not a nice White Lady.

Before reading this post I need you to go read these posts by me.

Where is the Fats.

Where it all Intersects and makes a Shannon.

E Tu Brute.

If you don't want to go read all those let me break it down for you.

One of the reasons I get so angry and I take long breaks from blogging is because over and over again especially when it comes to racial matters this is what happens.

Someone asks/I make a post about race.

EVERYTHING I say is questioned to goddamn death.

I get asked for further proof. I get asked to educate. People demand more and more and more yet never actually take what I say into account or take it seriously.

Then magically a white lady comes along, says all the same shit I've already said SUDDENLY it all makes sense right?

When I say a lot of the same things I see going around right now, White people tell me I'm pulling the race card. They get angry when I ask nicely even for them to just listen. I get told I'm race baiting.

Fuck.

Okay look this is why POC like me get so angry.

When I try and try and try and spend so much energy trying to educate and nothing gets through. When I work and work and work, and share my actual lived fucking exprience and talk about things that cause me pain, no one gives a fuck.

No I'm not talking about most of my regulars but I know y'all have seen it happen.

I am angry because I feel discounted, I feel silenced and the worst the absolute worst is that I feel like I'm being plagiarized even though logically I know I'm not.

Long ago I took in and accepted that when it comes to FA and whatnot, chances are I will not nor ever be A Voice.

It doesn't matter what or how I say something, I'm not a White person so White people are not trying to hear what I have to say.

Look at what I said in 2008:


Note: These are not all things exclusive to or entirely related to Fat Acceptance but come from 31 years on the planet and a lot of interaction with my fellow humans.Declarations of color blindness in terms of racial issues, might be a lovely idea in theory but has no place in my existence. the fact is that every time i hear someone extolling their virtuous color blindedness here is what i feel. If racial issues are brought up and you respond with vehement declarations of how little color matters to you, clearly you are for whatever reason uncomfortable.
Look what I said in 2009:

First impression is that I am again disappointed. I am disappointed that people still cannot fathom or don't want to even try to understand that yes race intersects with my experience of fatness (note I am using personal pronouns here because I am not the Dowager Empress of Black People and can only speak for my own feelings) and has contributed mightily to my over all experience and point of view in life. 

Why do POC have to continually beg, plead and try so hard to engage in every  way we can think of until all we have left is pain and anger, then magically someone White explains it and it's all so clear.

That is racism in action.

Am I saying that the individual people who can't take the word of a POC when it comes to understanding racism are racist? No. I'm saying that the constant disbelief and inability for White people to ever take a POC on their word is a function of racism.

It is racism in action when instead of listening to the words of people who have every day practical experience with these things, it only makes sense when it's presented in theory by a White person.

I am so angry.

A lot of people of color are angry because we just can't fucking win for losing nor be heard.

I don't even know what else to say.

I keep feeling like there's no point in saying anything because well, no one will take it seriously until a Nice White Lady says it.

I don't fully believe that but it's how I'm feeling right now.

I'm also still really fucking hurt.

My regulars, y'all know I"m not really talking about you. A lot of you have told me when y ou really get it. You've apologized when you didn't have to, you've been overall pretty damn awesome.

I'm half blowing steam and half just trying not to sit down and cry my eyes out.

So I may take a little hiatus. I may not. I just don't know.

While I'm deciding I do have other news. You can now buy my little fiction collection on Kindle. Check that out right here. 

I'm working on the second collection and I'm working on an erotica collection that I plan to shop around.

Right now I need a time out. I'm heartsick and I kind of want to barf.

Homo Out.



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Monday, March 26, 2012

ORLY Indie Designers?

Just so y'all know I cannot do/engage with anything serious right now.

So fashion.

We all know I'm an indie/alt design lover.

I have finally pretty much accepted that I cannot now nor likely will not be able to afford indie/alt designers for the most part and it breaks my heart but fine.

Okay here's the thing I keep finding over and over again and one of the things Joanna on Project Runway All Stars kept harping on.

WHY the fuck can't I wear a bra with that?

It seemed to me for about two years some indie/alt designers actually got on the band wagon and realized that non-model sized people have money and want to spend it.

I'm not even talking about fat people just now. I'm talking about your average awesome consumer with some kick ass taste and a love for fancy things.

Okay let's bring being a fat ass into it.

Here's the thing that so many Indie/Alt designers do, and why they are doing it wrong.

I have personally emailed DOZENS of indie/alt designers asking about sizing etc. Here's how the majority of those conversations have gone:

Me: HEY you're awesome, I love this design. I have a fat ass. Please make it in more sizes so I can give you this handfull of cash.

Designer: Awww thanks you love me but I don't know how to make fat sizes/don't know fat people/don't think this is the "right look" for your body type etc.

Me: DOOD, seriously I WANT TO GIVE YOU MY MONEY.

Designer: Awww I LOVE all bodies but no.

Rinse repeat.

The other versions of this conversation are either dead air from designers as in no answers, occasionally especially goth shops will keep you holding on dangling the promise of more sizes then wind up sticking a whole lot of bullshit from Chic Star. Even when Chic Star offers nothing like what they stock in the rest of the shop.

People always say we don't have suppliers, there's not enough of a market blablablabla.

Look.

If you look at the pricing in most plus size stores, clearly fat people have money they want to hand over for awesome clothing. A cursory look at fat fashion bloggers would tell even the thickest skulled among us that a lot of fatties would support a fat ass loving designer hugely.

Now the other thing I hear from some shops is well, I don't make it so make it yourself.

That's really a stupid position. Anyone who thinks they are a designer or is one knows damn well it isn't just tacking up a hem. It takes a lot of skill to learn to make a quality well fitting garment. It takes time and commitment and an aptitude for sewing. Not everyone has DIY aptitude.

For instance.

I really suck at making jewelry. I have some amazing (I think they are amazing ideas) but I'm just really bad at it and always have been. Thus, when I want a fancy bit of jewelry I buy it. I prefer buying from indie designers because I like supporting small business.

But clothing, god damn it clothing is such a huge thing.

More of a thing when one has a specific aesthetic or there's a designer you really REALLY want to give all your hard earned duckets to and it's just not gonna happen.

Most recently my ass has been yearning for something like the leggings Toxic Vision clothing is known for. See their tumblr here. Unfortunately, this is one of those shops where it looks like the designer makes things to fit bottoms about the size of hers and that's all.

Also this particular designer doesn't do custom so well shit. I cannot give her my hard earned monies.

Just earlier I saw this on tumblr and at a glance I was like, YES YES YES YES. I had already started saving in my head for this dress and then I looked at it.

Ahem.

Okay I love that it's jersey, I love that it's hooded but really? Have these people ever seen someone with even moderately sized breasts?

To use Joanna's bitch to Michael from PR Allstars, how does one wear a bra with that?

Now lets look at someone like me with enormous DD boobs that are not implants.

I'd like someone to tell me how and what bra I could wear with that OR how I could stand still all day so my tits wouldn't fall right out of it.

Go ahead. Figure that kind of algebra out.

The thing is designers, it's really not that hard.

The first thing is that if you want to hit it big understand that you're not going to find every person who wears your clothes hot and it won't ruin your vision.

Yes, you may have an ideal in mind when you make something but the reality is that person is probably either yourself or a friend and most the rest of us are not those people.

Secondly, people with different bodies have money. We do. Well I don't right now but for the right designer I will save up.

Third, use the googles. If you want to find out if there is in fact a market use fucking google doods. Google fat fashion, plus size fashion etc and read some blogs.

What you'll notice is that a lot of fatties really love their fashion and really want to support your wee company. Get that money.

Get it done.

Later this week I'll get together some links for alt and indie designers and shops that range in price. I may write a sad ode to Domino Dollhouse because as much as I LOVE what they are doing I can't afford it.

That's all for now my homies.

Homo Out.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

E Tu Brute?

Well then.

It's been a hell of a few days and I am left shaking my head.

My homies, especially my White homies in particular let me tell you. This is the sort of thing I weather no matter what activism type thing I get involved with.

Every. Single. One.

I have been involved with in one way or another, social justice for a very long time. Let's call it about 20 years starting with writing letters to politicians and school officials to skipping school to protest to volunteering, to being a peer teacher, soup kitchens, groups etc.

Honestly, whether it's been about bodies, sex, fatness, sex work, education, kids this happens.

I have in my life spent days in tears because I have such a long standing deep seated desire to make the world better and sometimes I feel like I can't do it because frankly things like this happen and it hurts.

When I was younger I would have folded. I would have eaten the racism, I would have been the nice Black lady who maybe let out a little mousy squeak about racism.

Not so much anymore.

So let me do one last thing for a while and speak to White People Directly.

If I say to you that something you've said or done makes me uncomfortable due to X racism issue I am not calling you a racist.

99% of the time a lot of other people who will say this to you are also not calling you personally a racist.

Let me put it this way. If I Shannon Barber say hey, buddy you laughed at the sunshine I drew and it was a pretty mean thing to do. Could you please not do that again because it hurt my feelings/was mean?

Am I saying that you buddy are the cruelest meanest person? Am I saying I hate you?

No.

If you invite me to a party and I ask you details about the party and maybe something about it makes me uncomfortable and I ask you more questions am I being mean?

No.

If at that point I say hey buddy, I don't think being around people setting the furniture on fire is a safe enviornment for me so I am not coming- am I being mean?

No.

If I do come to the party and people are making me feel uncomfortable, is it evil of me to excuse myself? Or stand up for myself? Even if they "don't mean it that way"?

No.

If at that party I say hey buddy, could you talk to your friends they are hurting my feelings/making me feel uncomfortable/doing things that hurt me is that unreasonable?

Not really.

Here's the thing and it's going to hurt to hear.

99% of the every day racism that happens in my life I have no way of protecting myself from. I don't have the choice to ignore how people treat me. I don't have the choice of not thinking about it or adjusting my behavior accordingly.

When people I thought were allies to me and people like me are clearly not. It hurts more because I respect my allies and care for them and it fucking hurts.

I take shit personally.

I'm not talking about theories. I'm not talking about institutional racism. I'm talking about the kind of language that breaks my heart. That makes me feel like an intruder in a given space. Language that makes it clear that I am not welcome based on the fact that I will never separate my Blackness from the rest of my life because I can't.

For all of you colorblind people let me explain.

I can't ignore my color.

I can't ignore it when I'm alone at night and carloads of White men ride past in cars screaming "YOU DIRTY BLACK BITCH". I can't ignore it when grown ass White men stare me down while they complain to each other about civil rights, MLK day and "them" generally fucking everything up.

I can't ignore it when I go into a drug store and ask if they have a Covergirl pressed powder compact in Soft Sable and I'm told that "you..er some people steal it."

I can't ignore it when my various inboxes are full of gems like: "DIE NIGGER", rape threats, people wishing that I would stop being such an uppity darkie bitch. No, those aren't grabbed out of air they are copied and pasted.

I can't ignore it when I have to go through my youtube videos and remove things like: "Niggers have the ugliest hair" "nigger bitch can't even make a video".

I can't ignore it when you tell me that it doesn't matter if I am uncomfortable with a project, part of a movement or statement because it's more important than my race.

When you tell me that you have it worse, you tell me you don't understand what I'm saying.

You tell me that regardless of the myriad people saying that oppression are intersected and that comparing them this way is bad for everyone, that what I have to say is irrelevant and unimportant.


It hurts worse when it comes from people I think are trying to come from a good place.

It hurts worse when I have been almost begging not for action but just for five goddamn minutes of silence and listening. I don't want anyone to radically change their outlook. Just listen.

And you say no.

Over and over.

You can't say that I am welcome out of one side of your mouth and out of the other declare that my observations or questions can't be heard, really heard and considered, because you don't believe in privilege or you don't want to think about it because you honestly don't have to.

You can't say I'm welcome when you show no inclination to pay attention to anything I might contribute because talking about racism and intersectionality is fucking hard and makes you feel icky.

So here's the thing FA.

I am not leaving. I'm not going to be quiet.

I'm not going to engage with the things that hurt me so if what you need are resources about how to talk to, be decent to, include etc POC I am not the drone you're looking for.

Not because I don't care as I said yesterday but because it hurts me too much. I care too much, I also care for myself too much.

Here is what I will do.

I will tell you what to do.


  • Don't run in all ass and elbows. If a conversation about racism is causing you to get defensive and want to prove how not racist you are, the most effective thing you can do is be quiet. Listen to what's being said and understand that though you might be mentioned, likely it's not just about you. 
  • Understand that most POC are not going to want to do Racism 101 every blog post, or in every comment. If you want to show how not racist you are, take some responsibility and use the google machine. Understand the reason for this is that we do it every day of our lives much of the time. It is unreasonable and a very demanding position to think that every person of color wants to give everyone nice easy lessons about racism all the time. 
  • If you want to engage with POC, don't start off swinging for the fences. The first way to give POC reason to be uncomfortable and suspicious is to start shouting BUT I AM NOT A RACIST, ALL WHITE PEOPLE AREN'T RACIST.  It's off putting and tells us that you are not reading or listening.
  • Understand that the very basic level of dealing with your privilege is this. When you are about to tell someone like me that privilege doesn't matter as much as we think it does stop. Ask yourself a simple question, in this situation what am I trying to prove? Am I trying to show that I'm the worst off? Am I trying to be the saddest victim? Am I trying to commiserate? It's really fucking hard. It's hard to be that honest with yourself and your motives. If you are trying to commiserate understand that trying to out big dick each other when it comes to oppression is about as useful as smoking a penny. 
  • Oppression all suck. They do. Embrace the fact that we experience oppressions in different ways based on many intersecting factors including but not limited to ability, race, body size, appearance, socio economic status, nationality, languages we speak, gender, etc. If we are talking about an oppression we have in common and my experience is different from yours, that doesn't negate anything. It's not bad it's just different.
Lastly, please if you can do none of these things or you feel that they are unreasonable, speaking for myself and my little sandbox leave me alone.

If you have a modicum of care for me as a human being, as in you give the tiniest of fucks about my mental health leave me alone. 

Don't bring all that to my yard because it hurts me.

Now I think I'm done with this. Let's say if you have to holler, do it in this post and then we're done and I'm back to ugly, not giving a fuck and I have some posts planned about more fat things.

Homo Out.




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Thursday, March 22, 2012

This is why we can't have nice things.

Now perhaps I have been especially prescient lately but good goddamn.

If you all will recall here just before my birthday I talked about race, racism in FA, and dealing with it.

Now I'd like you to go read Marianne's post here.

Google the individual people she's talking about because I"m not linking.

Let me say the following.

I call bullshit on any statement of diversity or welcome if I cannot speak to things that concern me without worry of fallout or things becoming a total cluster fuck because people's feefees are too precious to hear anything that might bother them.

I call bullshit if there is no space because people are too busy yelling about how not racist they are to hear what the problem actually is.

I call bullshit if I do have the audacity to question something in a reasonable or not so reasonable manner, then I have to wade through attack, possible quotation without my permission etc.

Not. Cool.

This is all one of those instances where it is so, SO important to learn the first thing about doing the hard work.

You have to listen.

You have to hear things that make you angry or hurt your feelings and it's really fucking hard. It's hard.

Sometimes if you hear the same thing over and over again maybe it's not because EVERYONE IN THE WORLD IS WRONG.

Maybe if you hear the same things over and over again, perhaps it's time to take a time out be quiet and sit with it.

If it is beyond you to show a modicum of actual mutual respect and instead of asking questions only to apparently completely ignore answers you don't like or decide to filter out. Don't ask.

Seriously just don't bother.

I say don't bother because it fucking hurts me to see it. It hurts me when I open myself up, when I give what is honest knowlege that is not theory and it's not from some diversity/anti-racism 101 textbook bullshit, I am sharing knowlege and experience from my actual fucking life to see it amount to nothing.

Do people think that people of color like me enjoy repeating the same things over and over again for years?

Do you think it's fun for me to want so badly to support things that seem like such a good cause but being so uncomfortable and yes hurt watching them happen we can't participate because we care about our mental health?

Do you think it's fucking fun?

I am 35 years old.

Can anyone guess how many times I have really invested myself in trying to help someone understand my experiences in order to make an activist space more POC welcoming, or how many times I've spent time and given my fucking LOVE and SUPPORT only to see all of that love support and caring thrown back in my face because some White person decided their privilege and feelings about unpleasant things was more important than anything I or any other POC had to say?

How many times in my life do you think I've had to hold back tears of frustration and pain because I've been tired of someone looking at me and telling me to put away my race card?

If I didn't truly deeply care about things like the intersections of my fat and my race. I wouldn't talk about it so fucking much. (See this link to see ALL of my posts about racism. Most of them date back to approx 2008 or so.)

Here's the thing.

I've had enough. I really have.

My heart hurts. My head hurts and I am so disappointed and sad I don't even know what to do with myself.

New rules.

If you are reading this understand that I am not educating anymore. I will not waste my time, energy and love trying so hard to make the things I talk about when I talk about racism as it intersects with fat activism easily digestible for White people and other non POC and I"m done with that.

As recent events have shown it's fucking useless.

I'm not taking it easy because clearly the loving easy approach only gets my feelings hurt.

I will warn you if you're a regular but I will not try so hard to be gentle.

I need to protect myself from all this nonsense and bullshit.

So.

Moral is- unless I know you fairly well don't bother asking me shit.

Just. Don't.

Not because I don't care. Not because I don't care about you as a human and about how you develop or gain knowlege about these things.

It's because people have RUINED it for everyone and frankly my life is right now full of a lot of really serious stress that I'm not sharing with the general public and I need to watch out for my health.

I need to love myself first and disengage from the things that hurt me.

If all this went over your head here is the bottom line. Too many people have hurt me and I feel taken advantage of and I don't like it.

Homo Out.




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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Monstrous Beauty.

There are a lot of things making me hugely insanely angry right now so I don't want to post anything serious for fear of having a total disco breakdown.

So, lets talk about monstery, beauty.

For reference the kind of thing I"m talking about is inspired by people like my friend Ugly Shyla. This is one of my favorite shots of her, look at her.

Go read her blog here and see some of her fantastic art and jewelry and pictures of her amazing face.

I have loved Ms. Shyla since long before I ever started talking to her. Back in the day in the age of the Alt. Models everywhere she was one of the few I found interesting on a visual basis.

Shyla is not easy to look at and appreciate if what you want is a skinny white girl with a few tattoos.

What does this have to do with me?

It has to do with my personal current need, no goal to engage in some monsterous art on my face.

The fact is, deep down in my black little heart I want to embrace and accentuate how hard my face can be to deal with.

I want to take pictures of it.

I want to make it art because that is the kind of art that moves me.

I want to be the Brave Black Lady who does it and does not give any fucks.

Even with the proliferatuon of beautiful alt. models of color, most adhere to a very mainstream idea of beauty.

I'm not talking about just being "modely" I'm talking about bringing this idea further into my daily life because why not?

I want to buy custom crazy fangs (I'm drooling over these) I want to incorporate some Fx techniques. I want to give the universe some Short Fat Grace Jones Action.

Maybe I want to give you some Old Goth is Old hotness.

Fake blood? Yes.
Crazy weird Gareth Pugh inspired (see reference here) make up? Yes.

For whatever reason everything related to aesthetics in my head is Nazgul, Alien, Weird, Ugly and Beautiful in my head. I have a vision.

So to that end I've promised myself I am going to teach myself to do more things with my make up beyond what I can do right now.

I will document this process with photos.

I am going to experiment with my hair.

I will document with photos.

I feel like this is me picking up from where I left off with my series of make up photos (which you can see at Flickr here, not all of them are there because I couldn't afford to re-up my flickr to pro). In that series I was relearning to look at and deal with my face.

I spent a lot of time during the process of taking those pictures breaking myself of the habit of retouching my face, of cropping out things I didn't like or not taking the picture if it wasn't pretty enough.

To quote Mrs. Tarrie B. Fuck being pretty.

There were peeks. But it wasn't a fully developed thing.

The deeper implication here is that I am making an active choice to disengage from the expectation that I will or should try to be beautiful in a mainstream kind of way.

This is not a statement of me giving in or giving up.

This is a fuck you.

This is a I will do what the fuck I want with my face because it pleases me.

For my pleasure.

If you whomever you are happen to dig it great.

If not, girl bye.

So I promise there will be more posts about this. As the weather gets better the lighting in my apartment will improve.

Later homies. Time for me to eat some delicious foods.

Homo Out.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

I'M 35 TODAY WORLD!

Finally, it's here.

I am officially 35 mother fucking years old.

Can we talk about how I feel about aging?

I love the process.

I do actually.

Not all of it but a lot of it.

But let's talk about what I'm "supposed" to be feeling.

See exhibit A the last self portrait of me at age 34. Make up taken off, exhausted as shit and naked but you don't get to see my goodies.


So I'm supposed to be worrying about things like:
  • Wrinkles because I smoke, I'm aging and that happens
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fat
  • etc etc
So I have several of these things. As you can see in this not well lit cell phone photo, my skin is indeed uneven. It has been since puberty and I spent about 15 years battling, burning, bleaching and generally abusing my skin before I made peace with it.

You can't quite see that I have very dark marks on my neck and chin. My neck and face scar if I look at them crooked and it's okay.

You can kinda see the little shadow of my moustache. I don't have a lot of upper lip hair, not enough to make a (for me) satisfactory moustache and left unchecked I get ingrown hairs. I haven't removed it recently because my skin has been going bitchnuts wild and I'm not trying to annoy it.

Right now I have this insane conflagration of zits right near a spot of contact dermatitis on my forehead.

You can see..I don't give a single fuck.

I look at my face, my naked face in the mirror and I see all those things that I'm supposed to be battling with all my might and money and I"m fine. 

I'm fine because fucking A I have survived.

My face is scarred. My thigh is scarred. I have dark scarred knees. I have a plethora of stretchmarks. I have scars on my breasts from having a breast reduction. I'm spotty, spastic (as in twitchy), marks on the inside of my thighs from the occasional boils I've gotten my whole life, my pubic hair is salt n pepper, my hands are dry and peeling, I have crooked weird looking little nails on my pinky toes, I have cellulite, my shins are peeling, my leg hair on my left shin is thinning, I broke a nail shopping after Vday and it hasn't grown back, my feet smell, I have a peeling scaly spot on my butt right in the crease under my left buttcheek, my teeth are fucked up, I have bad knees, my sciatic nerves are fucking assholes, sometimes I limp, my knees swell up, I'm often gassy, if I'm too stressed out I can't poop, if I can't poop I get really emotional, I can't wear really high heels anymore, I have a tendancy to tip over because my equilibrium is fucked, my lips peel really easily, I get random rashes for no reason and you know what?

All these flaws, all these things I'm supposed to obsess over and try to "correct" I'm fine with.

I'm 35 and I'm okay.

I am still fucked up. I have some fucking problems. That's okay. 

IT'S OKAY.

It's okay for me and it's okay for you.

You know why it's okay? I will tell you my great secret, consider me your Aging Educating Negress today.

It's okay because we're still alive.

Every birthday need not be the panic inducing OH SHIIIIIIIIIIT IMMA DIE SOMEDAY event that it seems to turn into for many of us. It need not be the day where (especially, and yes it happens to men too) women frantically spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on miracle creams and surgeries to try and turn back the clock.

Every birthday can and in my opinion should be a day to reflect on how much we've survived.

I have survived this society that has from the time I was born undervalued me. This society that tells me that I am worthless on so many levels because I'm a Black woman, because I'm fat, because I'm queer, because I'm poor. 

I am still alive mother fuckers.

I have survived beloved friends dying. Some have been murdered, some took their own lives, some overdosed. 

I have survived abuse.

I have survived hating myself so much I didn't even care enough to commit suicide.

I have survived all of it.

I am ALIVE MOTHER FUCKERS.

I am 35 years old and I am alive. 

Every birthday I celebrate is a big old middle finger at everyone who's ever hurt me. At all the people who "didn't mean it" when they said fucked up things to me. To every person who's called me an ugly bitch. To everyone who ever sneered at me or teased me.

What I'm saying my homies and haters is that birthdays aren't just the sigils of our mortality. We're all human. We're going to die. End of story.

I'm saying that your birthday can be a day where you celebrate however you please the fact that you survived too.

Even if it hurts and you find yourself crying, or if you want to put on a costume or a fabulous outfit or spend the day buck ass naked eating cupcakes.

Now I'm postponing actual celebrations until the weather clears up and I can wear the ADORABLE Kinderwhore style dress I bought specifically to wear on my fucking birthday. Instead I am going to stay at home, do some self care like a mother fucker. Give myself a new mani, I'm going to fix up my eyebrows and get my nerd on by watching most of some series of movies. I'm leaning towards LOTR.

Here is my face today. Scars, crappy foundation application, Mac So Scarlet Lipstick which is my favorite red but I'm running out so I don't wear it often. Major eye liner. Reflection on my glasses.


There I am. 

And from my dear friend Maggie who knows the way to my heart a LOL:



IT'S SHANNON'S BIRTHDAY  NO HUMAN-FLAVOR CAKE :(

Now if you'd like to celebrate my birthday feel free to make me shark LOLS, other LOLS, draw me something in paint etc.

I love you my homies and haters. Yes haters I still love you too even when you're cranky.

Homo Out.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pre Birthday Beauty.

Oh my darlings.
If you've read me for a while you know I am a bonafide beauty junkie.
It's been a while since we talked about beauty so let's do that today.
As we know I am the fabulous on the cheap queen.
My beauty aesthetic lately has been my usual full coverage matte face, the deep dark almost black lip as I mentioned, AND lots of eye liner and..wait for it naked super shiny lips as well as some pale colors.
Can we talk about the pale colors?
I made a small ULTA purchase back in the beginning of December and I've been bored with my aesthetic for a while and bought this lipstick in a color called Pink Chocolate. I don't have pictures to match because it's still wintery and the lighting in my house SUCKS for beauty shots.
This lipstick is a light brown based pink. Prior to buying that I had always thought my lips and face were too dark for such light lips.
Turns out...I love it.
For those with darker brown/purpley lips a brown based pink with either a more brown or taupe lipstick or gloss makes a really sexy more realistic nude than most beige colors.
The other thing I'm really into are naked super shiny lips.
I always need and want a good super sexy shiny clear lipgloss to go over lip stains and whatnot and have been looking for The. One.
I think I have found it.
I am very very picky about my lip products. I prefer it in a tube with either a slanted or round top. If I'm wearing a lip stain doe foot applicators tend to lift color. Also I have big lips so the all in one types aren't too messy for me.
I had been using Lancome Juicy tubes in clear. I got a super deal in a make up swap and had like three of them. I was looking to get a bit more shimmer and slight bit of tint. Also Lancome is really fucking expensive.
I've tried lots of brands and I'm very particular. I need something that is moisturizing, long lasting, not overly flavored and not too sparkly.
On a whim I purchased one of the Bath and Body Works sheer glosses.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I purchased (sorry this is totally an affiliate link)

Oh. Em. Gee.
Now I picked this blue tint gloss becaseu a slight blue tint on my lips is really nice and I love pina colada scented things even though I don't like drinking them. This gloss is reasonably priced, moisturizing and the shimmer is not the kind that gets gritty or too chunky as the gloss dries. It also has some staying power. I'm actually quite impressed with how well it performs. As well/a bit better than some of the high end stuff I've used.
What else?
Oh after I get back into contact lenses, I'm going to experiment with some more big lashes.
Seriously at some point I decided that being 35 means I get to explore and do some things with my face and clothes I've never done before.
I also made some serious decisions.
First one is as much as I love them so much I'm breaking up with ballet flats.
I love how affordable fancy little shoes can be but, honestly they give me so many problems with my feet. I have extremely high arches and finicky fat little feet that do not like ballet flats. They never have and wearing them maks my everything hurt.
To that end I had some amazing thrifting luck and picked up some pretty much new Naturalizer mary janes. And I have my thrifted Danksos that I um..okay can we talk about those? I finally won a pair on ebay for fairly cheap in January and they are the best things ever to wear with socks.
I am also finally working things out with my hair. I can do a couple of styles with my hair down and right now my hair is varying shades of red. I'm bumping up the red with some Manic Panic as well and it's sexy.
What else?
OH I'm also going to try some vaguely uncombedish hair. I haven't done it in years because I'm supposedly all growed up but fuck that.
Also things like the following picture are going to be happening:

I will post an official this is what 35 looks like on me picture tomorrow night.
I love you my homies and haters.
Be safe. Be awesome.
Homo Out.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where is the fats?

Okay no pre-birthday post today.

Instead I want to talk about some other things.

My White homies, it's going to be one of those days. Gird your loins.

A few of you have inquired (very sweetly) why I have been less Fat oriented of late.

First I need you to go read this open letter thing at Nolose. It's kinda long but this bit is very salient to what I'm saying today.

While fat activism in the United States continues to be predominantly white, there is an emerging wave of fat People of Color (POC) activists moving out into all aspects of our communities. Joining with fat POC activists who have been working for years to create space for the unique challenges faced by POC within our mainstream diet culture, this has the potential to be a time of enormous shift in the perception and face of fat activism in the U.S.

There is more and I encourage you to read it but this is really important.

For those who don't know in both meatspace and on the internets I have been talking about body politics far beyond my first introduction to the Fatosphere.

From the first few times I read about or spoke about body politics and fatness, it has always been overwhelmingly white. Locally in meatspace I had not a single person of color in my sphere.

Fast forward to me blogging on the intertubes and people either don't realize I'm a person of color or because I am not famous, educated or have a book out etc, have no idea that I'm here.

IN the last few years I've seen a lot of hand wringing on the part of White activists, they moan WHERE ARE THE POC?

We're here.

We've been here. Fuck it pains me to no end because I've been here for years.

It's fucking exhausting.

My experiences in the Fatosphere and dealing with a lot of White people in it are exhausting. Many of them are very well meaning but often have no grasp of intersectionality, don't understand how their colorblind ideologies and insistence on telling me about them hurts me, I have to explain and explain and explain WHY it's not okay to say or do X thing, I have to hear people tell me that I'm pulling the race card.

I have been personally attacked not for things I've actually said but for having the audacity to be both Black and disagreeing with nice smart White people.

The thing is that these are not isolated experiences to me being involved in FA on the internet. THis is my actual everyday life and my internets life.

Also frankly I'm tired.

I don't want to keep either trying to calmly explain why I have issues with X thing based on racial things.

I don't want to keep telling the same people.

I know that my voice is of value. I know that there are those of you who have needed my words even when they hurt and that makes me feel really good.

Now. Let's talk a little about my experiences in internets FA.

What I often see is that POC in FA are relegated to sassy fatshionistas and when they do speak up about other intersecting issues we get crickets.

I will conflate this with a lot of my experiences with modern feminism.

It's the trap of being the Sassy Black Lady.

Yes, I have some bit of style.

That doesn't mean my or any other POC doesn't have anything else to say. I hate hate that it's necessary to say that.

I have also often seen White Women's Tears used to manipulate and tell POC including me that when we talk about racism, when we talk about the intersectional aspects of fatness that we're hurting feelings and being mean.

I feel like this happens more often in FA.

I understand where it comes from. Fat acceptance is fucking hard.

It's super fucking hard when your'e just starting out and you want to be protective.

Here's the thing.

I care so much about fat acceptance that I have often criticized perceived leaders and ideas. However I don't care about it enough to let hard discussions where I don't feel like I'm heard or valued, add so much stress to my life.

It's a fine line most POC walk daily.

I feel like FA is at a point and age where there are in fact enough POC involved directly and peripherally that the ball is sort of out of our court.

I need for White people to stop telling me they are trying.

Don't tell me (not me personally but POC in this case) that you're "trying" to add diversity to an event or blog space.

Look, we're all smart. If you are reading this I presume you can read and comprehend and use the google machine. If you run a blog space, if you run a fat safe space, if you are organizing an event. You can ask your favorite bloggers if they know of any POC who might want to come along.

We aren't going to magically show up.

Which brings me to the matter of giving lip service to diversity vs actually actively engaging with diversity.

Lip Service to diversity says to me that you have signs and manifestos and sayings that "welcome" everyone.

Actively engaging in preserving and creating diversity means you have to have hard discussions. Sometimes you have to understand when it's time to shut up and listen. You have to understand that often your privilege might blind you to how uncomfortable a person of color might be at your event or in your internet space.

Understand that if even if you really want a person of color you like or admire to be the voice of all brown people everywhere, you're going to be high and dry. Have some sensitivity. Don't expect a person of color to be completely aware of and able to speak on ALL of the POC related things.

If acknowleging or starting to acknowledge your privilege is beyond you at least have some empathy.

Understand that these pressures don't just exist in the realm of activism. Understand that for a lot of us brown people, these pressures are with us every step we take. Every time we turn on the TV, every time we open a book, every time we watch the news, when we try to speak on our experiences.

This is a weight and it's really fucking heavy.

Back to me.

I'm still feeling like I'm tired. Sometimes when I start fat related posts I have this vision of myself on a hamster wheel. I (as I mentioned a while back) will see within days or weeks someone else speak on the same issues-ish and more impactful for me seem to be taken more seriously.

These things are why I don't make a fuss when I've fallen off the fat feeds or my readership falls off a bit.

Right now I am trying to reclaim my space and voice.

I'm trying to give no fucks about my apprehensions and go on ahead and say what I wanna say.

So that's where I am and the post at Nolose kicked these things loose.

Moving along.

Thank you for the prebirthday well wishes. I will be 35 on Friday.

If you are hell bent on giving me something, for serious you can drop a dollar in my paypal donate area to your right. I have most of the things I really -need- but would be into having some mad money for sparklies or whatever.

Now I'm going to have some food.

Homo Out.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Give it to them.

First my darlings let me show you how I looked most of today:


This is the face of a woman who may have had one fuck but has run out.

Not. One. Fuck.

This is a face that is just getting over an epic out of vitamins/period break out. This is a face that has not seen a lot of beauty sleep.

This is the face of a woman who is not having it today.

Lately as you can see I've taken to wearing really dark vampy lips again. This one is by Fyrinnae. I often top that color or one of my other almost black shades with black lipgloss.

Today after I'd applied that lip color and got on the pictured bus. I could see a woman giving me side eye. She was making one of those ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww I smell poop faces.

That was the face she saw.

I looked straight at her and let her know I do not give a fuck.

The lesson today darlings is energy. I did not (and continue to not) have the energy to be fucking around with what anyone thinks of that there face.

No. Fucks.

I want you to think about a moderately busy day in your life. How much do you have to do? Maybe you are taking care of babies, partners, cars, jobs, buying groceries, cooking food, tying shoes, sitting in traffic, cleaning butts, doing laundry, picking up dry cleaning, doing your taxes, trying to get a little me time.

You have shit to do.

Now think of your busiest days. Those days is it worth the spare energy to bother trying to get some random person to think or say, "oh hot damn this person is hot."

I'm again not yet talking about dating. Just regular life.

The days when you have to poop and have fifteen minutes to get to, then in and out of the bank and you gotta go.

Dig deep, you have your moments of not giving a fuck.

I'm not necessarily talking about when you just don't care and wear your jammies to the store. I'm more talking about the days when you are ready in whatever way you like to be and you are getting shit done.

I want you to process that.

Now.

Hard parts. Sometimes you have to channel that. You have to bring it out of yourself. Stomp down the street with your head up, knowing that you are too valuable and your energy your fucks are too precious to be handing out to random ass people who can't keep their opinions to themselves or who just want to be assholes.

Those people who let's face it, are the majority of people are not worth all that.

Save those fucks, save that energy for people you like.

Save that energy to hug your friends, to smile at people you think are awesome.

Not to deal with people who are being jerky.

This includes but is not limited to:
  • Internet trolls
  • People in line at the store
  • People in clothing stores giving you the stink eye
  • People who tell you that if not for X (your fat ass/facial piercings/funny hair/whatever) you would be sooooooo attractive.
  • People you have no emotional or intelllectual interest or attraction to.
  • "Friends" who say things like, "oh you would look so much better if:
  • Family who say things like, "if only" or "you have such a pretty face"
  • TV, Magazines, other various media.

Now let's talk about families for a minute.

A lot of the time our families and loved ones are the ones who hurt us most trying to "help".

Sometimes they are abusive and mean. Sometimes they are coming from a real place of love.

Sometimes you have to do things to protect yourself from them. You may need to say "No Auntie X, I don't need to lose weight I'm fine." You may need to say no a lot. You may need to let it roll off of your back. You may need to freak out on people.

You have to find something in your own soul that feels right and get it done.

You'll have to repeat yourself. You may just have to nod and smile then go home.

The important thing here is that you need to be selfish.

Yes.

I said it.

You have to be selfish and take care of the only person who is really with you from first breath to last.

You.

That is the very root of not giving a fuck.

Self care.

Learning to take care of yourself from stem to stern.

It's so hard.

Shit y'all. I'm almost 35 years old (NINE DAYS WOOT!) and I Still sometimes have a hard time letting go of things and not giving further fucks about them.

Let me tell y'all a secret.

If I can learn this and work on it. You can. I spent a lot of years being fucked up. I'm STILL fucked up.

Sometimes I still look at that face and I hate it. Sometimes I feel like maybe all those assholes are right and I should be losing weight and taking out my lip ring and not wearing forty pounds of eyeliner.

And then I take a breath.

I listen to the little voice in my head that is screaming:

I DO NOT GIVE A FUCK.

You have it to. I promise you do. You might not hear it when you need it. It may start hollering at inopportune times like when you need to do something by a deadline or make it out of the house in four minutes.

It's there. You just have to listen to it when it's yelling. Pay attention to yourself. Be selfish. Be self centered and realign your universe so that you are the sun.

I'm not saying that families, partners and kids and whatnot are unimportant. They are, we all know that.

I'm saying you're important too.

You my darling are super important and in charge of shit.

So your new homework is as follows.

The next time you find yourself unmoved by something. Anything. A news article, a blog comment, a photo. Listen to yourself saying, I do not give a fuck. Savor it. Don't tell yourself you have to give a fuck, don't get down on yourself if you don't.

Just let it happen for a few minutes.

A few of you have messaged (thank you for your sweet notes and things I love you) and I promise I will post a birthday wishlist type deal.

Now, I am going to self care like a boss because I don't feel well and it's hard.

I'm going to take care of that face. Wash it, wear a facial mask and moisturize. I'm going to eat dinner. I'm going to take my vitamins. I'm going to put my giant jammy pants on and be nice to myself so I sleep.

You take care of yourself tonight too. Love yourself some.

Homo Out.
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