Monday, April 30, 2012

It's actually really simple.

Ahem.

I got a couple of messages after my last post and some people still seem to want to "prove" me wrong and tell me all the ways in which I am not an actual fat person.

Look, here's the thing.

Your subjective view of how fat I may or may not be, without you ever having seen me in person, been in a doctor's appointment with me or otherwise spent any time with me whatsoever, doesn't make a bit of difference as to the actual facts of my life.

Among those facts?

I as I said, live my life as a fat person.

You can disagree, send me bitchy notes and flounce all you like but that doesn't change the size of my ass or my experience of life.

There is a deep flaw to the logic that says that no one is fat unless they are as fat or fatter than you.

Your little slice of the universe has nothing to do with my life or my body, or anyone else's life or body.

Your opinion, and yes opinions can in fact be wrong, does not change anything aside from apparently closing some of your ears.

The measure of my fatness in terms of doctors is not measured by your perception of how fat I am.

It's really just not.

Let me illustrate this for you.

If I were not an actually fat person living an actually fat life, I doubt that three out of three of the perspective doctors I've contacted mentioned me losing 20, 25, and 35 pounds respectively without ever seeing me as a patient and as a "helpful" suggestion to me getting on the "road to wellness."

Now, please tell me when that happens to not fat people?

If I was not an actual fat person living an actual fat life I would have probably had a far easier time getting treated for old/new damage to my joints, my lifelong chronic (especially today I slept for two one hour chunks last night) insomnia, etc etc.

If I was not an actually fat person, the majority of the newsletters I get from my health insurance company would not say, HEY FATASS DO SOMETHING OR YOU'RE GONNA GET THE DIABEETUS/HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE/DEATH

Now in the context of fat acceptance I am on the small side of fat.

Some would say tiny fat being that I am (according to my measurements) just slightly smaller than the  Average American Woman.

That being what it is I have always owned my privilege in that context. There are experiences of fatness that I don't have. There are some for instance when it comes to buying clothes that I have to a degree.

An example, there is one store in the vicinity of where I live (I don't drive so I'm talking walking distance) out of about twelve that I can reliably know that I can walk in and buy a bra, a pair of panties and an outfit. It's a Fashion Bug.

Clothing for me is a deeply intersectional issue. My issues with clothes have always regardless of my level of fatness or thinness have always revolved more around my proportions and economic situation at any one time.

Is that better/worse than any other fat experience?

No.

It's just my individual experience.

To go into it a bit more I can't really shop at most Plus size specific stores. Most of the time I don't have enough ass meat to fill out pants when they fit my thighs and low waist. If they fit my ass they don't fit my thighs and natural waist. A lot of straight size clothing I have problems because I have really big boobs and shoulders.

Shit happens. That is the shit I tend to deal with.

For someone who is say a size 26 in my neighborhood, there is also that one store so in that respect we'd be in it together. In another area, my fatter friend would be shit out of luck and that's terrible.

Whether you are new to FA or an old hand at it please don't presume that smaller fat=better or easier fat.

We cannot get anything done by playing that game. It's all fucking bad. It's terrible to not get proper medical care, it's terrible to not be able to reliably walk into a store and buy some pants, it's terrible to be harassed, it's terrible to be afraid to go to the gym or a dance class because you're afraid that the people won't be fat friendly.

It's all fucking awful.

For each of us, the bad things are bad in their own special fucked up way.

Pretending that each of our own subjective fat experiences and bodies are the benchmark for all experiences is an awful habit and a hard one to break.

I do urge those of you who haven't flounced because of my perceived non fatness to do that work. It's hard. It's really fucking hard sometimes but in the end if you stick to your own small view of what is and isn't fat or what is or isn't a legitimate experience, we all lose.

Tomorrow I will announce something really awesome that is happening later today that was hooked up for me by my darling Marianne Kirby. I've been itching to tell the whole universe but you have to wait.

I feel pretty fucking good about it.

Also Maggie BABY you are so close to that pleasure reading. So. Close.

Also Maggie for summer for your poor feets, have you looked into the more elasticy type sandals? Damn naturally I can't find a picture right now but when I screwed up my toes on one foot and they were swelling (not to edema level but enough) those saved me. I will post them on tumblr for you if I find them.

GO GO GO BABY GO! YOU CAN MAKE IT!

Now the rest of you my homies and haters, I love you. I hope your Monday isn't too awful.

Homo Out.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

But why fat?

A few new commenters have commented on me saying the F word.

Yes. Fat.

Now here is the thing.

There are lots of reasons I use fat the way I do. Let's talk about it.

Now there are contexts to being fat and living as a fat person.

You can read about that here.

The first context of how I use fat I want to talk about is in the context of my every day life.

To some people, most often bigger fat people I am not really fat. Visually I often read as not as fat as I am because I have big shoulders and big tits. I have very good posture etc.

Regardless of that, I move around in my life on this world as a fat person. I am treated as a fat person if I go to the doctor, at the grocery store, on the bus, when I experience commentary on my clothes, appearance and health from random strangers.

Right this minute I am not the fattest I've ever been nor am I the thinnest. I have been really thin (for me) and really fat (for me) and honestly even when I was at what proved to be an unsustainable low weight I was still treated as a fat person because I had been previously fat.

The fact is I am a fat person. When I use fat in this context am I making moral statements about myself?

No.

Am I assigning any of the "evil" qualities associated with fatness to myself?

No.

I am truthfully in plain concrete language telling you that I am a fat person.

Here's the thing. Calling myself something "nice" or using some euphemism does not change the actuality of my body.

To address the comment LadyBethezdas comment: which is one I've heard before the fact is average or not the size of the people around me does not change my size.

Here's the thing. Regardless of what the actual averages are. I am still fat. If you want to go by the hugely flawed BMI scale I am Deathfat.

Yes.

This body:


 [Photo description: Short Black woman wearing an all black outfit and black and white striped socks]

Is Morbidly Obese.

These are not conjectures, they are not subjective, according to the tools doctors etc use these are the facts.

Me saying I am fat is the truth.

The problem isn't with saying I am fat. The problem happens when fat becomes the synonym for every other evil thing a person can be.

That is the problem.

And personally speaking I hate using all of the cute euphemisms. I am not fluffy I am not a cat. I am not plus I am not a sofa. I am yes voluptuous but fat people do not have the market on shapely bodies.

I am fat.

FAT.

Fat.

When I say am I am fat person I am not telling you any of the following:


  1. Any health issues I may or may not have.
  2. How I eat.
  3. Where I shop.
  4. My moral/a  moral stance on health care.
  5. The state of my mental health.
  6. My IQ.
  7. My socioeconomic status.
  8. Whether or not I exercise.
  9. What actual clothing size(s) I wear.
When I say I am fat I am telling you how I walk around in the world. how I am often treated. I am telling you a round about size of my body. I am using a descriptor.

I am also self identifying and owning that identity.

I own being fat. I own the choice that I made to vocally and often state this.

You can also glean from my usage of fat that I am not ashamed to be a fat person. That I am not hiding out and waiting for the fat to kill me slowly. I am not putting my goals on hold until I lose 35 pounds (a reference to a recommendation from a prospective doctor, I'll talk about that another time), I am telling you that I am unafraid to give it to you straight.

When I say that I am a Fat Person I am not giving you permission to "teach" me about how to take care of myself. I am not giving permission for you or anyone else to call me any of the other fluffy things we tr to use as synonyms for fat.

Don't say I'm thick, curvy, etc etc etc.

I'm a fat chick with some big ass titties and some big ass thighs and small feet and big shoulders.

Or you know, just fat.

In the context of my daily life I am absolute often the fatter feminine presenting person in my immediate vicinity. When I go into the health food/body builder place to buy vitamins or get a smoothie I am the fat person.

I am the bad fatty at Safeway buying all the bad foods. Or I am the good fatty who's "trying" when I buy the "good" foods.

Among a lot of people in FA and fat people in general I'm not really all that fat. I'm smaller size fat. There are some issues of fatness I can speak to because I have privilege in that I don't experience them. 

Other fairly universal problems of being a fat person in this society I can speak to very well because I experience them.

If you've read me for any amount of time you probably know that I am very plan and try to be very clear about what things I experience and how I experience them as a fat person. I try very hard not to speak to other experiences that I don't have.

So there it is new homies.

The thing is being vocal about why and how I use fat is as vital to my flavor of Fat Acceptance as walking around with my head up high is.

I want to be among the people who are actively changing the pejorative usage of fat.

I am not "calling" as in name calling.

I am describing. 

I am also taking the power away from people who use fat as their go to insult for everything else. There is no abusive power to be had if I am the one taking control over how I use language to talk about myself. 

Now that's all.

I will be back next week with some more things. I have more Ugly posts because I have been making notes on some interesting things I"ve noticed lately about beauty, myself and how people deal with me and I hope they interest you.

How are you my darlings? How is the season change treating you?

Tell me something good.

Homo Out.


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Friday, April 13, 2012

More advice from a Fat Goth.

I'm on a roll this week.

First let me show you a crappy picture of my current preferred Springtime Aging Office Goth Look.



Okay so basically I am wearing my black Dansko mary janes. Black and red stripey Super Stripes socks from Sock Dreams, I have short fat legs and wear them cuffed over my knee. A random bought from ebay raw edged black skirt, and the rest doesn't matter.

Now let's talk about the Glory Days of Casual Goth wear available in many sizes at many places. For me that was around 1998-2001ish. 

At that time I was about the same size I am right now and for work I dressed pretty similarly but with more variety because I could find key things.

Let's talk about staples. Yes, I can make it work while shopping at Target and Old Navy and ebay and thrift stores and lj and whatever. BUT, there are key things missing from the marketplace especially in plus sizes.

This is where you indie designers come in.

One of the items a lot of my fat goth friends and not so fat goth friends and I have talked about is the disappearance of a mid length plain a line black twill skirt of some quality.

Remember those? My favorite go to brand back in the day was Tripp. Unlike most of the current offerings from say Lip Service they fit well, weren't just long enough to cover the butt they were wearable outside of the club. I had some with bondage straps and D rings, I had some with big industrial zippers. Yes I had some mini length ones but the key is that there was availability.

So hey you Designer from Narnia. 

What if you became THE best source for this sort of item? Sturdy, well constructed A line twill skirts with some variety in length and accouterments. 

Here's the thing a lot of indie designers tend to forget. While super fancy beautiful clothes are great to have a lot of us have jobs and shit. As much as I would LOVE to wear say the astonishingly gorgeous Theda skirt from Kambriel, every day all day. It's just not feasible. 

What I (and lots of others need) is a consistent easy to find, affordable go to place, brand, designer for things we can wear every day.

As awesome as it is to be a maker of fine and delicious gorgeous goth fanciness, we need the kind of clothes any Goth could get back in the day walking to the local goth shop. Some fancy things to wear to the club, some things workable for a day job.

For the shop or designer who takes on the concept of being that go to person, people will flock to you. If you market, if you spread the word, if you do good work and don't overcharge, you will be successful.

Again my homies this is free advice. This is a member of your community who is frankly sized out and over it. 

So here is your opportunity designers. Corner the market. Do your thing. 

Also for a business something like a variety of black twill a line skirts would be fantastic. Even for a beginner an A line skirt is not a huge construction challenge. Do some research, pic out some people you know who might like this sort of thing and ask them some questions. Average out measurements. Make up a few and have some folks try them on.

If I had the time and skills I would do it myself but I don't.

We want our marketplace to be full of a variety of things for the wide gorgeous variety of us. We want quality clothes that aren't crap. 

We want to support our indie designers. 

But as I said yesterday we can't if you don't let us.

That's all for today my homies. I have lots of things to do today and some of them include doing some more super thrifting searching for a couple of things.

Also would anyone be interested in me doing clothes reviews? I did a couple a few years ago. Over the winter I collected a few specially ordered pieces for Spring and Summer. 

More where to buy/how to goth up non goth specific things? Mostly lower cost things? Also socks since I have been on a Sock Dreams binge since last fall.

Any other requests my homies?

Now I love you all my homies and haters.

Homo Out.

PS...

I think if the weather holds I will have my shawls up for sale next week. Also you can buy my books still at amazon for kindle here. Proceeds from the Wayward Words collections go to me. The other two things listed are anthologies I have stories in.

Now really homo out. 

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Again Indie Alt designers.

I was just cruising Twitter and saw a post by Kambriel (an indie designer I have been a huge fan of for a long ass time) about a comment she made at the magazine Coilhouse.

Now for a bit of background when Coilhouse launched I was really excited and bought some issues. I pimped their links etc etc.

Full disclosure I lost my excitement about Coilhouse for the same reasons I've lost interest in 99% of any Alt. Media type things.

No diversity. Very few if any clothing lines I might be able to buy something from.

Today I don't want to talk about that.

I want to talk to you indie/alt designers about how to make your larger sizes succeed and I'm going to use places like Old Navy and Lip Service etc as an example of how not to do it.

Also I do not want to hear any whining here.

This is consulting services for free.

All right let's get started.

First of all take an objective look at your collection and then an objective look at people, not just models regular people who wear things similar (and let's not be too sensitive, nothing is that original) to your aesthetic.

Understand, really understand that as I have said many times before your personal preferences for your body and the bodies of people you're attracted to aren't an issue.

You make to make that money. More money. A fat or otherwise non normative or non normative in your world body is not going to ruin your vision or product.

Second use the googles. Click this link which is a search for the term "fat fashion bloggers" read some of those blogs. Hell if you don't want to read just look at some of the pictures. Understand that the pervasive idea that fat people don't have any kind of taste or aesthetic is straight up bullshit.

Third if you decide to go ahead and offer larger sizes don't do any of these things:


  1. Do not call plus sizes cute names. 
  2. Do not create a line of plus size clothing that has nothing to do with your general aesthetic. When Lip Service resurrected their "Voluptuous Vixens" (awful name) line of plus size clothing it was not recognizably Lip Service. None of those pieces had the same aesthetic as any of the main Lip Service offerings. This is one reason why it was a big old flop.
  3. Do not make the pieces hard to find if you must make something that is not along the same lines as what you regularly offer. Using Lip Service as an example again, when their super special plus size things were launched they were hard to find on the site.  Frankly a lot of people I know don't want to spend five minutes searching and clicking around to find a product. Old Navy took their plus sizes out of their stores and made buying them and returning them etc a really difficult process and though a lot of us still buy those sizes, a lot of us stopped.
  4. Do not expect people to flock to your products if no one knows about them. Marketing 101 if you aren't actively promoting and if these are new sizes prominently promoting an expanded size range people aren't going to flock to it. As in, if I have looked in your shop six times in the last say year and not once have you had something that would fit me. Most likely I the shopper am not going to come back to surprise expanded size range.
  5. Do not base an XL on a "straight" (as in non plus sized) clothing. Use plus size specific size charts. This means you're going to have to do some research. Lots of stores have plus sizes or are plus size exclusively. Look at their sizing charts to get an idea of what a plus size range can look like starting from about a size 14 on up through 32 so you have a working knowledge of what you can do.
Now I know that it's a lot to take in. You're awesome. You can do it.

Now here's what to do.

  1. Do find a fit model/someone fat to talk to/blogger you like and ask them if you can ask them questions about fit etc. 
  2. Do start with one or two garments. Perhaps if you make skirts, offer a couple of your skirts in larger sizes. I do have some sewing experience and it's not that hard.
  3. Do yourself and your customers a favor and post an accurate size chart. If the sizing in your line varies, measure each garment in each size you list. Now I also highly recommend if you make items with stretch, please list minimum and maximum measurements when stretched and not stretched. From personal experience this makes a HUGE difference for me as a shopper. I would rather know that something stretched will fit than buy something that most likely won't.
  4. Do be welcoming and not condescending. 
  5. Do ask for honest feedback from your new customers.
  6. Do reach out to plus size models or just hot fat people on the internet. 
Other tips.

If you are the type who needs a fit model don't tell me there are no fat ones.

Go to the googles again and find those fat fashion blogs. Contact a blogger and say Hi my name is X and I am an indie designer from Narnia. I am looking to start including plus sizes in my line and I really need some help finding fit models. I can't (skip this part if you can) afford to give away clothes but I can offer some swag, some TFP work, stickers, discounts, etc. I have been reading your blog and really enjoy it. Could you possibly put out the call here to help signal boost so I can get this done?

BOOM.

That. Easy.

The thing is designers that us fat asses have money. Some of us like myself are Old Goths and pine for a time when it was far easier to find commercial Goth wear in a plethora of sizes. With Torrid going Pink and most of your day to day goth wear shops carrying brands that no longer make larger sizes we're screwed.

Old Goths like me are relegated to making it work with shit from where ever I can find it or just going without something really nice.

And do not give me that DIY aesthetic bullshit. DIY is highly time consuming, not everyone (as you designers know more than anyone) has the skills and frankly even though I have some of the skills I don't want to have to refashion or make everything ever.

So the quick and dirty is this. Make the things and we will buy. Well probably not me often because I'm poor but a lot of fat folks (another thing you can do, check out some plus size fashion sites. Plus size clothes, beautifully made quality fashionable plus size clothes are expensive.) have money and want to give you that money.

Don't treat plus sizes like they are the worst thing ever. They aren't I promise.

If you as a non fat designer take a minute and say god damn it, I want ALL THE FAT ASSES in my clothes, those of us with all the fat asses will start loving you.

Can't take the word of one lone Old Goth who happens to be fat?

Take Kambriel's word, out of her post this bit at the end sums it all up beautifully.

It is not so much harder to offer things in a wide range of sizes, especially when working in an independent fashion. It does not need to be prohibitively more costly, nor do I believe the failure or success of a startup depends on keeping the offered size range small. I think there are too many myths we hear enough times and start to believe in ourselves, and it’s up to us to kick those myths to the curb and say things can be different, and we can be the ones to change the status quo.

Now the fact that anyone, much less someone with such a good reputation has to say this in an "alt" capacity depresses me but whatever.

So designers. To quote Tim Gunn make it work.

Don't be like every other douchebag mainstream designer who has a temper tantrum if a woman with some ass n titties wants their clothes. Don't become Karl Lagerfeld.

If you don't like fat bodies keep your comments to yourself.

If you don't approve of fat bodies wearing high fashion keep it to yourself.

Have whatever opinion you want just keep it away from my ass.

Now all this consulting has been free but if you have questions come on and ask. Need help finding references? I might help.

Now I turn it over to the most awesome people on the internet, my Homies.

So Homies, do you have anything you want to tell indie designers?

Tomorrow or next week I'd like to continue this conversation with an eye towards talking to designers about things. I have some more free advice for how to behave with fat customers for designers and some words for those who can't keep their fat hating mouths shut.

Homo Out.


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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fatty Wants.

I'm not all the way back yet but let's talk fashion.

Can we talk about my aesthetic right now?

First keywords.

Nazgul.

Let's break that down. I want flowing, perhaps tattered, scary, black. I want huge deep hoods. Flowy, long cardigan jacket/coat things.

I want layers.

I want asymetry.

I want to play with texture and fit.

Now I have been working on this and it's fucking hard y'all. I have the awful habit of never buying things when they are in season so when I want them I can't find them.

I'm talking ALL of the Dark not so pretty things. I want them.

First let's talk about some basics I am incorporating into my Nazgul Ugly Aesthetic.

Old Navy Leggings. Here are the straight size ones here are the plus size ones. I am a not a lot of ass having smack between a 14-16 in pants at Old Navy and the XXL is a bit too loose for me. Seattle is random with the weather right now so these are important. Also they are super soft and inexpensive.

Sticking with ON for the moment let's talk skirts. I am no fan of their fitted skirts as they never fit decently on me. BUT anything with a more stretchy waist I'm all about it. My favorite time honored style is the fold over jersey skirts. They are super soft, versatile and comfy. However my friends do not pay full price. Thrift them, get them on sale do what you do. Luckily this style is also done at Walmart and target etc. I am actually wearing one from Target right now.

I've also had some good luck at my size (round about my size) with footless leggings in the biggest straight size from Target. Although the bright colors are tighter in the crotch and thigh.

And can we talk about Sock Dreams? Once Upon a long ass time ago I lamented and beat my breast about Sock Dreams socks because they had a crap selection, no real resources about plus size socks.

Oh how things have changed. This is a company that I actually BELIEVE loves all kinds of bodies. They back that shit up by having different shapes and sizes of legs in their photos. They let us sock lovers know if a particular color is tighter than others.

Seriously, look at this. Dear other businesses, this is how it is done. Sock Dreams provide for the customer who is not fit model sized like a fucking boss.

The next staple are tanks and tees. I am not really a fancy shirt person. I don't like ruffles, I don't like crap all over my boobs. I am very particular. I need shirts to be around hip length, not too high of a neckline, soft and comfy. My go to products are those tanks from Old Navy, Target etc. I wear a lot of black, grey, purple, burgundy short sleeved tees in V necks, crew necks and the occasional boatneck.

Keep your eye out. Even if a place isn't a "goth" shop. You can get your pieces anywhere you can get other things.

Where I am running into trouble is that I love interesting leggings and cardigans.

Both are expensive.

Also expensive are the shoes I'm currently fantasizing about.

Can we talk about these booties? Um..I don't wear high heels anymore but I want them so bad. I know they are imitating Jeffrey Campbell but a girl has to do what she has to do.

Which brings me to more DIY.

You know what my homies? I'm really done asking indie designers for shit for the most part.

I am going to knock off things to the best of my ability. I will do so gleefully and blatantly.

I may not subscribe to the DIY above all else ethos of Gothdom but you know what?

Fuck lip service to loving all bodies. Give it to me or step aside.

Next time we need to discuss interesting leggings. I'm hoping to get my finished shawls ready to be listed and sold and OH SHIT I almost forgot.

So during the shitstorm that has been the last few months in the blogosphere I've also been hard at work doing some stuff. Check it out.

If you have a kindle or use a kindle app thing you can buy not only ONE of my fiction collections (here) BUT dundundun...I put out a new one.

Get the all flash version here.

Both are under 4$. Neither is overly long. And I am super proud of both.

Okay next time more fashion. Also fuck pretty. I want to make the first post exploring my vision of being terrifyingly glamorous.

Also let me say hello to my new homies and for my regulars holy shit you guys.

Y'all have been so awesome. Thank you for understanding why I will probably not get too deep right now. Thank you for doing the bigger important thing is that you've listened. You've listened and been amazing.

I love you.

Homo Out.
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