Friday, May 31, 2013

Adulting 102. Don't stop get it get it.

Back in January I posted a little thing about being an adult and getting into your first place of your own. Our newly Adult homie is back and asked me about entertaining and entertainment and how to act.

First let's be clear. When I say adult it doesn't matter your age. I'm talking about a time when you are taking care of shit on your own. Maybe you've been partnered or married for a long time or maybe you just don't know this stuff.

It's okay.

Our homie basically wanted to know what to do with themselves when they are home alone and how to entertain without either going broke or being super anxious. They are settled in at their job, have a handle on those bills and shit.

Ready y'all okay.

Firstly let me say this. When living by yourself and having an ultimate amount of privacy for the first time one of the true joys of that is being able to do what you want, when you want in your own damn house.

One of my personal favorites is to cue up music I like and bootyshake my way around the house. Often in my underwear.

Do ALL the dances. Cabbage patch, (note all the links are instructional videos on youtube.) Dougie, Walk it out, Flail around with not one ounce of rhythm.

Get it.

If your go to dance moves involve some Napoleon Dynamite level pelvic thrusts. Get it.

The beauty of this is there is no one there to judge you, nobody can tell you to stop fucking around and clean your room. It's your space.

Other stuff you can do to entertain yourself.

Masturbation of course. Cue up whatever you're into, take your pants off and get down with yourself. Take your time, do it on the living room floor. Matter of fact if you have a day off, spend the whole day masturbating and eating pizza or whatever you like. Don't answer the phone or the door just love the one you're with.

Have sex with anybody you damn well please. Want to have a one night stand then tell them to go home? Go ahead. Want to have some gay sex? GET THAT GAY SEX. It's your place. Have your lube and safer supplies at the ready and go to it.

What else?

Learn how to make one awesome thing. I'm talking food here. One of the other fantastic things about living by yourself is you can learn to say make an awesome frittata or pie or whatever and you can screw up as many times as you like. Once you get it the way you want it, TADAAA show your friends. They will think you are magic.

Try to learn a new skill out of the public view. Learn how to knit or decoupage or whatever without pressure from watching other people be seemingly instantly awesome at it. The internet is at your fingertips. Once you have some supplies for your chosen skill, turn to the google machine and search for tutorials. No harm no foul if you discover you suck at it. And if you are shy or self conscious, nobody saw what happened.

The beauty of this whole situation is that the world is your oyster and your shell is closed. You can close your curtains and lay around bucky naked all day, eating cookies and watching porn because it's your damn house.

Next up.


Here's the thing. Honestly the most wonderful and memorable parties etc haven't been fancy and full of Martha Stewarty shit. The best ones involved food from the dollar store or group fast food orders, people I love and nonsense.

Here are some ideas.

Have a grown up slumber party.

Invite friends to come over and stay the night. If you and your friends like to drink try this. In your invitation ask that everyone bring the supplies for their favorite cocktail so everyone can share. Do you know someone who makes awesome jello shots? Ask them to make some.

BYOB is not shameful. We're all broke. We all like to party. We can all chip in.

If you are the type who likes to have activities here are some fun ones.

Send everyone this video link. Have a twerk off. Everybody gets some prize if you want to make them and you all bootyshake and have a good time.

Play an adult version of caption this. Save some funny images on your computer and if you want to print them out or just show them to everyone. Whomever comes up with the best caption wins. Pee yourselves laughing.

If you're less activity inclined make a list of stupid movies. Send the list to everyone invited and have them vote on what you will all watch and snark on. I'm talking yelling at the TV, telling jokes, nerd meltdowns. Make it a free for all.

Talk about bad books.

Make each other laugh.

THe important things aren't how you decorated or if you made the best canapes or even if your house looks like you got it styled by someone.

What's important is having people you love or want to get to know in your home and having a good time.



Good conversations.

Get goofy. Act like a pure fool.

The big secret to this part of Adulting is not how fancy you get. It's how much fun and awesome you get. If fun and awesome for you is having a quiet sit down with people you like and watching a show that's awesome. If you want to get drunk and roll around on the floor wrestling like drunken baby bears do it.

Do each others nails, do each others hair. Play touch football, set up a slip n slide. Eat ice cream. Whatever.

Now I turn it over to the most awesome people on the internet. Do you have ideas about these things? Share with the class please.

Now my darlings happy Friday. Have a wonderful weekend. <3 p="">
Homo Out.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Health and morality and why it is a lie.

I am sure you've seen it.

Everything from inspirational porn often featuring attractive disabled people doing anything ever to churches to ads to how people discuss it, the appearance of health and fitness has become some sort of faux moral barometer.

Now if we look at this problem from the perspective that Health* is an absolute linear thing that one can quantify and verify by looking at someone the system is flawed at best and extremely problematic and full of lies at worst.

If we assume that to look Healthy* is what makes one a good person automatically the following people would be the worst people:

  • Disabled people. Both physical visible disabilities, invisible physical disabilities, mental illness.
  • People with congenital or other genetic illnesses and issues.
  • People with chronic illness.
  • People who have compromised immune systems for whatever reasons (HIV/Auto immune diseases etc)
In the view of keeping the appearance of Health* at all costs we must assume that the only Healthy* (therefore moral) people are thin and attractive. 

If we assume that a thin person is Healthy* and thus moral how do we know?

Is it in fact not possible for someone who looks healthy because they are not perceived as being overweight or fat, to be a complete bastard and/or not be healthy in the binarist version of Health*.

When I say binarist version of Health* I'm talking about the idea that Health* is a monolithic absolute state that anyone if they try hard enough can attain. It is the idea behind shame filled Inspiration Porn images, it is the idea behind the pressures to eat only certain ways, to be thin and to look a certain way. It is the idea that Health (as viewed as either absolutely healthy or not healthy at all) is what makes us good people who deserve to be respected and treated well by society at large.

As we learn very early on, you cannot visually diagnose the state of another human beings health. 

For instance.

If you see someone coughing do you:

  1. Assume they have lung cancer.
  2. Assume they have asthma.
  3. Assume they are gross and out of shape.
  4. Assume they were just hitting a weed pipe.
  5. Assume they have post nasal drip from the fat lines of blow they just did?
Probably not.

Does anyone else remember early HIV/AIDS education classes/lectures? Do you remeber how much it was harped on that you can't look at someone and know their status.

If we accept that in terms of illnesses etc we can't see them, how then do we accept that if we can see that a person is not obviously fat that they are healthy?

Moving along.

If health even if it is not the binarist view of it, is in fact a barometer of your ethics and morality for other people to see, how does that work for those who are not healthy?

If a thin person who otherwise fits into this view of health as morality has hepatitis are they no longer a moral person?

How flexible can this idea of morality be?

I've heard from people who believe this that they tend to treat people with unpreventable diseases or problems better than those for whom they view their health problems as being "preventable".

This doesn't work either.

Let's take this story by writer Eva Moon for an example.

She has had a double mastectomy as a preventative measure.

This stands out to me:

Let me ask you. Who is the real you? The happy, focused, vital woman who made the drastic choice to "mutilate herself" and then move on? Or the physically intact, natural "as God made you" woman who lives in dread of the next round of surveillance, who, with nearly certain odds of the deadliest form of breast cancer, knows that her dread is justified?
Now if acting to prevent health problems (especially catasrophic ones as viewed by society as in being fat, having cancer etc) is in fact the good and right thing wouldn't it follow that instead of people talking using loaded words like mutilated etc people would use different language.

We wouldn't have to watch people question (and I will assume she went through this as well) or listen to people pontificate from a position of apparent "wholeness" and "naturalness" about how awful and weird it is that a woman would make that decision.

If it is of a higher moral order to do everything possible to preserve one's health, this difficult action would be hearalded.

It's not.

This is why the people who try to sell us drugs and assorted bullshit are lying.

Let's talk about some of the lies.

Lie #1.
A basic biology class or to make it even simpler just looking around at the other human beings perambulating around the earth would tell us that what is and isn't health varies as much as we ourselves vary.

If it was possible for humanity to have this linear binarist idea of health be backed up by our bodies, a lot of things would not go on.

There wouldn't be different degrees of allergies and reactions to things that vary person to person. I personally am fairly allergic (as in I will have medium to severe skin problems up to chemical burns) from certain soaps. Someone else I know only gets a little itchy.

If our health all functioned in the same manner across the board you and I could eat, drink, and exercise the same and our bodies would react the same way.

It just does not work that way.

Health as it's own complicated intersectional thing functions different for all of us. Some of us are naturally very healthy people who don't often get sick, don't have to take medications to live, etc. Some of us aren't.

If you have an immune system made of iron it does not make you morally or ethically better than me because my immune system is fragile.


If we could accurately diagnose any illness in another person just by looking, can you imagine how much cheaper health care would be?

Fat or not, what if I could walk up to you on the street and ask what's wrong with me?

What if you could look at me and say, your left ear is a bit congested, your throat is irritated and your sinus cavities look a little full. Maybe you should take some different allergy medication.

Can you do that?

I'll wait.

Can you tell me with any precision what my blood pressure is?

Go ahead I'll wait.

The answer (YES EVEN THOUGH I AM A FAT LITTLE PERSON) is no you can't.

If you still don't believe me because I am fat, next time you go to the doctor ask them point blank if it's possible to know just from looking at someone and without having any further background information, if you can tell what the status of their health is.

Lie #3.

That it is absolutely true that it is better to do everything you can to preserve your health or to get healthy.


Aside from Eva up there, let's talk about how people tell others to lose weight.

People without any background information, without knowledge of eating habits or other life habits people have told me personally the following in all seriousness as in they weren't being sarcastic:

  • Try eating 500 calories a day. 
  • Stop eating all together.
  • Workout plans that would/have caused me bodily injury.
  • To eat only X foods.
Now if the goal is to be thin which in this view is to be healthy, is it still moral and healthy if my method of being thin and appearing healthy is pathologically unhealthy?

It is not good for anyone to be starving. Humans have to eat to survive. Let's take it to the logical conclusion, if to lose weight I have to stop eating and to maintain that weight I can't eat or I can't eat above a starvation level what is going to happen?

I am going to hasten my own death. I may starve to death. I may die of malnutrition. I may have a heart attack. 

How is it good or moral to suggest that the road to Health* is paved with death?

Yes literal death.

Here's the problem with this whole idea about looking Healthy*.

Healthy* as I have been using it is not possible.

Health* is not a monolith. It is not a rule. It is not a law. This is not the Dystopian Gattaca.

Health* or being healthy doesn't automatically make you a better person.

Human beings are not machines. We are a deeply biodiverse species. Our bodies may have the potential to function in specific ways but we do not all function in those ways.

If you want to believe that being healthy is a good moral thing to do that's great go ahead. However instead of using that as a bludgeon to shame fat people or anyone who doesn't look the part into fitting into your world view, use that moral outrage for some good.

If you want to point your health morality self at something, consider the morality and utter depravity that is the American health care system.

Is it moral that people, especially marginalized people (Fat people, POC, Queer people, Trans* people etc etc) are often completely barred from even having basic health care. 

Is it moral that so many people have to crowdfund life saving care because they are not wealthy?

Is it moral that Fat wee Shannon has had to fight and wail on occasion just to get a mammogram? Something that could potentially save my actual life?

Is it moral that fat people for instance are never allowed to exist anywhere and are (with a high five from society) often bullied to the point of death, even if they are doing what they can to preserve, maintain or improve their health? All because they don't look the part?

Ideas and beliefs about morality have a place in discussions about health. Just watch and take care where you apply your morals.

Instead of using that power to further ideas about how being attractive and fitting into the Thin Pretty White lady Ideal is ultimately good or great. How about we use that power to make it so that nobody would ever think to tell Eva she mutilated herself. Or that nobody would think it was funny to moo at me while I am walking or exercising outside. Or that nobody would thik it was perfectly fine to bar a really really fat person from getting health care. Or we could stop medical professionals from abusing vulnerable people to the point where they are afraid to seek medical care for fear of being abused.

That's all for today.

Tomorrow darlings I have an Adulting 102 entry. A level up for one of our friends who needs help figuring out what adulthood looks like for them.

I wanna talk about my experience being a WOC who has been involved with FA for so many years and how frustrating it is that I am still fairly invisible.

And there will be fluff because I am in need of the best brains in the universe, yours.

Homo Out.


Monday, May 27, 2013

It's a trap!

If the many emails I get about this are to be believed, there are a plethora of miracle herbs, pills and drugs to make me perfect.

If by perfect we mean the following:

  1. Lighter skinned and closer to looking White.
  2. Thin, tight and boy shaped with a round perky ass, smaller perky tits and a flat belly.
  3. Increase my IQ AND make me thinner.
  4. Make straight men love me forever because I am thinner.
  5. Cure the diabetes I don't have.
  6. etc etc.
Beyond spam blasts some of these things are sent to me via facebook or other social media with claims that range from ridiculous to patently stupid.

Once upon a time I fought the spam and the ads. I clicked unlike, I unsubscribed etc etc. These days I take a different approach.

Not too long ago a self identified master nutritionist/weight loss guru emailed me offering me a very exciting opportunity to get in on the ground floor of marketing their nutrition and supplement based make everything better pill.

The claims from this person were pretty wild. She promised that my skin would improve, I would not have cellulite, that I would lose weight without "diet or exercise", that I would be smarter, more alert, look younger and basically be the most awesome person ever.

Instead of telling her to fuck off I decided to engage a little bit and get some more information.

Firstly I learned that she claimed to be a big fan of my blog here and my writing in general. Lie#1. If she had in fact been a long standing fan of this here little blog, she'd have known from jump that I have zero interest in buying or shilling bullshit diet products.

Second. I asked her for detailed information about how her pills change metabolic processes on such a wide scale. The first explanation was essentially fluff and bullshit. The second time I asked she claimed that her "ancient and secret" recipe would increase my metabolism, liquify (her word not mine) excess fat, smooth out cellulite and would just make me the best most hottest woman ever. She promised that I would feel twenty again to which I said okay no. I responded to this saying that from what she claimed her formula sounded like speed with a multivitamin chaser. 

Third was the grift. For the low low price of 150$ not only would I get a 30 day supply of her miracle drug but I would also be in for a whopping 5% discount on resales. When I asked if she oversaw manufacturing she said no, she couldn't tell me where these pills came from nor give me an accurate ingredient list. I looked over her promotional material and on every photo and story there was that teeny tiny text that said *results atypical.

Now I have done go rounds with miracle pills. Fat burners, metabolism boosters, cellulite creams/gels etc etc. The most I've ever gotten out of them is that speedy speedy feeling I prefer in my drugs. A few gave me the fiery shits, a few just did nothing.

What we can learn from what I did is this.

We know we are being lied to. We can tell these uber marketers that no, no we don't actually believe their junk science, twenty year old "studies", photos, testimonials that curiously all read the same way, nor do we believe that our results will be the *atypical results.

The thing is that for every one of these ads we see or get in our inboxes, we can know a few things.

  1. It is probably a ponzi scheme.
  2. The "miracle" results are indeed rare and unsupported by anything.
  3. They are banking on prescriptive beliefs of self hatred and profiting from your misery.
  4. They are supporting not your health or the size of your ass but their wallets.
  5. Don't take candy from strangers.
The last one is very apt. 

Think about it this way.

If some random person walked up to you and told you that (based on a quick visual assessment) you are going to die of every disease known to man if you don't take their pill right now what would you do?

I'm guessing most of us would probably at least say no thank you and at most tell this person to jam their pill up their ass.

If in fact we cannot tell by looking at a person in the face what health problems they may or may not actually have, how can we tell by email addresses?

Most of the time we know I'm not the biggest proponent of monetary based activism because too often it's just not possible for most of us.

But in this case put your wallet away.

Not only do not give these people your money, if they continue emailing them report them to spam alert websites. Complain at the Better Business Bureau,

On facebook dislike/hide those ads.

If you have the ability to hide those ads on websites you frequent do so. 

Basically I am all for costing these people money and if you get spam/email/messages from people who won't leave you alone, put them on blast for harassment.

Keep your money.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars (or thousands) on bullshit pills, buy yourself some exercise equipment if you want. Go out to a fancy dinner, buy some fancy underpants, take a friend to the theatre.

Essentially my darlings, save your money for things that are better for you.

Do something fancy that makes you happy. Save up those dollars you might otherwise give to diet/fitness gurus (by buying their supplements/dvds/magazines) and buy something that makes you really feel good about yourself.

Don't pay people who profit from your self esteem being battered at, body policing, the promotion of self hatred and bullshit. This is one instance where I absolutely no holds barred recommend you make a statement with your money.

Don't pay your hard earned money to support an industry built on deception.

This is one case where if I can not, you can not do it.

Okay my darlings that's all for now.

Homo Out.


Friday, May 17, 2013

The Ambercrombie and Fitch problem.

So I'm going to assume we've all heard about the bullshit the CEO/whatever from AF has said about fat people.

Now first let's understand that this is not shocking. It's not new. It's not a surprise at all. If you have seen any of their adverts, their products etc you'd be pretty fully aware that they are a no fat people store.

Via facebook I saw that there is an Occupy AF thing going on and I have so many problems with this I couldn't fit it all into a facebook comment.

Buckle your seatbelts.

From the facebook page:

>We can't change their business practices, and we can't (and don't want to) force them to make larger sizes. We CAN let them know that bullying is unacceptable, and we CAN change the rarified atmosphere in their store.
This is NOT a "protest". Please do not bring signs, signs, or chant. Just go to Abercrombie and Fitch with as many large, unpopular, or possibly just level-headed people that you know, and shop. Try things on that don't fit. Don't buy anything. Just make the store a place filled with the people that they don't want there.

This one day is just a beginning, a symbol. Every time you are in the mall, go in the store. Don't buy anything, just be there to make sure that their goal of their store being filled with only thin and beautiful people is thwarted. Make it an unpleasant place for the "cool" and "beautiful" kids to shop.

Also from the page:

Remember: This is NOT a "protest". No signs, no chanting, no destruction of property (though if you own A&F clothing that you want to "alter" and wear, feel free). Just browse (but don't buy). Fill the store with people that they don't want there, making it unpleasant for the people they DO want there.
 My first problem with this sort of thing is that the action is directed to the wrong people.

Let's make this perfectly clear.

I do not care where other people with bodies different from mine shop. As I've discussed where and how people shop is not always a tacit agreement about a companies business model, it's not always about being cool and pretty, nor is it always a cut and dried decision. I just posted about that here.

I cannot support the idea that making the consumers of a product feel badly about their purchases or as the about statement says, make them uncomfortable is reasonable or okay.

As I say over and over again, unless you are coming out of pocket to pay for other peoples clothing, food, shelter, cars etc. It's really not your place or business to bother them about it.

Moving along.

Let's talk about being a retail employee shall we?

As we all know being poor or jobless really sucks. It is a rarified privilege to really have the option of saying, no I don't want this job because the CEO is a dick.

Most retail (especially in chain stores) employees make minimum wage and most are part time without medical insurance.

Let's have a quick look at minimum wage. Currently the federally mandated minimum wage is 7.25$ an hour.

Before taxes if you worked a full 40 hour work week you would make, 290$ a week.

When contrasted with a multi millionare boss and customers who can afford to shop in a store at full price, what effect does making those people uncomfortable have?

Let's see.

Having a planned action in a store even if it is supposed to be not a protest means that those people (who are presumably poor especially if they are adults who are not supported by parents or spouses) more stressed out. Working retail, especially in a store that people at large have a problem with sucks. Add in the stress of poverty and then a bunch of people intentionally wanting to fuck up your day and it's really not great.

Salespeople in retail stores have the least amount of power in the structure of retail.

Why focus the energy on people who have no power to change anything?

Why put the onus of change on people who often if they do become a squeaky wheel will lose their jobs?

Would the people who plan to occupy AF give those people jobs if they lose them? :Make them feel better if at the next store meeting they get berated for "not doing something" about the situation?

I worked retail and I remember things like this happening on a small scale. There was a lot of pressure to not let it happen but no real power to do so.

Yes, people working there have chosen to work there but, when you need to feed and clothe yourself or support your family, money comes first for a lot of people.

Not everyone has the privilege of letting their own personal ethics dictate every choice they make.

I felt the same way when people wanted to occupy target stores.

No one has ever given me a good answer as to why it is that these type of things always focus on the people with the least amount of pull. Or told me how those people are supposed to create a change in a company they don't own and have no influence as to how it is run.

If the point is to just be irritating and potentially cause employee stress, it's a good plan.

If there is a desire to make some change and awareness among the people who can make a difference there are other annoying things to do.

For instance.

If you click here you can see an array of means of contacting AF. If you want to make them uncomfortable it is very simple to spend a little while writing a short form style email. Have all of the people you want to occupy, send the same message. Every day at the same time. Every. Day. Spread the message on facebook, message boards and other social media and ask people to join in.

Read their diversity statement and ask pointed questions about it. Every. Day. If you get a response, CC EVERYONE you can think of and share the information you get.

Also at the end of everything, there is not a lot anyone can do to change that mans mind or his policies. There is merit in watching to see if they violate their own or state or federal policies  Call the right people about that. Remind them of every misstep if they violate those policies.

Basically don't screw with the people with the least power.

Let me say it again.

Regardless of your personal ability to decide where you work, how and where you spend your money etc based strictly on your idea of ethics and morality that's awesome. Get it. Do it.

However, do remember that not everyone is in that position and it is patently unfair and frankly a jerk move to harass, bother or make the rest of us uncomfortable.

Also in case you don't already know, I think that the CEO of AF is a fucking asshole. Very typical sizeist, classist rich White dude douchebag. I hope he has the eternal fiery shits. I hope he gets the shits so bad he needs an anal retread.

I don't care what he looks like, and yes if part of your issue with him is his looks please stop. Not an okay thing. I do care that he's a douchebag.

I am very into the idea of letting the horrified public make sure he knows how much of a douchebag we think he is.

I'm not okay with doing the same to the people who work at his company. Especially the ones on the bottom.

Homo Out.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Subversion and White Women.

Every few months or so some company (most recently Dove) or lady rag (Glamour, Cosmo whomever) decides that they are going to be the Captain Save A Hos of the universe. Last year I talked about Lady Gaga being the face of a new body love revolution and why it pissed me off.

Right now I've read about ten to fifteen articles around the internet where Thin Pretty White Ladies are extolling the virtues of body love and acceptance in the form of pointing out their "flaws" and using the language of self help books everywhere. LOOK AT ME I HAVE A FAT ON MY ASS AND I OVERCAME.

Etc. Etc. You've seen it.

I remain unimpressed.

I've seen a lot of arty farty things on tumblr and elsewhere that use the language of subverting the dominance of the Thin Pretty White Lady with more Thin Pretty White Ladies, but maybe they don't  have on obvious make up or they are making stupid faces.


or not.

Here's the thing.

Subversion at it's root is not just putting an "ugly" face on the predominant beauties and calling it done.

In this context all that does is frankly piss off a lot of people who are in actuality, just by walking around in the world with their heads up are walking talking subversion.

In FA we have the same problem.

The hourglass beautiful White lady with big tits, a big booty and killer clothes is the Optimal Fatty.

Honestly, a lot of those people who are heralded in FA circles aren't saying anything all that deep beyond You Go Girl style feminism.

On one hand yes it's nice to see a glamourous fat person doing some glam things but, at what point do we start saying okay this is not really doing it and this person does not represent us or me at all.

My problem with this phenomenon in both FA specifically and in the world at large revolves around the absolute fact that I am not and never will be close to the Thin White Lady ideal.

I won't.

Most of you won't.

Furthermore, those of us who are far away from that idea have been doing this work for a long time. I am not here for people who whether willfully or not steal my work and the work of people like me.

I am not okay with the Thin Pretty White Ladies leading the charge against discrimination that let's face it, in the US they don't experience on a wide scale.

If we take the example of the Thin Pretty White Lady and her bit of fat on her ass, let's put her in the world of a fat person.

This is touching again on the differences between interpersonal problems (name calling, body policing etc) and institutional bias.

In this context I would like to know if that jiggly saddlebag on the thigh or the small protuberance of a bloated belly has ever caused this Thin Pretty White Lady to be denied, flat out denied basic medical care?

Generally speaking, that doesn't happen.

As I pointed out in the follow up to the interpersonal vs industrial yes it can happen but it is not the norm.

The fact is that what these (most often, and used loosely per usual) women are fighting is not in fact the soul crushing, life destroying status quo.

Most often they want how pretty and awesome they are to be reinforced.

That has nothing to do with getting me, or other fat marginalized people the things that matter. No I dont' give a fuck about Abercrombie not serving the plus size market. We KNOW they don't, have y'all looked at their websites and choices of models? come on now.

The Thin Pretty White Lady LOOK HOW PRETTY WE ARE AND WE TOTALLY DON'T GIVE A FUCK body acceptance is not what the rest of us need.

What we need is to destroy the Thin Pretty White Lady Ideal as an aspirational goal.

We need access to the basic health care that many of us pay for out of pocket, so we can live the best lives we can.

We need for those who do cater to plus size customers in terms of clothing to understand that no we don't want the worst multi animal print muumuu they can come up with. We want choices that range from couture to 19.99 pants.

We need for those Thin Pretty White ladies to yell as loud when it comes to how we are treated as they expect for us to yell about how they are treated.

We need for the Thin Pretty White Ladies to instead of taking the mic and running with it to say, hey these people know their shit listen to them.

We need for the people who believe themselves to be bucking the system by feeding us images of the current acceptable ideas of beauty and personhood to shut the entire fuck up.

We need to stand up for ourselves and our voices.

We need to not just accept the rah rah look how pretty someone is and understand that while it might feel good (if you fall into the closer to the Thin Pretty White lady Ideal than not) for a minute, it's not sustaining.

We need to look at ourselves and say, does this serve my needs?

What is my solution?

Fuck pretty. Fuck rah rah lady rag articles. Fuck Thin (or not so thin) Pretty White Ladies being the face of my needs.

I walk around in this fat Black body that is often loathed and desired, I walk around with my head up and I survive. I come here and i write stuff. I support my friends of Color and my Queers and the people whose voices tend to be drowned out in the noise of the misplaced authority of the Pretty White Ladies.

On the small scale I wear whatever the fuck I want.

I take damn fine care of myself as I can because I have to.

I survive.

My survival and the fact that I am talking to you right now is a big ole middle finger to a world that tells me constantly from all angles that I am not only not good enough but that I will never be good enough.

I open my big mouth and I talk. Or I use my silence as a weapon.

So no I'm not excited when I see a lot of the buzz or hype around acceptance because it's not for me, it's not for you and that's fucking bullshit.

Homo Out.


Monday, May 13, 2013

When your beauty routine fights back. AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Intensive Night Cream

Okay darlings. This is going to be part review and part how to recover tale.

This entry brought to you in part by Influenster. I was sent the AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT Intensive Night cream for free to review.

Check out some other reviews here.

Product Blurb from Aveeno:

The AVEENO® POSITIVELY RADIANT® Intensive Night Cream, formulated with ACTIVE NATURALS® Total Soy Complex and vitamin B3, helps to reduce the appearance of discoloration, uneven tone and blotchiness, revealing healthier-looking skin.

To start with let me detail what products I use regularly.

From the fine company One Hand Washes the Other. I use Black Magic facial soap. I have been using this as a cleanser for about two years now and I must say that my skin is consistently clearer than it has been since puberty.

At night I use (so expensive my God) Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C night time facial cream. If you recall I bought it for myself as a present in January. I still have quite a bit so I'm not as upset about the price as I had been. Also, the stuff is freaking gold. Smells and behaves luxuriously. Worth it.

During the day I wash my face with cold water in the morning, I use one of several BB creams, MUFE mat velvet foundation and whatever powder is in arms reach.

So I opened up the Influenster box and was delighted to see the moisturizer. First impressions:

Nice light scent. Not as heady as my Korres but reasonable and dissipated quickly.

Very nice light but creamy texture.

The first time I used it I only used it on one cheek. I thought if I were going to have  reaction it would be immediate. After the first night things looked good. No itching, no redness, no apparent upset. I waited a full 48 hours and nothing so I started using it as I would use my regular night cream.

Within about four days my face broke out in epic proportions.

I have had acne prone, oily sensitive skin since puberty (more than 20 years to quantify it) and wow.

Honestly my face broke out worse than it has in years at this point.

I immediately stopped using the Aveeno and started the recovery effort.

Of course now it occurs to me I should have taken pictures but honestly I was just too upset to think of that. My cheeks and forehead were absolutely covered with painful bumps from very small to medium sized, some had whiteheads some didn't.

It was awful.

Here is how I set about recovering.

First thing, if you have a serious skin reaction do not go crazy on it and throw ALL THE PRODUCTS on it. That could make it worse.

I stopped using my Clarisonic and used just my hands and my black magic to remove my make up and cleanse my skin. I also alternated using a drying lotion (which I will review later) and heavy moisture because my face was drying out in spots.

I also made a serious effort to be extra hydrated. Lots of water.

I skipped using any facial masks etc and just kept up with gentle but thorough cleansing, lots of water and keeping my skin moist.

After about another week and a half or so my face is almost as clear as it was prior to this mishap.

I am pretty adventurous when it comes to new products and sometimes this happens. The thing to remember is that being gentle is your friend, don't put ALL the zit clearing things on your face at once and listen to your skin.

Now for my thrifty and frugal friends here is a protip.

When a moisturizer or face wash doesn't work out for your face don't toss it.

I've found that often what breaks out my face is good for other things. This time of year the skin on my body is dreadfully dry. That Aveeno moisturizer that broke out my face is actually really nice on my dry feets. I also use it on my knees and elbows. No itching no problems.

For facial cleansers, I keep them around and use them on my make up brushes. Especially my foundation brush. It's important to keep your face brushes clean to avoid bacteria caused breakouts.

So the moral is sometimes crap happens and your skin may freak out.

You can fix it with patient love and gentle attentions.

Also, don't toss away stuff that doesn't work for your face because you might get other uses out of it.

Again, this post brought to you by Influenster and I was sent this product for free to review.

If you'd like to be an influenster drop me a note as I still have a few invites left.


Monday, May 06, 2013

Swimsuit bodies, shame and nonsense.

For our purposes today, let us remember that in the mainstream culture, no body is ever good enough.

Not. One. body.

Not the models who are supposed to be the most beautiful of the beautiful. Not celebrities. No one is ever good or attractive enough as mainstream media tells us.

How do they tell us?

Pick up any fashion magazine, look at photos from awards shows, read about the diet and exercise habits of actresses before bikini shoots, awards season etc and we'll see that no one is ever good enough.

Working from that premise let's talk about how swimsuit season is made to shame you into doing some things. What things? Here's a short list.

  1. Buying into the latest fashion craze.
  2. Loathing your body.
  3. Removing your body hair.
  4. Buying whatever pills/DVDs/program the fitness guru of the moment is selling.
  5. Buying into the idea that photoshopped/digitally enhanced/surgically altered bodies are the only bodies that are good.
  6. Buying into the idea that in order to be a good/hot/sexy/attractive/confident person you must aspire have your body look like those unreal bodies, no matter what.
I did some casual research on weightloss blogs/news etc and from what I could find the weightloss industry in America is raking in a shocking 60 billion per year.

Let me repeat that for the cheap seats.

60 Billion dollars a year.

To put that into perspective a little bit I found some comparisons about what 60 billion dollars could do from an old Forbes article this one is my favorite (find the rest at the bottom of the article):

If $60 billion earned 8% annually, the sum could indefinitely pay the salary of 104,753 public school teachers (average pay: $45,822 a year).
Holy shit right?

Now let's talk about what we're getting for all that money we as human beings spend on the weight loss/self hate industry?

Many of us get yo yo weight. We go up, we go down, we go up and down and around the world. For some basic info on why yo yo dieting is bad for you here's a link to the wiki article. Do the rest of your own research.

Now if the only means to morality, health and having a good body is long term ill effects on our health, what are we paying for?

What else are we getting?

We get scammed.

If you closely examine the text on any fitness "aid" or supplement advertisement, you will see in teeny tiny print somewhere "results atypical".

That means that you being a typical person, will not get the miraculous before and after shot.

You typical person who spent hundreds or thousands on pills, dvds, classes, special food, meetings, memberships, etc etc will not get that after shot.

Another secret. Examine those before and after shots especially of women. Notice the different postures, sucking it in hard, dour before expressions. The before pictures are meant to be as visually unappealing as possible and give you the idea that you typical person, look miserable and gross.

What else are we getting?

We are getting encouraged to engage in behaviors that go from merely troubling to become pathological. Worrying food and exercise habits which can lead to immediate illness and injury to lifelong struggles with eating disorders.

Other than weightloss, when is anyone ever encouraged to develop habits that are very easily pathological?

Really think about that. Where else aside from issues around weight, do we genuinely think that it's helpful to tell people to starve themselves or exercise until they are injured and keep going?

In other areas concerning health, no one tells us to be more stressed out, to engage in dangerous behaviors in order to be considered acceptable.

Some of us also get the bonus of not only spending our money, but fucking ourselves up for life or dying. Look up the statistics on the aftermath of many weightloss surgeries.

Let's leave money for a moment and talk about what we are taught about swing suit bodies.

At every opportunity we are taught that there are only very specific types of bodies that are acceptable to be seen in public in a bathing suit.

One can be none of these things:

  1. Hairy
  2. Fat
  3. Jiggly
  4. Old
  5. Trans*
  6. In any way non gender role conforming

We are supposed to believe that not only must we be continuously striving for that good body, we must also display that we are fighting our natural bodies and conforming to gender roles, age roles and above all else we must be sexy to unknown dudes.

If we are not fuckable, we are not to be seen in our swim suits in public. 

If we are seen, we are to understand that it's okay for strangers to take pictures of us to make fun of us on the internet, if you are famous you are fodder to be absolutely ROASTED if you don't look like the retouched photos of yourself in magazines. We are to understand that the onus of having peace or being allowed to be seen in public in a swimsuit and not have it be a traumatic or abusive experience is on us and our bodies.

The responsibility for these things is NEVER put on the abusers.

We are also taught that we should be ashamed of all of this.

We should be ashamed that we are abused by random people in public, by the media, by whomever.

We should be ashamed that our bodies, even if we are trying with our dollars and wills to have a good body.

The shame is supposed to make us engage in funding the diet industry, in us covering up. The shame is supposed to drive us into change.

The change that once our thighs are smooth, our bodies are hairless and "even better" than they were when we were 16 or whatever, then just maybe we can be good.

If you notice, I have used the word good in italics today.

There is a reason for that.

The italics I'm using denotes bullshit.

When it comes to swimsuit bodies, shame, the diet industry etc good is usually supposed to mean any of the following:

  • sexy
  • moral
  • smart
  • attractive to heterosexual men
We are supposed to believe that if we are attractive in the real of the Thin White Lady ideal, we are then good people. 

That my darlings is pure shit.

The plain truth is that very very few if any human beings on the planet roll out of bed in the morning and fit that ideal.

If you do a simple google search on photoshopped celebrities, you'll see that even the most beautiful of the beautiful, look like thinner versions of everyone else.

Perfectly acceptable does not exist by and large.

Let's be nakedly honest here.

What is the point?

What is the real point of spending your money, time and energy, or risking your health and wealth to attain an ideal that is beyond reach even for those who we believe look that way?

If doing these things and engaging in that part of culture doesn't make you happy or give you the perfect retouched ass, what is the point?

We know that in this day and age things like yo yo dieting, stress, the Obesity Terror as portrayed in the media have devastating effects on us as humans, why are we doing it?

here's the thing.

If you like to diet go right on ahead.

If you like exercising until you feel like you will shit out your spleen, go on with your bad self.

What I'm saying is that you don't have to.

You don't have to engage with health, exercise, or your swimsuit body in that way.

Here's what I believe.

Do what makes you happy.

Be a fat babe in a swimsuit on the beach and be happy.

Be a thin babe in a swimsuit and be happy./

Wear the tiniest suit you can jam your ham into or be like a dear friend of mine and opt for total coverage with something like a Burkini.

Shave or don't shave.

Tan or don't tan.

The only thing I will tell you to do absolutely is stop buying into bullshit that hurts you.

Not only does swimsuit bodies culture hurt fat people, it hurts thin people. It hurts little girls, it hurts little boys, it hurts kids. It hurts old people. It hurts all of us whether we even want to wear a bathing suit or not.

Let me tell you a quick story.

Years ago I met a very nice very fat lady who lived right on the beach for twenty five years and she did not set foot on it one time. Not. once.

She knew how to swim, she was not afraid of the water or sand. It wa because from childhood through her whole life everyone (family, media, doctors EVERYONE) told her that no one wanted or should EVER see her in a bathing suit.

She moved away from the beach she loved so much. She occasionally went swimming at friends houses but always in tshirts and shorts. Not that swimming in tshirts and shorts was bad, but they did not make her happy.

At one point we were talking bathing suits and I mentioned that i really wanted this cute retro style one I'd seen. She told me she hadn't even tried on a suit in 15 years muchless bought one. She kind of laughed it off and made some self deprecating remark about how nobody needed to see that.

I told her what I'm telling you.

There is no reason anyone should EVER feel that way about their body.

None. Period point blank.

We know that things like depression, stress and long term emotional abuse is not good for human beings.

Shame is not a good way of life for anyone.

So how about let's not?

Let's not participate in that. Let's not encourage it. Spend your money on something else.

Instead of buying the latest greatest diet books or DVDs etc, how about buying yourself something cute to wear to the beach?

Instead of joining in the talk about how someone's ass has cellulite, or they have clearly visible pubes, or a beer gut, why not talk about something else?

You can do it, I believe you can.

This is also a good time for fat allies to flex some ally muscle.

What can you do?

You can say no, outloud when people start body snarking. Shut that shit down.

One of my favorite tactics for that, is when the joke is about a fat ass or whatever, ask why it's funny.

Tell your friends or family that that person's body is not doing anything to them and it's none of their nosy ass business.

Change the subject. Give a dirty look. Whatever you can do.

What's important here is that we are all mired in this shit together and it hurts all of us and doesn't need to.

So, get ready for swimsuit season in the Northern hemisphere and buy bathing suit of your choice, apply to ass, go play.

I love you my homies.

Homo Out.


Friday, May 03, 2013

Oh Fat Fashion.

Given that I am right this instant just on the lowest cusp of fat fashion size wise, I don't want to talk about size  in a personal way.

Instead I want to talk about the continuing constant problem with fat fashion.

Whether it's big box Lane Bryant or Torrid. Or if it's boutique indie stores here's the problem.

Constantly every time there is a new fat fashion thing that is good or promising I know before it hits the shelves that it is not for me.

Not because of style but because I'm poor.

I very frankly no matter how nice or wonderful an indie plus size shop keeper may be, I cannot spend 80-100 dollars on a single item of casual clothing.

People don't talk about it for fear of, I don't know what.

I've talked about it here adn on tumblr and more than once have seen people get very defensive about telling all the other fatties to support X persons business because they are fat too and yay and stuff.

There is never a moment where any of these folks when they are asking or demanding support, say hey poor folks sorry. Or hey, we have these things that are lower priced. It's always OH AFFORDABLE FASHIONS...but when you're in the poor working class or the poverty stricken class, there is a disconnect.

I understand marketing and branding and whatnot but frankly, if a business owner wants to engage on a please support me I'm a working woman/single mother/struggling personal basis and ignores anyone who cannot financially afford there is a big disconnect.

If you want support don't make it personal.

If you make it personal, as in you tell your story and ask for that personal type support understand that it becomes personal on the other side as well.

Where is the support for poor fat folks?

What about people who are in the upper sizes and thrifting is like finding the holy grail?


Crickets right?

The only good fatties in fashion are those who can afford it. Let's not bullshit each other that is how it is.

I can tell you how many many times over the years that I have had people explain to me why it's bad that i bought my skirt at Walmart or Target. How many people have explained to me how important it is to keep fat shops alive and buy buy buy.

How many of those people have ever volunteered to contribute to a Shannon's Fat Shop Clothing fund?

How many times have those people thought about what they were saying before telling me how mean I was for pointing out the expense of an item at a store?

It happens more than I'd like to say.

The fact is this.

Classism in fat fashion happens. It happened back in the glory days of Fatshionista on LJ and people threw shade at anyone who wasn't doing serious style or posting pictures of themselves in Walmart jeans and tees.

It happens on tumblr when one of us poor folks has the nerve to say, I like this but where can I find it where it's affordable.

So when I talk about fat fashion, I'm honestly coming from the walmart shopping, target loathing (but shopping there by necessity, catch as catch can, buy it if I can afford it camp.

This is also why as I said a while back, why I am not a famous fashion blogger even though yes, I do have a style and an aesthetic.

This is part of a bigger problem in FA in general honestly.

A lot of us are just too poor to engage in strongly consumer based, use your dollars to show support type activism. We just aren't.

I know at least a few of y'all regulars who are right there with me. Some of you are my size smaller fatties and some of you are bigger fatties but we know this same struggle.

Let me tell those of you who are outside of this particular intersection of fatness.

those of us who are in this intersection often will come across angry because we're frustrated. Being poor really sucks. Being poor and struggling to dress in a way that pleases you, and to add in the complications of size sometimes (hey I'm talkin about over size 22 folks) is exhausting and awful.

While yes, we are all (even us poor folks) get very excited when we see Fat Fashion happening. Whether it's Fatkinis, Fatty size awesome boutique style things, etc etc. We also need to remember that when we talk about supporting those endeavours, be mindful that a lot of us just can't beyond spreading the word.

For me personally I tend to be fairly reticent about promoting stuff like this. Honestly, it just makes me too sad to be bombarded by all of the awesome fat folks things I can't partake in because i do not have money.

I have some tips for those who aren't poor or who can afford quality when discussion fashion with poor folks.

  1. Don't tell us how low quality X store is. Chances are if we're shopping there we are probably fully aware that it isn't high quality clothing. We know. We remember we're poor.
  2. Understand that it's not about you if we'd rather spend 100$ on four items or three items than 1 item.
  3. Remember if you see the word affordable on say a blog post asking about affordable shoes/dresses for an X thing, remember that not everyone has the same measure for affordable. For instance. At one point I asked in Fatshionista for a friend with some special requirements about affordable nice shoes for a wedding. By affordable I meant 60$ at the most. A few people were helpful, some others kind of scoffed and it was fucking rude. The fact is, sometimes poor people need things that look nice too. Don't be an asshole if they don't believe 80-100 bucks is "affordable".
  4. When poor people say I'm not shopping at X store, or fuck X store. Understand that even if the store is run by the nicest, most hard working wunderkind in the world, if we can't afford it we can't afford it. And at some point, we've probably been bombarded by requests for support and we're kinda frustrated. 
  5. When poor folks are talking about things like sale codes at Target, or a certain brand and color of underwear at Walmart that is not the time to explain to us why it's bad to shop at that place and that you buy organic, ethically sourced panties made by vegans by the light of the full moon on tuesday and that they are ONLY 50 dollars and it's such a good thing to do. Keep that out of the conversation. You're just going to piss us off.
  6. Overall, as with everything else within a subset of a culture (in this case Fatness) it is very important to remain aware of the fact that there are a lot of intersecting issues. Class intersects with size and things like availability etc etc etc.
Basically don't be an asshole.

If you must have an opinion about where I shop or anyone else shops for that matter, whip out your wallet and be prepared to fund that person so they can shop where you think they should shop.

If you aren't willing to do that, keep that opinion to yourself.

Again, just don't be an asshole.

So, my darlings I think I am returned.

I am blessedly, thankfully out of the worst of that cycle of insomnia and frankly even though I'm not well I'm not feeling so insane and broken.

I'll write about that another time.

I'm riddled with my yearly allergies. RIDDLED even my bhole has been itchy.

That said I think I'm back. I have shit we need to discuss. This topic is on my mind because I desperately want nice new summer clothes and was so excited about fatkinis and things but yeah nope.

That's all for now. I'm full of food and tea and I need to take a time out and hose myself with benedry anti itch spray.

Now report in my homies? Beatfreak? How is self care going? Are y'all doing it? I will come back next week and talk more about doing it while it's hard because it got hard y'all. Shit got real and bad and gross. I'm dealing with the aftermath well but it was a struggle.

And please excuse my typos today. There are more than usual but I am still kind of benedryl (pill) stupid right now and am too spacy to fix them

Homo Out.


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