Friday, January 25, 2013

Further explanation and another object lesson.

sT left this comment on my entry from the other day just now.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Let's do a thing.":




Sizism is all about controlling our bodies, our presentation to the world. You would have to perfectly match society's expectations and you'd probably STILL be blamed. Sizism is most definitely intersectional. The ways in which it affects people is varied and this should be respected.



Doctors
My disability has been blamed on my thinness by doctors. People (including medical staff) have told me I'm anorexic and threatened to institutionalize me. I've been hounded by doctors to "exercise and eat right." When doctors messed up an operation and almost killed me, they blamed my pain afterwards on lack of exercise and refused to treat me for a week, during which I almost died. I had to receive emergency surgery, which I only got because a different doctor was on call in the ER that night.


Parents
In addition to doing some of the things above, they refused to take me to the hospital on a regular basis because the results of my disability were caused by "laziness."



School
It is unknown if this was just ableism or not, but every school I've ever been to has refused to allow me days off or to skip PE even with a doctor's note.


Pro-Fat Movements
"REAL women have curves." Implying that skinny ones aren't real women.
"Nothing feels as good as skinny tastes." A reverse of a popular quote (replace feels and tastes). The image was of a fat person EATING a skinny one.


Please, stop invalidating very real problems. Let's discuss how sizism affects both sides, and how it's intersectional and again, you could be perfect and still get blamed. Otherwise, we're playing right into the kyriarchy's hands.



-sT
Okay.

Let me address this point by point.

First of all nowhere did I say that one experience of sizeism is less than any other.

Nowhere.

From my response to their comment:
The topic is, a clarification about the differences between interpersonal body shaming and institutional body shaming.
Here we go, let us have some intersectionality for a minute.

What I was discussing was not the day to day or life to life personal experiences of Thin People as individuals.

That means, I wasn't talking about your experience perambulating around in an apparently from how you worded things here, very thin body.

Let's get a few other things straight again.

As I said then, and I will say again.

Body Shaming is bad.

People being jerks to you or shaming you for your body and only on the basis of how your body appears is bullshit, it sucks and people should stop doing that.
Again quoting myself directly:

People being jerks to you or shaming you for your body and only on the basis of how your body appears is bullshit, it sucks and people should stop doing that.
 One more time for the cheap seats:

People being jerks to you or shaming you for your body and only on the basis of how your body appears is bullshit, it sucks and people should stop doing that.
 Let me put it another way:

Having people mistreat you because of how your body is shaped, how much you weigh etc is bad for everyone.

In case it wasn't abundantly clear from my frequent use of the word fat, and all of the fat things located hereabouts, let's be clear.

Hold on.

This person returned with this:



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Let's do a thing.":




I'm sorry, how is doctors refusing me treatment not institutional? How is the constant hate that flows from so called "body-positive" movements interpersonal?



This is why I never try to talk to people like you. You don't care how many people stand up and say, "Here's how I was discriminated against." You just care that you're the ~super special oppressed ones~ and everyone else's problems are individual, unconnected incidents, trufax!



Goodday,
sT
This is my response:

Again you missed the point entirely and you're being incredibly disrespectful in my space.



Again where did I invalidate your treatment personally? Where did I ever say that nothing bad ever happens to thin people?



Where did I say that sT has never had any institutional problems regarding their body ever?



Where?



In my explanation of the differences between things on a micro personal (as in your personal life) level, where did I do any of these things?



I don't know if you're trolling or as I mentioned in this entry taking this example/explanation personally but you are really not understanding what I am doing here.



I actually do care which is why I made the effort to break down some differences in the personal and the political. If you can't understand that, as I said in my previous comment, I am not the droids you are looking for. If my level of intersectionality and my use of both the personal and political is beyond you, bye.
Okay.

As happens often here is the thing sT.

In this space, in what I do here there I do not try and talk about experiences I have not had. On both a personal and political level I think that is a bad plan.

Let me be clear again.

That post was not about the personal private life of a very thin person in ill health or yes, being discriminated against.

It was about making clear to some people (I imagine like yourself) what I am talking about when I talk about institutionalized discrimination versus personal discrimination.

Do you notice how I did not say that one is more important than the other?

Nor did I say that one means more than the other.

They are intersected but not the same.

Need that again?

Oppression don't happen in a vacuum, nor are they only personal nor are they strictly institutional. These things intersect.

One of the things I do here (I'm assuming you aren't a regular reader) is that because I am aware that my readership is fairly diverse in terms of where they are in in understanding body issues, I like to put things in a context that other people who are not fat lil ole me, might understand.

I'm actually very good at it.

Thus, I used the device of using the kind of institutional fat bias I and lots of other fat folks talk about, and put a thin person in that place. A person who is not fat may well understand on a deeper level if I put it in terms that match their own personal experience.

Now again, let me reiterate to you personally.

That explanation was not about you personally sT whomever you are.

It is awful that you've experienced discrimination, I don't know you, I don't know your story thus I was not discussing it as an issue of discrimination experienced by you.

Again, it was not about you personally.

It was about, giving a broader understanding to people who have done things like:


  1. Asked me to explain what is different about someone calling me a fat bitch and going untreated for an ear infection because I am fat.
  2. Asked me personally what kind of institutional things I believe are rooted in fat bias, have done.
  3. I have new readers who are not fat people and are new to any kind of body acceptance and I want them to be up to speed on the jargon and situations I talk about.
  4. This is a Fat Persons Blog. Therefor, the Fat Blogger named Shannon does not speak from experiences she does not have.
Etc.

The rest of you folks.

Okay look.

I will make it very simple.

Personal things that happen to us as in things like:

  1. Discrimination for whatever reason.
  2. People are assholes to us on the street.
  3. Etc etc.
Those are all bad things.

It is equally terrible that someone moo'ed at me today as it is that someone may have called someone skinny a bony ass. 

EQUALLY TERRIBLE.

It is equally terrible that on an institutional level, I can't get my allergies checked out without being told to lose weight as it is that sT has been misdiagnosed/untreated because of their weight/disability.

The difference here is that it is not common for thin people to experience this.

The things I was talking about don't in usual times happen.

Generally speaking, you don't see news like this about thin people. In general terms, it just doesn't happen.

This is an issue where a thin persons body politic issues diverge from those of a fat person.

Am I saying now that the bad institutional things that happen to thin people matter less?

No I am not.

Different is neither superior nor inferior it is just different.

This is the point where in a fat centric space, you thin sT need to show a big of restraint and either learn or flex your understanding intersectionality muscles.

Not all experiences bad or good are the same. That is not bad, it is not a pissing contest, it is not the oppression Olympics (which you didn't say but your comments have that flavor).  It is not negating or invalidating to anyone's experience to acknowledge that experiences are different.

Talking about and acknowledging differing experiences does not equal invalidation of your personal experience.

It really doesn't.

If you feel like it does, you have some things to deal with that have nothing to do with me. 

Also again, for you sT and the couple of other people who expressed similar sentiments I am not the droids you are looking for.

Let me make it clear again.

This blog is written from the perspective of a Black Queer Fat Person.

Thus when I talk about my personal experiences that is where I am coming from.

I am not a thin person, I have been but my experience was honestly not great nor was it healthy or usual so because it is a painful thing for me to use as a lens, I don't on a regular basis.

Does this mean I hate thin people?

No.

Do I think my fat ass problems are more important than your thin ass problems?

No.

Do I say that any of these things are directly comparable in a binary fashion?

Nope.

If that is your take away, you are taking away wrong.

All right.

That's it.

Homo Out.











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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Let's do a thing.

I've seen in various places people both fat and not completely misunderstanding fat bias.

So let's talk about it.

I'm going to use Thin and Fat as our conversation points, understand that as I am talking about these things there is a list of things that this is not:


  • Thin hating.
  • Body Bashing.
  • A personal vendetta of some sort.
  • Jealousy, hateration or whatever.
  • Personal attacks etc.
Now first let's talk about the difference between interpersonal problems and institutional problems.

Someone says to a thin person in passing: Eat a burger.

That is an interpersonal problem. There are not institutional systems in place, to bully and abuse thin people into eating burgers.

Someone saying, eat a burger is bullying and insulting but it is not institutional.

If it were, when you thin person went to the doctor this might happen. As it happens to fat people very often.

Thin Person: Doctor, I have this really bad pain in my (insert area here) I'm pretty worried about it.

Doctor: Eat a burger you'll feel better.

Thin Person: Um I ate a burger yesterday and it still hurts.

Doctor: Maybe if you took some responsibility for yourself and gained some weight you wouldn't be in pain.

Let's say you binge eat ALL THE BURGERS and gained 15 pounds and still feel awful. Go back to the doctor.

Doctor: Good for you, look at those 15 pounds KEEP GOING!

Thin Person: But I have been binge eating and that's not really healthy and I still have that pain-

Doctor: Why don't you have any discipline? Clearly what you're doing is working, keep doing it.

And scene.

Now, that would be part of an institutional system to make you Thin Person eat a burger. That is not someone just being a jerk. 

You dig?

People being jerks to you or shaming you for your body and only on the basis of how your body appears is bullshit, it sucks and people should stop doing that.

That said, interpersonal problems are not the same as Fat Bias.

Now, I bet at least 80% (I'm being conservative here) of fat people have had similar conversations with doctors. I have had them. People I know and love have had them.

That is an institutionalized means of abuse and mistreatment that goes unchecked.

Here is the actual truth.

Fat peoples lives, not their virtual lives or kind of lives our literal lives are often put at risk for no other reason than our fat bodies.

There are so many stories of life threatening misdiagnosis, of people being flat out denied treatment, over or under medicated.

Children being misdiagnosed, people being denied cancer screenings because they are fat, people having their quality of life cut in half or worse because, well if they just weren't fat.

There is frankly literally nothing that has ever been wrong with me personally, that someone hasn't suggested weightloss for. How about a list?


  • Allergies to things like grass, bug bites, flowers and some foods.
  • Migraines.
  • Insomnia.
  • Injuries sustained in falls.
  • Pinched nerves in my neck and back from falls.
  • UTI
  • Yeast infections
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus Infection
  • Rash from chemicals I used cleaning
Here's the thing.

Not one of those things including times I've fallen have been okay or better when I've been thinner. When I fell down two flights of stairs when I weighed 110 pounds, I was just as fucked up as when I fell on the street at 190 pounds.

This is institutionalized.

This is not hyperbole (oh, look anti fat people, I honestly with all my heart wish it was hyperbole okay? It would be preferable to the actuality) this is not simple anecdotal data. This is my life, this is the life of many people.

If anti thin bias was in fact institutional, I would in fact be against it. It would not be okay. It would also look like this.

Thin person turns on the tv and in the span of ten minutes sees two commercials and one greedy fuck doctor talking about how their body is the biggest threat to America. There would be adverts everywhere promising that if thin people would just gain those last ten pounds they too could go to Paris or twirl in a meadow or some bullshit.

Anti Thin Body Bias would entail being told that they are morally corrupt people if they don't do anything about it and then say they tried to buy things like exercise equipment and are unable to buy the things that would facilitate them "doing something" about it.

Anti Thin Bias would mean that if health and fitness is morality, they would be hounded or humiliated out of gyms or running outside because they are not to be seen.

Anti Thin Body Bias would mean that every magazine they see in the store tells them that they should hide their body, that "fashionable" excludes them, that well you know those tiny clothes are just so unsightly stores don't want their not thin customers to be exposed to them so you can only buy them online. Oh wait you want a size 0, not only is it going to be hard to find it's going to be given some cutesy name and you'll be charged double for your pleasure and have a hard time returning or exchanging it because you can't take it back to a physical store.

Anti Thin Body Bias would mean that people on say tumblr when you post a picture of yourself looking thin and happy and playing with your dog, or hugging your partner, or showing off your new hair cut would in the open decide to tell you that they hate you and they hope your dog and your mom dies or that you are the ugliest thing ever, and believe that they are perfectly right because well you're thin and you deserve it. And people would be okay with that.

Anti Thin Body Bias would mean that entire forums would come to your blog when you're talking about exercise you like solely to take your words out of context, steal your picture and make fun of it.

And all those things would happen under the guise of it being okay because if you just bully and shame a thin person enough, they will change.

So no, Thin Folks I love many of you but I need for you to take it down a notch when comparing interpersonal problems to institutional ones.

There are parallels in our struggles for bodily autonomy, self esteem and feeling good in our bodies. But, when we get to the specifics of fat life and institutional stamped and approved by society anti fat bias, it is time to be quiet and listen.

This is why it is important to understand why fat people are not standing up and cheering for Thin White Women as the face of any body acceptance ever.

This is why it is important to stop taking things so personally and understand that while yes, yes these things impact you, they are not about you personally.

This is why it is important for fat folks to police ourselves in terms of not getting on the thin shaming train even when it's tempting.

This is why Fat Acceptance is really fucking hard.

It's hard because even after saying all this, I know there are going to be Thin people with hurt feelings. That is frankly just too bad. If it is indeed beyond you to utilize those critical thinking skills I know you have and understand these differences that are sometimes subtle and sometimes not so much, I am not the droids you were looking for.

That's all for right now.

Homo Out.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How I got over my thighs.

This is a torrid tale of love, hate, squats and belief in the almighty thigh gap.

Hello, my  name is Shannon and I have some big ass thighs.

My first memory of being made aware that I have big ass thighs was when I was in the sixth grade and my Grandma said (lovingly) as she touched my thigh with her hand and exclaimed, "got thighs for DAYS".

As a kid I was very tiny. I was in the lowest percentile for growth until I hit puberty and while I was undersized in both height and weight, I have always had thick sturdy short little legs.

Through my teens, I took GREAT care to try and conceal how big my thighs were and I went to great pains to wear skirts at a very certain length, I only wore certain cuts of skirts, I did not ever wear tight pants. I spent a lot of time and energy trying really hard through diet and compulsive exercise to slim down my thighs. I tried wrapping them in saran wrap for slimming, I used those hot sweat suit things, I used creams, I massaged, I stretched etc etc.

I wanted the ever talked about thigh gap.

We'll get back to that.

As I exercised harder (because of course if exercise doesn't totally change the shape of your body ur doin it wrong amirite?) and read tons of books about reshaping your body, the more my body didn't change the way I expected it to.

By the time I was 20 years old I hadn't yet learned one very important thing about the exercise/fitness industry.

None of the gurus and experts tell you the basic truth that you can't actually significantly change the fundamental shape of your body without a lot of surgery or devoting your life to only doing that.

However, you can't change your bone structure.

You can't always force your body into being in a state that it doesn't like.

It's not sustainable.

Instead I punished myself.

I dieted, I exercised more. I did different exercises, I paid trainers. I did a lot of things I probably shouldn't have.

What I learned in the next few years was that I am not built for slim thighs.

I'm just not.

Even at 105 pounds, I had big hard strong thighs with a layer of fat.

Under my little layer of fat, my body was hard all over. I did those squats that promise a rounder booty, and nope. My butt got real hard with a little layer of fat but still was not very round.

I did EVERYTHING to size down my thighs. Nothing gave me that stupid thigh gap.

The only time there is ever a gap between my thighs has been when I've worn serious control top panty hose, if I stand in a really awkward position etc.

During the time of me trying to exercise my way into an "ideal" body as tiny as I got my big ass thighs were not only there but the smaller I got the more disproportionate I looked.

When I stopped that punishment style exercise and gained weight, my thighs got bigger and I started with the only certain cuts of pants, very specific skirt styles and lengths.

At some point I frankly gave up.

I sat myself down and spent some time doing something really painful.

I wrote down the things I hated about my body and looked at them from the following POV (I don't necessarily recommend this) I wrote down what I hated, why I hated it and how I could possibly change it.

I hated most everything about my body and once I was finished I realized that everything I hated about my body was pretty immutable barring surgery.

At that point for me I decided that I could spend more time, energy and money obsessing about these things or I could find other shit to do.

I decided (this part I recommend) I have other shit to do and I was wasting a lot of my time worrying about things I a.) have no control over and b.) don't matter all that much in the long run.

Here's the thing about obsessing over bodily flaws.

Worrying about them, obsessing, thinking about how to camouflage them or minimize them is ultimately a waste of your time, energy and money.

I have big fucking thighs and proportionally weightloss, exercise etc doesn't change that. If you look at me in my underwear, or if I'm wearing a short skirt, or if I buy a workout program, or if I do pilates or yoga or whatever, nothing made that big of a difference.

For all of my obsessing and the tears and the embarrassment when my mighty thighs blew out some tights or someone noticed my thighs (or whatever body part I was obsessing about at that time) nothing changed.

In my long history of having people say dumb things to me about my body, after the initial hurt not one of them matters.

Not. One.

None of the bullshit I told myself about my failure to have slim svelte thighs was actually true or over the years has made a difference.

As I said before, if someone is getting naked with you chances are they are not going to be like,

OH SHIT YOU GOT BIG THIGHS/FAT ASS/CELLULITE/ROLLS/STRETCH MARKS/Whatever you think is the deal breaker that makes your body unacceptable- I AM GOING HOME.

Probably won't actually happen.

Here's my advice for getting over these things.

This is going to require some honesty on your part.

If you did change X thing, what would it really change?

Let me tell you a few things.

Having a different X (insert your issue here) won't instantly make you a nicer person, it won't make you better in bed, it won't increase your income for the most part, it won't magically turn everything else in your life to magic and puppies, it won't pay your rent, it won't make you suddenly the most confident person in the world.

Frankly, changing a physical feature to some nebulous idea of perfection won't solve any great mysteries or show you suddenly the meaning to your life.

Fixating on say your thighs is largely a waste of your time and a very handy way to avoid changing other things to make yourself feel better.

I believe that if you are a fat asshole, you will probably be a thin asshole.

I believe that if you manage to change the X thing that your whole life hinges on, you'll probably find other reasons that you suck.

Your X thing that you hate or focus on, is likely not actually stopping you from wearing tight pants, or short skirts or swimsuits or whatever. What's stopping you is you.

It takes a lot of thought and work to actively make the effort (and yes, it is a huge effort) to reject the programming that tells you to be ashamed of your thighs/ass/stomach/what have you.

It takes constant vigilance sometimes to say, no fuck that thinking I will do/wear what I want.

I have been at this for more than a decade and some days it is still very hard.

Some days I believe my life would be better if only my thighs were smaller.

If only, if only if only.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that being thin didn't fix shit for me.

At the end of the day, I will not be limited by the flaws fashion magazines tell me I should be working on hiding or willing out of existence.

So I will wear my skinny jeans and listen to assholes whisper behind my back on the street that my look would be SO much more flattering if I wore a longer shirt or that style should only be for "more fit" people.

Fuck that.

My time is too valuable and I have too many other things going on in my life to indulge in obsessing about my thighs or my back fat or my cellulite etc etc.

I have shit to do, you have shit to do. We have a lot of life to make happen that does not involve wasting our time on what is honestly, not that big a deal.

In the grand scheme of things about humans that are important, if you don't make your living selling images of perfection, how important to your life is having perfect thighs?

Be honest.

Having those magazine ready thighs won't make you a better person, it won't make you a better human being necessarily. It probably won't turn you into the angel everybody loves and who does all the magical wonderful things and who is suddenly rich and popular and beautiful and yadda yadda.

If you want to be better there are a thousand ways to be better and feel better.

One of those ways is to unlearn that (especially women) one must be forever striving for/pining to be a perfect physical specimen.

I challenge you my homies to do this experiment.

Take a day where you have access to a computer, notes on your phone whatever.

Make a tick mark for every moment you spent obsessing about your X thing.

Do this for a few days.

Go back and look at it and think about ALL of the other things you could have been doing that would probably make you feel better.

You could be reading, painting your nails, talking to a friend, petting your dog, having a nice walk, putting lotion on your hands, playing a game you like, frolicking on the internet looking at pictures of cute kitties, homework, day job work, paying bills, folding your laundry, taking a nap, having a cuddle, talking to that hot person you saw on the bus this morning, etc etc etc.

Report back my homies.



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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Adult, a starters guide.

Things have been way too serious.

I have been sitting on advice to give because I wanted to not be sick and have a clear head.

So first up we have a Homie whom we'll call New Adult or NA. NA wants to know some basic, concrete things to know to start adulting.

Okay my darlings this can apply to anyone but I am mainly talking to people getting their first (or not first) place of their very own.

First things first.

When you arrive at your new place, take fifteen minutes and go to a drug store/everything type store (walmart/kmart whatever) and buy the following:


  • Toilet paper
  • Plunger
  • Few large bottles of water (in case your water sucks)
  • Multi purpose cleaner.
  • Some plastic cups, paper plates, paper towels.
  • One dishtowel type thing.
  • If you have periods, buy blood collection devices. Tampons whatever. Stress can make one have surprise periods.
Now I say these things because right after you move even if you have help you're going to be tired. Save 20-50$ and order food in. Eat off the disposable plates so you don't have to wash dishes right away.

Make sure you stay hydrated and don't worry about getting ALL the way unpacked your first night.

Your first night here's what I suggest you need/unpack.

  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Entertainment (TV, computer, whatever)
  • Medications, vitamins.
  • Anything else you need to sleep for a night.
Now, remember you don't have to have your place set up like Martha Stewart exploded in it right away. If you need to take your time, take your time. 

Once you get unpacked invariably there are going to be things you need. Pots and pans, household sundries.

Make a master list and remember you don't have to get everything at once. Don't be too proud to hit clearance sales, thrift stores, Kmart, Walmart where ever. Work with your budget not against it. Do not let people pressure you into shopping at "good" stores because sometimes you just need things now.

Now, there are some skills I want you to master NA.

First thing. Unclogging the toilet.

My first place, I didn't know how and I am a champion pooper and inevitably tragedy occurred. My preferred plunger style is this one. When using this kind, you want to get the narrow part down in your toilet, don't be afraid of the poop and slowly work the pressure until you feel the clog release.

If you don't have a plunger and it is an emergency, you can also use BOILING hot water (please PLEASE be careful with this) and slowly pour it into the toilet to melt the poo.

IF that doesn't work and you don't have a plunger handy, turn on the fan and just wait. If the clog is bad enough pee in the bathtub and keep an eye on the water level in the bowl and it might start to go down.

Also know that it's nothing to freak out about or be ashamed of. Everybody poops and sometimes we poop like bears and our environmentally friendly toilets can't handle it. 

Poop happens.

Next up learn to prepare yourself some basic meals you find tasty. You don't have to get all super recipes and fancy food items. Look at your diet and figure out what things you like/can eat regularly. Stock up on non perishables like rice, dry beans etc if you like those things.

How about some economic survival tactics?

When one is broke there are things you can do to help stretch your household needs dollars.

Even if you live by yourself and you find yourself with a good amount of money don't be afraid to buy bulk amounts of the following:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning products you like
  • Sponges
  • Tampons/pads if you need them.
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Seasonings (dry)
  • Cocoa/coffee/tea
  • Coffee filters/tea bags/etc.
For me things I use more often than not daily, I stock up when I can.

Also remember it is your house, you run it the way you want to.

Next.

Bills.

AW SHIT BILLS. 

Even in this day of apps and programs for everything, for me sometimes the easiest way to keep track of bills (and how I paid off several debts) was to keep a simple paper ledger. I bought one from an office supply store and it worked for me.

Don't forget to balance your checkbook if you have one.

If you forget things, don't be afraid to leave yourself notes where you will see them. My go to spot is in the bathroom. On the mirror or by my toothbrush or whatever.

Basically here's the deal.

There is no right way to be an adult.

The right way to be an adult is the way of doing it that keeps you as healthy and happy as you can be NA.

If that means you buy beanbags, microwave popcorn and video games. Go forth and do so.

If that means you get all SUPER Martha Stewart on it, GO GO GO GO.

The truth is, surviving your first few years on your own is a learning process and you're going to fuck up. You're going to stain your carpet, you're going to bleach something that can't be bleached, poop is going to get on your bathroom floor, your shower curtain might mold, you may find something gross in your drain.

It is okay to freak out when that stuff happens.

But once you are done freaking out or while you are freaking out., get shit done. Clean up the poop, unclog the sink, you might lose your deposit but it's okay.

Let me say that again: IT IS OKAY.

So NA relax.

You will do fine.

You will figure out what adulthood looks like for you and you will do it.

If you need help or food or need to know how to slice a tomato or what to do with leftovers come back and we'll talk about it okay?

Now I turn it over to the smartest people on earth, my homies.

SO my homies do you have any advice for NA? Want to commiserate? Feel free to share embarrassing stories. If y'all are real nice I will tell the story about my complete melt down and following feelings of victory the first time I was on my own with a major toilet clog.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

In case you think I'm undesirable.

Over the years one of the things that has come up from trolls, anonymous comments, messages, etc is hot totally sexually unappealing anyone finds me at any one time.

I wish I had kept running count of how many comments I've deleted or ignored after posts I've made that were at least in my mind thoughtful and deeper than OMG YAY FATTY.

Lots of OMG BUT UR NOT SEXY..or people imploring me to think of how sexy I'd be if I was healthy (because as we ALL know equating sexiness with health is awesome), how I can do what I want but I'm letting my sexy go, blablabla.

I really hate to break it to this flavor of reader (oh I know you still come by to hate read me) I honestly don't give a hot fuck if you think I'm attractive.

Nothing about my flavor of Fat Acceptance has fuck all to do with who you may or may not on a personal level find bangable.

Here are some reasons for that.


  1. If you presume that the self esteem of another human being totally hinges on whether or not you want to fuck them, your ego is swelled up beyond reason. 99% of the people in the world are not going to fuck you ever and won't even think about whether you want to fuck them or not.
  2. Using sexual attractiveness (which is a personal subjective thing) as a barometer of acceptance of another person whom one is not sleeping with, is a massively fucked up crooked way to look at the world.
  3. Health and sexual attractiveness are not the same thing. On a casual google search, you can see that many of the sexiest of the sexy have not been particularly healthy people. 
On a personal note here's the deal.

Being that I grew up in a microcosm where I was not a pretty girl and had little chance to be a beautiful girl, there is really nothing you anonymous haters of my face can say that I have never heard before. To read some of my posts about being ugly see here.

That is just the facts.

When I was single, I got told in many ways including directly that I was just not what people considered attractive or even worse people saying that I was "cute for a Black girl". So really, you're wasting your time trying to hurt my feelings.

Furthermore, if all you have to say about any of the content and context of what I've said is, haha ur ugly, you lose. 

If your only argument to me saying my body is none of your business is to call me a fat bitch or an ugly bitch etc etc, you lose.

What you're demonstrating is a lack of reading comprehension and a reliance on misogynistic slurs because you have nothing of value to say.

If you are one of that flavor of commenter, you can see why I don't bother generally to respond.

Here's the thing my regular homies, when you have said something that people are either uninterested in listening to or just did not pay attention in order to serve whatever feeling of superiority they are trying to get, there is really no use in arguing with them.

There are a lot of good reasons to engage with people who don't agree with you on the internet. You can learn things, you can learn how to negotiate and communicate with a diverse spread of people, you can learn how to stay calm and reasonable and have a discussion, you can learn how to agree to disagree, you can learn when it's in your best interest to just let it go, you can learn that other information or points of view can change your perspective.

On the flipside there are lots of reasons not to engage, some people are just assholes, some people still think it's cute and fun to troll people, some people are bored and are going to try and make you cry. Some people are stuck in their view of something and will not budge regardless of what anyone else has to say ever.

It can be a difficult thing to learn when to look at a comment and say to yourself, I am not even going to waste my time.

If you are just starting out blogging here is my advice.

If it feels like someone is just trying to be an asshole, fuck em. You don't ever owe anyone a response if they approach you in a disrespectful manner. You just don't.

That can even mean people who might have a point or have something to say but, when it is your space you have control of the universe and thus, if you say X commenter you are being a jerk and I don't want you in my space. That's it, that's all,

I also advise not to get hung up on who is reading your blog at whatever time period. It can be really easy to get worried that X person from X city according to your stat counter is reading. If you are producing content you care about or feel things about, you don't have to tailor it to suit X visitor.

You don't have to deal with people trying to piss in your litterbox because they find you unattractive or because they are assholes.

This isn't an easy thing. I myself was pretty primed for it but some of you aren't and that's okay.

The important thing is to learn one very valuable lesson.

At the point where someone you don't know who is flying under an anonymous handle says something that cuts you, think about this. 

Who the fuck are they and what the actual fuck do they have to do with you?

The answer to the latter is probably nothing.

Nothing.

They can't take anything from you, you probably don't want or need to fuck them anyway and you are just fine perambulating around your world whether or not that person(s) thinks your awful/ugly/whatever.

I have some advice I've been sitting on and look for that later on this week. No darlings I haven't forgotten about you at all.

AND we're going to talk more about ugliness in the age of the internets and I will confess to you my experiences years ago on Hot or Not.

Homo Out.
 


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Friday, January 11, 2013

What do I want?

A while back someone asked me (I believe they were being an asshole) what I want, what is my point in talking about fatness so much.

Ultimately what I want is for my fat or not fat not to be an issue.

I want people to stop equating moral goodness to body size.

I want for people who are not fat to shut the entire fuck up about fatness.

I want for "diet" gurus and lying ass liar harmful ideas about what one should or should not do about weight (excess or no) to shut the entire fuck up.

I want for the diet and weightloss industry to stop being the "experts".

I want for us not to encourage abuse and unhealthy UNHEALTHY practices if a person is fat.

Here's the thing.

When you are fat, people will yap about your health but as anyone who has ever seen the Biggest Loser we know that people will applaud you doing some unhealthy things that could kill you, in order not to be fat or as fat.

I need for people to stop for a minute and really think about what we're saying and the message we're sending.

If being fat, or really really fucking fat is honestly the most awful evil thing a person can be, what does that say about us?

Let's be logical here for a minute, yes even those of you who do believe that being fat or really fucking fat is the biggest moral failing a person can have.

If morality is only based on fitness, being healthy and being thought to be attractive or trying to be attractive wouldn't it follow that a large segment of the population could never be good people?

What about people who are disabled and unable to ever be Healthy as far as the monolithic everyone should want to be/look like an elite athlete type health.

If being fit, healthy and attractive is the highest point of morality, how does that actually work?

If it is morally imperative to be healthy, why aren't more people angry about so many people being unable to get proper medical care? If it is morally imperative for people to be fit, why aren't more people demanding that gyms be more accessible and treat fat people well?

So no, you're lying if you aren't equally as strident about those things as you are that fitness, health and beauty are moral imperatives.

If it were in fact such a moral imperative to get our populace fit and healthy as Mrs Obama has been doing, why is the onus of healthy food put only on individuals and why doesn't she talk about all the shit in our food? Why is the focus on telling kids they are not good enough when there are multi billion dollar industries who only care about mass producing shitty food for the masses and nobody says boo about it?

If people, yes you included were so invested in the moral goodness of being a fit, healthy, attractive person, instead of putting all the pressure on individuals who are operating in a system that is frankly against them, wouldn't you be more inclined to attack the systems in place that make attaining that moral goodness virtually impossible?

Here's the thing.

As I have said for years and as science is now starting to admit, health is not a monolith.

No two human bodies are ever going to be healthy in the same way. Not every human body is capable of penultimate fitness, not every human body is capable of elite athleticism. Human biology and physiology doesn't work that way.

We need to change our thinking from making health and fitness about appearance and impossible standards.

We need to stop lying.

The lies are multiple and dangerous.

In spite of tons of research to the contrary, we use scare tactics so now people (including health professionals) believe that obesity is the worst thing to ever happen to humanity.

Even though, science says that causation for obesity correlated illnesses that people are so afraid of, is not what we thought it was.

The simple act of being fat or obese, will not kill you or most people. In fact, some people will live longer. Some people will survive major cardiac emergencies.

We have so successfully made fatness into the scariest of the scary, our children are developing eating disorders (and in many cases are encouraged to do so) before they even hit puberty.

Parents are lauded for forcing their pre-pubescent children to diet, in spite of the very real future health risks.

This is the same society who looks down their nose at tribal body modifications that still exist in the world. This is the same society who is grossed out by a child being too "Grown" but will pat their parent on the back for changing their body before their body has even started to become what it will eventually be.

If you can't see why that is awful and insane, you are part of the problem.

So, to recap quickly the problem is not fat people.

Fatness as a state of being has been made into a problem.

Why?

Because it makes money. The more society is afraid of fatness and misled about fatness, the more money the diet industry makes.

The more ways we encourage people to do whatever it takes to not be fat, the more abusive diet and weightloss methodologies will make money.

And I'm not just talking about fat people at this level.

These people, these charlatans make money from self loathing that is spoon fed to all of us fat or thin.

They help you hate yourself so much, they teach you to ignore any signals your body might be sending out, they teach us that we are supposed to hate ourselves so much we have to talk hatefully about our bodies, we have to eat food we may not like, we have to be afraid to eat, we have to hate ourselves so much, we are willing to engage in practices that can ruin our health and kill us.

Kill. Us.

This is an industry that pushes body ideals that are impossible for most of us to attain, and it trains us to hate ourselves for it.

This industry has warped our collective minds so much, we can't even see how dangerous this is until there's the BE AFRAID documentary on tv.

Until we see the poor people who are dying of anorexia at 18, the exploited people who's bones we can see, who's voices we can see and then we cluck and say oh that's too bad.

We blame their parents and never take a minute to look at ourselves. We don't wonder how children (because as we know, more and more younger children are developing eating disorders) got the idea that if they aren't thin enough, they are worthless. We wonder how girls fully believe that signs of puberty or impending adulthood are to be avoided at all costs.

We should blame ourselves.

We should blame the liars who are feeding this shit to us in the guise of "self improvement". We should blame the famous internet doctors who give advice based on the size of their paycheck that day. We should blame diet and fitness gurus who promise the moon but don't follow up by explaining that this is their job, they got a tummy tuck, that they take diet pills, that the ONLY thing they do is exercise, etc etc.

We should blame ourselves because when no one is looking we troll people on the internet under the guise of pseudonymous handles. We sit by and watch people be shamed on "humor" websites. We only speak up for people who look like us. We sit by and let "ugly" people get picked on and harassed.

We cheer for Thin Pretty White Ladies when they have a bad body image day. We ignore the work of fat people, disabled people and people of color because, well it just looks better coming from that Pretty White Lady doesn't it?

It is our fault for falling for this bullshit time and again.

The state of bodies right now is the biggest moral failing.

The fact that because of size, race, economic status etc, so many of us are abused by the health industry that we don't get adequate preventative care and then become that scare statistic because we roll into the ER with stage 4 cancer.

Or we are dying because they are fat and can't handle having doctors and nurses laughing at them in the ER or refusing to diagnose them with anything beyond being fat.

That is immoral.

If you believe that this the current state of how our culture deals with and treats bodies of varying sizes is fine and is "solving" obesity, you are misled. I say misled because I don't want to believe that you are purposefully letting people die including children. I say misled because I don't want to believe that you're all for keeping the numbers of people suffering from eating disorders up.

If you are not misled and you are aware of the actual science and still think that being fat is a persons worst moral failing, I feel sorry for you.

Our culture needs to change because we are killing each other from all angles.

The issues fat people talk about aren't necessarily strictly interpersonal. These things are not going to continue to be confined to fat people, I fully believe that the way things are going you morally upstanding folks are going to get bigger and bigger doses of the treatment fat people get.

It's not okay.

We need to slow down with that and stop killing each other because not all of us fit into a tidy neat little idea of fitness, health and beauty.

It's hard as hell but in the end, how much is saving the lives of countless people worth?

How. Much.

Homo Out.


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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

When I say Monstrous Beauty.

First look at this silly picture done with an FB app.

That is me as a zombie.

The important thing though is that when I've talked about my self portrait/ugly beauty ideas before this is the sort of art I was talking about.

I want to be weird looking and maybe bloody. Not necessarily beauty shots, I don't want to photoshop myself into an inhuman version of myself.

I want to make myself a little uncomfortable along with other people.

Here's the thing though.

When it comes to self portraiture frankly a lot of Nice White Ladies have ruined it for me.

When I first got interested in doing this sort of thing, it boomed and then well all the commentary and all the photos involved lots of Thin Nice Pretty White Ladies and frankly after trying to participate and it exhausted me.

I got so tired of all the cheerleading for the Nice Thin Pretty White Ladies as pioneers of any kind of self awareness or body acceptance.

Then time passed, I forgot about it.

Now looking at my silly zombie picture I want.

So I'm declaring that 2013 needs to be when I start trying this again.

I'm going to need to practice make up things, save money for wigs and costume contacts. Relearn how to use my digital camera.

I don't really need costuming. My idea is more in the style of a beauty shot with commentary.

But it's not about beauty.

I want to see myself in ways that aren't how I normally do or anyone normally does. I want to play with my concept and ideas about beauty.

I mainly want to do this for selfish reasons.

I have over the years hated my face so much, so much that at times in my life it was hard to leave the house. I was so ashamed of my fucked up teeth, how oily my skin is, my dark marks, I considered plastic surgery. I considered having my face scarred in a body mod way so  if people were looking at me they would just have to deal with that and not my actual face.

As I got older I decided I had to deal with it. I had to learn to be able to look at myself in the mirror and beyond that just live with my face. To that end for a while I made myself stop wearing make up because I thought that dealing with having my naked face in the open would force a change.

Instead I was just miserable.

Then I faked it. I wore outrageous make up and smiled while inwardly I was cringing and yes, again ashamed when people looked at me.

Gradually, the looks and comments stopped mattering.

I noticed I'm a tad cock eyed, my face has foibles.

Now I like my face. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I don't recognize it as my own. But I am not ashamed of it anymore.

I understand that regardless of what anyone else says the only important opinion about my face is my own.

Some days I am nervous about looking at my face.

As I age though I am more fascinated. I wonder how many women or bois or whatever I can make myself into with my fuckton of cosmetics.

I wonder what I can do and how happy it will make me.

Also please remember don't read these posts and think I'm fishing for compliments because compliments and other folks visions of what beauty is or isn't, isn't really my problem.

My problem is my own eyes and part of fixing what my eyes see is exploring the options.

Last year I said something very like this, took a few pictures and quit. It was too hard.

I don't want to quit this time.

SO to that end I invite you if you use instagram to follow me. I like to take fotds and they aren't always the prettiest pictures ever. But I make a point to post them. My username there is weebeasty.

I think that's all for right now. I feel like I want to think about this more and decide on the first thing I'm going to try.


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Monday, January 07, 2013

Stop congratulating me.

If you've read me for a while you may remember that last year, there stopped being local bus service in my neighborhood for the most part.

Basically outside of "normal" business hours, there is no bus service from my house to either downtown where I work or to the transit hub near my house. That being what it is I have been walking a lot.

I haven't used my pedometer in a while (though I got a new one for Christmas that I will be breaking out) but I walk even more.

Neither my partner nor I drive, we can't afford a car so if I want to do anything I have to walk.

Whenever anyone talks to me about how little they presume I move they assume a few things.


  1. I drive or have constant access to rides.
  2. That Door to Door from work to home or work to the grocery store is like across the street.
  3. That all the walking I do that is not on a treadmill or dedicated to Exercise time is worthless.
  4. That whatever size my ass happens to be at the moment that I am either the before picture or the mid weight-loss picture.
  5. That regardless of my actual feelings on the subject I am desperate to lose weight.
  6. That whatever I am doing, I need to be doing more of.
There are more but you get the jist.

Here's the thing world.

I don't need your fucking congratulations on how much I walk.

I don't do it to make you happy.

I don't even really do it for my health although it is part of what I do for my health.

I do it because I have shit to do.

It may come as a surprise to the Thin Universe, but yes this here fat ass has things to do that don't involve my actual weight.

Shocking. I know.

I have to go to work. I have to pay my bills. I have to grocery shop. I have errands to run and sundries to buy.

I don't run on my own schedule or whim, I run at the mercy of the public transit system.

Do I hate my walks?

Actually no. I have always loved walking as a form of relaxation and exercise.

What I don't love is people trying to involve themselves in it (sound familiar y'all?) by giving me their unsolicited metaphorical high fives because they perceive me as a fatty "doing something" about it.

Yes, I have lost some weight. That has been the result of an amalgam of the extra walking, being sick for a few weeks, losing some of what a dear friend calls misery weight and not always feeding myself properly.

Point of fact, I am not really enthused about these changes in my body. As a matter of fact earlier in the Winter it was a cause for some major anxiety and panic which is no bueno.

How my body is functioning right now is a bit of a mystery to me on the level that I'm not sure how much I need to eat, it's a struggle for me to remember to eat enough during the day. It is wreaking havoc with my already very delicate sleep cycle. I am not sure if I should buy nice clothes in the size I'm wearing now or should I wait to see if my weight will stabilize?

This is not fucking fun.

I don't want to be congratulated on what has been a cause of pain and anxiety for me.

I don't care if the intention is good. I don't need cheer-leading that really only has to do with the fact that the visible size of my ass is different and those cheer leading me have no real idea what's going on with my actual health.

Fuck off. Shove it in your bhole because I don't want to hear it.

No one needs to hear it unless they ask you for that kind of support. Full stop.

It is more appropriate to say, "hey I noticed you lost/gained some weight are you okay?"

That is a good question to ask someone you care about. Are you okay?

Even for those of us who are super fat or fat fatty fat fat fat, sudden changes to our bodies can be the harbinger of bad times just as much as they are for our thinner counterparts.

Understand that, bodily changes even weight loss are not always reasons to celebrate.

And let me say this again once and for all.

If your support of people who are gravely ill ever includes you saying, but you'll lose weight, you should headbutt the nearest wall.

For me, all I want is that people respect my frequent need to not discuss my walks with people who can't understand that yes they count towards my fitness even though it is not designated exercise time, that no I don't need their hoorays or support to live my day to day life, no I am not going to "share my secret", no this is not a New Years Resolution. No, I don't need your input or advice about it unless I ask you.

So my darlings that's all for now.

Tell me, have you had to have the conversation about how much you are pooping with anyone yet? Have you tried derailing diet talk you don't want with poop talk, period talk, pee talk, fiber talk, boogers etc?

If you need some support, feel free to tell someone who takes you to task for talking about pooping or farting that your very smart very ladylike friend Shannon says a.) everybody poops and b.) if you can't talk to me about my poops you don't care about my health.

Homo Out.


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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 it is happening.

So New Year is upon us and it is 2013.

My darlings let's talk about surviving the bullshit slew of shit that January always brings.

When dealing with people who are prattling on about their new super moral super awesome diet and they turn to you wanting to know how you plan on changing your body this year I have some tips.

Here are some alternatives that may shut down diet/weightloss as good and moral conversations.


  1. Someone asks you about/if you're dieting as a resolution start talking about taking Metamucil or eating more fiber so you can poop more. Pooping regularly without upset is pretty fucking awesome. Pooping is a big part of understanding how your body works, what foods are and aren't good for you individually and are a good emotional/stress meter. If people want to talk about dieting you need to talk about pooping.
  2. If you have them, talk about setting a goal to keep better track of your periods. Wanna talk about health? Periods are serious business for a lot of us who have them and keeping track of them can help with dealing with a lot of things like mental illness, chronic illnesses, knowing how menstrual issues might cause certain issues. Also, a huge part of a persons health.
  3. Start talking about changing the way you eat so you're not exceedingly gassy at work.
  4. Start talking about how much you're looking forward to getting more hydrated and keeping an eye on how your pee looks and smells.
  5. Talk about the scaly spot of skin on your butt that you'd like to minimize.
Here's my reason.

WHen people try to involve themselves in your body, in how much weight you could lose or gain, how you look naked if you aren't consenting to them seeing you naked, speculating on what illnesses you may or may not have or get, they are being very forcefully intimate with you.

If their premise is your health, then give it to them.

Because our weight is not the only thing involved with our health. 

When people come at us on the basis that they are JUST SO CONCERNED FOR OUR HEALTH, okay fine.

If you want to talk to me about my health, we can't just talk about the size of my ass. We are going to talk about my pooping schedule, possibly if I'm having a two poop kind of day. We're going to talk about how I need to be very careful about too much fiber in my diet because I get painful gas and bloating and I don't like that.

We're going to talk about how entirely unfair it is that I love fruit so much but if I eat too much (which for me is like the recommended daily allowance) I get the fiery shits.

You want to be concerned about my health?

Fine.

If you are ever so concerned about my health I'm going to talk to you at length about how as I get older I'm having these crazy heavy bleeding clotting periods.

I will explain to you how not awesome it is when you sneeze and it feels like your tampon just shot out at speeds that might take out someones eye.

I'm going to talk to you about how in the Winter my skin gets so miserably dry from the neck down that at least once every winter, I get a crack in the crack of my ass.

Here's my big point here.

I don't like people trying to get intimate with me in a coercive fashion like that. Over the years I have decided that if you are going to do that I am going to punish you by making you feel uncomfortable.

When someone says, "omg why are you talking about that in public?"

To which I can respond very politely, the same reason you are talking about the size of my actual ass in public, I'm a rude mother fucker.

You don't have to say it like that but you get my point.

My darlings, this is 20 mother fucking 13.

We are living in the future.

You and me? We made it through some shit didn't we?

Here's the thing.

As my 36th birthday is heading my way and my body is doing some crazy shit I can't really control and some other shit has happened. 

Frankly we do not need people trying to insert their views into our bodies. Not into our mouths via preaching to us about what not to eat. Not into our butts by telling us that if only we'd do THIS HOT NEW EXERCISE we'd be awesome with a non jiggly ass.

We do not need people telling us how we can and can't live in our bodies.

It doesn't matter what kind of body you have, what gender you are, how you present that gender, whether you are disabled or not disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill, fat, thin, really fucking thin, really fucking fat, etc.

Nobody has that much authority over you and this is the year we need to start putting out collective foot down and saying no, NO you are not going to tell me how to live in my body.

Nobody gets to dictate to you how you live in your body.

Let me say that again in case anyone thinks I am leaving them out.

YOU!

HEY YOU ON THE INTERNET WITH THE CONNECTION.

I AM TALKING TO AND ABOUT YOU.

AND YOUR MOM.

AND EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET.

NO ONE EVER HAS THE RIGHT TO DICTATE HOW YOU LIVE IN YOUR BODY.

NOBODY.

Even if they did/are any of the following:

  • Gave birth to or contributed to your genetic make up.
  • Are dating you.
  • Are trying to date you.
  • Are related by blood or other things.
  • Have Dr. in their name.
  • See you walking down the street.
  • Read your blog.
  • Read your OKC profile.
  • Are serving you in a restaurant.
  • Are a barista you are buying coffee from.
  • Someone in line at the store.
  • Diet/fitness gurus.
  • Fashion magazines.
  • Every other random asshole on the face of the planet.
No one.

I want for all of us to start if you haven't and continue if you have, giving no fucks about what people believe about how we live in our bodies.

This includes people using us as inspiration for fitness, weight loss, weight gain whatever. If we don't consent they do not have the right to do that.

You can tell people no.

If you don't want to get rude like I do, practice just telling people "no I'm not doing that." You can say, "no I don't feel the need to do that." You can. I promise you can.

Now when you need bolstering remember this.

These people aren't in your body and therefor aren't privy to the internal goings on in your body if you don't share them.

Most people who want to comment on your body have nothing to do with you or how you are living.

They do not need to have any power to change or fuck up your universe if you don't give it to them.

You don't HAVE to let people into your world that way.

Is it easy?

No actually it's not. It's really fucking hard but, like many things in life it's hard but worth it in the end.

So my darlings, my haters, my homies let us ALL understand that our bodies belong to us.

Let 2013 be the year you, yes you right there learn how to give no fucks about what people have to say about your ass.

None.

Not.

A.

Single.

Fuck.

Remember that what's important is that you live your life in the way that is best for you. Not in the way that makes other people comfortable.

That is what I want for us my friends.

For all of us.

Happy New Year my darlings.

Homo out.

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