Friday, August 23, 2013

Really Mr. Gunn?

Oh Tim Gunn.

So apparently Tim Gunn has discovered something all of us over a size 12 have known forever. Fashion as it is done in the mainstream is not for us.
Ahem. Sir, Tim I love you but really?

In short, it's time to get honest about sizes and bodies -- women shoppers come in all shapes, including "plus-size" ones, and there's nothing wrong with buying clothing that bears a size in the double-digits. There may not be enough stylish, trendy plus-size clothing on the market right now... but if the up-and-comers on "Project Runway" can be convinced to start designing those clothes, it might be a good place to start.
Uh...for real though?

So according to Wikipedia Mr. Gunn has been in fashion since 1982.

So tell me again sir, in all those years how did the fact that every model, every marketed line, 90% of designers you deal with will not deal with a body that is not a thin body, ALL of the advertising, ALL of the models you'e worked with you only just now have noticed that mainstream fashion industry is outright hostile to diverse bodies?

I love you Mr. Gunn but you are full of shit.

If Project Runway was in fact a good place to start, how about giving the designers some serious dressing downs about the complaints every time there is a challenge involving "real" models?

WHY wasn't the designer who essentially said his fat client was shapeless and had no style, some consequences for being such a fucking dick to his client?

Look. Fat people have been saying for years, fashion is doing us a disservice. I have said for years that if more designers, brands etc would stop doing fat fashion entirely wrong, they would in fact make their money.

If we're to believe as so many retailers claim that fat fashion doesn't sell let's look at the ways they have set it up to happen:


  1. Stores (Hi Old Navy) that make it so you can only order plus size clothing on line and are notorious for sizing issues.
  2. Store/brand owners, talk about how they don't want fat employees or shoppers in their stores.
  3. Fat specific stores tend to cater only to those with money, those who are small to middle size fat or their quality is questionable. Yes Torrid I'm talking about you.
  4. Brand name companies who are known for specific styling (Lip Service I am talking about you) get hyped up to sell their fat size clothes and the plus sizes have nothing to do aesthetically with their brand.
So stores/brands do this and then say oh but it failed.

Of course it failed because it is set up to fail.

Other ways retailers fail is that they don't use models who fit their clothes.

A thin model (hi Woman within) does not look the same in clothing made for a plus size body, as a plus size model would look.

When it comes to any non normative bodies whether they are fat, gender queer, etc retailers tend to act like they don't know what they are doing anymore.

So Tim Gunn, it's not a maybe it is an absolute.

Here's the thing. Retail is commerce and commerce is fueled by money spent. If we examine some of the more popular fat fashion brands, a lot of fat people have a lot of cash to throw at well made, well dsigned clothing. I personally don't but that's neither here nor there.

This is why the idea that fashion is for every body, as it is put forth by Thin Pretty White People who are sort of into body acceptance fails.

Now let's talk brass tacks real life.

My position is that regardless of my love of high fashion and that part of the industry, has nothing to do with my real life nor how I clothe myself.

The problems are not necessarily centered on me not being able to buy a Marchesa dress at Lord and Taylor. How many of us really need a lot of high end designer wear?

The problem is when say I need a pair of decent pants. I can't go try them on in a lot of places, a lot of stores don't use measurements on individual pants, you just have to guess and pray.

The problem is that if I really need to buy a bra I can't go to Target and buy one. I have to go to Lane Bryant where I'm going to spend two or three times more.

I can't just run down to the local whatever store and buy an outfit for an interview.

I can't just run down to the mall and have a 90% chance of walking out with exactly what I need.

This isn't a maybe this part of the population is underserved. This is a holy shit this part of the population is underserved.
As I've said before if we as fat people are supposed to believe that we should do anything necessary to lose weight, we can't even walk into a sports store or high end outfitter like Lulumon and get what we need.

It is bullshit.

And Tim Gunn, sir I am disappointed in you. You are smarter than that. You have so much more influence and power than I will ever have in my life and your conclusion is maybe?

I am disappointed.

I am pissed off and annoyed.

Don't blow smoke up the fashion industry's butt sir you are too good for that bullshit.

Homo Out.


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Little Truthiness.

Okay I know some of y'all are new so bear with me.


Despite there being a bunch of you who are new and in from the fatosphere here are some trufax.


I am not new at this.


I have been blogging about bodies and things for more than a hot minute.


Some other stuff.


Readers both new and old have asked me pretty often about some issues and I want to talk about them today.


Normally those questions are about things like:


Articles on bodies, fatness, self care etc that seem a little too similar but not similar enough to my work to be outright plagiarism.


My lack of fame and/or infamy.


Etc.


So here's the thing folks. There are very serious reasons and some of them include the fact that I am not a pretty White Lady. I'm not an educated White Lady and I am not a nice white Lady.


I am also not a fashion blogger so I can't be put down to being the Fabulous Sassy Fatshionable person.


As we learned from the #solidarityisforwhitewomen twitter hashtag thing started by Mikki Kendall.. If one goes around reading various sources we see truth of the tab revealed.


I saw a lot of people focusing and centering the conversation about the fallout of it on White women. As with Fatness or Racism or Feminism, or anything at all.


That is why I am not as famous or attributed as some of you homies think I should be.


The fact is that regardless of what I have experienced, what I am talking about, how much I know about what I'm talking about, how articulate or inarticulate I am, what academic or vernacular speech I use: I am doubted.


There is no corner or issue I can speak about where a lot of the people who are the faces and voices of these issues will be considered the experts.


Beyond that as I've mentioned lately this is not Intersectional Body Politics 101. There is too much information and work done on that for anyone at this point to be unaware if they have an interest.


This little space is 505. This is intersectional

This is shit that a lot of people who are only into talking isms and politics as far as You go girl or can only handle hearing the hard shit from people who are just like them.

The reality is that because I am who I am and I write the way I write and what I write about, you will probably not see me as the face or voice of shit.

Frankly my homies, at times I get very tired of all of this. I want to rage quit writing about the hard things because I need to know why am I expending this energy and doing this work when I know damn well that if a White lady says the same damn thing in five minutes, THEN it all makes sense.

This is where I heave a long tired sigh.

And then I think about those of you I've helped. Those of you who have told me when you've read a post about racism and shit suddenly clicked and maybe you were horrified but you started to get it and unravel what you've learned.

I think about how kind so many of you have been to me over the years. From the time one of you bought me pants, to people who have donated to hep me get my teeth fixed. The encouragement and support and lots of it.

The wonderfulness of you regulars might not make it ALL better but it goes a long way to mend my feelings when I feel this way.

So thank you friends who sent me notes about possible plagiarism and inquiring about the state of my health and teeth thank you.

How about some other news?

I am super close to having half of the money I need to fix my teeth. Fuck yes.

Next week I'm going to talk more about the #solidarityisforwhitewomen and why sometimes I'm kind of glad I am a less famous voice.

That's all.

Homo Out.



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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let us Fashion.

Yes I use Fashion as a verb because we're doing it.

Given that I won't really be able to buy a lot of new things for Fall I'm trying to think of creative ways to remix my wardrobe.

Actually no wait. The world really sucks this week so instead let us fashion as if neither size nor money was a problem.

For those who don't know me I am an Old Goth. By necessity and lack o cash flow I don't really dress entirely how I'd like to. Now let us pretend that I don't have to walk a couple of miles on the daily and owned all the things I want.

Now one thing I do own that I splurged on a while back are a pair of knock of Lita's like these. I have been obsessed with Lita's since I first saw them and the pair of knock offs I bought were so cheap I had to have them. They are like the black with brown heels.

What I neglected to think about is that we don't really out anywhere and I can't walk in heels anymore.

BUT holy shit y'all they make my big ass hams look so good.

So now of course I want to buy ALL of the things to wear with them or shoes like them. Let me show you them.

These are not fatty size but precisely what I want. I want to wear funky ankle boots, faux leather leggings, layers of witchy tops and tattery shawls and wraps and things.

Unfortunately that's not the best plan given my commute so I pine.

Okay some links.

OMG this faux leather skater skirt is LESS than 20$. Get on that. Also remember that Jrs stores run smaller most of the time so be mindful. Even the plus sizes.

I am madly obsessed with this dress. It is just so damn expensive there is no way I would pay that much for a casual dress. If you have the money get to it.

This cheap little dress is also pretty awesome.

One of the bigger downsides of my bodily changes is that some of the stuff I've just been DYING to buy I just won't fit in anymore and I'm probably overreacting but I find it very upsetting.

This is where you can picture me laughing kind of bitterly because I had a savings plan for some of this stuff and then my fucking teeth broke. Only me y'all.

In the meantime, I will daydream and imagine.

See, I have this deep desire to achieve what I call Nazgul or Evil Queen Realness. I want to look terrifying and feel beautiful and shit. Shit is hard though.

Okay I'm going to be real with you guys.

All I want out of my Fashioning is to feel like YES I did this. I miss the feeling and emotional certainty that I look exactly how I want to look at any one time.

Over the years I've had to accept this about myself. I don't care how other people want me to look, the only opinion that matters is mine and I feel more depressed when I (for whatever reason) am unable to maintain the appearance I like.

For a longtime I made myself not experience those feelings. I fully absorbed and believed that I had no right to that. That I was just being vain and dumb.

If looking a certain way no matter what it is makes you feel good and happy in your body, get it.

Again I will say, don' t pay to make yourself miserable. You don't have to play that kind of acceptability game unless it directly impacts your ability to keep a roof over your head.

As I've said before if you have to wear a uniform or conform to a dress code, don't get fired. That said, outside of work you look however you please.

For me, I am going to do a lot of going through my wardobe and figuring it out. I will not make mysel miserable because I have a giant ass expense to take care of that is kind of taking over my life.

Homo Out.





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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Wellness, lies and shit ain't nobody got time for.

Okay my darlings.


Y'all know (if you're new guess what) I will not bullshit you about things. W get enough of that in the world and I'm not playing that game.


I hate the whole "Wellness" movement. I hate the language, I hate the execution, I hate the fact that 99% of what people talking about "wellness" are doing is shaming, classist and fatphobic.


So I propose a reclamation of the whole concept and doing of Wellness.


Most Wellness related things we see are full of Thin Pretty White Ladies talking about their energy and expensive spa treatments, etc etc. Most of what passes for "Wellness" is really just expensive shit that is only made for thin people with money, shit that seems to involve a lot of cultural appropriation and frankly it's not good for most of us.


Fuck that.


I want to introduce us to a concept of Wellness that goes with my ideas about self care and self love.


It's not pretty. It's not full of faux rich White Lady Zen. It's grimy, it's hard, it's real it's for you.


To start with wellness does not have to mean Health in the all or nothing gross binarist way. Wellness is taking care of you as you are not as you think you should be or how some asshole says you should be.


First thing. Much of the substance of how Wellness is discussed revolved around buying a lot of expensive shit. Whether it's the most organic of the organic, the right water, the right gear (hi Lulumon) blablabla.

Let's examine that and reject it. The message from mainstream "wellness" is that if you are not buying all these things and following the One Twoo Way, you are not doing it and basically suck.

That is Grade A bullshit.

Let's reframe and take Wellness away from the people who just want your money or just want to look down their nose at all us unenlightened peons.

Ready?

Instead of buying into those things, just take care of you.

So as I've talked about before let's engage in some self care and making sure the bodies we're moving around in are doing the best they can.

Are you hydrated? Drink some water. Especially if you have joint problems, pooping problems, problems with your skin, have to take a lot of medication, take vitamins etc. Water does all your things good. Pro tip. Buy a dollar large size bottle of water and refill it once per day to start out with. Then if you're feeling super fancy do it twice.

Next up, feel your feelings. Know it is okay to feel your feelings even when the are awful. It's okay if you are upset, it's okay if you aren't sure how you feel It's okay, BeatFreak I'm talking to you my friend. I'm talking to me too.

Remember that even if you look down at your body and hate it, that body is still worth care. It is still worth keeping it in as good condition as you can. If that means you exercise more, do it. Exercise less, okay. Eat something, anything. Just eat.

Don't be mean to yourself. Don't pay people or industries to reinforce how much you may hate yourself or your body. Stop doing hat It is the easiest step towards liberation from the tyranny of Thin Pretty White lady Ideals. Put your wallet away. Don't by their magazines, magical slimming pants, miracle creams, diet pills, weight loss via hypnotoad or whatever other bullshit.

Think about this. Instead of paying five dollars for a magazine with a beautifully made up hot body person on it who makes their living being gorgeous, and had a team of stylists, make up artists, wardrobe people AND post production- spend five dollars on something else. Buy yourself a coffee, buy a used book, donate it to a charity or person you like, save it and add it to the forty dollars you might spend on a jar of cellulite cream and buy some shoes, or whatever else.

Spend you money on things that make you feel good and improve the quality of your life.

What else?

Instead of making ourselves bow to ideas that are meant to shame us into submission let us begin our wellness by raising our middle fingers and bidding a not so fond fuck you very much to all the bullshit.

So my darlings let us begin our wellness practice.

Inhale deeply through your nose, open your mouth and say

NO.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.

Nope.

No.

Nope.

That's all for now homies. I encourage you to think about this stuff as it relates to your life and potential for more happiness and okayness in your body and your life as both are right this instant. I know it's hard but I believe in you. I believe in us.

Homo Out.
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Thursday, August 08, 2013

On Self Caring through rough times.

Recently I have been dealing with some dental issues.

Unfortunately unlike some of my issues in the past, my front teeth are all fucked up.

I'm not speaking or smiling normally and it is frankly fucking with my self esteem.

I had a meltdown about it, spent some time being so anxious my body kind of freaked out.

And now I'm not okay but I have a plan, I am doing the plan and I am self caring like a mother fucker.

I have been overindulging in skin care of all kinds. I pamper my face, I'm greasing myself up with cocoa butter at night and lubing up through the day.

I am making certain to take extra good care of myself because stress is a mother fucker.

For me one of the symptoms of increased stress and anxiety, is that my appetite goes to hell. That being what it is, I make sure I eat when I am hungry and I eat whatever I want to.

I am enjoying my walks and trying to keep myself from spinning out into a self loathing type of thing.

SO first let me give y'all some poor people dental care.

First things first. If you use a mouthwash that contains alcohol or has a sting when you use it, stop. If you have any gum problems that will make them worse. Instead try something with tea tree oil in it or my favorite thing Biotene. If you are prone to irritations, dry mouth etc it's great. I first started using it when I got an oral piercing and haven't stopped.

Next.

If you have a toothache or other oral discomforts, try this. Brew a very strong cup of plain green tea and swish/hold it in your mouth. You can also use a green tea bag that you've wetted (it tastes awful) against a sore tooth or swelling.

Here's the thing. None of this will replace a dentist but if you can't afford to get to a dentist (hi me right now) you can mitigate your symptoms and discomfort.

The important thing here as with all of my ideas about self care is to do the best you can in the moment.

Sometimes this means that the only thing you do is drink a glass of water or milk or soda, and wash your face. Or you checked the mail. Whatever.

Again the point isn't what you do, just that you do it.

So posting may be slow or more ragey than usual. My moods are all over the place.

Also I'm doing a thing. The dental stuff I need done is expensive and I need help. But instead of a straight up fundraiser here's what's goin on. If you head http://shannon-writes.net/downloads.htmlhere, you can download some of my out of print/never published writing. If you're into it you can tip me a couple of bucks. Or if you don't wanna do that you can head to the right and drop a tip in the jar.

Hopefully once I get this taken care of I can deconstruct my meltdowns and share with y'all how it went.

So how are you my darlings? Beatfreak I'm thinking of you, how are you?

Homo Out.
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Thursday, August 01, 2013

This is my total lack of surprise.

Recently the brand Lulumon (super expensive yoga shit) has been put in the spotlight for their "shocking" issues with fat customers.

See the Huffpo article here.

Again the fitness industry as a whole gets the light shone on their bullshit.

If we are to believe that if one is fat, one must also be doing something about it, logically it would follow that brands who have the ethos that you must work it out work it out (sorry I'm listening to Kanya right now) they would be falling all over themselves to sell us fat asses the apparel needed to be doing something about it.

They don't.

This is an intersection with thin privilege and class.

If a body is thin to slightly bigger than average, you can presumably for a modest amount of money walk into a sporting goods store, not be harassed or laughed at. People will sell you bras, cups, shorts, underwear, etc. Then you can goon about the business of getting your fitness on.

When you are fat, really fat or death fat that does not happen.

If you are not over say a size 12/14 you could go into Walmart or Kmart and come out with an outfit or two ready for the gym.

You could go to that gym and not be subjected to shit like this.

It is beyond antithetical to the message that we all must be doing our level best and beyond to be fit, if those of us who supposedly need to be doing it the most are empirically unwelcome to do so from the physical things we need (pants, bras, etc) to the places we are supposed to go to do these things.

Let me put on my Vulcan ears for a second and let's break it down outside of anything emotional.

It is ultimately illogical to rabidly demand that fat people change their bodies in order to appear healthy and fit only to turn around and bar fat people from doing so with behaviors and shitty retail.

There is no logic to this.

It shines more light on the lies that people tell us and each other about fat bodies.

Let's look at Lulumon specifically. Let's see how many lies we can find in heir manifesto:

(Click to go to their website and view it lager)



One thing that jumps out at me immediately is this:

stress is related to 
99% of all illness
Let's think about that in conjunction with their messages about love and whatnot.

How loving is it to relegate anyone with an "undesirable" body to digging trough piles of clothing in the back of your upscale beautiful stores?

How stressful is it for a person who might be say a fat yoga  instructor? Or for their students?

If we take their treatment of non average bodies as a demonstration of their supposedly wonderful loving natures, what does that say about them?

It says they are liars.

You cannot be selling love and hand holding and bullshit WHILE you actively behave in ways to make certain people uncomfortable.

They are liars.

As are the people who harass fat people at the gym or on the street.

Flat out they lie.

They are so wrapped up in the look and idea of what health is "supposed" to be, they can't understand that health and fitness do not look the same for everyone.

I encourage you folks to put this lens on the Diet/Fitness/Health industries.

If they are right and we have to be working off our fat terrible asses, why is it the only time they want our money is to sell us pills or potions or to pay them to humiliate us. But they won't take our money or let us in their stores if we want workout wear, accessories, fitness equipment, or to go to the gym and workout in peace.

Why?

How does that prove that they are so invested in our health? How does it show the importance of us fat people doing all the things they say in order to be acceptable?

So with these things in mind let's not give them their pity parties, let's not allow this.

Instead of playing the bullshit manipulation and humiliation game let's do what we do.

Wanna do yoga? Wanna go running or dancing or hula hooping or for a walk.

Do what you can when you want to.

Be nice to your body even when your body (HI MY BODY I AM TALKING ABOUT YOU...more on that later) is being an asshole.

Self care ad get your fitness on out of if not spite,in spite of all this other bullshit.

At the end of it all you do not deserve to be treated this way by anyone. And anyone who does treat you this way doesn't give a shit about your real health or well being.

Lulumon is full of shit. Fuck them, fuck anyone who thinks or behaves like they do. Fuck that whole industry particularly.

They just don't.

Okay my darlings that's all for now.

Homo Out.
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