Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Killing the Fantasy of Thinness One Pants Size at a Time

I am very tired so no links but feel free to google.

Kate Harding, years ago coined this phrase The Fantasy of Being Thin.

Recently I've also spent some time admonishing Tim Gunn for apparently only recently understanding that if one is over a size 10 (he said 12 but lets be real here) fashion as it is done in fancy fashion places does not serve anybody.

We know this.

What y'all probably don't know is that I have had one very concerned, dedicated troll whom we'll refer to as T#1. For background this gentleman once upon a time thought it would be cute to demand I send free fap material pictures and when I didn't he became my apparent White Knight in badly proxied internet armor.

Every couple of months he will send me a note via any number of social media to tell me how sickly I may look in a photo, or that my weight makes it look like I'm about to drop dead.

Recently with my mystery weight loss he has decided that since I am not really that fat anymore, it must mean that everything I've said about fat, being fat, etc is nullified.

Like every other healthist asshole on the planet seems to think when they talk to me, my weight is now a symbol of me turning my back on fatness.

Actually it isn't.

So let's talk about that.

I'm being pretty open here so bear with me. Last October or so I started losing tidbits of weight. Then in December I had the worst cold/upset. My insomnia took a few really bad turns. I was very stressed out for quite a while, and just after my birthday in March I started to realize I had lost a fuckload of weight.

I don't use scales so we're going by pants.

Last Nov/Dec my size 16 pants from Old Navy fit pretty damn well if a little baggy in the ass. I felt good. My normal health problems were doing their things, I had no extra health problems aside from colds and shit. The illnesses and frequency of them was normal because of my insomnia. When my insomnia is super bad the first thing to start freaking out is my immune system.

Looking back, I felt in the bodily sense very normal.

But my ass was shrinking.

Let me assure you of a few things. Here are some of the things that my current weight has not cured me of.

Being a total asshole. Sometimes I am a hateful asshole like every other human on the planet. Losing several pants sizes did not cure this.
I don't hate my formerly fatter ass, I don't hate my current ass. I am not retroactively against being fat.
I am not morally superior to anybody who has a bigger ass.
I am not now miraculously super happy.
Still not a diabetic.
Still have mid normal blood pressure.
Still have one shitty kidney.
Still am a chronic terrible insomniac.
Buying pants that fit properly is still a problem.
And very salient to my point today, I am still treated as a fat object. A bucket of fat fatty fat fat ass disease.
Here's the thing.

People who have seen me with a size 16 ass and my current size 12 ass treat me the same way but with different language.

I am subject to random semi strangers congratulating me on my weightloss without ever asking if I'm okay. In all these months it has only been some other fat folks who have first said, are you all right?

It looks like this. Here is what annoys me.

Person X: WOW look how much weight you've lost. YOU GO GIRL. KEEP IT UP. KEEP GOING YOU'LL BE SO SEXY IN TIME FOR NEXT SUMMER.

Or.
 
Person X: You have made SUCH good progress. *At which point they start pointing out my remaining flaws while recommending insane diets, diet pills, dvds, "programs" etc to spot treat my "problem" areas.

Or.

Person X: You are SO good. I couldn't blablabla.

When I respond, people don't really listen. Again we see that if it was in fact about my health things would go more like this:

Person Y: I noticed you lost some weight, are you okay?

Person Y: Are you feeling all right?

Person Y: I love you and just want you to be okay.

See the difference?

While I am not in the range of socially unacceptable fatness at this point I am in that other sticky place where it is assumed that I am mid diet or have done something super amazing.

I am still treated as a disease by doctors. To them most of the time if I would just keep losing weight my health problems would disappear.

This is the effect sizeism has on my real lived life.

For people like T#1 things like my body's natural set point, stressors, potential health problems (that I don't' currently have but mystery weight loss can be indicative of), or what it means to suggest that I am suddenly morally superior to other people and my previous self only on the basis of the size of my ass- just don't matter.

That is why 99% of the War On Obesity, anti fatness, fatphobia etc is complete entire bullshit.

Having a smaller ass has not spared me any of the following:

People using "you're a fat bitch" to try and shut me down when I speak.
Invasive assumptions about what I do or don't eat and how much I do or don't exercise.
Judgemnt based on nothing except for my ass.
Etc.

The real truth is that thinness doesn't really save you from anything.

Nothing.

Weightloss is not a curative of ALL the things.

That is not to say that for some people weight loss is something that is good for their health Here's the thing, I can't make that call. If it is not my body I have no place sitting in judgement. Neither do you.

One of the things I find to be an absolute imperative of FA or any body politic movement is the understanding that while yes on a societal level weight loss as the cure of every ill is not only a bad idea it's dangerous, bad for your health blablabla. On the flip side of that coin, I cannot tell another person that how they are dealing with their own body is bad. I won't.

For me personally I don't feel anything on a moral level about my weight.

The only things I'm super concerned about is staying as healthy as I can be, keeping my weight stable, keeping myself fed well, not overdoing it with the exercise and right now pants.

I need new pants and if you've read me for a while you know that sudden needs for new pants throw me into a poor people tailspin.

We'll talk about that later.

Bottom line is as I've said before, as many other people have said before getting or being thinner doesn't magically turn one into a Skinny Awesome Person.

All it really means is, you might need new pants.

Homo Out.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Things I've said before.

When it comes to my years of blogging there is one thing that irritates me beyond everything.

Lately as a result of the #solidarityisforwhitewomen tag on twitter, a lot of White women suddenly realize that WOC exist, have shit to say and that it's apparently not awesome to be coming from a racist place.

.........

Really?

I understand that until a Nice white Lady says something is true, other Nice White Ladies can't accept it. I understand that and yet I cannot for the life of me not be irritated as fucking shit when I see article after article that basically regurgitates the work of WOC.

This is something I take very personally and as hard as I've tried not to, I can't help it.

I've seen it in fat blogland and FA in general, I see it on huffpo, I see it on facebook, I see it on tumblr.

It just lights me up.

What gets me is that in spite of what I hope are earnest Nice White Ladies trying to do something about these things, is they NEVER refer back to the WOC who have already said these things.

Never.

This leads me to believe that these Nice White Ladies don't actually give a hot fuck about intersectionality. It's just a word to them.

A thing to be talked about and sometimes they will say things that sound nice and give them an opportunity to pat each other on the back about how committed they are to intersectionality and diversity but when it comes to doing things beyond lip service like:


  1. Shutting up.
  2. At the very least paying some sort of homage/respect to the work of WOC in particular.
  3. Not only having Nice White Ladies write Nice things for each other.
Etc.

When it comes to Fat Acceptance in particular I have seen more fat WOC driven away by this flavor of bullshit than I care to think about and I totally understand.

It's beyond frustrating to do this type of work, to talk about these things from a non-academic unsafe personal point of view only to see that our work and our words are so often left out. In FA spaces we have to deal with microagressions, tone policing, "you go girl" neck rolling finger snapping nonsense and it's just too much.

Also please note these are very much part of the reason why my little blog here is not for everyone. This as I keep saying is not FA/Feminism/Anti Racism 101 let's hold hands and be shiny and happy together type thing.

It's just not.

This is also a lot of the reason why my posts get sparse. I just get fed up and tired of putting in the work and seeing shit I've said MANY times woven into shit other people are writing.

Frankly at that point I'd rather stick to my professional authoring and save it for essays.

And then I remember that this is my fucking space and I do what I want.

Right now I'm thinking about what more I want to do with my little space here.

I don't know.

I'm annoyed. I feel a lot of anger on the behalf of my fellow WOC especially my fellow fatties who have important shit to say but can't be arsed to play on the FA playground because of erasure and the constant need to break down why a lot of specific things are a problem and why we don't want to deal with it.

To that end let us establish some rules for my sandbox.


  1. Do not bring the "fat is the last acceptable predjudice" shit into my yard. Google why I don't like it.
  2. Nothing is EVER the "New Black" in the context of struggles.
  3. Do not bring your kumbayah let's all hold hands and pretend like race doesn't exist nonsense here either. Don't.
  4. White Womens tears will be used to keep my skin youthful and glowing.
  5. Using my current weight as some sort of validation that FA is bullshit will get you mocked. Mercilessly.
  6. No I'm still not a feminist and will not reconsider right now. 
  7. Yes I have extremely good reasons for #6.
I think that's all the rules I need for right now.

If you are new here don't trip over yoursef o tell me how you're not like X because if your first instinct is to yell about your hurt feelings/generalizations/try to shut me down with your feelings I'm not here for that.

So that's all.

Later this week I'm probably going to talk about ome things that have gone on since my mystery weightloss, my health, the assumptions I've been dealing with and how I really feel about it.

Until then.

Homo Out.



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Monday, September 16, 2013

My Body Reminds me.

Lately,I've been getting more exercise during my day to day activities than usual. This weekend Uniballer and I super cleaned our apartment. I did a lot of heavy physical work and was reminded of several things.

First thing is that my body doesn't do what I want it to when I'm physically exhausted. Even though I lifted, scrubbed, moved etc and my body was done I still had an awful time falling asleep. Once upon a time I habitually worked out to the point of physical collapse because I fully believed if I just exercised enough, ALL my problems would be solved.

At the time yes I got thinner but I also very seriously exacerbated my insomnia. Not just my insomnia but I also did a lot of extra damage to my joints and frankly the consequences outweighed the benefits of my rigorous no pain no gain exercise routine.

Lesson is, self don't do that. It's rude, and you just wind up sleepy and sore.

Second thing is I am for serious bad at keeping my blood sugar up especially when I'm active. At one point I was just going going and scrubbing walls and shit like a boss and then...I was almost in tears, and I was shaking.

Uniballer was busy and I kind of got in bed and was despairing and on the verge of a panic attack. It wasn't until I was teary and wanting to sleep did I realize I hadn't eaten in hours or had anything but coffee or water.

Lesson two. Listen to your body self. It sends distress signals and you should heed them unless you want to collapse in a panicky mess.

One of the self care issues I battle with is not ignoring my body. 

This is something I am not good at. For many intersecting reasons I am not always as attuned to the goings on in my body than I could be.

Some of those reasons include coming from a background where it was hard for me to take a day off if I was sick. Not having money to eat regularly all day long. Etc etc.

I mistake hunger for thirst, I tell myself that fuck my hurt feelings/low blood sugar/hurting whatever I WILL do the things. ALL of them regardless of what those things might be. Frankly I exhaust the fuck out of myself with my own bullshit.

This my friends is where I remember to tell people I trust that sometimes I forget to eat. They will remind me. Sometimes it's a gentle, have you eaten? Other times it's a friend telling me bitch will you shut the fuck up and go get something to eat.

Whatever works.

I've had kind of an intense last few weeks. From training someone at work to doing a serious grown up writer thing and I will tell y'all about that later. I've also not been sleeping much per usual so shit has been kinda rough.

And per usual when I am stressed out my skin starts looking kind of rough and my hair is a little neglected. 

I'm fixing that.

Or working on it at least.

More water, using my good skin care shit. You know the drill.

I am dealing fairly well with my stress. I'm trying to keep myself fed and hydrated. I'm not constantly freaking out about my broken front tooth. The tooth is one of those things that I will obsess over. I was already self conscious about my teeth and then right in the self esteem, a big ass left hook.

I know some of y'all think I am super great at self care.

I'm not really. 

I'm not any better at it than you are.  I just know myself and how to unfuck myself.

You can do it too. No really. Even if you had a routine, and it has since fallen to pieces. You can do it again.

Drink some water. Have something to eat. Have a walk, have a nap, have a cuddle with your dog, roll around in your front yard, dance around naked, 

You can start right this instant.

Take a big deep breath. Let it out.

Tell yourself okay, some shit is bad right now but I can make it. Now self DO THE THING and then I want you to do the thing you need to do.

If you have nothing to do may I suggest a god bootyshake break?

Queue up your music, move your hindquarters until you don't want to anymore and you win.

Homo Out.


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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

This is Real Shit.

First I need you to go read this as posted by my friend Peech over on tumblr

Got that?

You don't have to read the responses but let me put it this way.

When one is marginalized especially in very visible ways, (being of color, being fat, being visibly queer or non binary in terms of gender or presentation etc etc...intersectionality holy shit) it's not an exercise in intellectual masturbation to think about the things Peech was talking about.

This is our entire lives.

Our whole lives.

One of the things I mentioned there was this:

<blockquote>

This is (Peech tell me to shut the fuck up if I'm wrong here) a really prime example of how privilege functions like a battering ram. White people can giggle/not give two shits about this stuff, and for people of color it's our whole fucking lives.</blockquote>

Let's stop there for a moment.

This is where we remember that marginalization is intersectional and this can apply across a lot of things. 

When marginalized people talk about our lives and things like how frustrating or stressful dealing with the every day microagressions we face.

When we are talking about these things or ask about what would you do White/thin/etc people in our place, that is the time to not use your privilege as a baseball bat.

This is not the time for us to hear about or center discussions on your feelings.

If you are not part of the marginalized group, don't make it about you.

The fact is not being a racist or sizeist or whatever ist is hard fucking work. Part of that hard work is in fact learning that your icky feelings about a thing aren't always the most important feelings.

For instance.

When fat people are talking about say, bad treatment by medical professionals because they refuse to be weighed, refuse to deal with WLS pushers or are otherwise branded "bad" fatties, that is not the time for thin people to come in all ass and elbows screaming, BUT WHAT ABOUT ME.

That experience is not about your individual experience. This type of conversation is about a systemic oppression that causes everything from a few minutes of shame and public crying to death.

Now let's go back to Peech's post and I want you to look at some of the responses.

White people got angry and offended and did not take her question at all seriously. Too many people showed no empathy, no reasoning. That is called using your privilege like a bat and that is why the idea of putting the onus of starting and moderating discussions about oppression by the oppressed fails.

From both within marginalized communities and without there is a constant idea that if only the oppressed were nicer, more polite, more tolerant, more open, etc (this is called respectability politics) than the oppressors would suddenly see the error of their ways.

When many of us marginalized people try to do that a lot of bad shit happens.

First of all it is exhausting. Trying to be the rational explainer of ALL THE THINGS is emotionally and physically taxing. It's highly stressful and more so when the people one is trying to talk to so nicely, respond with bullshit.

Second of all, even when we marginalized people are the nicest, most respectable wonderful patient people, often our efforts result in nothing. No furthering of the discourse, we are tolerated to a point but are the first to be pushed out of conversation if our tones get to be too much, or if we stand up for ourselves, 

When the responsibility of being the most humane in a discussion that is rife with inhumanity is focused on the victim end of things, nothing goes well. Nothing.

Not only do we rarely get even a small amount of respect but after we've done so much hard, taxing work, it gets stolen.

People "borrow". People are "inspired". People steal our words and we are never backed up. It has happened to me personally, it has happened to other bloggers I like etc etc.

At the end of it, marginalized people wind up angry. We tend to want to deal with no further bullshit from self proclaimed allies who don't want to be allies unless they are getting a handjob while they do it. We don't want to hold your hand and feed you cookies for being decent or treating us like human beings.

You don't get extra favors for basic decent behavior even when it involves marginalized people. 

These are the stressors that cause so many of us to say, you know what fuck you. Fuck your allyship we don't want it.

It's why so many of us stop blogging, stop even trying to do educate me on this issue 101 because 90% of the time it's not appreciated and ignored anyway.

This is real shit.

This isn't a hypothetical.

This isn't a moment to say but but I'm not like that.

This is the moment where I can comfortably say from the bottom of the hearts of marginalized people,

fuck your feelings. 

Homo Out.





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