Blargh.

It’s always disappointing to come across a fatshion blogger who seems cool, only to find that they buy into the same fat-hating crap as the rest of society.

Especially when they’re a bit older and have pink hair. I have an automatic affinity for other pinkies, and if they’re older, even better. I hate how our society fetishizes youth, and even though that benefits me right now–as a 27-year old who looks even younger–I know it won’t last. Some day I’m going to be a 40-, 60-, 80-, God willing 100-year old fatshionista, and I’m not going to stop having fun with style just because society thinks I should. So, I really like finding fa(t)shion role models who show that you can have kickass style at any age.

Which makes it all the more disappointing to read a post like this one. Clare posts a lovely picture of herself wearing a lacy dress that she hand-dyed lavender, and says:

When I was a skinny teen I wore short skirts all the time but over the last 15 years my hemlines have become a more sensible length as my body mass has increased. Now I’m a UK size 18-20 I’m really cautious about wearing short skirts for fear of looking like, well….. a fat slag

ARGLEBARGLE FATSHION HULK SMASH. The picture she links to, and the whole concept of a “fat slag,” is a horrid caricature.

What part of  PEOPLE COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES, ATTRACTION IS HIGHLY SUBJECTIVE AND NOT A BASIS FOR ANYONE’S WORTH, STEREOTYPING PEOPLE BASED ON SIZE IS MEAN-SPIRITED AND CONTRIBUTES TO A CULTURE OF DISCRIMINATION don’t some people understand?

*retreats to cozy corner of fat-o-sphere*

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29 thoughts on “Blargh.

  1. I think if you’re going to write a post about me, it would polite to let me know, unless you were afraid of a reprisal. Especially as you wrote such a boring comment. I’m not sure what I object to more, your rash judgement of me, tagging me in the same post as “fat hatred” or calling me “older”. This post is just embarrassing, I’m sorry my brand of humour and British cultural references, oh and my long held insecurites made you unhappy, I hope you’re sorry your own brand of body image miliantism, judgemental attitude and apparent ageism has offended the very type of person you purort to celebrate

    • Uh…wow. First of all, I’m sorry I referred to you as older–I genuinely thought you self-identified that way, since you hang out with mostly older bloggers who I found through a 40+ blogroll. Since you don’t actually identify that way, I will no longer use that phrase, but I don’t consider it an insult at all. I consider it a neutral descriptor, just like “fat.” In fact, I think that considering aging to be inherently bad is what’s ageist. There are awesome, fabulous people of all ages.

      Second, I respond to a lot of things I read on other blogs. It can be nice to give people a heads-up when writing a response to them, but I don’t consider it necessary.

      And yeah, that cartoon you linked to is a prime example of fat hatred. There’s a difference between saying you feel insecure about your body (totally fine and understandable! Who doesn’t?) and using your insecurity as a way to insult other people. And if you can’t see why that cartoon was insulting–or why considering fat to be an inherently negative thing is really fucking insulting to all the fabulous fat people out there–then…yeah. There’s not much more I can say.

  2. I don’t know what’s more disappointing, her original post or her reference to this post as a “crazy bitch reaction” – if being okay with existing as a fat person makes you a crazy bitch well, that makes two of us. Boo 😦

    • Oh, wow. Did she write a post about this? I just tried to look at her blog, but it looks like she has deleted it. Which is…kind of a pretty big overreaction to one person calling her out on her fat hatred, but whatever floats her boat, I guess.

    • (replying to this comment because the threading won’t let me reply to your most recent one)
      Ah, thanks! I had clicked on her name, and maybe she just had a broken link there. The “crazy bitch reaction” thing is pretty ridiculous.

      Also, don’t worry about your first comment being on a bad subject! I totally understand, as I am also more likely to comment when something pisses me off. And I am glad to hear that you’ve been reading my blog for a while. 🙂

      • Second, I respond to a lot of things I read on other blogs. It can be nice to give people a heads-up when writing a response to them, but I don’t consider it necessary.

        I’m sorry but I think this says all that and I need to know about you. Please go and look and my blog and see all the support from my fellow bloggers I’ve recieved in this baffling and frighteningly militant attitude you seem to have adopted.

  3. I understood Clare’s post, it was an honest and personal account about how she feels in certain clothes. Clare never has given me the impression she thinks she’s the voice of overweight women of all ages.
    Clare has the right, as you do, to write about her thoughts and feelings on a variety of matters.
    ‘Skinny bitch’ ‘Fat Slag’ etc…never going to go away by writing a dreadful post like this. You completely misunderstand the tone of Clare’s post. I do not.

    I’m glad you enjoy being fat. I do not. I’d hate to think someone like you thinks you have the right to judge howbi feel about my image. I do not have a duty to be the positive face of obesity. Neither do you.

    • I never said anyone had to be the positive face of anything, or be happy with their body. I don’t have a problem with writing about body insecurities–in fact, I’ve written about my own. What I have a problem with is playing out one’s insecurities at the expense of other people.

      That’s what the cartoon did. By saying “I hope I don’t look like the women in this cartoon,” Clare was implying that women who *do* look like that are ugly. I’ll never be ok with stuff like that, and it was disappointing to find it on a blog that I (wrongly) assumed was fat-positive.

    • Also, I’m not sure you’re familiar with fat positivity in the sense that I’m using it. It doesn’t mean loving your body every minute of the day, or trying to be some kind of perfect representation of fatness. (I don’t use the word “obesity,” since it pathologizes fatness.) It just means realizing that people can be happy and healthy at any size, and that people of all sizes should be treated with respect. If you’re curious, you can check out the links I’ve posted here.

  4. I’m sorry you took Clare’s post out of context you obviously do not know her. Everyone has the right to do and say whatever they want about themselves on their blog, it’s their space. She was just being honest about how she feels and that is the beauty of this blogging community we can do that here and not be judged. Maybe next time you could either say something nice on her blog or say nothing at all. I think you really hurt her feelings and that makes me sad for both of you.

    • Sure, she was being honest about how she felt. And she was promoting fat stigma, which is what I had a problem with. People don’t get a pass for being prejudiced and insulting just because they’re honest about it, or because they’re struggling with their own internalized prejudice.

      I’m sorry that I hurt her feelings–and that I mistakenly judged her to be a blogger who identified as both older and fat–but I’m *not* sorry that I called her out for posting that cartoon.

    • It’s not so much that I think all plus size people are part of FA–obviously that’s not true–as that most of the plus-size fashion bloggers I’ve come across are. Usually, being confident enough in your body and style to put outfit pictures online regularly tends to go along with fat acceptance. But it doesn’t always, as I’ve been reminded tonight.

  5. What the hell is up with the backlash here? It actually seems quite pathetic & disingenuous that several commenters have taken the time to come here and be *So Outraged* over your (very valid) critique of Ms. Simmond’s blogpost. Then to go as far as to put words in your mouth. It boggles the mind. I’m getting middle school clique mentality flashbacks. Also, kinda depressing how speaking up for equity always gets met with some form of the whole ‘grow a sense of humor’ meme. Dear Ms. Simmonds, its not cool to tell someone what they can and cannot be offended by. “Jokes” don’t make offensive material acceptable AT ALL. This whole thing (especially the “crazy bitch reaction” disclaimer) just REEKS of insecurity and immaturity. Real original and classy, by the way.
    I’m sorry, Laura. :/

    • And eww, I had the misfortune of reading several more of the reader comments on Ms. Simmond’s aforementioned blogpost and all I can say is wow, sycophantic much? Goodness I hate how intelligent discourse often gets traded in for ‘ur just jelly/mind your own business/learn to take a joke/haters gonna hate’ nonsense. Must we dumb everything down all the time, people? Geez.

      • Sorry my lovely friends have been pestering you Laura. But this has made my morning. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. Can you review my next post too? I’ll get a button made up. It certainly gets you a lot of attention too, I’m sure that’s what you were aiming for. Really looking forward to it!

    • Thanks…yeah, it’s all kind of ridiculous (as is the comment below–no, I don’t call out fatphobia for attention). I had enough of this middle school shit back in, well, actual middle school. So I’m glad that there are a lot of awesome people on the internet, and I will just stay away from the corners where the not-so-awesome people hang out.

  6. OH Laura! go on! I got the button made up already! Please? My next post is going to be called FatGate. My friends and I have been entertained by this all morning. I’m following you now so I’ll check back in your progress in the fatsophere. You’re right there are tonnes of awesome peeps on t’internet and you’re one of them, this has kept me distracted from boring old work for hours. You genius! You got my email, lets stay in touch! xxx
    Bye!

    • The particular term may be British, but there’s nothing particularly British about being self-deprecating at the expense of others. There’s nothing particularly British about holding up very fat women as a horror to be avoided. And there’s nothing particularly unique to older bloggers about fat stigma either.

      • I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about have you? That’s what makes you so entertaining. You’re just a cute lil chubby ball of hate. Can’t wait to read more

  7. Wow, blog sniping.

    FWIW, I think it is totally appropriate to say whatever the hell you want to say in your own blog. That goes for both of you — one gets to be all “ew fatsos” and one gets to be all “that shit is not cool.”

    Those are each valid things to be saying in a blog, and there’s nothing wrong with saying them in your own blog. That’s kind of what it’s for.

    Now… I only see one person jumping to another blog with insults and sniping. Once someone starts to do that, well, I know who I start thinking poorly of.

    Of course, I’m a sycophant or something, even though I’ve never posted here before, and personally do not subscribe to Laura’s style (although I am wearing awesome striped socks with hello kitty on them). I just think it’s a fine thing to challenge any kind of hatred or prejudice — and that goes for fat chicks too, thankyouverymuch. Even if the hatred is coming from a fat chick, and even if the fat chick doesn’t want to be fat anymore. Plenty of people have internalized negative ideas about all kinds of shit.

    I also think it’s better to accept than hate, and to worry about health instead of size, but I think a self-hating fat chick just has more self to hate.

  8. Oh for fucksake, Clare. You do realise no one in the US has ever heard of Viz, don’t you? And I hardly think it qualifies as culture. I’m British, considerably older, and it hasn’t escaped me that the culture of fat hatred in the UK has risen exponentially in the UK over the past 20 years. Fat people are relentlessly demonised, vilified, pathologised, ridiculed and hectored on the daily. Fat is conflated with a list of negative stereotypes longer than your arm. It’s perfectly understandable that you, as a fatter person than you used to be, living in an intensely fat phobic society, want to distance yourself from that existence. Who doesn’t? It stinks.The difference is that some of us would prefer to challenge the system than internalise that pernicious shite. And that starts not by insisting everybody should love their fat bodies but by pointing out that “Well at least I’m not as repulsive as those other, really reeeeally repulsive fat people”, is playing right into the culture that’s responsible for making you (and pretty much every other woman, regardless of her size), feel like crap about yourself in the first place. It’s compounding your feelings of insecurity by reinforcing those negative clichés – in this instance embodied by the Fat Slags, no matter how loveable or iconic you may consider them to be.

    • Yeah, it’s pretty ridiculous. It turns out there *was* a British cultural reference of which I was unaware–Buttercup told me that the Fat Slags are well-loved characters from a ’70s comic for adults called Viz. But they still embody a negative stereotype of fat people, and the basic gist of what Clare meant was still fat=bad.

      That’s ok that you weren’t around for this, and thanks for the sword. 🙂 I almost feel like my first banning is a blog milestone, although not a fun one. You wouldn’t believe the comment she left after I banned her–it was something about how she drew a picture of me with a Hitler ‘stache (which she misspelled–seriously?) and labelled it “Fatler.” I’m starting to think she might actually be 12 or 13, which would explain why she objected to being called “older.”

      • I suspect, rather, that she took it as a direct insult, because women are supposed to be young as well as thin and beautiful. It’s pretty common for women to take “you’re old” as an insult.

        • That’s true. I thought she identified that way because I thought I found her through a 40+ blogroll, but I was quite wrong. In any case, nothing I said deserved the kind of immature attacks she left, but…such is the internet.

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