Quote of the day

“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse.”
― Martin KeoghHope Beneath Our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World (source: Goodreads)

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Random funny mental image of the day

So, yesterday I was reading more of The Story of Stuff. (Which, despite that one thing that pissed me off, is an amazing and important book. Go read.)

And I came across a sentence that mentioned the “low-end Swedish fashion giant H&M” (Leonard, 116).

I totally pictured The Hulk with long blonde braids, wearing a peplum top and floral skinny jeans.

Friday links, 2/22/13

Stuffed French toast with caramelized apples, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. Nom!

Fat Acceptance
Get ready for NOLOSE 2013, which sounds amazing! I would love to make it to NOLOSE someday.
-Toronto fatties of color, check out the It Gets Fatter Project’s Fat Talk.
-Participate in a cultural shift by submitting your health care story to ASDAH’s Resolved: Addressing Weight Bias in Health Care video project.
There’s no need for this obesity epidemic hysteria.
How not to be a dick to your fat friends.
Thigh gaps, calories, and ignorance about how bodies actually work.
-On not being impressed with thin people trying to be the voice of FA.
HAES matters: a health at every size model for our children.
Mindful eating: what it is, what it isn’t, and why kids don’t need it.
Talented fat people are not actually shocking.
-Laura Beck gets to the heart of so much fat hatred.
-Both Glorify and Fierce, Freethinking Fatties are inviting fatties from marginalized backgrounds to write for them.
How I learned to love my fat arms.

Fa(t)shion
Tutu DuMonde’s clothing is gorgeous–too bad it’s for children! I’d totally wear it if it came in my size–unlike Jeska, I have no qualms about going to the bank dressed like a 1920’s circus performer.
-Continuum’s Constrvct collection is such a cool idea–you can design your own fashion, and then the clothing is custom-made to your measurements. It’s not particularly affordable, but I’m still glad it exists.
-Check out Rachele’s How To Be a Fat Bitch e-course #3, which is about fatshion.
A review of a Sealed With A Kiss dress, and a really cool Etsy shop that makes custom clothing.
Not for girls: are women ditching pink?
Dressing for yourself and dressing to put others at ease.
ABAN: Empowering girls in Ghana, one fabric at a time.
Stop telling girls their hemlines are too short.
-A fabulous punk Marie Antoinette-themed photoshoot.
-Total eye candy: a floral affair.

Everything Else
How not to write a travel piece like Nicholas Kristof.
Why you shouldn’t participate in voluntourism.
The war on sex workers.
The triple-pane windows theory: a shockingly simple blueprint for cities to save the planet without wrecking the economy.
A tiny village in Vietnam where women choose to be single mothers.
The curious case of Reeva Steenkamp’s boyfriend.

Want to read something really terrifying about climate change?

Read this, and then try not to run around screaming…

We are 37 years away from the end. That means climate change isn’t a problem for our children or grandchildren, it’s a problem for us. It’s you and I that are going to have our natural lives cut short, you and I that will bear witness to the collapse of human civilization. Fighting climate change isn’t so the hippies can save the polar bears, or so the scientists can save the Arctic ice. It’s a battle for all of humanity to save itself.

I don’t really know what to say. I’m still working on figuring out how to make a difference. This stuff is paralyzingly scary, but…there’s got to be some hope, right?

Reading while fat, part 3: why don’t progressives think critically about fat?

Right now, I’m reading Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff, which is a pretty awesome book. Leonard looks at the entire production chain of the stuff we buy, and the many ways that it harms both people and the environment. She ties together seemingly disparate economic and environmental issues, exposes the structuresbehind them, and highlights the work that people are doing around the world to move toward a more sustainable, just, and healthy way of living.

But. There’s always a but, isn’t there?

In describing how things have gotten worse for USians despite continued economic growth, she lists a string of negative things from credit card debt to teen suicide rates. The very first thing she mentioned? Yup, you’ve guessed it. It’s the terrible existence of fat bodies.

“Almost every indicator we can find to measure our progress as a society shows that despite continued economic growth over the past several decades, things have gotten worse for us. In the United States, obesity is at record levels, with fully a third of adults over the age of twenty and nearly 20 percent of children between the ages of six and eleven considered obese.” (Leonard, 150).

It’s one brief mention in a good and important book, and it definitely wouldn’t stop me from recommending it. But I hate, hate, hate how Leonard, like so many other progressives, buys into the conventional wisdom on fatness.

Why do people who think critically about so many things and the connections between them–from climate change to income inequality to environmental racism–fail to think critically about the way society pathologizes fat bodies?

Why do people who question capitalism, consumerism, and the paradigm of endless economic growth fail to realize the connection between the “obesity epidemic” and the $60 billion weight-cycling industry?

On the personal level, it brings out my Rageasaurus (not to mention my giant squid of anger and my feminist Hulk) every time I read that my body is a symptom of everything that’s wrong with society–and it hurts a lot more coming from a fellow progressive than from a right-winger whom I could easily dismiss.

At the same time, it reminds me why fat activism is so important. It reminds me why even just posting pictures of myself online can be a radical act.

It reminds me why I keep doing all of this.