Friday Links, 8/30/13

One of my birthday cupcakes, and my Candyland-decorated fridge 🙂

Can you believe it’s almost September? I love feeling that almost-fall crispness in the air and getting early apples from the farmer’s market. And although I will miss beach-going, I can’t wait for apple-picking/pumpkin-everything-eating/leaf-peeping season! Fall in New England is the best.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week. Feel free to leave links to things you’ve read or written in the comments!

Fa(t)shion
Re/Dress is opening a new physical location in Cleveland, Ohio!
-Girl With Curves hosts a peplum style challenge, showing women of various shapes and sizes rocking the style.
-I wish I could have been at this fat girl pop-up shop: it looks like so much fun!
9 androgynous clothing labels you should know.
-Ragini analyses the ways in which her style reflects resistance to colonialism and racism.
-Pink denim vests and My Little Pony patches? Hell yes.
-Alicia has started The Roll Model Roster, a group of fashion and lifestyle bloggers who are fat, disabled, and/or over 40.
-Shannon responds to Tim Gunn’s realization that there’s not enough plus size clothing available.

Fabulous fat shopping with Virgie Tovar:

Fat Acceptance
Things my body is not.  So much yes.
-Marianne writes about how her experience working at Lane Bryant helped her learn to love her body.

Everything Else
-I love this post from Robert Reich (with whom I was lucky to take a class in college!) on the sense of powerlessness that so many of us feel, and how we’re not really as powerless as we often think.
Twerking makes the OED on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
-Mikki Kendall gives advice on how to be an ally.
-Two important perspectives from women who feel left out of the black/white binary that characterized much of #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen: a Mexican-American who identifies as a “white woman of color,” and an Asian-American who finds herself left out of conversations on social justice.
Support striking fast food workers.
A letter to the mixed and tender with roots that tangle.
The myth of the teenage temptress: or why a young girl cannot consent to sex with an adult man.
-Reflections on the complicated relationship between food justice and eating disorders.
On Miley Cyrus, ratchet culture, and accessorizing with black people.

Behind the scenes with Lisa Frank? HELL YES.

-I love the idea of calligraffiti.
-Cutest thing EVER: a Kermit and Miss Piggy themed wedding!
-What do you get when you mix an Alaskan malamute, a German shepherd, and a Siberian husky? A dog that looks just like a wolf!

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On golden retrievers, potential energy, and tired feet

Yesterday, I came across the above picture of the Energy Exodus, a six-day march for renewable energy currently taking place south of Boston–which I’d take part in, if I weren’t so exhausted from my current job situation. My friend Bethany of Granite Bunny posted it along with the comment, “This looks like fun, which means it’s probably the right thing to do.”

I couldn’t agree more. Especially since there’s a prominently featured golden retriever, and I am nothing if not a golden-lover. Any political action endorsed by a sweet, fluffy golden is something I can get behind. (Ok, that’s probably not technically true. But, fluffy!)

Everything about the march sounds amazing–like a cross between an Occupy encampment and an art festival. From the official event description:

This event is family-friendly and fun for all ages! While we have a serious purpose, the march will also include musical performances, art, community potlucks, discussions, faith and spiritual experiences, and lots of opportunities to get to know your fellow marchers and movement members as we walk the transition we want to see. Along the way we will rally, sing, learn, make new plans, and meet new friends.

I so, so wish I could be there.

And I can’t help but think of one of my favorite critiques of the climate movement, Melanie Jae Martin’s “Three Tactics for a Stronger Climate Movement,” and be grateful that the organizers of the Energy Exodus have apparently taken her words to heart:

Imagine if, when blockading a pipeline construction site, radicals invited the whole community to a festival on the site? Instead of a few people locking down, what if the community barricaded the area and held a dance party or a carnival, reclaiming it as a community space for direct democracy, food growing, and celebration? When resilience becomes a key characteristic of the space, joining together to defend it will become less scary and more joyful. People could use the space to construct their own cooperative forms of alternative energy, like community-owned wind power systems. As the movement nourishes the souls of participants more fully, its passion, energy, and numbers will grow, just as the round dance protests of the indigenous rights movement Idle No More have caught on like wildfire throughout the continent and beyond. And in the process, we’ll be forging the alternatives that are absolutely crucial for subverting corporate attacks on the land, air, and water.

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Some updates on life and stuff

1.) My birthday party on Sunday was amazing! I’ll put up some pictures from it eventually. We went to the beach, which was beautiful and full of shallows and shifting landscapes; then to one of my favorite restaurants for dinner; and then back to my apartment for general merriment.

One of my friends baked me a pink cake that was intended to look like Kaylee’s dress from the Firefly episode Shindig; another gave me three pins featuring My Little Pony, an angry cupcake, and Hello Kitty.  My friends know and love me, and they are wonderful.

I am so grateful for my friends, for this community that I have.

2.) I am tired. I’m working long hours at my current temp job, which is also physically exhausting, and leaves me with little energy to do anything but crash when I come home. I miss yoga and running errands and generally having a life.

3.) Due to aforementioned exhaustion and long hours, I won’t be able to make it to the Energy Exodus next week.

I barely have the emotional energy to care that Yosemite is burning. I’m mostly just trying to get through the day, put one foot in front of the other.

I hate feeling like I’ve flaked out on all the people I started connecting with in the climate movement.

I hate that there are so many things I want to do, for both myself and the world; so many ways I want to contribute to building a stronger, more equal, more durable society. There are posts I want to write, projects I want to collaborate on, actions I want to attend, art I want to make, places I want to see. Instead, I just have to survive.

4.) This is how unjust systems perpetuate themselves: by making people too tired to act up and change things.

5.) I could write a million posts ranting about the economy, the job market, the insecurity and instability that’s being sold to us as normal. It’s not normal.  It’s not ok. It’s chronic, life-force-sucking, soul-grinding stress.

6.) At the same time, I’m aware that I have a lot of privilege. I’m luckier, economically and otherwise, than a lot of people. I know that what seems like a new, harsh reality for middle-class people like me is nothing new to those who grew up poor and working class.  I know that having shitty options is nothing new to people who never expected anything better. I know that even when the economy was “good,” a lot of people were hurting.

7.) I want that to change. There is so much promising work being done to work toward a better and fairer society (and oh yeah, to ward off planetary destruction).  I wish I had the energy to plug into it.  I wish that there were jobs that addressed all the work that needs doing. Hell, I wish there were jobs.

8.) I’m tired.

Friday links, 8/23/13

Fa(t)shion
-Ragini rounds up awesome costume-y clothes in both plus and straight sizes.
-A big boo to Forever 21 for demoting all their full-time non-management employees to part-time.
Outfit ideas: how does a grown girl wear cat ears?
A history of fast fashion in comic form.
-Bella Styles interviews plus model Tiffany “Tip” Jones.
-I so want to make it to Fat Fancy, a radical fatshion boutique in Portland, someday. Virgie Tovar’s reading there looks like it was so much fun!

Fat Acceptance
-If you read one thing this week, make it this: The HAES files: death threats, anxiety, and dying while fat.
-Lindy West is brilliant. Always.
-Great pictures of fab fatties enjoying NOLOSE.
“Apology accepted” and other things I’ll never get to say to my former diet counselors.
-This watercolor painting of a fat flapper is the best thing ever.
I am not a fetish. YES.

Climate and Sustainability
A piazza on every block: how DIY placemaking is transforming communities.
-Bethany muses on mice, mountains, and risk-taking spirit.

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An open letter to activists

Dear activists,

Be kind to yourself.

It’s important to pay attention to criticism, to be aware of your privileges, to challenge your assumptions, to listen to and respect the voices of people who are marginalized.  It’s important to work in good faith to build bridges with people unlike yourself, to work together for the liberation of all.

But while you’re doing that, take care of yourself.

We live in a culture of speed, a culture that demands everything–including thoughtful responses to complex, messy, painful issues–right now. But sometimes, that isn’t possible. And that’s ok. It’s ok to step back and take some time to process. It’s ok to let people know you’re listening, and then give your brain and heart a break before returning to the work.

And keep in mind that by committing yourself to that work, you’re already doing more than most people.

I am in awe of the work you do. I don’t know how you do it, day after day, in addition to the work of making a living and making a life.

Activism opens you up to criticism, both internal and external. But it also means that you’re already going above and beyond what it takes to be a decent human being. Don’t forget that.

As it says in the Pirkei Avot: “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but nor are you are not free to desist from it.”

Much love and respect,
Laura