My #feministselfie contribution

Last week, the feminist internet kind of blew up (as it does every so often) with responses to a Jezebel piece condemning selfies.

Plenty of other writers have already covered what was wrong with the piece, and how selfies can be a liberating form of visibility–so I’ll just give you my favorite selfie.

I took this my senior year of college while getting ready for a Dresden Dolls concert–which, by the way, was amazing.



Sunday links, 11/24/13

green cat street art sticker

-The use of 3D scanners to personalize clothing sizes sounds promising.
-I love Ayleen’s steampunk ao dai outfits.
-Check out Amethyst, a fat paper doll!
-Fashion eye candy of all stripes: the Harajuku Fashion Show at the MCM Expo, Meadham Kirchoff for Topshop, Suzanne Bisovsky’s folk art-inspired clothes, and Takudo Maeda’s spring/summer collection.

Fat Acceptance
On exercise and assumptions.
-Rachel writes about not losing weight for her wedding, including gorgeous pictures.
-Ragen writes about some seriously bad medicine.
Tickets for the Body Love Conference are now available.
Health as a moral imperative: chasing gold stars.

Climate and Sustainability
-Cities around the world can learn from Seoul, Korea, whose mayor is a leader in post-growth economic re-development.
-I love creative activism, like these people who visited the Bank of England dressed up as carbon bubbles.
#WeStandWithYou: young activists fast for the climate.
Typhoon Haiyan: the global poor bear the deadly brunt of climate change.
Why the UN climate negotiations give me hope (in spite of everything).
Harvard students disrupt a Bank of American recruitment session: “We simply want jobs that do not poison the water we drink and the air we breathe. We simply want jobs that do not create droughts that wipe out our food supplies or strengthen the hurricanes that threaten our homes.”
-Pollinate Energy, a start-up solar company, replaces kerosene lamps with solar-powered ones in low-income households in India.

Everything Else
-On Twitter, disabled people shared their experiences with ableism in the hashtag #solidarityisfortheablebodied.
We rise together: resisting white institutional culture in publishing.
Quiet reflections: why I chose silence on Trans Day of Remembrance.
We matter! Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013.
Why I’m not a TEDx speaker: because TED doesn’t pay their speakers.
Beyond the so-called first Thanksgiving: 5 children’s books that set the record straight.
-More children’s books that look good: the Polkadot series, whose main character is a non-binary trans kid.
Cover Girl’s Hunger Games-inspired makeup line is in sickeningly poor taste; luckily, members of the Harry Potter Alliance are criticizing it and reminding the world what Katniss really stood for. They’re also doing lots of other stuff to fight for social justice, and I tip my sorting hat to them.

This video of cats stealing dogs’ beds–and dogs taking them back–makes me so happy.

Fresh Food Generation, a farm-to-table food truck that will serve Boston’s low-income neighborhoods, sounds awesome. I wish they didn’t mention “obesity” as a problem stemming from lack of access to fresh food (sigh), but otherwise I support them 100%.  If you’re interested in helping them make the food truck a reality, check out their Kickstarter!
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and the discomfit of classism (I’m linking to the Google cache, as the blog is unfortunately down).
Teaching: the hardest job that everyone thinks they can do.
-Prepare to groan: 26 dangerous symptoms of being addicted to puns.
-Swedish artist Suzan Drummen’s kaleidoscopic crystal floor installations are amazing.

New stuff that rocks at Domino Dollhouse

I’ve decided I’m ok with the fact that my blog is sometimes just an advertisement for Domino Dollhouse, because they’re just that awesome.

Every time I think they can’t get more awesome, they surprise me again. The latest item I’m completely in love with is their rainbow metallic zippered skirt. All I have to say about it is: !!!

I also love that they have a My Little Pony headband. It makes me want to start gluing all my pony figurines onto headbands…except I have terrible luck with hot glue, and everything I glue falls apart. Boo.

Here’s a collage I put together of the recent items I love at Domino Dollhouse, including the pony headband and the fabulous skirt. Click the picture for item details:

Domino Dollhouse stuff I love

Upcoming fat-tastic events in Boston

Do you, too, want to glam it up and connect with other fab Boston-area fatties? Then check out the following upcoming events:

1.) This Saturday, a bunch of us from the Boston Area Fatties Meetup Group will be going thrift-shop-hopping. I’ve never gone thrifting with fellow fats before, and I’m excited!

2.) Also this Saturday there will be a Curvaceous Night Out, a social networking celebrating curves. I probably won’t have the energy to go after hitting up thrift stores all day, but it sounds like fun–and The Thicky Chicky will be one of the vendors.

3.) Next Tuesday there will be Curves and Cocktails, a meet-and-greet for Curvy Boston.

I’m excited by how much fat/fatshion community-building is taking place here in Boston. I never would have imagined it back when my only fat-pos activity was reading Shapely Prose alone in my room (and not even commenting–for some reason, it took me years to feel like I had anything to say on the internet, and I regret missing the opportunity to be a real part of the SP community.). And it’s awesome.

The Thicky Chicky Launch party

Last week, after a year and a half of blogging, I finally attended my first honest-to-goodness glamorous fatshion event: the launch of a new online plus size boutique, The Thicky Chicky.

me wearing leopard coat and hot pink dress

On the way to the launch, and at it!

outfit details: dress: Domino Dollhouse, leggings and heart necklace: Wet Seal, shoes: Naot, sequined cardigan: Kohl’s (a long time ago), tiara: Kmart, giant bow: The Velvet Village, leopard coat: thrifted (for $12, by my mom, who has thrifting superpowers), Hello Kitty bag: present from a friend (I think she got it free with a purchase at Sephora), scarf: made by my mom, gloves: Best Deals U Can Find on Amazon, custom Tutus and Tiny Hats necklace: DiDepux, bangles: Torrid and Deb, bow ring, earrings, and rhinestone bracelet: So Good, flower necklace: eBay

Isabel Lopes, the founder of The Thicky Chicky, emphasized the importance of building women’s confidence in a world that tried to tell us our bodies are wrong. I love that she has such a strong commitment to body positivity, and I love how she illustrated it with the following anecdote about a magazine article she read. It advised women to suck in their stomachs, have good posture, and hold their heads high in order to appear slimmer. She agreed with the advice, but for different reasons: she felt that we should suck in our stomachs in order to support our voices, have good posture to demonstrate confidence, and hold our heads high to show that we bow to no one.

Melissa, me, Isabel, and Jesse

The event included a fashion show of some of TTC’s designs, including this gold sequin dress designed by Izzy herself. It’s in production now and should be available next month:

Continue reading

Sunday links, 11/17/13

Glamming it up with my friend Jesse at The Thicky Chicky‘s launch party, which I’ll be posting about soon! (source: Hill Zhou Photography)

So, it’s official: I’m switching my weekly links post to Sundays. Here’s what I’ve been reading this week; feel free to share what you’ve been reading or writing in the comments.

-I so want to bring back half of these forgotten early 2000s trends.
-Through Danimezza’s outfit post from a horse race (how amazing is that entire outfit?!), I found Locopa Designs, whose Facebook page is pure fascinator porn.
-Plus size designer Elizabeth Denneau writes a love letter to Betsey Johnson, whom she met at Tucson Fashion Week. I’m glad she had such a positive experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that Betsey Johnson designs only straight size clothes (with the exception of a plus size lingerie/sleepwear line a while back), and I’m not ok with that.
-This handmade 18th century princess costume for a 3 1/2-year old girl is amazing.
-If you’ve been eyeing something at Domino Dollhouse but waiting for sale, they currently have 20% off to celebrate their third birthday.
-Mel rounds up black and gold dresses, Sally rounds up ballgowns, and Naomi rounds up all things velvet.
The mistakes plus size designers often make, and how they could do better.
-Two great responses to Lululemon’s latest asshattery: I’m a size 18 yogi, and Lululemon can kiss my fat ass, and Bodies are NOT a problem (despite some yoga pants’ attempts to make us think otherwise).
-These Miss Universe 2013 costumes may have been posted to make fun of them, but I think they’re amazing.
-Leah talks about sizism within the plus-size fashion world.

Fat Acceptance
Two posts about the community day at Plus London 2013.
I’ve been eating bacon and Doritos all day, and that doesn’t make me “bad.”
Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign is helping bullies.
Today in accessing healthcare while fat…
Public health missteps.
-Melbourne fatties, check out the Va Va Boombah Fat Burlesque performer showcase!

Climate and Sustainability
“I find my reassurance that we’re going to win from the steel-strong piece in my heart that is awake and wanting to live quietly among good people, growing things, and wildness. That is my revolution.”
-Tree porn: Singapore’s urban greenery and a Fibonacci-inspired treehouse.
Decolonizing minds and lands: how we stand with indigenous nations.
In the wake of Haiyan, we must divest from fossil fuels.

Jobs and the Economy
-Two NYTimes articles that show the human cost of the economic crisis: Young and educated in Europe, but desperate for jobs and Caught in a revolving door of unemployment. (And yes, they both made me cry.)
A great interview with Sarah Kendzior on unpaid internships, the prestige economy, and the importance of empathy.
-This story about how Sweden increased gender equality by offering men use-it-or-lose-it paternity leave is fascinating, and it’s an important reminder of how much economics can affect behavior–and why we can’t separate economic and social justice.
-The 40-year slump, a great historical economic analysis from the American Prospect (which, ironically enough, pays its interns below minimum wage).
Why I make terrible decisions, or, poverty thoughts.
-On a similar note, these two responses to a post judging poor people for occasionally having nice possessions is important: “Every time someone yelled at us because poor people shouldn’t have nice things, we all died a little inside, and I clutched my horses even harder.  I needed something bright and beautiful in the world, to make up for the roaches in the walls and the mold growing on the butter.”
Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15 million of Americans’ personal debt.

Everything Else
A love letter to the ‘hood.
The racism in healthy food: why we need to stop telling others what to eat.
-On a related note, Kit writes about how healthy lifestyle advice can cause so much stress and anxiety that it becomes counterproductive.
New study shows that individuals with autism don’t lack empathy – if anything, they empathize too much. This isn’t actually anything new–I’ve heard as much from people with autism and Asperger’s for a long time–but it’s always good to get the word out.
What Joss Whedon gets wrong about the word “feminist.”
There’s an adorable Tumblr devoted to queer men of color in love.
-Aoife analyzes what’s wrong with the saying, “Every time you spend money you cast a vote for the kind of society you want.”
-I love Lily Allen’s music, and was disappointed to hear about her latest racist bullshit. These three posts explain exactly what’s wrong with it.

Where’s the line between making fun of clothes and making fun of the people who like them?

I may be weird but I love the hell out of this dress. It reminds me of both the late ’90s and a LeSportSac purse, in a good way.

Last week, I posted a link to a Fatshionista post about a company that makes organic plus size clothing. Most of the commenters there were…not so positive about the clothes. My friend Cheshirekit pointed out:

The organic clothing retailer is waaay out of my price range, but very much my style, and it makes me sad to see the commenters of fatshionista tearing it apart. I can’t be the only fatshionista who’d rather wear layers of muumuus with lovebeads than skinny jeans with a graphic tee and scarf or somelike, but it sure does often feel like it. :(

This is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, with the rise of WTF, Plus Size Manufacturers? and the general popularity of snarking on items that the author finds ugly or unfashionable.

I’m all for criticizing the limited options we have in plus sizes, and how they’re often overpriced compared to their straight size equivalents. But I’m not sure it’s possible to make fun of individual items without implicitly insulting the taste of people who like and would wear them.

It just hurts to read people saying things like this about items of clothing that I think are cute and would totally wear:

For all those times you’ve wanted to wrestle lions for the amusement of Ceasar [sic], but you just didn’t have a thing to wear! 

perfect for lazy “nightmare before christmas” cosplay, outfits to wear when you ‘catfish’ someone, and basically nothing else.

If I wore these I would frighten the children.

this is basically what the joker’s plus size wife would wear to their daughter’s wedding reception. this garment is reversible. spoiler: the thing it reverses into also sucks.

As a fat woman, I get enough negative messages about my body. I don’t want to hear more negative messages about how I dress it–even if they’re cloaked in the plausible deniability of “I’m just insulting the clothing itself, not the people who wear it! Diff’rent strokes!

The problem is, clothing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Clothes aren’t just items on websites–they’re a social and artistic language. They’re a form of self-expression.

I may not be my clothing, but my clothing (and the clothing that I find attractive) does represent my taste, my style, my own creative way of being in the world.

So when I see a piece of clothing that I think is butt-ugly, I keep it to myself. Because my ugly may be another person’s awesome, and who am I to tear down their style?


Sometimes I just get really angry that we live in a society where size is seen as a proxy for health, and health is seen as a proxy for virtue and worth.

Fuck that shit. We’re all worthy.

I hate how pervasive this shit is. How pervasive the stereotypes and assumptions about fat people are–such that sometimes, they come out of the mouths of the people you’d least expect. Out of them mouths of people who, 99% of the time, are on board with fat acceptance and HAES.

Those offhand remarks from supposed allies cut so much deeper than the constant stream of fatphobia from the greater world–which I’ve mostly learned to tune out, laugh at, or analyze intellectually.

It’s not fun to get hit in the gut with a reminder that the world sees me as inferior.

But it also motivates me.

It reminds me why I do fat activism. Why I post pictures of myself and others being unapologetically fat and fashionable, why I’m working to build fat community here in Boston. Why I stand up for the inherent worth of all bodies.