After two rounds of dress-up, I realized I just wanted to wear sweatpants and a hoodie.
Since I already rounded up my favorite outfits from 2014, here’s a similar list of non-outfit posts, in no particular order. Sometimes my more substantive posts get buried under all the outfits, so it’s nice to go through them and remember what I was thinking about throughout the year.
1.) Another thing I’m sick of: blaming fat women for our lack of clothing options. This one was especially popular, mostly because it was featured on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed (yay!).
Here are a few things that didn’t make it into my 2014 Year in Review post. In 2014, I:
-Started participating in the Alternative Curves blog hop, and joined its Facebook group. It’s been great to find my niche with other plus size bloggers who enjoy punky, goth-y, costume-y, and otherwise quirky fashion. Looking for that niche was the very reason I started this blog! I’m especially excited for this upcoming month’s theme, Riot Grrl Heroines, as well as June’s (’90s Mall Witch) and August’s (Japanese Streets).
-Joined another fashion-niche FB group, the Glitterati, for people who subscribe to Crown and Glory’s monthly subscription box (which is always awesome and full of shinies). It’s fun to connect with other people who love sparkly things as much as I do. And I got Leah into C&G too, woohoo!
-Even as I joined more groups and connected more with the fatshion world, I also felt left out, as people have increasingly moved to Instagram. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t plan to get one anytime soon, so there’s a whole social network I can’t be part of, and it feel like that’s where everything’s happening these days. It’s also frustrating seeing so many lists of “top ten bloggers!” “best 20 outfits!” and knowing that I never even had a chance to make the list, because they’re all pulled from Instagram. (I know, I know, I’m not in this for the recognition–but sometimes recognition is nice.)
-Read 30 books by women of color.
-Participated in a Curvy Yoga workshop at a yoga retreat in Western Massachusetts. Anna Guest-Jelley is just as wonderfully body-positive in person as she is on her blog, and it was so powerful to do yoga with a room full of fat women, moving our bellies out of the way without shame. I hope to have more opportunities for movement with other fat people in the upcoming year.
Inspired by Victoria Law’s decision to read 50 books by people of color in 2014, I decided to do a similar challenge: 25 books by women of color (which turned into 30). I’m happy to report that I read some really awesome books, and found many authors whose work I’d like to read more of.
I’ve organized the books I read by genre, as Victoria did in her summary post. If you have book recommendations, leave them in the comments! I’m not sure whether I will do another challenge for 2015, but either way I would like to continue reading more books by people of color, especially women and queer poc.
– Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
– Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
– Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson
– Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler
Two novels about a young black woman who lives in a near-future climate change dystopia and founds her own religion. I loved the first book, but felt the sequel wasn’t as good for many reasons. (For example: the first book came out in 1993, but feels like it could have been written yesterday, whereas the second book was published in 2000 and feels rather dated in its focus on the dangers of fundamentalist Christianity.) Both books are absorbingly written, but incredibly bleak–I recommend reading them only if you’re in the right head-space to process a never-ending string of loss and trauma.
–Ash by Malinda Lo
– Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Janet Mock is awesome. That is all.
– Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo
Joy Harjo is also awesome. Seriously, you need to read this book.
– Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
This is the heart-breaking story of five young black men in the author’s life, including her brother, who died within four years.
– Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee’s Return to Korea by Jane Jeong Trenka
– Hapa Girl: A Memoir by May-Lee Chai
I don’t even know where to start with 2014–it had all sorts of ups, downs, and mehs, sometimes all at the same time.
When it comes to style and blogging, I’ve had a lot of fun (as you can see by my favorite outfits featured throughout this post). I’ve experimented more than ever, deepened my connections with my readers and other bloggers (you all rock!), and been influenced by a range of aesthetics I didn’t even know existed until recently, from dark mori to strega to lagenlook.
I’ve also continued to engage with my local fat community through the Facebook group I started last year, and it’s been so exciting to see it grow. Everyone is so supportive of each other, and it’s wonderful to have an online space where we can discuss anything from where to find various items of clothing to the frustrations of living in a fat-phobic world. I also like how decentralized it is–anyone can plan an event, and I am excited for the upcoming brunch planned by a new member who just moved to town!
Thank you so much to everyone who reads and comments on my blog, and everyone who is part of the fat community here in Boston and around the world. Continue reading
I hope you all get to eat many delicious latkes. 🙂
Tonight I will be attending my local #ChanukahAction To End Police Violence. You can check their site to see if there’s one near you–and everyone is welcome, not just Jews.
The concept of “male tears” is ubiquitous in the online feminist circles where I hang out, especially on Tumblr. I’ve seen at least one mug or teapot featuring it in nearly every feminist holiday gift guide that I’ve read this month (and I’ve read a lot of them). I know it’s meant as a critique of guys who whine about being called out on their sexist behavior, not ones who are genuinely in emotional distress. But it still makes me deeply uncomfortable.
On one hand, I don’t want to tell other women how to respond to the shittiness of dealing with sexism and misogyny; we all cope in our own ways. But at the same time, I can’t separate out anything that makes fun of the idea of men crying from the toxic culture–which is very much a part of the patriarchy–that tells men to stuff down their emotions, be stoic, don’t cry. This culture not only harms men by denying them a part of their humanity, but more importantly, harms women: because it encourages men to act with unthinking aggression and violence rather than empathy. To appear tough at all costs, no matter who gets hurt–and “who gets hurt” is nearly always a woman and/or a member of another marginalized group.
I know that the women who ironically revel in drinking male tears don’t mean to use the phrase that way. If you asked them, they’d say they’re just as opposed to that toxic construction of masculinity as I am. They’d say they’re all for men genuinely expressing their emotions. They’d say that their ironic jokes have nothing to do with the kind of people who actually think men shouldn’t cry.
But it’s axiomatic in social justice spaces that intent isn’t magic. If you say or do something harmful, it doesn’t matter that you meant well–the harm is still done, and you still need to apologize and work on doing better the next time. Likewise, it doesn’t matter whether the women who proudly drink from “male tears” mugs mean to reinforce the idea that men who cry are pathetic and deserving of mockery. We still live in a culture in which most men are expected to bottle up their emotions, and that still has harmful, even deadly consequences. I can’t get behind anything that reinforces it–no matter how unintentionally, no matter how ironically.
There has to be some other way to say, “Up yours, whiny sexist dudes.”
Last night, a grand jury declined to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who choked Eric Garner to death.
I don’t have words.
But I follow a lot of brilliant and thoughtful people on Twitter, so, read their reactions.
Here in Boston, there will be a protest tonight at the tree lighting on the Common. If you live elsewhere, check the Ferguson Response Tumblr to find an action in your area.
Now, because all of the news lately has been so intensely horrifying and painful, here are some snuggling puppies:
Last night, I joined over a thousand Bostonians calling for justice for Mike Brown. It was heartening to see so much of my city turn out, and when I got home and went on Twitter, the protest was still going strong. You can see some great pictures from the evening here and here.
One of the most powerful moments was when we marched to the South Bay House of Corrections and chanted to the incarcerated men, “We see you.” They stood at the windows waving, flipping their lights on and off, banging on the windows. One man used small pieces of paper to write “Mike” on his window.
This is what I’ve been reading:
-“If we were talking about the murder of my child, I would not be dignified. I would be naked and hideous with my grief. I would rage. If I were murdered in such a manner, I would want people to rage on my behalf.” – Roxane Gay Continue reading
I am outraged and heartbroken, although sadly not surprised, by last night’s announcement that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for killing an unarmed black teenager. I don’t have much to say that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by other people, so here is a roundup of the most important things I’ve read.
There will be protests around the country tonight; please, please consider going if you at all can. I’ll be at the one in Boston. It’s incredibly necessary to stand up and speak out: to say that this is not ok, and it will never be ok.
Autostraddle has a good overview of the situation, including links to places to donate and an open letter from the Ferguson protesters. You can also donate to the Ferguson library, which is open to children today while the schools are closed. And you can sign petitions to ban racial profiling by police, require Ferguson and St. Louis county and city police to wear body cameras, and secure justice for Mike Brown.
–Hey, step back with the riot-shaming.
–Smashy smashy: nine historical triumphs to make you rethink property destruction.
-The response of the police force in Ferguson has been egregious, from tear-gassing a group carrying an unconscious woman to hampering aerial news coverage by having the FAA issue a no-fly zone. This satirical news story from The Onion is too close to the truth for comfort: Heavy police presence in Ferguson to ensure residents adequately provoked.
–For Tamir, who was stolen.
–Teaching our sons to be afraid is not the answer to cops who shoot children.
–Why Ferguson has been in a state of emergency for years.
–Michael Brown’s family: “ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.”
–Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s about white rage against progress.
-Some of the most insightful commentary I’ve read has been on Twitter. Read this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. I’ll try to put a Storify summary at some point; in the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter, where I’ve been retweeting as much as I can.