Sunday links, 5/25/14

Y-shaped tree with people making M, C, and A shapes

We found an interesting tree while hiking last weekend…

Fa(t)shion
-I love this fatshionista paper doll.
-If you’re looking to both buy some awesome mermaid-themed jewelry and support a transgender person with Asperger’s who has trouble sustaining traditional employment, check out Earl Foolish.
The fashion victims of Bangladesh.
Wandering the no (wo)man’s land between straight and plus sizes.
Work it! The new face of labor in fashion.
Quvenzhane Wallis is the adorable new face of Armani Junior.
From Lorde to Rihanna to the new Barbie, Goth culture’s comeback is a win for women.
Sheri and Sarah both round up plus size crop tops.
Do this don’t: dress like a fat marshmallow.
-A fascinating conversation on design and systems, both in fashion and in a broader sense.

Fat Acceptance
-Roxy takes apart the ridiculous concept of “glorifying obesity.”
Great postcards for the Abundant Bodies track at the AMC.
-This fat coloring book project looks really cool.
Fat-phobic trolls don’t just want to be rude–they want power over us.
-Check out Hanne Blank’s new body acceptance project, 52 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever.
Discrimination, doxxing, and that ‘Louie’ episode: a Q&A with the filmmakers behind ‘Fattitude.’

Climate and Sustainability
A call to arms for the climate march in New York this September. I will do my best to be there!
-Bill McKibben and a group of climate scientists and activists did an AMA on Reddit.
Solar farms can enhance biodiversity and sequester soil carbon too.
Geothermal: the red hot renewable that could incite a green power revolution.
A blueprint to end paralysis over global action on climate.
Before repairing the climate, we’ll have to repair the effects of racism.

An awesome mashup of two great songs:
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Is creativity dead in Boston? Not the one I know.

bridge covered in rainbow slinkies

An installation by artist Lisa Greenfield during the Fort Point Open Studios, 2009

Social critic Sarah Kendzior’s latest piece, Expensive cities are killing creativity, didn’t sit right with me. Normally, I find myself all but jumping up and down in agreement with her work–but this time, I found much of her analysis jarringly at odds with my own experience.

Kendzior describes expensive coastal cities like New York and San Francisco as “gated citadels,” playgrounds for the rich, places where corporate pressure and the high cost of living reward conformity and stifle creativity. (Although she doesn’t mention Boston specifically, she does include it in a follow-up tweet.)

But my Boston doesn’t feel corporatized, sanitized, like a gated citadel. My Boston isn’t a place where creativity is undervalued, or valued only when it enriches wealthy children. My Boston certainly isn’t a place where “you live when you are born having arrived.”

My Boston is vibrant and creative as hell. Especially here in Somerville, where I’ve lived for five and a half years–and which has the second-highest concentration of artists in the country.

First off, I can’t talk about creativity in Boston without mentioning the folk dancing and music scene, which has been the base of my social circle for as long as I’ve lived here. There’s an incredible number of regular social dance events, culminating in the yearly NEFFA festival, a veritable folkie paradise of singing, jamming, dancing, and outdoor cuddle piles. We have gender-free contras, guerilla contras, a dance and music camp in nearby Plymouth, lots of overlap with the swing and blues dancing scene, great concerts at Club Passim and other venues–and most importantly, a strong sense of community. Individual people may come and go, but the community stays–and I doubt it’s going away anytime soon.

Outdoor contra dance in Copley Square, 2007.

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Saturday Links, 7/6/13

I love this collage made by Hannah.

I apologize for the lateness of this week’s links! But it was totally worth it–yesterday I had an epic day celebrating the birthday of one of my close friends, involving: laser tag, arcade games, pooling together our arcade tickets so that the birthday girl could win a crayon-shaped lava lamp, dinner and drinks at an Irish pub, and then hanging out and playing board games while wearing fancy dresses in a room at a historic downtown Boston hotel.

It was all-around awesome. I have amazing friends, and sometimes having all-day adventures with them, and getting away from screens and thinking too much, is exactly what I need.

Fa(t)shion
-ModCloth has been taking some great steps toward expanding their plus size range (and making it actually sized like typical plus clothing, unlike their old sizing system, in which a 4x was equivalent to a small 22). One example of the gorgeous stuff they’re putting out is this Edwardian dress, which is coming soon. I can’t even begin to describe how much I love and want it!
-I recently came across Eff Yeah Indigenous Fashion, which showcases indigenous art, fashion, and design from around the world. Most of their posts include links where you can support indigenous artists. For example, one of my recent favorites: PowWow Styles, which is colorful beaded jewelry made by a woman from the Cree/Sioux tribes.
-Eff Yeah Indigenous Fashion also has some good posts on how to appreciate indigenous fashion without appropriating it.
-This pastel jeweled flower crown is pure eye candy.
-Domino Dollhouse has a 40% discount code, listed on their homepage, which expires tomorrow. If you’ve been waiting to get something from them, now is your chance.
-In other DD news, check out this sneak peek of two dresses that will be available soon. I love both of them!

Fat Activism
-Closet Puritan talks about the ways that fat people are often gaslighted.
It isn’t over until the fat babes sing: an ode to musicians of size.
-Awesomeness: fat, happy, and healthy women photographed by Gabriela Hasbun.
-Ragen is starting an exciting fat activism history project (at the bottom of the post)!

Communicating climate science through music:

Climate and Sustainability
United we sweat: building a fossil fuel resistance.
-A lyrical and powerful alphabet for climate change.
-The Boston Globe has a great article about churches and other faith groups divesting from fossil fuels.
-On a related note, a major Norwegian pension fund has dropped tar sands investments.  Woot!
-The GROW (Gather Rise Organize Win) divestment gatherings look really promising.
-Bill McKibben, my #1 climate justice hero, has a new book coming out in September! He’s a brilliant writer, and I can’t wait to read it.
-Sandra Steingraber, another one of my climate justice heroes, writes about the silence of science and the eloquent activism of people of faith.
-Yet another climate hero: Tim DeChristopher on Letterman: “stop and think about what it means to be too late” on climate.
-Beautiful and haunting: artist Chad Wright portrays the American Dream washing into the sea.
Michael Pollan on agriculture’s role in fighting climate change.
Obama’s Lincoln moment?

Everything Else
-An poignant reminder not to judge poor people for their devices: a homeless man and his BlackBerry.
More women are dying from painkiller overdoses: epidemic, or something more complicated?
-A different, and equally important, perspective on the Indian Child Welfare Act (which I talked about in last week’s Friday links): My uterus will not be used to fill your tribal rolls. I really like this comment on the piece as well.
Rachel, Trayvon, and the saddest thing I’ve ever read.
Playing by the rules: white privilege and Rachel Jeantel.
An open letter to new Teach for America recruits.
Entitled students, grades, and obedience: what is education for?
Putting googly eyes on everything is the best thing ever.

Friday Links 12/28/12

I hope you all have been enjoying the holidays, and have fun things planned for New Year’s! Steve and I will be going to a small dinner party, which should be fun. It’s hard to believe it’s already almost 2013–I still remember when 2000 seemed futuristic.

A uterus and a moose chilling in a gift shop

Fa(t)shion
-Alison has a great True Fashionista year end recap. My favorites are Denisio, Desiree, and Meagan.
-Similarly, Alissa has a roundup of 2012’s Stylish Curves of the Day.
100 coolest Harajuku looks of 2012, straight from Tokyo.
Burning Man gets dressed up.
Going rogue: on the cultural implications of “alternative” beauty.
-I love this piece about pillbox hats. I feel similarly about fascinators, and now I’m tempted to branch out. Also, I didn’t know you could pin pillbox hats on with bobby pins, which is really good to know.
-On a similarly hat-related note: In defense of the “nice guy” fedora. I really like this piece as well. I love fedoras on both men and women, and I hate how they’ve become a symbol of jackassery. I especially agree with this comment:

[A] few years ago and ongoing, black plastic glasses (which I wear because they are so super-cheap. $35 bucks at wal-mart, jabronis!) were the thing to hate because they were hipsterish.
Now it’s fedoras.

Why are we picking arbitrary clothing items and giving them inalienable human characteristics? Why are clothing items getting personified?

WHATEVER! It sort of makes me want to get a fedora with tiny plastic black-framed glasses pinned all over it.

Fat Activism
Debunking the myth that there were no fat people until recently.
Fat and jolly? Not so much.
Some jerks want to put Santa Claus on a diet “for the children.”

Yeah, pretty much.

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Weight and talent

You know what sucks? The amount of talent that’s lost when society requires its artists to fit a narrow standard of beauty.

Ragen at Dances With Fat has a great post about it here, mostly pertaining to performing artists.

But even writers face pressure to be pretty or be ignored. One of my favorite writers, Cheryl Strayed, talked about it in a recent interview (unfortunately, I can’t find the link).

As a fat writer,* it just makes me want to smash things. Continue reading

On life and dreams: a ramble

I aspire to be glamorous like Kat Williams and La Carmina: to wear vintage dresses and get paid to travel the world. To make magazines. To go on adventures with kindred fa(t)shion spirits in party dresses, petticoats, and pink hair.

I aspire to inspire other fat girls and women like Tess Munster. To create badass images of fat beauty. To show them they, too, can be beautiful.

I aspire to walk in the woods, full of wonder, like Mary Oliver. To live by the ocean, to wander the tidal flats, to dive deep into the blue mystery that is life.

I aspire to tell my truths, like Cheryl Strayed. To crack hearts open in the best way. To write with both brutality and kindness.

I am still struggling to integrate these visions, these dreams, the many different ways I see myself. Continue reading