Where does fatness come from? Who cares?

Another day, another article purporting to explain why fat people exist.

Funny how no one ever asks what causes thinness, or tallness, or brown-haired-ness. It’s almost like those traits are rightfully accepted as part of the natural diversity of bodies or something.

I’m sick of so many people, both liberal and conservative, treating the existence of people like me as a mystery to be solved. Conservatives blame the individual, liberals blame societal factors or try to find scientific explanations, but no one stops to think that maybe fatness is not actually a problem that needs solving.

No one stops to think, even though fat activists have been doing their work for decades. Even though the facts are out there for anyone who actually cares to look.

I’m sick of fatness being a marked trait. In her book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, Julia Serano describes marked identities as those that are considered artificial, unnatural, subject to questioning, while unmarked ones are seen as natural and unquestionable. For example, people often ask transgender people why they’re trans, but no one thinks to ask a cisgender person why they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth; and people often talk about femininity as unnatural and performative, even though it feels natural and right for many people, like Serano (and myself).

Where do fat bodies come from? I don’t know, but we sure can dance.

Friday links 11/1/13

This jack-o-lantern partied a bit too hard.

Happy day-after-Halloween! I hope you all had a good time.  I spent the evening watching Cabin in the Woods with a group of friends, and although I don’t usually like horror movies, I loved it! It’s pretty much impossible for Joss Whedon to make anything bad, and it didn’t hurt that the cast was full of great actors.

I also had a Halloween party last weekend, where I dressed up as a steampunk Pikachu (in reference to this comic). I will post pictures soon! Now, on to the linky goodness…

-I don’t mean to turn my blog into a complete advertisement for Domino Dollhouse, but their new skull-print babydoll dress and leggings are too awesome not to post about.
-This photo shoot of five fat babes is fabulous.
-The Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator, a collective workspace focused on sustainable production, will be opening in 2014.
-John Scalzi writes about why he dresses the way he does, and how, as a middle-class white man, he faces less appearance-based judgment than most people.
-Jille Edge’s Flickr has plenty of old-school Delia*s nostalgia.
Politicizing plus size fashion with blogger Brooklyn Boobala.

Fat Acceptance
-There will be a Fat Justice Workshop here in Boston next weekend.
-This fat bellydance DVD looks great.
-Abigail Saguy talks about the history of the “obesity epidemic.”
Fat people need candy too.

Climate and Sustainability
-A must-read from Naomi Klein: how science is telling us all to revolt.
-The Transition Lab, which trains ordinary people to create a resilient future, sounds amazing. If any of my fellow Bostonians want to learn more, check out the presentations they will be giving in Cambridge next week.
-A great overview of what a post-growth economy means, and why we need one.

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Two more awesome fat events coming up

Getting my bellydance on at a dance festival last year

I’m so happy that fat community seems to be taking off in Boston. In the last few months alone, we’ve had the Big Thrifty, Three Big Fat Voices, and the Fab Fatty Frolic that I organized. We’re not quite at San Francisco-level awesomeness–I’m constantly hearing about fat dance parties and crafternoons and all sorts of other fun stuff happening there–but we’re getting there.

There are two more awesome fat events coming up this summer:

1.) Another fab fatty frolic that I’m planning, this time at the beach! It will be at Revere Beach on Saturday, August 3rd. You can find more information on the Facebook event.

2.) The Big Thrifty is organizing yet another awesome event, Living X-Large and In Charge: Intro Classes for Yoga, Self-Defense, and Bellydance. It will be on Saturday, July 20th, in Malden, and in addition to the movement classes, there will be a mini clothing swap and a cupcake and fruit break! Check out the Facebook event for more info.

Huzzah for flabulous fattery taking over Boston!

Friday Links, 6/14/13

Boswell, a very sweet kitty who owns a bookstore in Shelburne Falls, MA

-Marianne has a great roundup of plus size wedding dresses (many of which I suggested to her when she was looking for ideas on Twitter). Mmmm, so much tulle.
ModCloth founders on doubling down, sizing up with plus size launch.
-Plump Polish’s second nail polish collection, Fat Beach Day, has launched.
-Jenna Sauers asks a complex and important question: what’s the solution to the world’s sweatshop problem?

Fat Acceptance
-I feel pretty much the same way as Lesley about the Smile, Sizeist! Tumblr.
-The program for this year’s NOLOSE conference looks amazing. I so wish I could go.
-Fellow Bostonians, check out this fat bellydance class starting soon, and Living X-Large and In Charge, a day of fat-friendly yoga, self-defense, and bellydance classes.
How tattooing my fat body helped me fall in love with it.

-The Climate Justice Hub here in Somerville is officially open! Huzzah!
-A great cartoon about if climate change were a dude.
Women must be heard in the climate change debate.
In defense of the urban car. This is just another example of why I feel so strongly about focusing on structural, rather than individual, change.
The Obama climate move that nobody noticed.
-Vermont’s Climate Change Cabaret sounds amazing.

Everything Else
Nobody can “make” you feel anything–except when they can. YES YES THIS.
-Pretty much everything Captain Awkward writes is gold, and this recent post is no exception.
-Related to yesterday’s post, I love love love this essay: Exploding the limitations: what being a femme means to me.
It happened to me: I take opiates for chronic pain.

This parody of the Cheerios ad is awesome:

OOTD: Circus chic

Last week, I went to Temple, a burlesque/bellydance/circus-themed club night. I hadn’t gone in a while, because it’s late for a weeknight (10 pm – 2am!). But since I’m in between jobs, I jumped on the opportunity to go. I’m glad I did, even though it messed up my sleep schedule a bit.

Clubbing isn’t usually my thing, but I love Temple, which calls itself a “sanctuary for the unusual.” I fit in there, among the people with light-up hula hoops, the bellydancers, the accordion players on stilts. It’s a good excuse to dress up creatively, and an opportunity to hang out with friends–and run into former co-workers!–outside of our usual spaces. And I love the music, which they describe as “world electronica – ambient – down tempo.” It’s not what I would normally listen to, but I love dancing to it–it puts me into a near-meditative trance.

I love Boston’s circus scene, which Temple exemplifies. There’s a strong sense of community, and an equally strong sense of whimsy. It’s incredibly inspiring to see what the human body is capable of: the tiny controlled movements of a bellydancer’s stomach, the sheer insanity of a contortionist’s poses.

It’s also inspiring to see everyone’s outfits: striped tights, pleather corsets, tutus, lacy skirts, tiny hats, headdresses, pinstripes, pants with corset-style lacing, sparkly hipscarves. Temple embodies the tagline of this blog almost perfectly: “Alt-fa(t)shion. Freak-flag-flying. Glitter.”

I didn’t take any pictures at Temple, both because my camera isn’t good enough to get decent pictures in dark lighting, and because sometimes I just need to enjoy myself full-on without a camera between myself and the experience. But you can see pictures from Temple, and get an idea of how wonderful it is, on their Facebook page.

Now, onto the outfit! I made a “flower crown” by clipping various flowers into my hair, and I really like how it came out.

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