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.

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Friday links, 5/31/13

Cute shoes I got from Roaman’s a while back. Unfortunately, they weren’t comfortable and I had to return them. But at least cute shoes came in my size, so there’s hope!

Wow, it’s almost June already. How did that happen?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been reading this week. Feel free to share anything you’ve read or written!

Fat Acceptance
-Check out this call for testimony in support of an act against weight/height discrimination in Massachusetts.
Sized up: why fat is a queer and feminist issue. YES.
No more stitch-ups! Media literacy for fat activists.
-I really like this model of activism: focusing on the fabulousness.
-A fat dance company in Portland, OR is seeking dancers.
-It made me so happy to see this post about teaching kids to think critically about the “obesity epidemic” on National Geographic’s education blog.
-Miss Conduct has great advice on handling misplaced compliments about weight loss.

Fa(t)shion
Reflections on plus size dress forms from a fashion student.
-New Yorkers, check out the Big Fat Flea, which is coming up on June 9th. They keep posting pictures of awesome clothing on their Facebook page, and I’m jealous!
-If you’re thinking about buying one of Gabifresh’s neon fatkinis, read this warning from two women who unfortunate wardrobe malfunctions while wearing them.
-This Harajuku-inspired shoot with unicorns and rainbows is amazing.
-Sadly, Natalie will no longer be making fat necklaces after June 4th. Make sure to snap one up before they’re gone! Luckily, though, you can still get the design on a t-shirt or sweatshirt.
Mmmm, hat porn.

Climate and Sustainability
Huzzah! Bill McKibben has won the $100,000 Sophie Prize.
Signs of hope in the fight against climate change.
Keystone: what we know.
Harnessing citizen power to fund a U.S. solar revolution.
-This American Life has a great segment on climate activism.
-This ode to a New Jersey town that was hit by Hurricane Sandy is powerful and sad: “Place is not meant to be eulogized. I don’t want to think that my place may have to be.”

Everything Else
– My friend Kit has a great piece about the problems with the concept of “it gets better.” 
-I love this profound and hilarious poetry written by arranging book spines.
How not to be a dick to your deaf friend, or your friend with depression.
On working for free.
What do dress codes say about girls’ bodies?
11 things not to say to a woman who doesn’t want kids.
Women are not their worst own beauty critics. I hate that meme, and I’m so glad to see someone taking it down.
-Marianne takes on the problems with trying to scientifically quantify beauty.

I love this way of naming things:

And this…this is just ridiculously adorable. Enjoy!

Friday links, 4/12/13

A sign of spring 🙂

Fa(t)shion
-The Aussie Curves Sydney meetup sounds like so much fun! I wish we had something like it in Boston.
-Melbournians (Melbournites? Melbournistas?), check out the Hey Fatty & Friends Market.
-I love Shannon’s reflections on clothing and identity.
This thread has some good suggestions for finding plus size steampunk clothing.
-I have no particular interest in horse races, but the hats that women wear to them are fantastic.
-More amazing hats: the Milliner’s Guild at the National Arts Club.
-Pure kawaii eye candy: 6%DOKIDOKI Mook exclusive photo shoot.
The outfits and costumes at the New York Easter parade are amazing! Most of the time I’m glad that I don’t live in NYC, but these pictures make me wish I did.

Fat Acceptance
Girl talk: confessions of a thin-privileged fat activist.
A letter to the doctor who told me I’d be dead right now because of my fat.
-On a sadly similar note: My doctors are killing me.
-It always makes me happy when I see a fat dancer on my Tumblr dashboard.
Fat people deserve to eat. So much yes!

Climate Justice and Sustainability
-Bill McKibben has a new piece in Rolling Stone! It’s about the fossil fuel resistance movement, and like everything else he writes, it’s brilliant.
The Oklahoma grandmother who chained herself to Keystone XL heavy machinery is a total badass.
-I love stories like this: Community thrives along a nearly forgotten slice of an urban river.
Keystone XL pipeline risks harm to Houston community: “This is obviously environmental racism.”
-A really interesting conversation between James Hansen and Bill McKibben.

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Why climate justice matters to me

A fossil fuel divestment rally at a college where I’ve worked. You can see me on the right. Photo by James Ennis.

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been blogging more and more about climate change/climate justice.

I’m not going to stop writing about fatshion, fat acceptance, and pretty things–in fact, I’ve got several outfit posts in the works, and lots of interesting stuff about sustainable fashion. (I just need to sit down and put it together!) But climate justice….well, it’s where my heart is right now.

I’ve been aware of global warming for as long as I can remember–I learned about greenhouses gases in elementary school. And I’ve known for years that things are pretty bad, and only getting worse. But there are so many terrible things in the world–sometimes, you have to push some of them to the back of your mind to stay sane.

So I pushed what’s happening to our planet to the back of my mind, mostly.

But lately I’ve found I can’t do that anymore.

I’ve been tip-toeing the fine line between recognizing the urgency of the problem and getting overwhelmed: vacillating between hope and hopelessness, action and inaction. Doing my best to push through it all, and just act.

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A must-read: Bill McKibben on fossil fuel divestment

The case for fossil fuel divestment: on the road with the new generation of college activists fighting for the environment.

This gives me hope, and makes me so freaking proud of all the students who are working tirelessly to, quite literally, save the world.

If you’re a college student or an alum, and your school has a divestment campaign, I urge you to support them. Write letters, threaten not to donate any money to your alma mater until they divest from fossil fuel, do whatever else you can.

The logic of divestment couldn’t be simpler: if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage. The fossil fuel industry, as I showed in Rolling Stone last summer, has five times as much carbon in its reserves as even the most conservative governments on earth say is safe to burn – but on the current course, it will be burned, tanking the planet. The hope is that divestment is one way to weaken those companies – financially, but even more politically. If institutions like colleges and churches turn them into pariahs, their two-decade old chokehold on politics in DC and other capitals will start to slip. Think about, for instance, the waning influence of the tobacco lobby – or the fact that the firm making Bushmaster rifles shut down within days of the Newtown massacre, after the California Teachers Pension Fund demanded the change. “Many of America’s leading institutions are dozing on the issue of climate,” says Robert Massie, head of the New Economics Institute. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign must become the early morning trumpet call that summons us all to our feet.”

Travel and the environment: can we see the world without killing the planet?

Watkins Glen State Park, New York. Taken on a family vacation in 2006.

Two things I’ve been thinking and reading* a lot about lately are climate change–and how we can mitigate this already-occurring disaster by developing more sustainable ways to live–and travel. I’m having trouble reconciling my feelings about them.

On the personal level, my brightest-burning desire right now is to see the world. I’ve been outside the Northeastern US only a few times in my life, and I really want to see more of both my own country and other countries. I love New England–in fact, I’m pretty sure my veins run with maple syrup–and I know I want to settle down here eventually. This is my home, my community. The land I feel in my bones. I know that’s a gift: to be so connected to a place in this age of disconnection and displacement.

But I know I can’t settle down without experiencing at least a few of the natural beauties, and the cultures, of other places. I’m still working out the practicalities, but it’s definitely something I want to do.

And yet. I know that traveling, especially by airplane, has a huge carbon footprint.**

There’s just no way that regular international or even intra-national travel is sustainable–even at current levels, let alone if everyone in the US started doing it.

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Are fatshionistas pioneering a deep economy of fashion?

I’ve been doing more thinking about the ethics of fa(t)shion, while also re-reading one of my favorite books: Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben.

In it, McKibben argues that our growth-focused global economic system 1.) creates extreme inequality, 2.) is environmentally unsustainable, and 3.) fails to make people happier, because so many people are isolated, stressed out, and lacking community support.

He proposes switching to smaller-scale, community-based systems, and gives examples from all around the world: from the organic farming system that developed in Cuba after the fall of the USSR, to a cooperatively-owned clothing store in Wyoming, to a city bus system in Brazil.

It’s a brilliant, fascinating, hopeful read.

And it got me thinking: are we fatshionistas on the forefront of a new deep economy of clothing?

Lacking more traditional options, we’ve developed community-based means of shopping: from pop-up shops to clothing swaps to rummage events like Boston’s Big Thrifty and New York’s Big Fat Flea.

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