Sunday links, 2/1/15

ice on piers and water

Fa(t)shion
Fatshion February starts today, woohoo! I will be participating, although I might not do it every single day.
-Check out Finnish indie plus size designer Minnaleena Jaakkola.
-Affatshionista has updated her list of plus size bloggers who wear a size 24 or larger.
-Marianne has a lot of feelings about Target’s new plus size line.
Danielle Brooks’ dress at the SAG Awards is everything.
-Pink poofy dress porn: the Giambattista Valli Spring 2015 Couture Show.

Fat Acceptance
Fat and Weight Science is a new Facebook group for discussion about weight-related science without a diet focus.
-The Abundant Bodies track at the Allied Media Conference has put out a call for proposals.
Weight loss and size acceptance.
This is an essay about a fat woman being loved and getting laid.
-Tess Munster/Holliday has been signed by a major modeling agency, woot! Jes analyses why so many people hate Tess Munster (and other happy fat people), and Amanda looks at the messages Tess is sending and asks how she, and the rest of us, can do better.
No, really, treat the PROBLEM.
-Leah writes about fat-shamers.

yellow ship reflected on icy water

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OOTD: The Oblivion dress part 2, and the BUST Craftacular

A few weeks ago, BUST magazine held a craft fair here in Boston. I went with a few friends, and wore my Oblivion dress from Domino Dollhouse, because I’m in love with it and can’t stop wearing it–in fact, I am wearing it right now as I write this post.

plus size domino dollhouse outfit gray dress and skull cardigan

Dress, socks, and necklace: Domino Dollhouse (see my earlier post featuring the same dress here), cardigan: Torrid via eBay, shoes: LL Bean

On our way to the craft fair, we came across a bar called The Gallows, which was the perfect background for a picture.

gray and black goth skull outfit plus size

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Sunday links, 12/7/14

Thursday night's protest on the Boston Common.

Thursday night’s protest on the Boston Common.

Eric Garner/Mike Brown/#BlackLivesMatter
(I know this is an overwhelming amount of links, but 1.) this shit is important and 2.) there’s been so much necessary and powerful writing, I couldn’t pick just a few pieces.)
Can you breathe? Reflections on non-indictment, activism, and black life.
White America’s scary delusion: why its sense of black humanity is so skewed.
-This is painfully true, and be forewarned that the painting at the end of the post might make you cry: The 10 stages of what happens when there’s injustice against black people.
-Katherine Cross writes about why she was not surprised by the Eric Garner decision, as a trans woman of color who has seen her sisters regularly face brutality from the NYPD.
Meet the BART-stopping woman behind “Black Lives Matter.”
This country needs a truth and reconciliation process on violence against African Americans–right now.
-Another incredibly fucked-up decision: charges were dropped against the police officer who shot 7-year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones while she slept in her own home.
-In a rare example of someone (although not a cop) being held accountable for killing a black person, Renisha McBride’s killer was found guilty of murder.
-“Twelve years after getting my Vassar College faculty ID, I sit here and know that the nation can’t structurally and emotionally assault black kids and think they’re going to turn out OK.”
This stops today: seeking strategies to end discriminatory policing. A key point: “support [solutions] that take power and money away from the cops, and those that give power to the people.”
Police “reforms” you should always oppose. Likewise: Body cameras won’t stop police brutality, and Eric Garner is only one of several reasons why.
-An important analysis of public space and power: After Ferguson, we have to ask: who owns the streets?

IMG_8731
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Puppies, babies, and discomfort: reflections on the Mass March for Gaza

me with a

On Monday, I took part in a march to a Hewlett-Packard conference to hold the company responsible for its complicity in Israel’s massacre in Gaza, as part of a contingent from Jewish Voice for Peace. I’m glad I went, but I had a lot of mixed feelings about the march. Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order:

– I really, really, really love dogs, so I was excited to meet two sweet pups who attended the march along with their humans: Dory, the black lab mix pictured above, and her husky brother, Nicky. Dogs make everything better.

– There was a good turnout, which was heartening. And I got to meet Britni of Fiending For Hope and her infant daughter, Teagan. It’s great to meet people from the internet in real life. And, as someone who attended her first peace vigil as an infant, I always appreciate seeing babies representing at rallies.

– Marching past Boston’s Holocaust Memorial gave me chills. This is what “Never Again” means, in action.

– I am really not a fan of white college-age kids wearing keffiyehs.

– I was really uncomfortable with a good third of the things that were chanted during the march (when I could actually hear them–the chanting was often poorly organized, and some people would be trying to chant one thing while others were chanting another). One of them was “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which usually implies getting rid of Israel completely, and sometimes even kicking all Jews out of Israel/Palestine. The phrase “from the river to the sea” may sound pleasant out of context–like “from sea to shining sea”or “from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters”–but within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, no matter which side the speaker is on, it’s never a good thing.

– Another chant I felt really, really uncomfortable with was variations on “Long live the intifada!” “Intifada” is an Arabic word which means “shaking off” or “resistance,” and I’m fairly sure that the vast majority of the protesters were using it in that literal sense. But it also refers to multiple specific uprisings, including one in which Palestinian suicide bombers killed and traumatized civilians throughout Israel. I feel that it’s impossible to use the word without bringing up that association, no matter how it is intended, and I wish that the Palestinian solidarity movement would stop using it completely. Continue reading

More animal-related ridiculousness: fat camp for dogs

golden retriever in park

This cute pup, who I met at a park a month or two ago, approves this message.

As if we needed any more proof that the OMG!besity epidemic is really about profit, I just read that the Morris Animal Inn is offering a luxury weight-loss resort program…for dogs. And it includes everything from “pawlates” to organic granola bars.

Seriously? Seriously?!

Look, I love dogs. I grew up with dogs. My friends can attest to the fact that I’m constantly dashing after potential canine friends.

But dogs aren’t human. Dogs don’t need fancy workout programs or organic food. Most dogs are perfectly happy with the simple life of snuggles, hiking and/or swimming, kibble, and the occasional egg.

And although they aren’t human, dogs come in all shapes and sizes just like people do. I’ve known enough dogs to see that some are naturally thin, and others are naturally chubby, regardless of what they eat or how much they exercise. I have a feeling that trying to change a dog’s weight isn’t much more successful in the long term than trying to change a person’s weight, and that healthy habits are the best predictor of health for dogs as well as people.

But there’s no money to be made in loving your pups as they are, feeding them whatever dog food best agrees with their bodies, and taking them out regularly to the woods or the dog park.

I keep hoping that eventually the rhetoric around “obesity” will get so ridiculous that people will start seeing through it…could this finally be that moment?

OOTD: Unicorns and playing dress-up with puppies

I wore this to a clothing swap/picnic that I co-hosted with a friend this weekend. One of the best parts of the event: her boyfriend had to dog-sit for his mom’s dogs at the last minute, so he brought them along. I particularly bonded with the yellow lab, who reminded me so much of the lab I grew up with…and I had a bit too much fun dressing her up. That’s what dogs are for, right? 😉

unicorn skirt, purple tank, and punk vest outfit

Top: Lane Bryant via clothing swap, skirt:  two small skirts from the Buffalo Exchange sewn together by a friend, vest: Torrid via the Big Thrifty, fascinator: a vendor whose name I forget at a local craft fair, earrings (made out of plastic bath mats!): The Blue Cloud Gallery, necklace: Fancy Lady Industries, spiked bracelet: So Good, studded wristband: PacSun

Holly looked like a rockstar in my sunglasses. 🙂

yellow lab dog wearing pink heart-shaped sunglasses

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We need to talk about how social and economic structures impact health.

lake in the woods

Within the fat acceptance and HAES movements, there has been a growing realization that health is much more complicated than personal diet and exercise choices–that we can’t talk seriously about health without talking about the social and economic barriers that affect it on both the personal and public levels. I’m really glad that we’re talking about these structural forces, and I’d love to see more in-depth discussions, both within and outside of our communities.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially after a wonderful hike I went on last weekend. I just feel so in my element when I’m in the woods, and I get a great workout without consciously trying. There’s something so peaceful, so natural about being surrounded by trees, coming across everything from tiny frogs to wildflowers and heart-shaped leaves. There’s magic in the woods, the kind that doesn’t go away when you grow up.

Coming home from a simultaneously exhilarating and relaxing hike, I couldn’t help but think, contrary to conventional wisdom, how little of my health is actually within my control. Yes, healthy habits are still our best shot at improving and maintaining health. Yes, there are certainly things I can do differently, and I’m working on them. But there are so many structural limits that impact my health, and I imagine how they could be different:

– If working about 20 hours/week were standard, I could work mornings and then hike most afternoons. Or, during the winter, snowshoe or cross-country ski. I live in the city and don’t have a car (and don’t want one)–but if there were high-speed, frequent, reliable trains from the city to the woods, I could easily get out into nature on a regular basis, or even live out there and commute into the city. This would make it a lot easier to engage in the types of exercise that feel easy and natural for me, and I have a feeling I’d feel better all-around if I were getting a higher dose of Vitamin Nature. Continue reading