Sunday links, 8/3/14

black eyed susans and pink flowers behind white picket fence

Fa(t)shion
But seriously…if you’re fat, you can still wear whatever you want.
-Help Elizabeth of CandyStrike get her clothing out to a major online retailer!
-Awesome pictures from Summer Strut, a plus-size runway show in Portland.
Land’s End introduces adorable new science t-shirts just for girls.
-How cute is Sprinkles Bake Shop, which sells dessert-themed goodies like a birthday cake headband and macaron coin purses, as well as actual dessert-related supplies?
-Emma is putting dudes in dresses and watching chaos unfold.
We don’t want your summer music festival fashion tips.

Fat Acceptance
So much yes to this: I am not all about that bass: deconstructing the summer’s feel-good, body-positive hit. I wrote about “All About That Bass” a while back, but Jenny’s analysis is much more in-depth, and superbly breaks down the many different types of fail in the video. (And yes, I’m still sad that a video with such a catchy tune and such a gorgeous pastel aesthetic is full of so much race-, gender-, and size-fail.)
-Syruckus writes about why fat acceptance matters to him as a fat man.
-Ragen shares strategies for dealing with fat-phobia in the workplace.
-I love seeing pictures of two awesome fat activists meeting each other.
Making Fat Ends Meet is a new Facebook group for poor and working-class fat people.
-Awesomeness: vandals trash plastic surgeon’s anti-muffin top billboard in Michigan.
What they never consider when they link fatness with health problems.
-Oaklanders, checked out HAES’d and Confused, a series of events examining social justice within the context of the HAES model. There’s also a phone-in option for non-locals to participate.

Israel/Gaza
Dear Nick Kristof, your Palestinian Gandhis are already here.
Rays of hope in Gaza: 13 Israeli and Palestinian groups building peace.
Jews around the world are facing attacks as the crisis escalates in Gaza. This is scary as hell, and it makes me so angry/sad/ARGH that so many people seem to think the answer to hatred and violence is more hatred and violence.
If Israel calls to tell me they will bomb my house, what should I take with me as I run for my life?
Life under fire in Gaza: the diary of a Palestinian.
-There are just no words for how heartbreaking this story is. No words.
The awful decisions I’ve made to protect my Palestinian children from this war.
Gaza myths and facts: what American Jewish leaders won’t tell you.
Threats of sanctions worked against Israel in 1956 – and they can work again. Continue reading

Sunday links, 7/13/14

cute inflatable skeleton hanging up at an arcade

Fa(t)shion
This is what a feminist fashion and beauty fair looks like. It sounds amazing!
-Karen posts pictures from the Indie Plus Size Fashion Showcase and the Runway Finale at Full Figured Fashion Week. (Also, how awesome is her gold sequin gown in the second post?)
-Jacob writes about their experiences trying to dress for work as a genderqueer person, and how the standard of “professionalism” is often used against queer people, poor people, and people of color.
-Kate Harding writes about why she personally doesn’t wear a fatkini, but is glad that other fat women do.
-Sheri rounds up 15 plus size midi skirts.

Fat Acceptance
Unapologetically fat: Ragen’s great response to the latest piece of fat-shaming crap going around the internet.
-Charlotte responds to the news that NICE (part of the UK Dept of Health) wants thousands of people to have weight-loss surgery.
My body is not a problem.
Obesity cuts life expectancy, Santa is responsible for your Christmas presents, and other misleading statements.
Why Hobby Lobby is a HAES issue.
-Marilyn Wann reflects on her 20 years in fat activism.
-One of my friends from the Boston fat community is moving to Wisconsin, so she started a Facebook group, Wisco Fats, for people who live there.
-Dude, I want an Adipose cake!
-A body-positive, chubby male athlete posing naked in a mainstream sports magazine? HELLS YES. I had never heard of Prince Fielder before because I don’t follow sports, but he is awesome.  It’s also just nice to see nude pictures of a guy in mainstream media, which is so much rarer than nude pictures of women.
-Linda Bacon has a new book coming out this fall, and it looks really good.
-Another book that looks good: Fat Girl In a Strange Land, a sci-fi anthology featuring fat female protagonists.
-Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga will be giving a workshop at the Kripalu Center in western Mass. in November! I’m excited that she’ll be in my neck of the woods, and I really hope I can make it.
-Rabbi Minna Bromberg writes about fatness from a Jewish perspective.
-Rue B. Tickles writes about why she dances burlesque.

yellow, purple, and blue flowers

Continue reading

Sunday links, 7/6/14

chocolate lab puppy sitting on the grass

Charlie, a tiny chocolate lab puppy I met last week (I know it’s not the best picture of him, but it was hard to get him to stay still!)

Fa(t)shion
-I am so excited for Nicolette Mason’s collaboration with ModCloth. How amazing is that pink coat, and the teal dress, and the pink polka dot dress, and the semi-sheer black tulle skirt…
-If you’re in Detroit, check out the Detroit Fatshion Exchange.
What pastel hair means for women of color.

Fat Acceptance
-Exciting news: the Fat Activism Conference, organized by Ragen Chastain and Jeannette DePatie, will be taking place in August. It’s all online, so people from any location can attend. There’s an amazing lineup of speakers and topics, and even though I’m not usually into online conferences, I am super-psyched for this.
-I so wish I could have read this in high school: Why being over 300 pounds isn’t the end of the world.
-Check out the new Tumblr Trans Fatties Unite.
-Taylor writes about a workshop on fat-shaming and fat acceptance that she gave to girls at her summer camp (which, btw, sounds like an amazing camp–it focuses on empowering girls through economic and environmental justice).
-Trolls sometimes claim that Ragen starts wheezing after walking short distances or uses a mobility scooter. She responds, “So what if I do?”
Fat and sparkling: a YES to the body.
-Virgie interviews TaMeicka Clear, a body-positive life coach.
-Carol Rossetti’s body-positive illustrations are amazing.
-Marilyn writes about the New York Times’ decision to publish responses to that ugly fat-shaming letter….which were full of more fat-shame, and completely lacking the fat-pos/HAES perspective. *sigh*

The video quality isn’t great, but I can’t not share fat women dancing to Janelle Monae’s “Q.U.E.E.N.”

Jobs and the Economy
Who’s responsible for the moral compass of the new economy?
For the new economy movement to succeed, it must be led by those for whom the mainstream economy has never worked.
Mourn the fall of the mall.

Everything Else
-A photography exhibit explores what femme looks like.
Going without water in Detroit.
-Kate Harding’s analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions is spot-on. (And that’s all I’m going to post about the SCOTUS’ streak of suckiness, because ARGGHHH.)
Penned in: letters reveal the lives of transgender women in prison.
Border crossing is a verb.
-I agree so much with this way of looking at activism: The danger of fetishizing revolution.
30 bisexual women discuss their long-term relationships with men.
“Enjoy your houseful of cats”: on being an asexual woman.
Stop analyzing your single friends.

Lily Allen’s new music video about online trolls is great (and how awesome is her outfit?)

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

Sunday links, 4/27/14

close-up of pink and white cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom season is my favorite time of the year.

Fa(t)shion
-This flower crown made of real flowers is incredibly gorgeous.
Breaking the design mold: the potential of zero waste.
-I love these fashion sketches based on flower petals.
Don’t make me over.
-I love this guy’s style and the reasons behind what he wears.
Wear your clothes inside out for Fashion Revolution Day, which marks the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse.
Obama’s free trade agreement ignores the scandal of Rana Plaza.
-The Closet Feminist rounds up five plus size floral dresses.
Sell us the clothes, don’t judge us on them.
-Cardboard Cities interviews Erin of Zero Style.
-Remember that gorgeous Scarlett & Jo prom dress that just didn’t work on me? It looks much better on Naomi and Danielle.
-Two fatshion models/bloggers who I don’t link to because of their racist actions: Amelia Butter and Nadia Aboulhosn.

Fat Acceptance
-Two great Twitter conversations about fatness and health: #notyourgoodfatty and food politics, and Amanda Levitt on the importance of talking about health on the social structural level.
-ASDAH members talk about why the HAES principles have been updated to include intersectionality and social determinants of health.
-“I’m a dancing fatty, short and stout.”
-Virgie Tovar writes a fascinating analysis of the race and class dynamics involved in her identifying as a fat foodie.
-Lindsey Averill writes about being stalked by a troll due to her work on the Fattitude documentary.

I love Mary Lambert’s new “Body Love” video:
Continue reading

What being a fat woman is really like

My glamorous fat life: hanging out on a farm after going to the beach for my birthday last summer

Through this post from Bethany, I found out about a surprisingly fat-positive interview that was recently published in Cosmo (!). Bethany and a bunch of other bloggers decided to answer the same questions, so here are my answers! You can find a roundup of all the participating bloggers here at Charlotte’s blog.

How do you feel when other women around you complain about feeling/being fat?

Luckily, this doesn’t happen to me often–and when it does, it usually involves friends writing about their body image struggles in their own online spaces, which I could choose to stop following if I wanted to.  I feel simultaneously frustrated–because fat is not a bad thing, and I’m usually bigger than the person doing the complaining!–and understanding, because the pull of weight loss culture is so strong, and I remember what it was like to be utterly convinced that I needed to be thin to be attractive and healthy.

How has your body image changed since high school? College?

SO MUCH. In middle school and high school, I hated my body–even though I also enjoyed dressing up, and never had much desire to hide behind baggy or plain clothing. I remember stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office when I was 17, and seeing it hit 201–and that felt like the worst thing ever. In my mind, 200 lbs was hideous, far beyond the realm of normal people, and crossing that line made me officially, terribly, disgustingly fat (which seems funny now, because I weigh about 240 and am much happier with my body!).

I spent most of college dieting on and off before I came across Shapely Prose through the feminist blog-o-sphere, and my mind was blown. It took some time to truly accept everything I was learning, but when I did, it made such a difference. I still have bad body-image days occasionally, but for the most part, I’m happy with how I look. When I was younger, I never could have imagined that!

Have you tried dieting? What happened?

I started dieting fairly late, compared to the experiences of most fat women I know. In eighth grade, I went through a phase where I did ten minutes of crunches a day in hopes of shrinking my stomach–but I didn’t start seriously dieting until senior year of high school, and then I was doing it “for my health.” I never did anything really drastic, but obsessing over the calories in everything and going to the gym constantly just wasn’t sustainable for very long.

In college, I kept falling off the wagon and then starting again, yo-yo-ing up and down within a range of 40 or so pounds–until I learned about fat acceptance and stopped altogether. My weight settled about about 180 then, although a few years later I ended up gaining weight for unrelated reasons, and who knows if that was partly affected by the way dieting can change people’s metabolisms?

Continue reading

Friday links, 3/1/13

It’s March already–how did that happen?

Here’s a really cool video in which Tess Munster shares where she gets her clothing. I had to laugh when she described Torrid and SWAK as affordable, but…yeah.

Also awesome: an interview with Gabourey Sidibe on personal style! I love her.

Here are the links I’ve found interesting this week. Add your own recommendations in the comments, and feel free to self-promote!

Fa(t)shion
20 plus size fashion bloggers who wear a size 24 or above.
-Domino Dollhouse has started shooting for their Spring ’13 collection, and you can see a few pictures on their Instagram!
A look at the role of clothing in the struggle to shape one’s identity in the film Pariah.
-Advanced Style has a roundup of fabulous hats.
-Shannon at Nudemuse writes about more reasons why she’s not a famous fatshion blogger.
-Check out Glorify’s Tumblr fatshion outpost!
An open letter to Lane Bryant.
This is a really sweet story.

Continue reading

Friday links, 2/22/13

Stuffed French toast with caramelized apples, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. Nom!

Fat Acceptance
Get ready for NOLOSE 2013, which sounds amazing! I would love to make it to NOLOSE someday.
-Toronto fatties of color, check out the It Gets Fatter Project’s Fat Talk.
-Participate in a cultural shift by submitting your health care story to ASDAH’s Resolved: Addressing Weight Bias in Health Care video project.
There’s no need for this obesity epidemic hysteria.
How not to be a dick to your fat friends.
Thigh gaps, calories, and ignorance about how bodies actually work.
-On not being impressed with thin people trying to be the voice of FA.
HAES matters: a health at every size model for our children.
Mindful eating: what it is, what it isn’t, and why kids don’t need it.
Talented fat people are not actually shocking.
-Laura Beck gets to the heart of so much fat hatred.
-Both Glorify and Fierce, Freethinking Fatties are inviting fatties from marginalized backgrounds to write for them.
How I learned to love my fat arms.

Fa(t)shion
Tutu DuMonde’s clothing is gorgeous–too bad it’s for children! I’d totally wear it if it came in my size–unlike Jeska, I have no qualms about going to the bank dressed like a 1920’s circus performer.
-Continuum’s Constrvct collection is such a cool idea–you can design your own fashion, and then the clothing is custom-made to your measurements. It’s not particularly affordable, but I’m still glad it exists.
-Check out Rachele’s How To Be a Fat Bitch e-course #3, which is about fatshion.
A review of a Sealed With A Kiss dress, and a really cool Etsy shop that makes custom clothing.
Not for girls: are women ditching pink?
Dressing for yourself and dressing to put others at ease.
ABAN: Empowering girls in Ghana, one fabric at a time.
Stop telling girls their hemlines are too short.
-A fabulous punk Marie Antoinette-themed photoshoot.
-Total eye candy: a floral affair.

Everything Else
How not to write a travel piece like Nicholas Kristof.
Why you shouldn’t participate in voluntourism.
The war on sex workers.
The triple-pane windows theory: a shockingly simple blueprint for cities to save the planet without wrecking the economy.
A tiny village in Vietnam where women choose to be single mothers.
The curious case of Reeva Steenkamp’s boyfriend.

Saturday links: better late than never

lust

Sorry for the late links–this week I had a temp job that kept me busy, and didn’t have quite as much time as usual for blogging. But I’m making up for it now!

The above Polyvore collage is by author Francesa Lia Block, via Chubble Bubble. I haven’t read her books, but I think the idea of fashion collages based on characters is really cool. And of course I love all the pinkness.

Owning My Food Crazy – a thoughtful reflection on HAES, unintentional weight loss, and restrictive compulsions, written by my college friend Shoshie.

The Fat Nutritionist: Food and Exercise Are Not Matter and Anti-Matter

Hello Kitty “KittyRobot” Exhibition in Tokyo !!

Does Blogging Encourage Bad Financial Behavior? This is, unfortunately, so true. I love fa(t)shion blogging, but it definitely has a dangerous side effect of constant desire for shiny things. I try to take breaks when I feel myself slipping too far into must-have territory, but it’s not easy to strike the right balance.

Friday links and cupcakes

This is an old post, but it brilliantly sums up everything I hate about clothing shopping: Seven Scenes, for a Reason

A great post that clears up misconceptions about Health at Every Size: HAES Matters: The Weight-Neutral Core of the HAES Approach

Internet Calls Girl Fat, and Her Response is…Perfect. I followed Megan Tonjes back to YouTube, and found out that she made John Green cry! It is a small, small internet. I’m a little obsessed with the Vlogbrothers*, and it’s funny to see their section of the internet colliding with the fat-o-sphere.

I was a little less happy to see that most of the videos on Megan’s personal channel are about weight loss. It’s her body, and she has a right to do whatever she wants with it–but it’s still disappointing to come across someone who seems like a kickass unapologetic fatty, only to find that she’s pushing the same old weight-loss paradigm. Blehh.

Cutest video ever: My Dog and My Cat Are Perfect Friends

My favorite response to Ann Marie Slaughter’s recent article in the Atlantic: I DO Want To ‘Have It All,’ Starting With What Women in 178 Countries Have

Just for fun, here are some cupcakes I bought for a friend’s engagement party last weekend:

*For those unaware, John and Hank Green = the Vlogbrothers, a pair of adorably geeky brothers who make videos about EVERYTHING. John is also a YA novelist. He and Hank run a convention called VidCon, where Megan apparently performed a song about John’s latest book, The Fault in Our Stars. Which, btw, you should read. Seriously, go read it. I will wait.