Friday links 8/16/13

My favorite part of the farmers’ market. 🙂

Happy Friday! How have all of your weeks been going? I just started a new temp job as a Package Tetris Specialist (ahem, mail clerk), and it’s been good but exhausting. I am very, very glad that it’s almost the weekend.

Fa(t)shion
-I so wish I could be in Oakland for Virgie Tovar’s pop-up shop. That pink cloche! *swoons*
-Speaking of hats, this Advanced Style hat roundup is amazing. New life goal: become an old lady with the coolest hats.
-Even more haaaats! I am particularly in love with, well, the one that says “LOVE” in giant flower-covered letters.
-Chubby Cartwheels has a new line of hologram clothing!
-Marianne reviews the Enell sports bra (my favorite), bandalettes, and a tank top called the Breast Nest.
-She also writes about her feelings about dudes who creep on online fatshion pictures, which is pretty much how I feel as well.
Steal her style: Ali Koehler of Upset.

Fat Acceptance
-I love these chubby girl illustrations.
-Oxygen’s new show in which formerly fat people get revenge on fat shamers? Ugggh.
-Check out this fat cabaret show in L.A.–it will be streaming live for people who can’t make it in person.
-Point your med-student friends to the new HAES Curriculum, which is “a peer-reviewed curriculum designed for teaching health professionals and university students about the Health At Every Size® model.”
Hey, assholes: deporting fat people doesn’t actually make them go away.

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Quote of the day

“I just got back from WisCon (feminist sci-fi convention which is AWESOME). One of the panels I attended was “When ‘Love Your Body’ Isn’t Enough,” and it was a discussion of the body-acceptance movement and what it means. One of the panelists was The Rotund (some may be familiar with her blog), and she said something that really struck a chord in me. She said, “I don’t need to love my body. I need Levi Strauss to love my body.” So that she could buy jeans that fit.

And that struck me as so true. 90% of the issues I have with existing as a fat person in the world isn’t internal: it’s the disgusted looks I get on the subway, it’s the snickering teenagers on the escalator behind me, it’s the verbal abuse hurled at me when I walk down the street, it’s the trouble I have finding clothes and shoes that fit, it’s the ridicule I get when I ride my bike in public, it’s the dismissal and derision I get from medical professionals.”

Commenter Clawfoot on the Shakesville post Fatstronauts 101: Permission to Live (which is a great post, by the way, and you should read it).

#FatshionFebruary, day 11

This outfit has all sorts of significance.

I got the dress at Re/Dress NYC (RIP), which was an amazing place.

The leggings are my “gateway leggings”: back during the very cold winter of ’07-’08, I wasn’t into leggings, but I was into not freezing my ass off. I bought two pairs to wear under my pants on particularly frigid days, and the rest is history.

The Hello Kitty watch was a gift from a fellow contra dancer, who found it at a yard sale for 10 cents. I love when people find cute things and think of me.

And hey look, it’s a VBO! I’ve always worn colorful, funky things, but I wouldn’t have worn a stomach-hugging dress like this before I found the fat acceptance movement.

Speaking of which, guess which book matches this outfit perfectly?

It’s true, I’m that strange breed of fatshion nerd who really enjoys matching books and outfits.

If you haven’t read Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere yet, do it now. It’s pretty much the fat acceptance bible.

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Updates on online fat communities

A little while ago, I wrote about where we’re going as an online fat community–especially the troublesome-ness of having a lot of important FA discussions in a non-FA space, XOJane.

Lesley and Marianne have been on fire over there. You only have to look at my Friday links posts to see how much amazing writing comes out of that site, week after week. (There’s also some shitty writing, but obviously I’m not linking to it.) And there’s a great community in the comments, as long as you avoid certain posts.

But then Jane posts something like this. And just ew, ew, ewwww. Asking people to click on the site so that the writers can get bonuses feels so wrong and squicky and manipulative. What the hell kind of business model is that?

This is one of the many reasons why I feel torn about reading great writing on a site that, at its core, is about profit. I’m not going to stop reading Marianne, Lesley, s.e., Somer, Kate Conway, or any of the other authors I really like, but I do have issues with the kind of stuff that get done in the name of profit–from things that are merely gross like Jane begging for clicks, to things that are really awful and harmful like promoting Hugo Schwyzer, or cross-posting rape apologism from the Good Men Project. (No, I’m not going to link to either debacle. You can Google if you really want to know more.)

In other words, blargh. I have mixed feelings about XOJane.

But there have been a bunch of promising developments in the fat-o-sphere.

Issa from Love Live Grow is working on a site called Glorify, which will be a basecamp for the fat acceptance web. It’s going to have resources, message boards, a blog, and much more–and I’m going to be writing over there! It’s going to launch on February 14th, so stay tuned, and make sure sign up for the email list.

Also, Redefining Body Image has added a bunch of moderators, and they’ve been posting great stuff. They briefly had Facebook comments, which then disappeared, but I’m hoping they’ll add Disqus or some other way for non-Tumblr-ites to comment soon. There’s definitely a lot of fat acceptance happening on Tumblr, and it’s worth checking out even if you, like me, don’t have an account.

Another blog to keep an eye on is the Nearsighted Owl. Rachele has been posting amazing parodies of weight-loss ads called Shame-Less Ads, and all sorts of other goodness.

There’s been such an explosion of fat activism and fatshion all over the internet lately, and it’s awesome. I miss having a centralized place like Shapely Prose, and I feel kind of queasy about XOJane, but I’m glad to discover new blogs every day.

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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Online fat communities: where are we going?

A few recent conversations have got me thinking about the state of fat activist spaces on the internet today.

Unfortunately, a lot of the most interesting thinking in FA is happening in a space that’s not explicitly fat-positive: XOJane.

It comes closest to filling the gap left by the late, great Shapely Prose. Although there are a decent number of fat activist blogs out there, and even more personal blogs that sometimes write about FA, those aren’t quite communities the way Shapely Prose was. There’s a lot of FA work taking place on Tumblr, but most of the blogs don’t even have comments enabled, so only other Tumblr-ites can interact with them. And then there are communities that are fat-positive, but have a different overall focus, such as Shakesville and Captain Awkward.

My feelings about XOJane in general are…mixed. They publish a lot of great, thoughtful writing on everything from disability rights to living on food stamps. But they also publish a lot of poorly-written, inflammatory linkbait. And don’t even get me started on the whole Hugo Schwyzer debacle. (No, literally, don’t get me started. It was gross and I don’t want to think about it.)

It’s definitely possible to skip over the shitty stuff, especially if you stick to reading the regular authors you know are awesome: Lesley, Marianne, s.e., Kate Conway, Somer, anything Lindy West cross-posts from Jezebel…but not everyone wants to do that, nor should they have to. Some people don’t want to read the site at all after it published HS, and while I don’t feel that way myself, I can understand why they do.

And when it comes to FA, well. There are a lot of fat-positive pieces, both by fat-o-sphere fixtures Lesley and Marianne, and by other, less established authors.  There are important internal critiques like Natalie Perkins’ piece on the commercialization of fatshion blogging. And there’s a significant community of fat-positive commenters who both go deep into the nitty-gritty nuances, and joke about starting fat girl gangs a la West Side Story. (Read the thread starting here, and prepare to sing along!). There’s a definite sense of solidarity topped with rainbow sprinkles of humor.

BUT it’s impossible to avoid the reminders that this is not, actually, a fat-positive space.

Reading the comments on fat-related pieces can be frustrating. The majority of them are on board with fat acceptance, but there’s always one or two people who derail the whole thing with their trolling about the Dangers of Obesity. Depending on how many Sanity Watchers points you have to spare, it can be annoying, or it can be triggering.

Personally, I read the comments anyway, and try my best to skip over any derails. But sometimes I get sucked into reading them and wish I hadn’t.  And I can understand why some people don’t want to read the comments at all, which means they get left out of the discussion–and that really sucks.

What does it mean for a movement when its strongest voices are 1.) getting paid by a site that does some pretty shitty stuff in the name of page views and 2.) writing in a space that can’t be declared explicitly fat-positive?

What does it mean when a community takes root in a space that 1.) could disappear if it stops making a profit and 2.) contains a decent number of members opposed to that very community’s existence?

What does it mean when so many of our discussions are happening in a space that isn’t ours?

I don’t have answers, really. I don’t begrudge any of the XOJane authors what they do–and it seems like they have a lot of editorial freedom, which is awesome. I don’t begrudge anyone for not taking on the work of building a new Shapely Prose. Moderating a site like that must be exhausting.

But I do wonder about the path we’re heading down.

I wonder about how to forge a different path.

Twitter takes on fatshion blogging, capitalism, and revolution

I’ve been doing all sorts of thinking and reading about Natalie’s post, which I wrote about yesterday. This shit’s complex.

The most interesting analyses I’ve read have all been on Twitter. Contrary to the stereotype that Twitter’s all about what people ate for lunch, there are important discussions happening there.

Marianne Kirby‘s written some especially good stuff (read from bottom to top):

I really like this tweet from Natalie herself:

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