Sunday links, 9/14/14

woman in pink tutu jumping in front of the notre dame cathedral

Life has been a little overwhelming since getting back from Europe. I’ve been catching up on all sorts of things and dealing with getting back to everyday life after my first adult trip abroad, all while adjusting to a new office (my current temp job has been moving me around, and I’m still not sure if/when/where I’ll get moved next). I have so many things I want to write about, and so many pictures to post! But it might take me some time to get to them. In the meantime, here are my traditional jumping-in-front-of-landmark pictures. 🙂

Fa(t)shion
-ModCloth’s co-founder, Susan Koger, asks the fashion industry to change for the better. Many bloggers have added their voices to the #FashionTruth conversation, including Kristina, Virgie, Kate, and Thamarr.
The connecting threads between the global garment trade and sex trade.
-I love everything about Betsey Johnson’s spring show “Pre-Nup” (except, of course, the lack of body diversity and the fact that Betsey Johnson doesn’t make clothes in my size).
Five fabulous ways to wear tulle skirts.
-Sally writes about the evolution of her style and the expectations that readers put on fashion bloggers.
Curves on the red carpet: Danielle Brooks.
-Olivia gives her recommendations for dress-shopping as a plus size bride.
Plus size fashion: 1 step forward, 2 steps back?
-Leah went to Plus North, which sounds like a lot of fun.
31 ridiculously gorgeous people at the Afropunk festival.
-Margot Meanie started #alternativecurves on Instagram, which is full of fab punk-y inspiration.
Catherines’ new Black Label collection includes size 34W/5x.

Fat Acceptance
Processing the federal government’s $3 million lesbian obesity study in six steps.
-Ragen writes about what it’s like doing fat activist work full-time. On a related note, Jes is leaving her job to do body advocacy full-time, and you can support her work by donating on Patreon.
-“Aren’t you afraid of health problems later in life?”
“Good fatty” vs. “Bad Fatty”: an exploration of behavior and the policing of women’s agency.
-“My images are for everyone who has ever been told that they can’t.”

woman jumping in front of eiffel tower Continue reading

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Sunday links, 8/31/14

plexiglass rainbow panels attached to bridge in boston

I love Boston because I come across gorgeous art installations like this one while just walking around.

FYI, there will be no Sunday Links next week, as I will be busy doing some fun and exciting things that I’ll tell you about afterwards. Comment moderation may also be a bit slow for the next week or so.

Fa(t)shion
Afropunk fashions: bodies as resistance.
Troll earrings, you guys. TROLL EARRINGS.
-Liz Black has teamed up with Fame & Partners to make a line of plus size fancy dresses. They’re pricey and only go up to a size 22, but they’re gorgeous.
-Skorch Magazine has a guide to plus size retailers’ Labor Day sales (25% off everything at both Domino Dollhouse and Re/Dress, hell yeah!)
-Meet Jes Baker at ModCloth’s open call for models in New York.
Body parts aren’t problems, and they don’t need solutions.
29 plus size jackets, because autumn is right around the corner.
Headwear inspiration from the Countess of Glamour.
-I love Re/Dress’ new lookbook, Farewell Fairytale Summer.
Girls speak out against sexist school dress codes.
A photographer captures the often-overlooked South Asian “aunty” culture.
Found: 15 new plus size labels to love.

Fat Acceptance
It’s not me, it’s you: the absent dialogue around fat women’s sexuality.
Why skinny shaming is not the same as fat discrimination.
-If you have diabetes, check out the Fat Acceptance Diabetes Support List.
Pretending there are no fat people.

close-up of rainbow plexiglass panels and their reflections on the sidewalk Continue reading

Sunday links, 8/17/14

street art graffiti of four pac-man ghosts with captions

Fa(t)shion
Donut-themed jewelry? YES.
-I’ve found a whole bunch of new fatshion blogs to follow through this slideshow from Refinery29 and the Curvy Fashionista’s weekly blogger spotlight.
-Chastity is #boycottingTarget over their continued failure to include plus sizes in their designer collaborations. I’m totally in–I’m still sad that the Prabal Gurung collaboration only went up to a size 16.
-I love Susie Bubble’s pictures from a fashion extravaganza in Paris. Neon goth and toy punk should definitely be my new aesthetics. (Actually, a lot of what I wore in high school could have been described as “toy punk”–I should bring that look back.)
-Ari of Advanced Style rounds up his top ten favorite senior style Instagram accounts.
-I love the four party looks that Nancy put together based on SimplyBe dresses.
-Major fashion inspiration: these 60 colorful wedding dresses and these 1920s-themed wedding details.
-Torontonians, check out this upcoming clothing swap.

Fat Acceptance
How being queer helped me learn to love my fat body.
-Marianne Kirby, aka The Rotund, is blogging again!
Dear Abby’s epic fail.
-A Facebook group for fat men.
Making room for us.

Israel/Palestine
How the war in Gaza could have been avoided. This all makes me so heartsick.
In trepidatious whispers: speaking my solidarity with Palestine.
Giving birth under bombardment.
Against the pinkwashing of Israel: why supporting Palestinians is a queer and feminist issue.
The greenhouse propaganda: how Gazan history is being rewritten to dehumanize Palestinians.
Gaza war: it’s about keeping the Palestinians under control.
Water disaster hits every single person in Gaza. (See also: Water is a human right, but who is considered a human being?)
The “telegenically dead”: why Israel and its supporters fear Gaza’s dead. Continue reading

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

A narrow bridge: on Israel, Palestine, and fear

Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzar me’od, v’ha’ikar lo lefahed klal.
All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all.
– Rabbi Nachman of Breslov

(Note: I know I haven’t written anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict until Israel’s recent attack on Gaza, and some of you might not be very familiar with it. I recommend this video as a good, brief 101, and the articles I’ve posted in my past four Sunday Links posts. I also recommend +972 Magazine, an independent source of reporting and commentary from the region. In general, I suggest reading widely and coming to your own conclusions.)

It’s well-known that oppressors often irrationally fear the oppressed. For example, in her recent piece “In defense of black rage: Michael Brown, police, and the American dream” (which, by the way, is a stunning and powerful must-read), Brittney Cooper teases out this dynamic between white people and black people in the US:

I believe that racism exists in the inexplicable sense of fear, unsafety and gnawing anxiety that white people, be they officers with guns or just general folks moving about their lives, have when they encounter black people. I believe racism exists in that sense of mistrust, the extra precautions white people take when they encounter black people. I believe all these emotions have emerged from a lifetime of media consumption subtly communicating that black people are criminal, a lifetime of seeing most people in power look just like you, a lifetime of being the majority population. And I believe this subconscious sense of having lost control (of the universe) exists for white people, at a heightened level since the election of Barack Obama and the continued explosion of the non-white population.

The irony is that black people understand this heightened anxiety. We feel it, too. We study white people. We are taught this as a tool of survival. We know when there is unrest in the souls of white folks. We know that unrest, if not assuaged quickly, will lead to black death. Our suspicions, unlike those of white people, are proven right time and time again.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is somewhat unique in that Israeli Jews, unlike most oppressors, have good reason to be afraid. Jews around the world have survived millennia of anti-Semitic discrimination, expulsion, and genocide–and we’ve often been hit when we least expected it, when we were the most successful and assimilated in our adopted countries. Fear and trauma live deep in our historical memory; and it’s not just history. Anti-Semitism is frighteningly alive and well in much of Europe and the Middle East.

But this fear, while real, is misplaced. The Palestinians aren’t fighting to destroy Israel or kill Jews–they’re fighting for their freedom, as anyone in their circumstances would do.

And oppressing other people will never keep us safe.

In fact, it’s leading to a worldwide backlash that makes us less safe. Israel’s occupation of Palestine isn’t the root cause of anti-Semitism, which has existed for much longer than the state of Israel. But it does provide anti-Semites with a convenient excuse to stir up hatred.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is particularly tricky because it’s a battle between two groups of people who each genuinely fear, for good reason, being wiped off the face of the earth. But that doesn’t change the fact that one of those groups has disproportionate military and economic power–and the multimillion dollar backing of the United States–and is using that power to make life a living hell for the other.

For the violence to end, I believe that Israeli Jews, their leaders, and Jews around the world who unquestioningly support them need to face their fears head on: to acknowledge that the world is a scary place and there are no guarantees, and then do the right thing anyway.

And those who cynically stir up fear to justify harming others need to stop. I know people who genuinely believe that Hamas was planning to send hundreds of terrorists through tunnels to commit terrorist attacks on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year–but this was actually a rumor with no basis in fact whatsoever. Playing on Jews’ too-real fear of annihilation with false rumors is a special kind of evil that must be exposed and condemned.

All of the world is a narrow bridge, and all of us–Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian–have no choice but to cross it together.

Sunday links, 8/10/14

boxes of apples, peaches, and yellow plums at the farmers market

Fa(t)shion
Volup2 has a new issue out, and it’s awesome as always. (Not work-safe, as there are a few nude pictures.)
-Style inspiration: the first lady of Cameroon. How amazing is that hot pink suit?
Fashion’s place in feminism: where is it?
-Words to live by: “I want to live loudly and shamelessly in a way that makes me overjoyed every day. I want to be colourful and creative and to not care what anyone else thinks.”
Five French plus size designers you should know.
-Colorlines interviews three fatshionistas of color on fatkinis and fat activism.
101 body-positive bikini babes, including me!
-I love Sock Dreams’ carousel photoshoot, especially the floral + stripes + petticoat look.
Why we love her, why we can’t: Coco Chanel.
Sales, temptation, and the fear of missing out. I can relate to this–and the FOMO is especially bad when you wear plus sizes and have fewer options to begin with.
-I’m not particularly fond of Miley Cyrus, but I love the weird shit she’s putting in her hair.
-Recycled aluminum cans plus washi paper = gorgeous jewelry.
-If you’re in London, check out this fat-positive clothing swap.
-Shawna posts pictures from the Summer Strut 2014.

Fat Acceptance
-Dear children’s book authors: write fat kids.
The problem with Businessweek‘s obese Coca-Cola bottle.
Calorie miscounting: why one slice of cheesecake does not equal 4 1/2 hours of aerobics.
What fat people have to do.

Israel/Gaza
Living the imperative to heal the world: a Jewish woman’s thoughts on Gaza. As a fellow Jewish woman, I agree 1000%.
-A statement in solidarity with Gaza from Palestinian, indigenous, women of color, anti-racist, and Jewish feminists.
-All of these are a must-read: 6 of the most beautiful writings from and for Gaza.
There are no “both sides.” The Israelis and Palestinians aren’t equal.
At least my hospital isn’t being bombed.
A question from Gaza: am I not human enough?
There are no poems of mass destruction.
-Beautiful and hopeful: how a sixth-grader from Sderot draws the war.
Librarians give New York subway riders a taste of Palestinian literature to protest Gaza assault.
How will Gaza’s children carry their scars into adulthood?
While bombs fall on Gaza: resisting militarism in Israel.
Where you can donate to help Gaza.
-Support for genocide against Palestinians isn’t a fringe view within Israel–it’s held by many high-up figures both within and outside of the government. (Note: there is a graphic image of an injured child.)
IDF solder: artillery fire in Gaza is like Russian roulette.
-“For most Gazans, the struggle is not about Islamism or destroying Israel, it’s about ending the blockade—no matter what it takes.”
-I so wish I could be in New York for Singing Against the Bad Times: An Evening of Jewish Radical Arts and History.
Syria and Gaza: a false equivalency. Continue reading