Tutus and Tiny Hats turns two (say that three times fast!)

pink azalea glen

A little over two years ago, I was thinking of starting a blog. I had a bunch of things I wanted to write about, but no idea for a cohesive theme–until I settled on fatshion. Over time, my blog has come full circle: starting with fatshion gave me the structure and pressure-free space I needed to start writing about all sorts of other things, from post-growth economics to climate change to sustainable travel.

Just having a place to write opened up a world of thing I needed to say. And it has also made me a more engaged blog reader. I’d been reading blogs since college, when I got deep into the feminist blogosphere (which eventually led me to Shapely Prose and fat acceptance), but rarely commented until I started blogging myself. And after years of haphazard blog-reading, I finally got organized, collecting the blogs I wanted to follow first in Google Reader and then Feedly.

Through blogging, if somewhat indirectly, I’ve gotten involved with my local fat community, and started the Boston Fatties Meetup Facebook group. Having a real-life fat-positive community is awesome, something I could only have imagined back in my Shapely Prose-reading days.

Strangely enough, back when I was so into SP and other fat-o-sphere blogs, I never got into the fatshion side of things. I’m still kicking myself for not joining the Fatshionista LiveJournal back in the day–I’m pretty sure I was at least vaguely aware of it, and I’m not sure why I didn’t think to join. But whether or not I was consciously thinking about fatshion, I always enjoyed dressing up and adorning myself. I can trace my love of clothes back to the (floral skirt show and tell, ll bean catalogs – poring over the rainbows of color options)

I see my blog as a culmination of so many things: my lifetime love of color and adornment, the writing skills I learned in high school and a variety of creative arts camps, the feminist blogs I read endlessly in college, the ways I learned to think about social structures through my sociology classes (especially Wealth and Poverty with Robert Reich).

Sometimes blogging feels almost like writing poetry. Sometimes I recognize that cycle of frustrations and highs from the days of writing papers and essays–that near simultaneous combination of, “Ugghh, I hate writing” and “Woohoo, I love writing!” Other times it’s just about describing what I wore and when I wore it, and that’s ok too. This blog isn’t meant to be a showcase of my best writing; it’s more like a snapshot of my life, including both the eloquent moments and the times when I just want to look at pretty things.

That’s one of the reasons why, a few months ago, I changed my tagline to a famous line from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” I might change it again at some point. I might even change the name of my blog to better represent the variety of things I write about, although I really do like the name Tutus and Tiny Hats. And of course, I still love actual tutus and tiny hats!

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this ongoing journey: my readers and commenters, the bloggers who inspire me, everyone who has engaged with my blogging and its real-world extensions in ways large and small. I am so glad to be part of a fabulous, fatshionable, world-bettering community with all of you.

We deserve better.

I keep coming across disheartening reminders that having a successful career rarely translates into financial stability.

s.e. smith, a writer whose work I’ve followed for years on XOJane and elsewhere on the social justice internets, recently posted a list of tips for freelancers. In the introduction, ou* admitted:

Alas, the fact of the matter is that while I have been freelancing for seven years now, I still don’t have what I would call a wildly stable or successful career, and it’s highly likely that will never realistically happen. The same is true of many freelancers, especially in an economy where intellectual labour is valued less and less, which translates into lower fees for your work or dreaded offers of ‘exposure’ in offer for your free work.

The same day, I came across Susie Cagle’s post Eight years of solitude: on freelance labor, journalism, and survival. And it’s just depressing:

More newspapers and magazines want to profile me and the strange work I do than hire me to actually do it. Other writers and illustrators chastise, how can you complain about getting that kind of promotion? The year I got the most TV and radio spots and magazine write-ups, I made about $17,000.

Even though freelance writing doesn’t appeal to me for a number of reasons–I do best with external structure and routine, I need to be around people, and I just enjoy writing more when my rent doesn’t depend on it–it hurts to see how little our economy values people with skills and interests similar to mine. It’s incredibly frustrating to see so many people doing such good work but barely making enough to live on.

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Sunday links, 3/23/14

waffles with blueberries and maple syrup on pink sparkly heart-shaped plate

Even my plates love waffles.

Fa(t)shion
Youtheary Khmer’s spring collection is amazing!
-Danimezza rounds up ten gorgeous plus size dresses.
-Joanna rounds up lots and lots of pretty florals. *swoon* Sadly, many of them are not available in the US.
-San Diego people, check out the rad fatties yard sale and swap!
The Big Fat Flea’s tumblr has some awesome fatshion.

Fat Acceptance
-If you’re in Michigan, check out Amanda Levitt’s talk on fat visibility at Oakland University.
My weight problem isn’t my weight.
-I’ve been frustrated by this too: must every YA action heroine be petite?
-I so wish I could be in Portland for Big Sexy: A Sexy Showcase for the Fat and Fabulous!
Congress on Obesity: ego over accessibility.
-I love all of the pictures that Accidental Disney Princess posts of herself dancing, and these ones are especially beautiful.

Climate and Sustainability
Reclaiming abuelita knowledge as a brown ecofeminista.
-Hells yeah: Massachusetts emerges as the hub of the fossil fuel divestment movement.
-A haunting piece of art about politicians’ inaction on climate change.
No, we’re not just “environmentalists.” It’s much more than that.
-Andy Smith points out how indigenous people are successfully using social media to fight for their rights, costing corporations hundreds of millions of dollars.
-Zadie Smith writes a moving elegy for a country’s seasons.

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Sunday links, 3/16/14

pie crust nutella and peanut butter hamantaschen

One of my friends made delicious hamantaschen with pie crust instead of cookie dough for my Pi Day party on Friday!

Fa(t)shion
How to overhaul your look in 4 easy steps.
-A bunch of Fatshionista members talk about their experiences with Gwynnie Bee, the plus size clothing rental company (which I will be reviewing soon, I promise! I did a monthlong trial back in November and haven’t gotten around to writing about it yet…)
-I love everything about this colorful goth bridal shoot. Dark tulle gown and dark makeup + vintage-y pastel flowers = YES.
-Olivia and her friends look adorable in the new Cut for Evans collection.
-Cat reflects on Fatshion February.
-Total fashion inspiration: every single outfit in this post of pictures from a makeup expo.
Tokyo’s street fashion is ridiculous and amazing.

Fat Acceptance
-“Tall people are afflicted with tallness in exactly the same way fat people are afflicted with fatness.”
-Ragen answers a few common questions about HAES.
-Liss writes about two studies about anti-fat bias that don’t think they’re about anti-fat bias.
Someone stole a picture of Rachele in a bikini to sell a diet program.

Climate and Sustainability
-Everything Rebecca Solnit writes is brilliant, and this piece is no exception. If you read one thing this week, make it this: By the way, your home is on fire: the climate of change and the dangers of stasis.
100% renewable energy is feasible and affordable, according to Stanford proposal.
-A really cool new idea for renewable energy: catching waves with a seafloor carpet.
Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land.
Strawberry trees offer free solar charging for gadgets.
Fertilizing crops with pee sounds gross, but also really useful.

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Friday Links, 8/30/13

One of my birthday cupcakes, and my Candyland-decorated fridge 🙂

Can you believe it’s almost September? I love feeling that almost-fall crispness in the air and getting early apples from the farmer’s market. And although I will miss beach-going, I can’t wait for apple-picking/pumpkin-everything-eating/leaf-peeping season! Fall in New England is the best.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week. Feel free to leave links to things you’ve read or written in the comments!

Fa(t)shion
Re/Dress is opening a new physical location in Cleveland, Ohio!
-Girl With Curves hosts a peplum style challenge, showing women of various shapes and sizes rocking the style.
-I wish I could have been at this fat girl pop-up shop: it looks like so much fun!
9 androgynous clothing labels you should know.
-Ragini analyses the ways in which her style reflects resistance to colonialism and racism.
-Pink denim vests and My Little Pony patches? Hell yes.
-Alicia has started The Roll Model Roster, a group of fashion and lifestyle bloggers who are fat, disabled, and/or over 40.
-Shannon responds to Tim Gunn’s realization that there’s not enough plus size clothing available.

Fabulous fat shopping with Virgie Tovar:

Fat Acceptance
Things my body is not.  So much yes.
-Marianne writes about how her experience working at Lane Bryant helped her learn to love her body.

Everything Else
-I love this post from Robert Reich (with whom I was lucky to take a class in college!) on the sense of powerlessness that so many of us feel, and how we’re not really as powerless as we often think.
Twerking makes the OED on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
-Mikki Kendall gives advice on how to be an ally.
-Two important perspectives from women who feel left out of the black/white binary that characterized much of #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen: a Mexican-American who identifies as a “white woman of color,” and an Asian-American who finds herself left out of conversations on social justice.
Support striking fast food workers.
A letter to the mixed and tender with roots that tangle.
The myth of the teenage temptress: or why a young girl cannot consent to sex with an adult man.
-Reflections on the complicated relationship between food justice and eating disorders.
On Miley Cyrus, ratchet culture, and accessorizing with black people.

Behind the scenes with Lisa Frank? HELL YES.

-I love the idea of calligraffiti.
-Cutest thing EVER: a Kermit and Miss Piggy themed wedding!
-What do you get when you mix an Alaskan malamute, a German shepherd, and a Siberian husky? A dog that looks just like a wolf!

Friday Links, 11/23/12

FA
-The Fat Nutritionist has a lovely post of advice on dealing with the holidays.
It’s not because I’m fat.
This New Moon article about food and eating is amazing. I hope it reaches many, many girls.
The end of fat people: goodbye, Hostess.
-Lesley writes movingly about her preteen eating disordered years.
-A lovely piece–complete with adorable baby pictures!– by a mother who found that she could no longer hate her chin once she saw the same feature on her daughter.

Fa(t)shion
A new study shows that, despite the growing number of fatshion bloggers, mainstream companies have not responded by making more plus-size clothes. Although that’s disappointing, I agree with Nicolette Mason’s quote in the article. She says that the independent plus-size marketplace is thriving, and gives many examples of indie plus-size lines. Also, how cool is it that there’s a study called “Frustrated Fatshionistas: An Institutional Theory Perspective on Consumer Quests for Greater Choice in Mainstream Markets?”
-Threadless’ TARDamask shirt is back in stock! They only have a few sizes available (and unfortunately no Men’s 2XL, which should fit me according to the size chart), but if you wear one of those sizes, check it out.
These costumes are amazing.
-Who knew that Land’s End made some nice plus size clothing, including this lovely sequined skirt?
The real cost of your clothing.
Smart internet shopping for style lovers.
-This plus size Australian clothing swap sounds like so much fun!

Other
Tuesday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, which should be a day of action for cisgender people.
-Robert Reich, the former Secretary of Labor under Clinton, is working on a film about inequality in the US. He’s amazing–I took a class with him in college, and he’s probably the best lecturer I’ve ever heard. He can make any concept understandable and fascinating, and he’s got a great sense of humor. The inequality in our society right now is a huge, huge issue, and I’m glad he’s trying to bring it to light. I highly recommend donating to his Kickstarter, or at least passing on the word.
-A must-read from Dahlia Lithwick: I didn’t come back to Jerusalem to be in a war.
Cliff mocks the latest issue of Cosmo, which is as ridiculous as usual.
-A beautiful story by an adopted transwoman whose Korean birth mother gave her the courage to transition.
-A great comic from The Oatmeal about creating things for a living.

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