Thoughts on fatshion and revolution

In Tasha Fierce’s latest post, she brings up some important points about the goals of fat acceptance:

Now, I love clothes. I mean, I LOVE clothes. But I’m also personally invested in intersectionality and the idea that all liberation movements are entwined. So when I see us desiring to buy into the mindless capitalism and consumption of clothing that’s marketed to thin folks, I get frustrated. Insisting that fat folks’ money is just as good as thin folks’ money, so therefore we should have equal access to the same sweatshop-produced clothing lines offered by multinational corporations who use their profits to subjugate marginalized folks around the world? I don’t want that kind of revolution.

I don’t want that kind of revolution either.

I think we’re at a weird moment in plus size fashion where some people–especially those who wear smaller plus sizes and have a decent amount of disposable income–have enough options that it’s easy to acquire huge piles of clothing. But at the same time, low-income and/or larger fats still struggle to find clothes, and some people still have nearly no options at all. Even smaller fats who have specialized needs, unusual taste, or a gender presentation that doesn’t match most of what’s available can find themselves with very little to wear.

Which means that there’s an awfully fuzzy line between demanding clothes that people genuinely need in order to live their lives, and asking for assimilation into the destructive system of disposable fast fashion. I know I’ve fallen on the wrong side of that line myself plenty of times, even though I’ve also done a lot of thinking about what sustainable fashion could look like and how fat people are building community-oriented alternatives like clothing swaps and thrifting events. I’ve always found it hard to reconcile my love of ALL THE SHINY THINGS with my anti-capitalist values, and this is something I need to work on. Continue reading

OOTD: Pastel goth and fat thrifting day!

A month or two ago, I organized a fat thrifting day through the Boston-Area Fatties Meetup Group, and it was a success! We only ended up going to two stores, but we had a ton of fun browsing together, and we all found some great stuff.

One of my favorite finds was this ridiculous (or ridiculously awesome?) pleated purple top:

First I thought it was a skirt, then a poncho, and then I finally realized it had sleeves.

Continue reading

Upcoming fat-tastic events in Boston

Do you, too, want to glam it up and connect with other fab Boston-area fatties? Then check out the following upcoming events:

1.) This Saturday, a bunch of us from the Boston Area Fatties Meetup Group will be going thrift-shop-hopping. I’ve never gone thrifting with fellow fats before, and I’m excited!

2.) Also this Saturday there will be a Curvaceous Night Out, a social networking celebrating curves. I probably won’t have the energy to go after hitting up thrift stores all day, but it sounds like fun–and The Thicky Chicky will be one of the vendors.

3.) Next Tuesday there will be Curves and Cocktails, a meet-and-greet for Curvy Boston.

I’m excited by how much fat/fatshion community-building is taking place here in Boston. I never would have imagined it back when my only fat-pos activity was reading Shapely Prose alone in my room (and not even commenting–for some reason, it took me years to feel like I had anything to say on the internet, and I regret missing the opportunity to be a real part of the SP community.). And it’s awesome.

Thrifting while fat: finds and frustrations

Becky wrote a great guest post at Already Pretty about how thrifting while fat allowed her to experiment and develop her personal style.

I wish my thrifting experiences were as good as hers. For me, thrifting has been at best a chance to score some cheap basics, and at worst an exercise in frustration.

One of my thrift store finds: cute and comfortable, but not particularly me.

In my area, thrift stores tend to have a decent plus size selection–and some straight-sized items that are stretchy enough to fit fat people–but they very rarely include anything interesting, funky, or wild. I can’t count the number of times I’ve walked into a thrift store and seen gorgeous, unusual, sparkly, riotously-patterned, tulle-adorned, vintage, or punky clothes in straight sizes, while the plus sizes consist of jeans and solid-colored tops.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, “I would dress so much more outrageously if this stuff came in my size.”

I can’t even read straight size thrifting blogs, because it just hurts to see someone finding so easily, so cheaply, the kind of clothing I have to search hard and/or pay lots of money for.

I’ve been lucky, though, to experience a taste of cheap plus size variety at Re/Dress NYC when it existed, and at the Big Thrifty here in Boston. And despite my limited options, I’ve always found ways to experiment with style–from my high school days of green lipstick, dog collars as chokers, chunky Mary Janes, and safety-pin bedecked skirts to the tutus and tiny hats I wear today.

I am heartened by events like the Big Thrifty and New York’s Big Fat Flea. I am heartened by the explosion of fatshion blogs and indie plus size designers.  I hope that the events spread beyond large urban centers, and that the clothes spread beyond small, expensive indie brands.

I hope that someday, I can walk into a thrift stop and be surrounded by Domino Dollhouse, SWAK, Torrid, ASOS Curve, Igigi, and Kiyonna. I want to see a world where fashion experimentation is an option for everyone who wants it.