Although I read a bunch of Tumblr blogs, I’ve been avoiding signing up for one myself: because I don’t like the format, because I don’t like the signal-to-noise ratio, because the last thing I need is another way to waste time online.
But I had to sign up to enter the contest that Domino Dollhouse and Fatshion February are having (and which I’m determined as all hell to win). And once I signed up, I figured, well, there’s a lot of awesome fatshion and fat acceptance work going on there, and a lot of cool people I’d like to interact with…
So, I’m dipping my toes into the waters of Tumblr. Here’s my blog, if you want to follow me. I’m not sure how much I’ll use it, but we’ll see!
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.
While poking around Tumblr (which I am getting more and more tempted to join, although the last thing I need is another way to waste time online!), I found this critique of fatshion:
Fashion is a (too) large part of fat activism and I can understand its allure but basically as I see it fatshion doesn’t mean shit against the actual issue of CLOTHING for larger/deathfats, medical access, spacing access, race, class and other intersecting oppressions.
I mean who is buying all that expensive ASOS poorly made clothing? Not anyone over an AUS size limit of 26. Maybe poor women like me drive themselves broke to have what we’re taught acceptably pretty acceptably fat women should have. Maybe middle class or wealth privileged smaller fats.
And also we talk about fatshion at the expense of talking about the complex ways clothing is used as social markers and about the way clothing can be used to visually construct identity.
The Sugar Monster added her perspective as another fat woman who feels alienated from fatshion.
I feel….well, pretty much the same way as Lisa Monster:
This is really important, and I really would like to be able to add to it. I definitely feel that finding the “fatshion” community was so important to me in my self acceptance, and I think right now I’m stuck between that place and being able to join the dialogue about the real issues for fat people, and I hope that it doesn’t seem hypocritical of me to be agreeing with all of this and still posting and reblogging all of the pretty clothes. I’m still trying to find my voice right now, but I really want to thank everyone who has spoken out in the past and who is speaking out now about the issues that exist within this community.
Fatshion has been a huge (no pun intended) part of fat liberation for me. And I’ve been into playing dress-up–ahem, I mean fashion–ever since I was a little kid. It’s a form of creative expression for me, and it’s not something I can or want to give up. But I also think it’s important to recognize that fatshion doesn’t do it for a lot of fat people, for a lot of reasons. That there are many other paths to liberation. That fatshion, perhaps unfairly, takes up a lot of space in the fat acceptance movement–especially online.