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.

There is no one right way for fat women to look

I saw this meme floating around Facebook (source), and it really rubbed me the wrong way.

I’m all for breaking down stereotypes and expectations about how fat women should dress. I’m all for criticizing media that only present fat women wearing certain styles, or retailers that sell us a narrow range of options based on the erroneous perception that we don’t want to show off our bodies. I’m all for promoting retailers who sell fresh, fun, and edgy designs in plus sizes.

But I’m not ok with implying that there’s something wrong with wearing loose-fitting garments, or that the woman on the right is more stylish, attractive, proud of her body, or deserving of celebration than the woman on the left.

I’m not ok with setting up fatshion hierarchies, privileging certain styles and amounts of skin shown. I’d much rather focus on expanding our options and encouraging all fat women–and men, and non-binary people–to wear whatever makes them happy.

Personally, I’d wear both outfits; they’re both fun and colorful in different ways. Sometimes I like to wear form-fitting clothes, and other times I like to wear looser items–because, you know, people are capable of enjoying more than one type of clothing. What can I say, it’s right there in my blog’s tagline (and in Leaves of Grass): I am large, I contain multitudes.