Sunday, June 27, 2010

A definition

adj. fat·ter, fat·test
1. Abounding in desirable elements.
2. Full of fat or oil; greasy (of food).
3. Having much or too much fat or flesh; plump or obese.
4. Fertile or productive; rich: "It was a fine, green, fat landscape" (Robert Louis Stevenson).
5. Having an abundance or amplitude; well-stocked: a fat larder.
           a. Yielding profit or plenty; lucrative or rewarding: a fat promotion.
           b. Prosperous; wealthy: grew fat on illegal profits.
           a. Thick; large: a fat book.
           b. Puffed up; swollen: a fat lip.

We associate so many bad things with the word fat, but here the definition is, and it's not so bad, is it? So the next time you're beating yourself up, using 'fat' as the whoopin stick, I hope you come back here and remind yourself what it actually means.
I know I, at least, will take comfort in knowing I have something in common with The Lord of the Rings and the 4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Harry Potter book.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

“Troll, to thyself be - enough!”

Edvard Grieg: In the Hall of the Mountain King 

If you read my latest post you will know that I recently went out wearing a dress that showed off a little bit more skin than than I normally would, and probably than some people think is appropriate for a person of my size. You will also know that I did not do so feeling completely confident.

That is where my tale begins, with me standing in the supermarked wondering if a completely random, slightly below average looking, guy is juding me for daring to wear clothes that reveals that I have both fat knees and fat thighs. On top of this somewhat painful pondering, I am also beating myself up for not loving myself enough. Because, if I could just love myself, including my body ("The way normal people do," a completely unhelpful part of me chimes in), then that guy's opinion couldn't touch me. Instead, because my body and I are not yet in a healthy loving relationship, his opinion could hurt me. And I'm scared of how that hurt might affect me. How many steps backwards can I afford to take before I step completely away from the light and back into the darkness?

What am I supposed to do then? It's not like I can lock myself up with only my body until we have resolved all our issues. That's when the quote from the title fell into my head. You see, in Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, Peer (a human) is discussing the difference between humans and trolls with the Mountin King (the troll king), when the Mountain King says: "[...] among men the saying goes: “Man, be thyself!” At home here with us, ’mid the tribe of the trolls, the saying goes: “Troll, to thyself be—enough!”" And I realized that I don't have to love myself 100% right away, I just have to love myself enough. So I am deciding that, until I love myself the way I wish I did, I will love myself just enough - just enough for my love to be a little bit stronger than the negative feelings or opinions anyone else may have. Just enough so that I won't have to worry whenever I leave the house. Loving my body would be awesome, but until then I don't mind taking a leaf out of the Mountain King's book.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fatshion vs. Fashion: Personal update

As written below, I headed to my closet for a sleeveless top, but instead I found a dress that shows off my knees and then some. This is a much bigger step than the sleeveless top for me personally, so I figured I should give “walking the walk” my best effort, and put it on. I’ve worn it several times now, and although I have pangs of self-consciousness, I am also kinda proud. In fact, I feel deserving of a fat activist label. Like a button. Can we have “Fat Activist” buttons? ‘Cause that would be awesome. :=)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fatshion vs. Fashion

I think I have discovered a flaw in the system. Now, for there to be an actual flaw, one basic assumption must be correct. The assumption is that Fat Acceptance and fatshion are two sides of the same coin. I am not supposing that all people using the term fatshion are fat accepting, but it does seem probable that a fair majority of them are. If this is wrong, the conclusions I draw are also wrong, so feel free to stop reading, and sending me a message letting me know. =)

I was reading the fabulous bloomie’s latest post A Whole New bloomie, and, while watching her pictures, I had a feeling I was watching something unusual. It took me a little while to figure out what it was, but eventually I realized that it was the amount of bare skin on display that was throwing me for a loop.

The interesting thing is that this outfit was a result of Bloomie imitating someone else’s style, and I realized that the outfit she was wearing would not have made me pause if I had seen it on someone non-fat.
But I see pictures of fat people and/or people displaying fatshion almost every day, so why should an outfit that is, after all, fairly ordinary stand out to me like this? With the amount of fat pictures I’ve seen, I must surely have seen dozens upon dozens of fatties displaying, as Bloomie is doing, both bare arms and knees? Off to the Fatshionista flickr pool I went, to see what was what. Out of 4 909 pictures there were 20, twenty, displaying outfits where both bare arms and knees were showing. How could this be? Isn’t fatshion and FA two sides of the same coin? Aren’t we supposed to be accepting our fat, not hiding it? And now I had a depressing thought: It seems that we are, by creating a separate category for our fashion, not only normalizing (fashion on) fat bodies, but a way of dressing that has us covering up more than our thinner sisters and brothers.

I wish I was a shining example of someone who accepts her fat and isn’t afraid to show it, but I realize that, before I become someone who practices what she preaches, I have some work to do. I’m off to re-read Keena’s inspirational post on your Right To Bare Arms, and then I’m digging a sleeveless top out of my closet. I wish you would join me!