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!


Weesha said...

Argh. It annoys me that I'm still working on the nerve to bare arms, I'm hiking up those sleeve lengths though- baby steps.
There might be just a few girls who are comfortable about showing their arms and legs but that's the awesome thing about all our blogs: we get desensitized to an image of a fat girl showing skin and it reflects on us. No way in hell would I be showing as much leg as I do a year ago. Wipes off some of that Hollywood brainwashing :)

bloomie said...

I remember so distinctly the day I decided I was going to show my arms in public. It's seared into my memory. I was so ashamed, for so long.

I've progressed so much since then, to the point that my summer m.o. is what's the least amount of clothing I can wear in public. I'm definitely responsible for at least a quarter of the fats flickr photos with both bare arms and knees, if not more. Often I don't post those outfits just cause I don't think they're that special but perhaps I should cause they'll act as fatspiration (the opposite of thinspiration).

Veronica said...

@bloomie Fatspiration! So much better than thinspiration! :=)