Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Find a bra that fits

This post was conceived while I was reading the comments to the post named Some Meandering Thoughts About Bra-Shopping: Why Fashion Really Is A Line In The Sand over The Rotund.

My bra size is 85I. That's right I. If European bra sizes confuse you, that's about a US/UK 38G/H. With this, I am wearing one of those sizes that are mentioned when people talk about boobs that are "scary big". Because, while it is obviously a crime to have too small breasts in our society, they should not be too large either. How fun. Now, are my breasts really "scary big"? I don't think so. Sure, they are large, but they fit the rest of my body. I don't actually stop people in the streets with them, is what I'm saying.
But this isn't what I want to talk about. I want to talk about something that a lot of people seem to associate with large brasts, and that is back pain. As shocking as this may be to some people, I don't experience boob related back pain. In spite of this, it has been suggested to me a couple of times that I might consider breast reduction surgery. Please take a moment to ponder how fucked up that is.
All surgery has risks, of course. What I didn't know until recently, however, was how many malpractice cases involve breast reduction surgeries (NSFW). Out of 116 cases wherein the patients were awarded damages, 51 of them were breast reduction surgeries. By telling you this I am honestly not trying to scare you out of having breast reduction surgery, if that is what's right for you. What I am trying to say, is find a bra that fits. You see, the only time my breasts have caused me back pain, was wen I was wearing a truly shoddy bra. And so many women seem to be wearing the wrong bra size. If you are carrying a bit of a heavy load, as some of us fatties are, the situation might get unbearable pretty quickly.

I would recommend getting fitted at a place that specializes in underwear (here they usually carry a broader range of sizes as well). The advantage of these places, in addition to the knowledge they, hopefully, possess, is that the women who work there have been picked partly because they are the kind of people whom other people wouldn't mind too much getting undresed in front of. After you have been told what your correct bra size is, make sure to try at least one on in that size. The people who work there aren't infallable, after all. Lastly, remember that you dont have to buy anything. These places are usually pretty expensive, and if you can't afford it you can't afford it.
If getting fitted isn't a possibility for you, or is something you just can't bring yourself to do, you can try to do it yourself. There are several how-to guides on this subject online, unfortunately I can't recommend any of them as I haven't tried it myself. Oh, and remember that the band is supposed to be tight. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers underneath it, but not much more.

To help you find a bra that fits, I'm ending this post with a few resources for any other Hooty McBoob's out there:
Dessous XXL - You can have Google translate for you, if your German is rusty.
Bravissimo - I have bought from them several times, and have mostly very good experiences.
Freya, Fantasie and Panache - Three brands that carry larger cup sizes.
Enell - The fabled fatty sports bra.
Looking for a sports bra - Post on the Fatshionista LJ community with many handy suggestions in comments.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More for me

Something we talk about quite a lot in the Fatosphere is fat and attraction. The fact that we are not trying to force everyone to find fat attractive. That we don't really care whether or not this or that person is attracted to fat people. And the fact that the people who are attracted to fat people are in no way, shape or form freaks.
I myself am not a natural Fat Admirer. If you allowed me to pick the body type of the future Mr. Right before I met him, he might end up looking spookily like Gerard Butler in 300 (yes, I know a lot of that is make-up). But something else is in my nature as well; I just don't care all that much. I have one 'look requirement' that I care about, apart from that I genuinly feel, however clichéd it might sound, that beauty comes from within. That being said, being a self-loathing fatty did affect the way I saw other fatties. I think it is nearly impossible to buy into society's messages on how bad fat people are, and only apply them to yourself. With this I arrive at a rather pleasant side-effect of having embraced Fat Acceptance; having more dating options. The number of fish in the sea I'd be happy to catch has grown fatter, if you will.

What about you? Has FA changed how you view the fish in the sea, the way it (hopefully) has changed your view of yourself?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why feminism is necessary in Norway

Pretty much every year on Women's Day, 8th March, I hear someone make the argument that feminism has played out it's role in Norway. "Sure," they will say, "there are countries around the world where feminism is still necessary, but in Norway women have the right to vote, we are equal to men under the law, and we have gone through the sexual revolution. Now it's time for those annoying Redstockings to give it a rest, and appreciate what they've got. Really woman, aren't you grateful you don't live in a country where you could be beaten by your sons/brothers/father/husband for, for example, talking to a man in public who isn't your realtive? Women in this country are equal to men under the law, we should show our appreciation by sitting down and shutting up." (Okay, that last part isn't something you are likely to hear people say ... out loud.)
In response to this I have compiled this short list more or less off the top of my head, feel free to add suggestions in comments.

Why feminism is necessary in Norway:

  • Because in 2005, regardless of whether or not you take into account the differences in how much time women and men spend at work, women earned between 84% and 87% of what men earned.*
  • Because those numbers were the same in 2004.
  • Because the typical 'women's professions' are the least valued professions in Norway. By this I don't mean moral value, but actual monetary value.
  • Because there are people in leadership positions in our policeforce who still think it's relevant what a woman wore when she got raped.
  • Because women are still told by society that one of our main functions are to be decorative/look good enough for men to find us attractive.**
  • Because a woman is 'loose' or 'easy' if she sleeps around, while a man simply 'has got the moves'.
  • Because women in advertising are largely pictured as submissive, passive, silenced sex objects without power. (Seriously, check out this video series, it's mind blowing.)
  • Because 'feminist', a word which simply means someone who believes women should have the same rights and opportunities men do, has become so stigmatized that the majority of women in this country would never dream of describing themselves as feminists.
  *Source: SSB
** Just consider the pressure that is put on women to stay slender, versus the pressure that is put on men.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weesha's give away

Weesha of Weesha's World is having a give away, and since she wants the word spread far and wide I'm spreading the word.
If you didn't know about this already that means you're not reading her, which you should be, so hurry over there and check her out! You can thank me later. ;=)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

PSA: ModCloth

If you're anything like me you love/would love ModCloth. Which makes it all the more unfortunate that they have so few items in plus sizes. After extensive searching, however, I finally found a place on their site where they have gathered the clothes they have in 'additional sizes'.
I have bought from them once, and would say their fit runs pretty true to size.

My hope is that if enough people buy their plus sized gear, they will understand there's a market for it, and bring me us lots more to choose from. So... happy shopping=)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's not about my health!

Let's get one thing straight right now: Those people, you know the ones, the ones who ask you "Are you sure you should be eating that?", or push weight loss on you for the fourth, or 14th, or 40th, time, or throw you meaningful looks all through the day if you bring in the muffins you made the day before to work, they're not conserned about your health. No matter what they say to defend themselves. I'm not saying there aren't people who might be conserned about your health, in my life my mother is an example of this, but these people are the exception, not the norm.

I realized this as I was watching clips of Marianne Kirby's appearance on Nightline Face-Off's Is it okay to be fat? segment. The discussion there quickly turns to health, as it does, and we have many assurances from all the panelists, Marianne KirbyKim Bensen, MeMe Roth and Crystal Renn, that heath is, of course, the most important thing. (I personally believe in body autonomy, here meaning that you don't owe good health to anyone, but let's put that aside for now.) Now, MeMe Roth and Kim Bensen are adamant that weight is a good indicator of health, and to refute this Crystal Renn (among other things) tells the story of one of her model friends who exercise "constantly" who could "run circles around" her, and who eats "probably better" than she does, and is still a size 18. This, dear readers, is when the bells started going off in my head for the first time. Because if this is true (and nobody challenges that it is), wouldn't any reasonable person then concede; okay, maybe health can't be measured in weight?

This thought, coupled with further watching of the clips, prompted these thoughs: When being told too much focussing on weight leads to serious mental problems (including disordered eating), wouldn't any reasonable person recognize that as a legitimate problem and at least consider changing their rhetoric? And if nothing else, when being told putting negative focus on weight leads to fat shame, and that that leads to fat people's health worsening, wouldn't any reasonable person recognize that this may not be the way to go?

What really brought it home for me, you see, is when Crystal Renn talks of her anorexia, and how, now that she isn't suffering from it any longer, she has ended up at her natural weight at a size 12, wherein MeMe Roth interjects "But you're at a healthy weight." Because what if she wasn't at what MeMe Roth and the BMI charts consider a 'healthy weight'?! The indication is clear, if the BMI charts told us she was overweight or maybe even obese, then the advise from MeMe Roth would be for this woman who has struggled with anorexia to go on a diet to lose some weight.

I won't pretend to understand the reasons why people find it necessary to shame fat people, but one thing I now feel certain of: It's not about our health.