Monday, October 11th, 2010
I simply had to share with you a strange encounter of the “food police” kind I had today…
I was sitting at Flinders St station, snacking on a piece of cheese. I’d had an early lunch, and dinner was hours away, and it was exactly what I felt like. It was Jarlsberg, thinly sliced, and totally delicious. I was eating it slowly, savouring each bite.
A woman came and sat next to me, and said quietly “Cheese has an awful lot of fat in it.”
I said.. “Excuse me?!”
She repeated herself.. “Cheese has an awful lot of fat in it.”
I said (rather sarcastically, I admit) “Yeah, I know! Thanks! Would you like some?”
She SHUDDERS. I am not kidding. A visible shudder, and a vigorous shaking of the head accompanies “OH, no, I don’t eat cheese. That’s why I’m not fat.”
At this point I give her what’s known amongst my associates as the “Stare O Death”. It can stop a screaming toddler in their tracks, and make even the most arrogant teenager’s blood turn to ice in their veins. It did make her pause. But not stop.
She says.. “I’m just concerned….”
I have to admit, dear readers, that it was the end of a very long and tiring day, and I was not in the mood for any hassling, so I let her have both barrels.
“Concerned? For my Health?” say I… She nods, and is about to launch into the rest of her speech, when I hold up my hand.
“Wait..” I say, “Are you a doctor? No, actually, that’s irrelevant. Are you MY doctor? I’m pretty sure I’d remember if you were. To be honest, if you’re in the habit of giving unsolicited, unqualified nutritional advice to complete strangers, it’s YOUR health I’d be concerned about.”
And then I ate my cheese in stony silence, as she sat there gaping like a fish. After a few seconds, she got up and moved away from me and my evil cheese eating ways, no doubt to go hassle some other poor sod down the other end of the platform.
some people… y’know? Sheesh.
Sunday, August 22nd, 2010
I took my daughter to the art gallery today – we went and saw the European Masters exhibition here in Melbourne.
Art Galleries make me happy – they feed my soul.. and part of the reason is because they give me some nice examples of beauty that doesn’t fit the modern ideal.
They remind me that once upon a time, my shapely arms, hips, belly and thighs were considered very beautiful indeed…that they way I look, was, in fact, the popular ideal.
I look at these paintings and I see me – or I see people I know. At the very least I see bodies that are like the bodies around me. I see the familiar. I also see how all these different shapes and sizes are beautiful..
Strange isn’t it – that in this day and age of photography and video that we struggle to find images we can similarly relate to in our popular media. The advent of the “size zero” ideal, along with the photoshop wizards have robbed us of a benchmark the majority of people can relate to.
In an age where we ought to be able to more accurately reflect “real” bodies.. we have all the tools to show EXACTLY what normal, regular, average people in all their glorious diversity look like right at our fingertips… instead, for some reason, what our magazines and billboards and catwalks show us is a hugely distorted view….
When we look backwards, to the age where they didn’t have photography, we see more realism shown through painter’s brushes than we do through our photographers’ lenses.
Strange, don’t you think?
Here’s some of the beautiful, beautiful fat people I was admiring today:
I don’t know about you, but just looking at these makes me feel more at peace with my own body.
Thursday, June 17th, 2010
To me, the crux of the “Fat Acceptance” movement is a core belief that hating yourself, and specifically hating your body, is a bad, bad thing. I see it more of a “Body Acceptance” movement, to be honest. All of us, fat, thin and everyone in between needs to be a little kinder to ourselves. None of us are doing ourselves, or anyone else any good by hating our own, or other people’s bodies.
We all know that body-hate is fashionable. Many of us in FA World also realise that body-hate is really damaging, and that it’s an epidemic sweeping our society that’s doing a heck of a lot more damage than the supposed “Obesity epidemic” the media is so fond of talking about.
Sometimes it seems as though this particular form of hate has become so acceptable it’s considered normal. So normal, in fact, that it seems it’s a suitable riff for a paid blogger on a national media site.
Case in Point: Alison Godfrey, and her recent rant on her blog “The Naughty Corner”. Her blog entry is entitled, “Third trimester pregnancy – what it’s really like.”
At the time of writing her entry Alison was 35 weeks pregnant, right in the home stretch of pregnancy. Unsurprisingly, she’s uncomfortable and cranky.
So cranky, in fact, that she didn’t have time to spell check her entry, let alone determine the difference between “your” and “you’re”, but we can forgive her these minor infractions. After all, she has a new life growing inside of her, and as any woman who’s ever been pregnant can tell you this is not only a wonderful, joyous time, but also an extremely uncomfortable time, physically.
In the third trimester, one would expect that morning sickness (who ever named it that, clearly never had it) would be well and truly over, thankfully. Unfortunately Alison seems to be choosing to continue to erupt with bile right through her pregnancy, and this vitriolic outpouring of hate directed at fat people is just as odious and unpleasant as anything that nausea-causing-hormones might make you produce.
Apparently it’s not the muscle-relaxing hormones flooding her system, causing every bone joint to loosen and ache that’s making her uncomfortable. It’s not the baby inside of her, dancing a tango on her bladder and digestive tract, altering her centre of balance and pushing her stomach acids upwards for heartburn and reflux fun that is the cause of her grief. It’s not the fact that she has a small person occupying some of the space where her lungs used to be that’s causing her to huff and puff if she exerts herself. It’s not the fact that her entire body is using all of its energy to GROW A WHOLE NEW HUMAN BEING INSIDE OF HER that’s making her feel utterly exhausted…
Oh no, it’s because she is “Fat”. And in her newly “Fat” state, she has gained an intimate understanding of what it is like for all people everywhere to be fat.
It would not take a genius, one would think, to realise that having a living, moving little person occupying your abdominal region is a vastly different physical experience to having fat deposits in various places all over your body. This simple fact seems to elude Alison. We’re treated to several paragraphs of how what she is experiencing must be in all ways similar to the living hell that any fat person must be residing in on a daily basis – in her dystopian fantasy world.
WHY would anyone choose this, she asks plaintively. Why indeed, Alison? Let’s ignore the irony that Alison perhaps chose to get pregnant and definitely chose to stay pregnant, wilfully and stubornly exposing herself to these various physical discomforts.
Why would anyone choose to be fat, when they are ridiculed, scorned, and when hating them is so accepted by society that something like this makes it to publication?
Perhaps, dear Alison, it’s because they don’t actually have a choice. Perhaps, and I know this sounds an utterly LUDICIOUS idea, but try to contemplate it for a moment.. perhaps they are accepting of the body they have, and not consumed with self-hatred. Perhaps, even.. they’re fat and healthy, and NOT experiencing symptoms day-to-day that are the same or similar as a woman in the third trimester of her pregnancy.
Some women experience the darkening of their skin when they are pregnant. This can be quite pronounced. Some women get what’s called a “mask of pregnancy”, and their skin gets all blotchy, with light and darker patches. Would it be acceptable for a woman who was experiencing this symptom to rant and rave on a national news site about how she had a new understanding of the lives of other darker-skinned people? “I’ve got a confession to make – having Cholasma faciei/melasma makes you intolerant of black people. I can’t find a makeup base to match my skintone, it’s terrible! Why would anyone choose to be dark-skinned, it’s just so hard, why don’t they do something about it?”
Would that have made it past the editors to publication? Would that induce anything but horror and rage and disbelief in all who read it?
It would have been completely, utterly unacceptable to publish – as this nasty piece of hatred should have been.
She admits in the first line of her entry that what she’s saying is blatantly discriminatory. In the same way that any sentence that needs to be begun with “I’m not racist/sexist/homophobic, but…..” should not be uttered at all, let alone published, this collection of ill-informed hateful words should also never have made it past an editors desk.
Shame on you, News Ltd, and shame on you, Alison.
Monday, May 17th, 2010
Hey there.. thought I’d share some of my latest silly dress up shenanigans with you..
I do some work as a DJ. “Steampunk DJ Omega” is the name I go by and it allows me to attend all sorts of wierd and wonderful parties I probably wouldn’t go to otherwise. It also gives me an excuse to play some very silly and fun dress-up games..
Three gigs I have done in the last few months, all with dress ups..
First up, the “Pirates of the Yarribean” cruise..
I used to run an 18th century maritime history themed historical re-enactment group, and we were ALL about the historical accuracy.. this? this has NOTHING to do with that. Pure, ridiculous hollywood pirate here, with the wench-corset and all.
Was a fun night.
Next up.. I DJ’d the afterparty for the Melbourne Zombie Shuffle.. it’s an excuse for thousands of people (there were 6K people there this year!) to dress up like zombies and shamble through the city for no good reason other than it’s fun to dress up like a zombie and shamble through the city..
I didn’t want to be a lame “looks like beetlejuice” kind of zombie, so I went all out with the latex and the fake blood, trying to create a horrifying oozy face wound. From the horrified exclamations of those around me I can only assume I succeeded in this mission. Check it out:
[img_assist|nid=175|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=453|height=604]I sent this picture in a text message to my parents, along with a note saying “Hey! Check out my zombie makeup! Braaaaains!!”
I thought they’d get a laugh out of it – but instead I got a phone call from a very worried father and mother saying they thought I had been in some sort of horrific car accident.
I did ask them why on earth they thought if I HAD been in a car accident I would A) take a picture of my facial injuries and B) text it to them.. they didn’t have an explanation but they were very glad that I was okay.
This party was lots of fun, Due to an unreliable sound guy (is there any other kind? Mostly, no.) I was DJ’ing from behind the bar for a while.. having plugged my equipment into the PA system of the venue, there being no other speakers available.. I could see everyone coming up to the bar, but they couldn’t see me.
There were a group of SUPER annoying girls there though. They were all very thin, with lots of hair extentions and orange skin from spray tans.. they were jostling each other and saying (you can imagine your own bogan/valley girl accent here) “Get out of my way you fat bitch! You’re obese!” “No, YOU’RE Obese!” “No, you are!” as they pinched one another, giggling all the while..
They were all very, very thin. I emerged from the corner of the bar to check the sound levels and they all froze.. in horror.. I smiled.
Now I admit the makeup IS pretty scary, but I don’t think that’s ALL they were horrified at.
Later they were saying to me “You’re the DJ?!!!” totally unbelieving. Yes, ladies, I am.
Last but not least, I was very pleased to be the DJ for STEAMPUMP!, a steampunk themed party held at the Donkey Wheell House. I went all out for this one..
[img_assist|nid=176|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=481|height=720]I like how this turned out. Of course I made the mistake of leaving the venue to grab some snacks right as the football crowd was pouring out of Southern Cross Station (big city train station).
When you dare to go out into the streets while being FAT, you get heckled sometimes. When you dare to go out dressed totally crazy, well.. yeah.
A group of football hoons had a loud conversation behind me. One said “Look! Its a stripper!” another replied “Nah, she is too fat.. she looks like.. A NAZI!!!”
A Nazi Stripper. Oooo-kay.
I turned around, waved at them, laughed, and kept going..
The night went very well, everyone liked what I played.
And no “mean girls” or footy crowd hecklers are going to stop me dressing up silly and having fun
Friday, February 19th, 2010
If you have a blog, or you tweet, or even if you just like telling stories to your friends.. you’ll probably have had this experience..
Something bad, or embarrassing, or both happens.. and AS IT IS OCCURING, you think.. “Whoah boy, this is going to make a GREAT blog entry/story later…”
I have had a couple of dates like that lately.
As has been previously mentioned on this blog, I am poly people. This means I engage in more than one romantic entanglement at at time. No one gets lied to, everyone’s informed, and all is well… (if you’re wanting more information, wikipedia is a good place to start.)
It means that while I am currently living with someone utterly wonderful, who I am head-over-heels smitten for.. I am also dating.
And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that sometimes, dating SUCKS. And when you’re fat? It can have a whole fresh layer of complications attached.
I meet lots of new people through the internet – new friends, new hobby-mates, and new people to date. When I am dating someone I met online, I like to make sure they have seen pictures of me. Including pictures of my whole body (clothed! gesselouise, people!) . I feel after seeing those pictures, there should really be no surprise when they show up and realise they’re on a date with a fat girl. I make sure the pictures I show them are realistic. I think this saves me some angst.. if they look at the pictures and they don’t like what they see, well, I’ve just saved us both a lot of time.
Perhaps it’s foolish of me, but I have assumed that, having gone through this process, if the guy (girl, alien from the planet awesomo) then asks me out on a date, the “fat” issue is put to one side. Settled. A non issue. They’re okay with it, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. It’s the same as my crazy hair – you can see it in the picture, right? I don’t then expect to show up to the date and have the other person yell “OHMAGAWD WHATS WITH YOUR HAIR IT IS BRIGHT RED!”.
Turns out this isn’t always the case, though. One guy seemed.. more nervous than he ought to, and then spent almost the entire date talking about his amazing personal trainer, PJ, and the amazing thing he did, where he gained a whole heap of weight on purpose and then lost it all again, just to prove it could be done… and proceeded to repeat this personal trainer’s odious and misinformed views along the lines of “all fat people are just lazy and could lose weight if they wanted to..”
Afterwards, he contacted me, keen for another date. Me? not so keen! I explained that what he said was pretty offensive, not to mention TOTALLY UNTRUE. He couldn’t understand why I had taken it so personally!
I couldn’t understand why he thought I’d go out on another date with him after he showed himself to be such an insensitive idiot.
The other one – we went on two lovely dates. Lots of flirting, laughs and great conversation. I thought this had real potential! Then I didn’t hear anything from him for ages. Oh well, I thought. Guess he changed his mind.
Eventually he contacted me and said he was feeling really conflicted about how attracted he was to me, and he thinks it’s probably because I am “a bit chubby”. He explained that sometimes he felt really attracted to me, and then other times, he felt repulsed/indifferent and it was all very confusing, and he needed to think about it.
I let him know as kindly as possible that he could think about it all he liked. Far, far away from me.
Now I’d like to be able to tell you that both of these unpleasant experiences were very easy for me to shake off, just like water off a duck’s back. I’d like to be able to tell you that I shook my head, secure in the knowledge that it was them, not me, with the problem, and I haven’t thought about it since.
I’d like to be able to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true.
I know the next time I am talking to someone online, and they ask me out on a date, it is going to take every ounce of self-restraint I possess not to ask them “So, you know I am fat, right? And you’re okay with that?” ….
Stupid thing to ask! Stupid thing to say! It smacks of insecurity and assuming the other person is stupid. So.. I’m not going to ask it.
But after these.. interesting.. experiences, you can be sure I’ll be wondering about it, anyway.
..where’d all the nice smart cute funny poly-friendly curve-loving men go? huh?
Friday, February 5th, 2010
I have been a naughtly blogger! Like so many others that whole “silly season” caught up with me. One of my new year resolutions is to post here more often, so hopefully you’ll be hearing more from me!
Another resolution? I have made a determination to no longer be silent when I encounter fat-hate in my day to day. Whether it’s directed at me, or at someone else.. I will speak up. I’m not going to be an a*shole about it (even though whoever’s speaking probably is).. but I am not going to give my assent through silence, either.
This has already changed how I have reacted to a couple of situations. Let me share a couple of moments of sass with you.
The other night we went to St Kilda Night Market. Beautiful! The sun setting over the ocean and Luna Park, the market stalls covered in pretty lights, cool crafty things to look at, drummers playing.. wonderful night. I recommend.
While I was there I overhead a woman talking to two of her friends. She was speaking loudly, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person in the crowded market who could hear her. “Ohmygod!” she was saying, “Did you see her! She sure had a pair of thunder thighs on her! And those legging things! Disgusting!”
Now, I didn’t see who she was talking about.. but that doesn’t matter.
I made eye contact with her, smiled and said archly “Good thing we’re all perfect, Hmmm?”.
She went the colour of tomato. “OMIGAWD NO ONE WAS MEANT TO HEAR THAT!” I just smiled. She was hugely embarassed. I hope I made her think a little bit about the hate spewing out of her mouth and if nothing else – how bad it made her look.
The next example, fresh from yesterday, was directed at something said about me by a total stranger.. You know what it’s like when some idiot says something stupid/derogatory to you – often you are left open-mouthed, hurt and confused.. and it’s not untill the moment is long gone that you think of the perfect comeback..
Not this time! My wits didn’t fail me..
I was waiting for the lights to change outside Flinders St Station with a big crowd of people. Just standing there, tired after a long day. Behind me, a voice. “HEY LADY! You have REALLY bright hair for such a fat chick!”. I look around – nope, no one else with fire-engine red or any other wild colour, he must be talking to me..
I whip around and smile and say, nice and loud so everyone waiting can hear “HEY FELLA! You have a REALLY big mouth for someone with such a weak jaw!”. Still smiling I put my fist against my chin, in a “thinking” gesture.. just in case he doesn’t get the “weak jaw” reference.
He gapes. (No way. Did that fat chick just threaten to PUNCH ME IN THE FACE?) His mixture of confusion, shame, and embarassment is a joy to watch. Other people laugh. At him. A lot. The lights change and I march across the street, feeling pretty good.
It’s good to talk back, to speak up, to show a bit of sass. If you haven’t already, try it sometime, you might enjoy it as much as I am!
Friday, October 30th, 2009
Okay, you asked for it and here it is… how I did that fun hairdo…
These are the most useful tutorials I found..
If you have longer hair:
And if you have shorter hair…
Hope that helps!
(Sorry about the links, they didn’t seem to want to embed for me :S)
(Admin: Fixed the embed for you)
Friday, October 30th, 2009
it’s Bandanna Day so of course I take the opportunity to play dress ups!
Of course when most people think of bandanas they think of this..
But I was going for something a bit more..
How’d I do?
of course Melodie got in on the act too..
Oh, and the dress I am wearing…
[img_assist|nid=142|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=209|height=157] I found it yesterday in an op shop for $8. Bargain! The rest of the outfit is red fishnets and cute brogues.
I feel quite snazzy, and I do think the whole ensemble is rather wasted on work.
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
Here’s a neat trick… If like me, you have big boobs and arms with a smaller waist, then you probably have the same issue I often do with store-bought shirts & blouses.. if you get the size that fits your arms/bust, then it is often too large around the waist..
The clever cluck over at Angry Chicken has put up a neat tutorial that shows how you can pop a bit of elastic in the back to get your waist back. Good stuff!
Hmm.. seems like the embed code isn’t working for everyone. Here’s a link to the tutorial.
Friday, October 16th, 2009
There’s a fat girl we all know, who really ought to be speaking up for us more than she should.
All she does though is swan around her dream house, play dress-ups for her stupid plastic boyfriend and constantly reinvent herself to remain eternally young.
You *all* know who I’m talking about.
That’s right, Barbie.
And finally our friend Christian Louboutin, friend of women and their self esteem everywhere, has had the courage to call her out on it.
As reported by “The Daily Telegraph”:
But fashion designer Mr Louboutin, whose luxury shoes retail for up to £1,500, thinks the model has ‘cankles’, or fat ankles, and is planning to make his three new dolls even slimmer. Barbie manufacturer Mattel has previously been attacked for making her too top-heavy, while studies have revealed she also has too little body fat.A Louboutin spokeswoman told Metro: “They’re completely wild and even come with mini Louboutin boxes for the shoes.” But, she added: “He found her ankles were too fat.” In 1965, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How To Lose Weight, which advised children: “Don’t eat”. Mattel was also criticised in 1980 for releasing a black Barbie which lacked African facial features, and simply looked like a white Barbie painted black.Barbie is no stranger to controversy, having been attacked in the past for being too thin and sending out the wrong message to young girls about living healthily.
But fashion designer Mr Louboutin, whose luxury shoes retail for up to £1,500, thinks the model has ‘cankles’, or fat ankles, and is planning to make his three new dolls even slimmer.
Barbie manufacturer Mattel has previously been attacked for making her too top-heavy, while studies have revealed she also has too little body fat.A Louboutin spokeswoman told Metro: “They’re completely wild and even come with mini Louboutin boxes for the shoes.” But, she added: “He found her ankles were too fat.”
In 1965, Slumber Party Barbie came with a book entitled How To Lose Weight, which advised children: “Don’t eat”.
Mattel was also criticised in 1980 for releasing a black Barbie which lacked African facial features, and simply looked like a white Barbie painted black.
I mean, you can *TOTALLY* see what Christian is talking about. I mean, check her out..
[img_assist|nid=132|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=460|height=460]This is “pooper scopper” barbie – tasteful, no?
And check out those ankles! Goodness Me!
Wow, Mr Loboutin, thank you for finally having the courage to say what we were ALL thinking. I’m certainly going to be saving my pennies even harder for your ultra expensive shoes now, now that I know what a CRUSADER you are for women’s rights.
Christian, Welcome to my shit list.