Monday, June 13th, 2011
So it’s been fairly quiet over here at the Axis. I know that a large number of us have had our own life issues, and frankly blogging has to take a back seat to that kind of stuff.
I honestly don’t know how people are able blog on a regular basis. When I didn’t have a job it was a whole lot easier, but now that I’m working it is a whole new kettle of fish. Really I should be asleep already, but once again fat politics races through my head at all hours. Luckily, we have a blog to discuss these items, hrm?
I’m getting married. And thankfully, I’m not a traditional bride. The idea of wearing a white dress and having a big party honestly scares the crap out of me. I realise, however, that I am a minority. If I were going to go down the route of traditional bridalwear, I do believe I’d be a bit disappointed with my options.
Take for example, J. Crew. My style at the moment is very J. Crew. I feel the aesthetic is simple, comfortable and stylish. Unfortunately, J. Crew do not stock my size. I am a size 24 (on average) but their clothing seems to only go to a size 16 (and even then only in certain styles.) If I were going to do the whole “walk down the aisle” thing in a traditional way, I’d love to wear something like this dress. Which is a real pity, since it only goes up to size 6.
I think it’s great that people from sizes 0 to 6 have so many options, but given the supposedly alarming rising obesity rates, shouldn’t fat people have just as many (if not more) options?
As I am prone to doing, I wrote all these points in an email to the company. It’s laziness and possible prejudice on their parts, but I feel as if we’re not going to see any change in the current system unless we all stand up and demand more choice. Have you ever written to a company asking for their fashion to be more size inclusive?
Food for thought.
Friday, October 29th, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I purchased a truly ridiculous number of bras and underwear from Evans. Now, this may or may not have been because I’ve never seen cute bras in my size before, but OMG. Evans sell them. And they’re CUTE, and it’s AMAZING. I even bought a padded balcony bra. Seriously, it’s like they took what I was raging about here and actually listened.
Now, I may or may not ever get around to doing a full review, but if you’re fat and you’ve got small boobage, I can recommend these bras. They’re fairly well made, reasonably priced (by comparison anyway – i don’t want to be spending $80 on one fucking bra, people) and they have a nice combination of styles. And they actually fit!
YAY SPENDING FAT DOLLARS!
Friday, August 20th, 2010
I hate smoking. I hate it with every fibre of my being. I grew up a severe asthmatic, and even the slightest hint of smoke sets me off. My father is a smoker, and has been since well before I was born. And I hate it. When I went to school my uniform blazer often reeked of smoke because he would light up in morning traffic. The smell was so much so that teachers would pull me aside to warn me about my bad habits. Hell, even my grandfather smoked for 77 years before it got him.
We are now a society that has banned smoking in a lot of areas, and as a society we tend to make moral judgements on those who do. Well, at least I do. If I’m being honest, I consider people who smoke to be less intelligent, more prone to impulsive behaviour and with disgusting hygiene. I am aware of the bias I have, given my family history.
Tonight I realised that people think these same things about me, but because I’m fat. See, I hate the smell of smoke. But they hate the sight of fat. I feel as if smokers encroach on my personal space. They think I, as a fat person, encroach on their personal space. I care about the damaging effects to smokers’ health and wellbeing. They want to fight obesity to improve my health and wellbeing. I must admit, it’s an interesting comparison that I hadn’t really considered until this evening.
Does this make it better/worse/indifferent? I don’t know. I think there’s a difference between fatness and smoking, because a person chooses to be a smoker – but then people think I choose to be fat, too. And maybe I do? Does it make them any better than me? No. It just means I’m fat. Just like it just means my dad is a smoker. It doesn’t make him better or worse than me. Or anyone. It just is.
Why do we make the moral judgements we do? Why is any one group more or less simply because? I will never like smoke being around me because too much of it induces an asthma attack. But my dad is a very considerate smoker these days, and if I ask him to he wont smoke around me. I’m afraid it can’t be the same if a person dislikes my fat; it’s not something I can (or am prepared to) change so easily.
My dad disagrees about the medical risks of smoking – he claims that people die of lung cancer and emphysema who don’t smoke, and that correlation does not equal causation. I don’t know what the actual research is or who did it; I only know about those ads I’ve seen on television where they wring a sponge out to symbolise a smoker’s lungs. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been judging people based on the court of popular opinion, in exactly the same way people do about studies regarding fat, and obesity. I know it sounds crackpot and conspiracy theorist to assume that studies are wonkily funded, but if reading books on obesity and politics has taught me anything is that you can’t always trust the studies. It’s important to look at who funded each study, and if the research is unbiased. Only then can we get true results.
I’ll always disagree with smoking because it fucks with my ability to breathe. But I think from now on I’m going to stop making moral judgements. I have no right. Nobody does.
Monday, August 9th, 2010
Yep, I’m watching Oprah again. And yep, her show is the catalyst for another post. I’m watching an episode where Oprah talks to Geneen Roth, author of the book “Women, Food and God”. Oh man, this episode has some hardcore mixed messages. As a disclaimer, I have not read this book, I’ve only perused excerpts on the web.
Look, Geneen Roth’s book is probably pretty accurate as to how a lot of people feel when they eat. Our society has attached moral value to food that I find truly bizarre. That it’s bad to eat cake, it’s good to eat vegetables, that kind of thing. And then when we eat the “bad” foods, we shame ourselves. When they read excerpts from the book, I fully agreed with it. Fat people (any people, actually) need to stop equating their self-worth with how much they weigh, and/or what foods they eat. Everyone needs to stop judging themselves as ugly, bad, or not the ideal.
It was actually a comment by Oprah that make me want to punch the TV. “Any time you better yourself, whether it’s losing weight, or getting a job or improving yourself in any way, and the people around you are not happy for that. It is their self loathing, it is their insecurity, it is their dislike and disrespect of themselves that they are reflecting out to you. It has nothing to do with you.”
I say this to you, Oprah. Any time you equate being thinner with improving oneself, you are perpetuating that same culture of self loathing, shame, and hatred over your appearance. It belittles the hard work people put into improving their self esteem. My appearance is not an indicator of my health or wellbeing and especially not my worth as a human being. We need to stop beating ourselves up. We need to stop the shaming. This is completely irrespective of weight.
I don’t understand this episode. First they say that you should love and respect yourself, and look past all your “flaws” and see the real you. And then it’s all brought back to losing weight. How are you loving yourself as you are if you’re still trying to change the way you look?
So conflicted. Have you seen this episode? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
I am fat. (You may have already guessed this one, heh.) But I also have small boobs. Like, A/B Cup. It’s really annoying. As my friend Kylie put it, manufacturers automatically assume that as your band size goes up so must your boob size.
Note to bra makers: THIS ISN’T TRUE FOR EVERYONE.
They simply do not make cute bras in my size. They barely make ANY bras in my size. In fact, there is ONE store in Brisbane that carries a total of ONE bra that will actually fit me properly. And it’s $79, and both the straps broke within four months. And the order I made to the internet company that sells my size in bras has been delayed until September. SEPTEMBER. Sometimes I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when they wont let her shop. I HAVE MONEY TO SPEND, WHY WONT YOU LET ME SPEND IT RETAILERS.
It is so infuriating, as I need just as much support as the next bra-wearing person. I mean, when I’m powerwalking on the treadmill I want some support. I want clothing that fits properly, and that doesn’t continually shift because i’m not wearing properly fitted undergarments. I am nearly in tears as I write this because all I fucking want is a bra that fits me properly.
I am in the process of writing a very strongly worded letter to Hestia (which supposedly Holds Every Size Tit In Australia), Berlei, Bonds, and any other bra manufacturer I can think of. This letter will ask them why they don’t cater to those who are larger, but with small boobs. Honestly though? I’m way too angrily passionate about this right now to word it coherently. I needed somewhere to gripe, and surely I’m not the only one here who has a large band size but smaller boobs! So if you can leave a comment that commiserates/sympathizes/tells me how to word these letters, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.
Sunday, July 18th, 2010
“Coming up next: How to look instantly slimmer just by changing your handbag”
Oh, Oprah. I love Oprah so much. I feel like I’ve grown up watching her, and I really admire a lot of the things she does. I mean, she’s bloody inspirational to millions of people around the globe. But sometimes? I really want to sit her down and give her a good talking to.
I am currently watching her shoe, handbag and accessory intervention show. Oh, Oprah. Please, PLEASE stop instilling the idea that slimmer = more attractive in your viewers. You are a woman in the media who has garnered an immense amount of power over the past twenty years. And if spiderman has taught me anything, it’s that with great power comes great responsibility.
For the record, Oprah’s show is all about how the right shoe and handbag can make you look like you’ve lost ten pounds. I get that fashion is generally weight-centric. It always seems to be about looking slimmer and taller. Elongating the legs. Getting rid of those cankles by wearing impossibly high heels. But what i also realise is THAT FUCKING SUCKS.
Frankly, I HATE wearing heels. And every time i have, it’s caused me extreme pain, and I just. don’t. get. why we should ever make ourselves uncomfortable for fashion. Even at my sister’s wedding, I wore heels for the ceremony and as soon as that was over (I was a bridesmaid) I took them off. I wore flats for all the photos, and rocked it hardcore. So what if i have cankles? My cankles are fucking beautiful, just like the rest of my body. I love fashion, and more power to you if you’re comfortable wearing five inch heels. But what’s the fucking point of wearing something that will inevitably fuck up your spine, hips, knees, ankles and feet – just to cave to what society thinks we should be wearing?
To me this is the same thing as being told to lose weight – because it’s currently “in fashion” to be thinner. I don’t want to lose weight. I don’t want to look slimmer. I don’t want to wear heels. And I’m still a fat, fashionable and fabulous young woman.
Monday, July 5th, 2010
“Wow, you look amazing! Have you lost weight?”
I’m sure it’s a phrase that everyone has heard or used at some stage in their lives. It’s actually something that gets said to me a fair bit these days (coming from those few who don’t know i’m involved in the Size Acceptance movement, mainly) and it really irks me. The main reason is annoys me as much as it does is that I’m fatter now than I ever have been. For the record, it’s not my lack of fat that’s making me look awesome; it’s the fact that i am confident and in love with the person I am. I’m sexy and attractive and cute and funny and beautiful and smart and happy. And whether they realise it or not, that’s the change that people are seeing in me. I look great because I love me. I’m happy with who I am.
One of my close friends has recently shed a buttload of weight, and i hadn’t seen them in a while. When i saw them I was a little shocked – I said “Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight!” and I didn’t mean as a compliment at all. I honestly thought they might’ve been sick – dramatic weight losses/gains are signs of illness in my world, and I was instantly worried. But when I commented, there was a look of triumph in their face as though they had finally beaten a huge demon – the weight’s off, finally i can love myself!
I love that my friend now thinks they’re worthy of love, but the reality is that they always have been. I don’t want to take away their happy feelings in the slightest, and believe me, I love compliments as much as the next person. And I love giving people compliments too, my mum brought me up to be this way! Whenever I see someone whose outfit I particularly like, or if they have great makeup/skin/whatever I usually tell them – even if they’re a complete stranger.
But the thing of it is…. the measure of a person’s worth does not lie in their looks. I’m sure we all know people who are really physically attractive (whatever that means to you) that are total douchenuggets. I know I do. And it’s good to remember that what society deems attractive this month has nothing to do with your worth as a living creature. As part of the size acceptance community, it’s important to discuss when someone talks in generalisations about weight. Or appearance in general, actually. Nobody has a right to speak to you about how good (or conversely how bad) being a certain size is. We are a diverse society in which there is no “right” way to be. You are who you are, and that is perfect.
How do you deal with these sorts of “compliments”, both to yourself and others? Am I over-analyzing again? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
We are a weight obsessed society. It’s everywhere; from TV to magazines to bloody facebook. Lose 5kg in one week! Dance yourself slim! Eat only cabbage soup and you too can look like me! Negative calorie water, YESS! Celebrities (who seem to be the body ideal for many) have abs just two weeks after giving birth, lest they be seen on the cover of a magazine looking less than svelte. And so there are programs for us regular schlumps so we too can look as good as those celebrities! HOORAY FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS!!
Look, here’s the thing. I just can’t get behind Weight Watchers. I have grown up with the whole thing drilled into me from a very early age (my aunt has been a WW fanatic for nearly all of my life) and knowing my personality, I’m sure this makes me totally biased against the whole program. I get that. And perhaps it’s just the way my aunt did the program, but I cannot see where the value lies, other than making a person feel inadequate about their current size and enhancing their need to fit into one particular beauty ideal. And when I see a company that whose entire business revolves around losing weight, of making people count points towards everything they eat, of receiving extra points if you exercise…. it honestly makes me think of someone with disordered eating. Because those things I just mentioned? They are all signs of an eating disorder.
And yes, I am fully aware of the confidence it can give individuals, but I don’t know if we as a society should be congratulating people merely for losing weight. Doesn’t that just perpetuate the cycle of thinner = better? Beauty should not revolve around weight. Beauty is confidence; beauty is standing up for yourself; beauty is the ability to say you are beautiful and really mean it, regardless of what “society” tells us.
My aunt (bless her heart) gave me a couple of WW points books when I was in my teenage years. I remember being totally saddened when I had something like 18 points allotted to me for one day, and a slice of cheesecake was 17 points. Given my penchant for cheesecake, you can imagine that I didn’t follow the whole WW ideology for too long. I get that they don’t promote eating only cheesecake in a day, for what it’s worth. But why even give people the option of points if they can’t “spend” them how they see fit?
I know quite a few people who either participate in or agree with the idea of WW, and far be it from me to tell people what to do. I think a lot of people go for the community WW gives them – you get to meet people who share similar stories; you can commiserate with their trials and celebrate with their triumphs. I totally get that – I just wish there were groups available to people that don’t intertwine someone’s value with what they weigh. Focus on healthful eating, focus on exercise, but fuckdammit. Stop focusing on your weight as an indicator of your worth. You are more than a number on a scale.
Have you had a positive WW experience, or know someone who has? Do you think this business (and others like it) are a good, bad or neutral thing? Am I totally off-base with my opinions? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
Four or so months ago I became a vegetarian. This was because I thought it was hypocritical for me to eat meat; if I can’t actually deal with seeing an animal slaughtered, why should I be eating them? I don’t think this is the right viewpoint for everyone, and I would never -ever- lecture a person about what they eat. Like everything what people eat is a personal choice.
Previously I have ranted about Jamie Oliver and his quest to end fat people. I am being hyperbolic when I say that; I think Jamie Oliver’s intentions are actually not that bad. He’s trying to educate people about what food is good for your health. Now I don’t necessarily think he’s going about it in the right way (shock tactics and body shaming suck, yo) but I do recognise he’s trying to make the world a better place. (And by better I do not mean thinner.) His methods are in a similar vein to Michelle Obama’s. She is trying to get people moving and eating more healthfully and that’s a fantastic goal. Unfortunately she’s doing it by creating the action to end childhood obesity. All this kind of initiative does is shame kids (and adults) who are obese. And while I’m sure that wasn’t her intention, the fact of the matter is that people are going to take a volatile topic such as fat and skew the information to whatever they think is right. Fat kids will continue to be bullied simply for being fat; fat adults will associate the way they look with something bad – thus promoting negative body image. This in turn (however accidentally) promotes an industry that teaches people the way the way you look has direct correlation to your health and attractiveness, so you should change that at any cost.
It’s all too easy to blame particular groups for the world’s woes when really we should be tackling deeper problems; ones that investigate WHY people are the way they are. Often when I bring facts up to people who know little about the size acceptance movement, they say that the idea just gives fat people an “easy out” or an excuse to be lazy. That people are fat because they don’t do enough exercise and they eat like shit. After all, it’s just “calories in, calories out” right? First off, I hate it when people have said that to me, and be prepared to be verbally bitchslapped if you do. Secondly, saying something like that brings a complex societal issue with many different causes down to a few cliche catchphrases that aren’t true for every person. For some people it might be calories in calories out, but not for everyone. And even if that IS the case, what right does anyone have in making a judgement over how a person eats or exercises? Even if you look at it from a health perspective instead of a size outlook, what right does anyone have to comment on how my health should be? It’s my body and my choice. As long as I am not hurting anyone else, I will always feel this way. And frankly, if people were really concerned about health and not weight, then they would preach to everyone equally. I have always eaten more healthfully than my sister who is a size six – why isn’t anyone lecturing her about the benefits of eating more fruit and vegies instead of meringues and packets of nerds?
One of the tactics Jamie Oliver always tries to use is showing that it takes less time to cook a good healthy meal his way than it is to stick something in the microwave. By doing this, he’s skirting the one of the actual issues. People don’t cook full meals from scratch because it might require using a food processor/frying pan/mixmaster/chopping board, and all of those things require cleanup after use. Microwave meals and/or fast food can usually be eaten straight out of their packages. For convenience’s sake I know what I’d choose. Convenience foods are booming because people have less time and willingness to spend on cooking. I totally get it. I don’t agree with it, but I get it!
Another issue I struggle with is that I don’t think it’s anyone’s business on what I eat or how much I exercise. I think as long as a person is educated about what they are eating, then they should be able to eat anything they like. I mean, I have a penchant for a good butter chicken. Now I don’t use chicken these days, but it’s still gt a buttload of butter and cream in it, and I recognise this isn’t going to be the best thing for my health. I know that having too much of it is going to end up raising my cholesterol levels, and heart problems run in my family. I am aware of the health issues associated with eating the way I sometimes do, but in the end it comes down to it being my choice. I don’t insist that anyone else eat or think the way I do, and so I don’t think it’s anyone’s business but my own. I’m well educated on what may happen to my body if I eat the foods I do. I am aware that I probably wont live until I’m 100 years old. But that’s okay for me. I’m not suicidal either – I just want to eat what my body wants without being shamed by society.
To eat or not to eat – that is the question! Leave your thoughts about this topic in the comments below.
Friday, June 11th, 2010
I have a friend who hates the way he looks. He hates that he is fat. He thinks women aren’t attracted to him sexually because he is short and fat. He sees men in relationships who are thinner or taller or more muscular and he thinks the fault is his. That he needs to change physically. He thinks that women will want to date him if he is thinner. Every time I see him he talks about being lonely, and if he loses the weight then someone might finally want to be with him. I wish I could help him see his worth. I write this entry for him.
First off, I hate that we live in a society which devalues people who don’t fit the cultural ideal of attractive. Fuck that attractive, seriously. A person’s worth should not be judged on what they look like. All people are intrinsically worthy whether they are fat, thin, short, tall, young, old, black, white, brown, yellow, or fucking polkadot. Or anything else! You are worthy of love just as you are. You are beautiful just as you are. You do not deserve to be judged by yourself or others because you are better than that. You are worth more than that.
If you think you should lose weight so you can date more people, you should be asking yourself if those people are really worth dating. If they only want to get to know you when you are thinner then they do not deserve the brilliance that is you. They don’t deserve you – it’s not the other way around if they are judging you on how you look. If they can’t see how fucking beautiful you are, then hold out for better because you deserve it. You deserve the best. You deserve exactly who and what you want. You are worth more than your body, even though your body is more beautiful than I could ever convey.
Losing weight isn’t going to make you any more attractive. It’ll just to make you thinner. Real attraction comes from loving who you are, as you are. Real beauty comes from within.