Posts Tagged ‘janey’

Cosmo says you’re fat. Well I aint down with that. (Actually, I am! You rock!)

I am fat. I am relatively unhealthy. I do not exercise more than the occasional Zumba dance, and that’s because I find it fun and not exercise! I eat what I want when I want and I am happy being this way. Recently I have been unwell, and most likely will be for the next few months due to an extended convalescence. It sucks, but I have only just realised that having this extended down time has sent me into a shame spiral about my lifestyle.

I have noticed on more than one blog that being a “good fat” comes with a disclaimer of the “health at every size” mantra, which includes looking after your body by exercising and eating intuitively regardless of how you look. Now I love the concept of Health at Every Size, even if I don’t particularly follow it past intuitive eating. It’s important for me to recognise that people can be their own versions of healthy and happy whether they are a size zero or a size fifty. It’s a great idea that is being promoted, but it’s also frustrating when “bad fats” are ganged up for not following that lifestyle to the letter.

What I think is important to remember is this: if you are fat, unhealthy, eat what you want and never exercise then that doesn’t make you a bad person. You are you and that is just that. Being unhealthy and being fat are not synonymous but even if they were? It deserves no moral judgement. You may be fat. Society doesn’t want you to know this, but that’s a morally neutral place to be. It’s the same as having curly hair, or large feet. There is no such thing as a good fat person or a bad fat person any more than there are good thin people or bad thin people. We are individuals and should determine what is right for us and nobody else. The way someone looks should not determine what we think of them because that’s no better than discriminating against someone because of the colour of their skin, or their gender, or their religion. 

If someone is trying to tell you that you should look, think or act a certain way then try and discover their motives. Ask them why they think it’s important and really listen to their reasoning. Tell them the reasons for your lifestyle choices, regardless of what they are. And if they use the “we’re concerned for your health” comment, i suggest calmly stating that you are in control of your body and can do what you want with it. Be confident in your choice, but not defensive – you know what is right for you, and calmly stating that will help them see that you are in control. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your decisions, as they are yours and yours alone. Unless you are incapable of making those decisions for yourself, you have a right to choose your life.  You are the only person who knows what is right for you!

 

These are all just my opinions, obviously. What do you think?

 


Hullaballoons – how should fatshion be designed?

Flattering. Fashionable. Stylish.

It has been said more than once that fatshion is none of those things. Yeah, sure, the range of clothing in Australia (and many places internationally) has really improved over the past ten years – but is it where it needs to be? Hell no.  I remember being in high school and wearing t-shirts and jeans EVERYWHERE because my fashion choices were so limited.  And now? I have more clothing than I do closet space.  (Seriously, it’s an addiction.  i do believe i might be overcompensating for my lack of fashion choices when i was younger.)

But there is still a big hullaballoo (wow, my spellcheck recognises hullaballoo as a word, neat) about what should actually be produced in the world of fatshion. Some say that we should have the same styles available to us as those in straight sizes – “thin” designs sized up to a plus size. Others say that this technique isn’t going to work, and that designers should be working specifically with fats from the beginning, because what looks good on a six will not look good on a twenty-six.

What do I think?  As per usual, I am a little unsure about the whole thing.  I love the idea that I can wear exactly the same clothes as my thinner counterparts – the Jane Lamerton brand (Myer) actually does size their straight sized clothing up to plus. I’ve bought several of their dresses that have been sized up. But usually things seem a little wonky with regards to how they have sized up. For example, I bought an awesome swing coat for my mum for christmas and then saw it in my size and freaked out.  I mean, awesome, right?  I tried it on (though my mum forbade me as she didn’t want to have a matchymatchy mother daughter thing going on) and it looked HORRIBLE.  Their proportions had been sized up in such an unusual way; as though only certain body parts got bigger (breasts) while others stayed the same (arms).   It was not a great look on me, that’s for sure. Was this just because my proportions didn’t work with the company’s fit model?  Maybe. Ignorance on the company’s behalf?  You betcha. 

I’m torn.  I want to wear cute clothes. I want to have the same fashion rights as my smaller counterparts.  But I want them to fit properly. And I want to wear clothing that makes me feel fantastic; not just pieces that “hide” my rolls with garish polyester prints (TS14+, i am looking at you!)

A while ago a friend said to me that it isn’t feasible for plus clothing to fit people properly, because fat sits on everyone differently and no two bodies are alike. According to them, that’s why there are so many “loose” styles in fatshion. But aren’t different body types still an issue for straight sizes?  I mean, that’s where the whole Trinny and Susannah “dress for your shape not your size” thing came from.

Well, fat-o-sphere? If you were a designer, what would you do? And is there fashion you want that isn’t currently available in your size?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.


Fat Myths: DEBUNKED. (Laziness Edition)

So a thing that is often impressed on me (and other fats I know) is that we could just lose all the weight if we simply MOVED AROUND more.  Because we are fat, we are also all apparently lazy. 

Hey, newsflash ignorant people: being fat does not cause one to be lazy. Being lazy causes one to be lazy. Being lazy does not necessarily cause a person to be fat, either. It differs from person to person, but regardless? It’s none of your fucking business. And being lazy? Not such a bad thing yaknow. I love being lazy – it’s one of my main goals in life.  People always say it to me as though i’m killing kittens, jebus.  I just like lounging about. I shouldn’t have to justify that because it’s not societally accepted.

As with everything, you have no right to impose your opinions about anyone purely because theirs aren’t the same as your own. 

More fat myths to debunk in the future.


Life’s great art is being kind.

Like with many things, I have a love/hate relationship with the fatshionista community on livejournal. On the one hand, I am continually inspired by the brave, stylish and savvy users who post their outfits day after day. It inspires me to try new things (not just in fashion, either!) and to stand up for myself. 

I sometimes feel there is a darker side to it, though. When someone posts a picture and receives a comment along the lines of “Wow, that outfit is really ugly”, it gets me thinking; I don’t know if I like being a part of a community that judges people. Okay, usually they’re talking about the outfits on fatshionista, but aren’t our fashion choices an extension of who we are? There’s often an attitude of “don’t post if you don’t want to be criticised” but I think that’s a load of shit.  There’s a feeling of entitlement in these sorts of comments that unnerve me, the same way stupid youtube/twitter/news article comments get to me.  

It’s things that people would never say in real life, but since it’s on the internet it’s somehow okay. Since they will probably never have to face them in “the real world”, it’s for some reason acceptable to make disparaging comments and judgements about a person. I may be completely naive for thinking this, but I believe the world would be a much better place if everyone reserved judgement of others. We are all a mixture of good and bad, and to write a person off simply because of their appearance (or gender, race, religion, sexuality, political views, etc) is complete codswollop. And while I think fatshionista is a safe place for me to feel accepted and celebrated as a fat person, I still dislike the occasional judging comment that happens there.

Since reading Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby’s book, i’ve realised that I judge people too – I have done it on the internet (generally in the form of emo flame wars) as well as in real life. I often like to sit in public places and “people watch”, and because I love hearing stories I often make up long-winded tales of people I deem interesting.  Sometimes though?  I judge people.  I go “oh, she should NOT be wearing that skirt with that top” or “woah, that outfit is way too tight.”

After realising that I am a perpetrator of the behaviour I most dislike, I’ve made a conscious effort not to do this anymore. It’s hurtful not only to others, but also damaging to myself. Who am I to say what a person should or shouldn’t wear? And maybe that person I am judging has circumstances which I don’t even know about – maybe they wear that outfit because it’s their favourite thing in the world, or it’s all that they can afford, or because it makes them feel confident and fabulous. It’s not fair for me, or any of us to make these sorts of comments on others.  Because that’s what people have done to me about my weight in the past, and boy did it make me feel like crap.

Is it a frou-frou naivety that i’m showing here?  That we should all hold hands and sing Kum Ba Ya and braid each other’s hair? Okay maybe not that far, but you get the gist.  Am I being silly for encouraging people to be nicer to others for no other reason than to be nice? Or do I need a good dose of reality, a reality that can’t change no matter what we do?

Leave your thoughts in the comments, as always I’m really interested to know. Also, apologies if this entry makes no sense; writing in the wee hours of the morning makes me less than coherent. :p


Style Inspiration

I like to think of myself as rather a stylish woman. As I have previously mentioned, I follow a fair number of fashion blogs, as well as cultivating my own fashion sense through trial and error.  And oh boy, there has been some error over the years.  I mean, who talked me into tencel and hypercolour?! Luckily I have burned the evidence.

My biggest inspiration these days is watching runway shows, where I get ideas and sketch out how I would improve/modify the designs for my own body. I plan to one day have my ideas made up by a dressmaker, but until then it’s retail only for me. I loooove chanel, prada and tommy hilfiger, as well as a fair bit of valentino – oh how I wish these brands would make clothing in my size. To translate these fairly clean lines into my own wardrobe I have a lot of pieces that accentuate my favourite parts (which are usually my breasts and decolletage.) I tend to minimise accessories, in one part because they drive me nuts, and another because i feel as though they detract from who I am. My one accessory indulgence is generally hats – I can look fabulous in most hats that others would look ridiculous in.  It’s great, though it does mean I continually expand my chapeau collection – not such a good thing when you’re in a limited space.

Aaaaanyway, I now ask for a little bit of indulgence from the AoF readership. Tell me: where do you get your style inspiration from?  Do you have a particular designer/person that influences the way you dress? Or are you inspired in other ways?  Remember – just because it’s unconventional doesn’t mean it’s not a style – it’s all about finding a way of expressing who you are, and being comfortable with that. And that doesn’t necessarily mean clothing, either!

Leave your thoughts in the comments, i’d really love to know.


An epiphany regarding fat apparel.

So today I wrote an email to my most favourite underwear company. Oh, they don’t really make cute underwear in my size – so technically i’ve never purchased my favourite underwear from them.  But when I was a teenager I always envied my sister and her friends.  They got cute funky fun undies.  I got lace encrusted high waistedness – if I was lucky.  It’s enough to make a girl go commando, honestly.

[img_assist|nid=80|title=Can you guess which one is the plus size option?|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=599|height=400]

Today I realised that nothing is ever going to change if we don’t pipe up about it. So once a week from this day forward, I plan to write a letter to a fashion label that does not cater to my fashion desires.  Bonds, while making a small selection of plus clothing, has limited their fat underwear to what is affectionately known as “The Grundie”. Bonds Cottontails; for women who like to wear their underpants up to their breasts. I’m not saying they’re a bad choice (hell I’ve worn ‘em) but it’s more the fact that it’s your only choice if you’re over a size 16.  And that sucks big donkey balls. But it’s not going to change unless more of us tell retailers that there is a market for their product; after all, a good businessperson isn’t going to sell a product if they think nobody wants to buy it. We need to educate the uninformed – be as vocal as you can about wanting to spend your fat dollar on their product. That is the only way they will listen.

So with that in mind, here’s the email I sent to Bonds about ten minutes ago:

 

“I’m a big fan of the look of Bonds products. It saddens me (and quite a few of my friends) greatly that 90% of your underwear lines do not progress past a size 16. The styles over a size 16 that are made by your company appear to be for grandmothers. (Original Cottontails, i’m looking at you.) 

You’re not only missing out on a sizeable portion of the underwear market, you’re also enabling a stereotype that fat men and women can’t be beautiful, and aren’t allowed to wear cute things solely due to their size. While I respect that the company is about business first and foremost, I do know a large number of men and women who would buy your products if they were made (and advertised) in their sizes.  

As a member of the fat community, I wish to help you understand that we like to look and feel just as great as those who are smaller sizes. I appreciate the company’s endeavours into creating plus size clothing – I’m currently wearing a Bonds hoodie after all – but please PLEASE take the next step and start making fun young plus sized underwear. Or at the very least do the market research, and look statistically at how many young fat people there are who are starving for underwear that is cute but comfortable. 

Cheers,

Janey”

 

It may not ever be read by anyone who will care, I admit.  But if we fats rally together…. I mean, if we contact designers and retailers for more options in our sizes that don’t look like potato sacks, it might show them that making fatshion is economically viable. 

I will be sending out one email a week to companies that I wished made clothing in my size. I will continue this mission until fats are treated equitably by the fashion industry. This is my pledge.


Fat Fashion – I can feel a rant coming on.

 

I can feel a rant coming on.

I have a love-hate relationship with the fashion industry.  I love fashion, you see. Clothing, shoes, handbags, jewellery – I salivate just thinking about it. I grew up reading Vogue, watching trends emerge and then change just as rapidly. We have stacks of books at my place on the history of fashion. My mum and I watch old Hollywood musicals, just so we can talk about the clothing. Well, also to ogle Fred Astaire; he’s dreeeeamy. Fashion though? It’s something I have grown up with. The idea of wearing something beautifully crafted that enhances my (let’s face it) already pretty fabulous body makes me tingle with excitement.  I even recently downloaded an Iphone application that lets me view shots from fashion shows around the world. 

The fashion industry, as most people already know, are notorious for their unrealistic and often unhealthy body image ideals. Eating disorders, size-ism, drug addiction, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The fat-hatred bombards both ready-to-wear and couture lines, with nearly everything in higher-end stopping at or below size twelve Australian. Oh my god, the RAGE.  Do you know how I feel?  I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when those bitchy saleswomen wouldn’t let her shop.  Her kind wasn’t welcome, despite having money to spend.  Hey fashion designers?  I HAVE MONEY TO SPEND, DAMMIT.  WHY WONT YOU TAKE MY MONEY?!?!  Granted, it’s not as much money as I would like, but what I do have, I plan on investing in fashion.  Because it’s an investment in myself. Wearing something I love makes me feel UHMAZING, in so many different ways. 

I have a stunning red dress that I spent a very pretty penny on last year, but was happy to do so because the garment looks fantastic on me.  I call it “Magic Dress” because every time I wear it people smile at me, and luck always turns my way. Of course this has nothing to do with the dress itself; I know that.  But when I wear something that fits me properly, something that feels as though it was made for me, my confidence skyrockets.  Unfortunately even when I have the dosh, the pickings are slim here in Australia. (haha, slim.)

 

[img_assist|nid=64|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=320|height=479]

 

It appears to me fatties aren’t welcome in fashion.  We are chunkier versions of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  Our kind?  Not welcome here. Particularly in Australia, it seems fat people aren’t seen as fashion forward or daring with their style choices.  All our choices are to hide and cover up and “flatter” our bodies. Australian fashion’s definition of flatter is cover up, it seems.  Maude forbid we be proud of our appearance. I mean, isn’t it society’s problem if they don’t like my jiggly bits? Why do I need to change myself??  Why can’t I wear what I want to wear? 

Fat women are given potato sacks with asymmetrical everything and newspaper print polyester. Fat men are given Hawaiian shirts that are not only fug, but also terrible quality. If you like asymmetrical polyester hawaiian prints, then hey have at it. But that’s all there is.  THAT IS ALL THERE IS FOR US.  If we want to wear something different, our choices are to pay through the nose and have it custom made, or have it shipped from overseas (usually with high shipping prices, and the likelihood that the item may not even fit when it arrives.)

I know so many people who are fabulous and STYLISH fats, despite the severe lack of fashion choices. Each of these men and women have personalities as different as the bajillion designers out there. It is so frustrating to me (and I’m sure them) that there are comparatively few options for fats, given the number of us in the world. I mean, if the obesity epidemic (OOGA BOOGA) is increasing, why aren’t our fashion choices? Perhaps it’s because there isn’t an obesity epidemic – but i digress.

How do we fix this?  Designers say that larger sizes aren’t catered to because it costs too much to produce, and/or that there aren’t enough sales within the area to financially justify production. I don’t know about you, but I buy clothing a LOT.  And I’d be prepared to pay more and buy more if it’s good quality and well designed. There just hasn’t been anything out there that’s nice enough to buy. Believe me, I know, I look nearly every day. And sure I’d like low cost options TOO, but it shouldn’t be one or the other, you know? I feel cheated if I purchase accessories from somewhere like Guess or Chanel, when I know full well that plus size clothing at those stores aren’t available to me. 

And is it a “Chicken or the Egg” scenario?  Fats don’t purchase the fashion out there because the fashion out there is fug, and then businesses think there isn’t a market and thus stop producing it. How do we pass on the message that we’d purchase their clothing if they simply made larger versions of the straight sizes, instead of creating clothing especially for fats that mainly consist of tent-clothing. Can someone please get it into retailers and designers heads that fats have just as much style as straight size?  I know the fat-o-sphere  are amazing in terms of expressing their individual styles, but sometimes I want to shake the fashion industry and go “Hey! Fats are people too!” I’d ask whether or not straight size people would ever wear the options we are given. Why are fats relegated the realm of fugitude when everybody else gets to look all shiny and tailored? 

We deserve the right to own clothing that makes us feel awesome. We deserve the right to own the different styles and makes that thinner people get to choose from.  We deserve fashion rights, full stop.

 


Because of this entry, I crave pastry encrusted twinkies. Mmmm.

 

Ah, Health. It’s one of those things that, as a fat person, I am often berated about. “Janey, what about your health? Don’t you know being fat is bad?  FOR YOUR HEALTH I MEAN, OBVS, and not the socially imposed stigma that fat is the worst thing in the world.”

 

First off, if you’re going to give me the health schpiel then you’ll need to back it up with some current research, some hard proof, and/or some studies that aren’t funded by Weight Watchers (or equivalent).  What was that?  It’s well known that fat is unhealthy? Well lemme tell you something, ignorant person. Up until the 1973 being gay was “well known” to be a mental illness in psychiatric circles, and leeches were “well known” to be the best way to cure most ailments well into the 1900s. Always know your facts, sure, but also know that technology advances, and research becomes more sophisticated – particularly with regards to our health. Correlation does not equal proof, and that’s something many people need to realise. On top of that, it’s none of your fucking business if a person is healthy or unhealthy! Stop imposing what you believe to be correct on other people, or I may just have to pelt you with twinkies.

 

Last week I was given this magazine with an all too knowing look, along with a “maybe you should read this, Janey.”

[img_assist|nid=45|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=640|height=480]

 

OH MY GOD, IS WORK MAKING ME FAT?!?!

….Jebus, I’ve been working for a really long time, if that’s the case. I remember being fat when I was four. I’ve seen pictures of me as a baby, I was always a chub. No wonder I want to retire already. The article in question uses the phrase “studies have shown” so many times that it makes my head spin.  Nowhere in the article does it have the name of any studies so I could fact-check.  For all I know these “studies” were arbitrarily made up, given the amount of information I could find about them. The article talks about a number of scenarios that will MAKE YOU FAT including stress and corporate functions. Their solution? That we should try not eating at functions (yes, really) and running around the office when we get a chance (yeah, suuuuure) to stay healthy. Who cares if you look like a total fruitcake, because at least you’ll be thin. Oh, no, i’m sorry, “healthy”.  People who equate less weight with health should take a trip to the anorexia/bulimia ward sometime. What I’m saying here is that thin people can be just as healthy/unhealthy as fat people – and either way it doesn’t fucking matter.

 

To be honest, I don’t really care that much about the HAES movement. It’s just not my thing. I know I’m probably pissing off people everywhere by saying this, but I don’t care.  More power to you if that’s your shenanigan, everyone should do whatever makes them feel good as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But for me? I do not enjoy most conventional exercise. I like eating what I want to eat, when I want to eat it, and cooked in as much butter as I see fit. It irritates the bejeebers out of me that people (both fat and thin) talk about exercising like it’s some magic solution to my socially imposed problems.  It’s difficult for me to express to conflict I feel over this whole issue properly.  On the one hand, I truly deeply hope that some day soon, fat people aren’t judged and ridiculed the way they that they are right now. I hope society begins to realise that fat or thin, you can be healthy. Conversely you can be fat or thin and UNhealthy. I like to think I’m quite happily in that range.  And that’s okay!

 

More important than health (or lack thereof), I think that regardless of a person’s size, health, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, gender, race or anything else, everyone has the right to live a judgement free life. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  And imposing your beliefs (whatever those may be) on others is a shit sandwich that I refuse to take a bite of. I guess this all comes down to the fact that I don’t give a flying fuck what most people think about my weight, my “health” or my eating habits.  I am the only one who is responsible for my mental or physical well-being, and if someone else tries to take that on then I will tell them to get the fuck out of my shoes. If I want to eat two whole cakes every day with a cask of wine and pastries slathered in butter and cream, it’s my right to choose that. If I don’t want to exercise, I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission.  It’s my life, my body, and I’ll choose to do with it what I see fit. Because frankly, it’s nobody’s business but my own.

 

So what are your thoughts on this, fats? I occasionally worry that as an ambassador of Fat Acceptance, I’m upholding the stereotype of what many consider fat people to be, thus doing the movement a disservice.  That being said, I’m not willing to change who I am (and who I would be regardless of my size) purely because of what people think I should be doing. Tell me your opinions in the comments!

 


Hopes, Wishes and Fancy Fucking Unicorns

 

Tubby. I remember that’s what my grandfather used to call me as a child. My family would spend every Christmas and Easter holidays with him, and whenever he saw me it would be “nice to see you’ve lost some weight, tubby!” in a very sarcastic tone.

The good stories outweigh (hah) the bad with my grandfather, but he did bring to light from a very early age that I was different to other children.  I was “tubby” or “chunky” or one of the many other synonyms for fat that is used so frequently. And that was very quickly pointed out to me to be BAD. If I questioned as to WHY it was bad i was given the “oh well, it’s so unhealthy!” schtick. It’s a pity I didn’t think about it more critically and asked for some unbiased studies to back it up, but hey, I was about eight at the time.

My journey (hate that term) into Fat Acceptance is still relatively new.  In the short time I have been involved with the movement however, my happiness has increased exponentially. I hope that as Fat Acceptance becomes more commonplace, more people begin asking questions. That people increase questioning the media, businesses and their government as to why its okay to openly discriminate against fats. As to why businesses are allowed to profit from diet plans that are clearly risking people’s health. And how come fat people aren’t catered to more in the fashion marketplace? (Especially if the OBESITY EPIDEMIC OOGABOOGA is KILLING US ALLLLLL! )

The  biggest question more people need to ask however, is why is it more important having people be thin than having them love themselves? If you’re naturally thin then good for you, but people come in all shapes and sizes – and that’s perfectly okay. Beauty should be in the eye of the beholder, not what the media tells us beauty should be.

 


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