size bigotry

Me: I’m short, fat, and proud of that!

Random Person: Don’t call yourself fat; you’re beautiful!

Me: I know that I’m beautiful, and I am grateful to be. But I also know that I’m fat, because I can see myself in the mirror, feel my body being squeezed in uncomfortably tight spaces, and read the number on the scale and the size of my jeans. Acknowledging that I’m fat doesn’t mean that I think that I’m ugly or that I have low self-esteem, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m looking for reassurance. I’m fat. It’s just a fact. And I am proud to be fat, because my body is beautiful. Calling myself fat isn’t an insult because fat isn’t a bad word.

Random Person:

-Mod Bella

rootbeergoddess  asked:

I mean I already have a hard enough time finding shirts in stores that fit me. I don't need skinny girls stealing them from me! And at the same time, most shirts made for females are made for the skinny girls! Why take big sizes away from us?

Exactly. This is why I find it so upsetting.

-Mod Bella

Simply Seeing Fat People Will Make You Fat, Too

Ladies and gentlemen [and non-binaries], avert your eyes. According to a ‘study’ published in the Journal Of Consumer Research:

University of Colorado researchers offered candy to people who had been shown one of three pictures - a fat person, a normal-weight person, or a lamp. The researchers found that those who had seen the picture of the fat person took more candy than those who had seen either of the other photos.

In a similar study involving cookies, the same researchers found that people ate twice as many cookies after seeing a picture of an overweight person. And a 2007 Harvard study found that having obese friends tends to make people fat, NPR reported.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information in this article on whether or not staring at lamps will cause your body to morph into a lamp, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say it does.

Oh, and just in case you didn’t catch the part about how you probably shouldn’t be friends with overweight people because they will ‘make you’ fat, let the researchers explain:

“Seeing someone overweight leads to a temporary decrease in a person’s own felt commitment to his or her health goal,” the researchers said in a written statement released by the journal.

Thankfully, CBS News was balanced enough to include at least one person who did not agree with these findings:

“That’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard,” Peggy Howell, of the National Association for the Acceptance of Fat People, told CBS News. “If we look at anorexic people, do we eat less?”

Yes, yes, but what about the dangers of staring at lamps?!? The people have a right to know!!!
Opera reviewers: forget the body shaming and focus on the singing

Katie Lowe: How sad that the merits of Tara Erraught’s performance in Der Rosenkavalier have been overshadowed by comments about her physique

This obsession in our culture with the exact dimensions of any woman’s body that’s seen in public has got to stop.  It is NOT acceptable for a world class opera singer to turn in a vocally fantastic performance and then repeatedly get reviewed (internationally) for her body being the wrong shape or size INSTEAD of  for her actual performance.  Just like it is not acceptable for some stranger to comment about the size or shape of my body when I’m walking down the street minding my own business.

A little clarification

I’ve been told more then a few times that I’m so lucky to “have confidence” or to “be so brave” or “so strong” – and I’ve read more then a few posts and articles lately that say similar things about other people who have said or written things about body positivity or living without shame in a large body.

Here’s a little news flash: it’s not luck folks.

It’s seriously hard work.

Lots and lots and lots of gut wrenching, mirror facing, reprogramming, research and soul searching, hard work. Years of it behind me now, and ongoing daily work that continues and likely will continue, for the rest of my life. Despite what anyone might think, I did not wake up one morning and simply pull some thread out of my memory that held all the negative programming and all the ability to recognize the constant barrage of messages about how only one body type was a good body type and just step out without any of it affecting me for the rest of my life.

Slowly, over time,I realized that I didn’t WANT to feel like I needed to look differently in order to feel worthwhile.  That I didn’t WANT to wait to do things that interested me until I lost 5, 10 or 20 pounds - and then it took more time for me to realize that those desires were not unreasonable or shameful.  …and then I began the slow and painful process of actively looking for ways and reasons to leave those thoughts behind and other ways to think.  I started reading lots and lots of medical and research material for myself (slowly and carefully and sometimes with a dictionary at hand) -and not just reading the article about the research that appeared in that glossy magazine. 

It’s an ongoing struggle to leave disordered eating habits in my past, to not think about food or my own body as “the enemy”, to not punish or reward with food, to not compare or contrast what I see in the mirror with what I see on a billboard, or even what my husband says he sees when he looks at me.

It’s a minute by minute, daily battle against all the big loud voices that exist in every day life that want to tell me that I’m wrong -that ‘common belief’ or 'everyone knows’ is more worthwhile then my carefully thought through understanding and personal experiences.  It’s a regular struggle to rise above the angry venting that accuses me of subjugating others for simply wanting to be valued just the way I am, for wanting to know that I’m beautiful, and that my worth has nothing to do with being beautiful.  It’s living through regular bouts of being told “how dare you” and that I’m “not working hard enough” -even on a day when I’m already emotionally exhausted.

- and it’s working really hard to catch those negative thought patterns when they start, to remember that I know the truth even in the midst of messages from advertisers and government officials that say my body must be obliterated, that we’re fighting a war against me - even in the midst of an everyday world that lacks positive images of people who look anything like me - even as I drown in subliminal messages that say if you’re a woman and you don’t fit into a size 0-8 pair of jeans, you are worth less then a woman who does.

and, it’s picking myself back up and getting back on track with all of that on a day when I fail, on a day when the little girl inside me is stung by the arrows of a society that doesn’t even want to acknowledge that she matters.

So don’t tell me I’m lucky.  Don’t discount my work, or the odds I struggle against every minute of every day.  Please stop complaining about “having to see another all sizes positive message” because I needed to write it or post it or share it after driving down the highway and seeing a dozen billboards that tried to tell me I wasn’t shaped appropriately, or trying to find a formal gown to try on in a brick and mortar store, or overhearing the two women “whispering” about the fat cow standing in line in front of them with all those vegetables in her shopping cart that “she probably doesn’t even eat”.

Please forgive the terrible office bathroom selfie - but I wanted to demonstrate clearly exactly how long the skirt I’m wearing today is.  And here is why:

On my way to work this morning I decided to treat myself to a purchased cup of coffee - so I stopped at one of the convenience stores along my route.  After making my cup of coffee, I went and stood in a fairly long line to pay - while I’m standing there, minding my own business, holding my single cup of coffee and slowly moving toward the register, a tall slender blond woman in a well tailored pant suit paused on her way past me and leaned toward me to say in a marginally hushed tone “Don’t you think that skirt is a bit too short?”

*blink* *blink*  “Too short for what?” I replied, genuinely confused.

She flutters her free hand vaguely up and down in my direction and says “Too short for someone like you to be wearing.”

I’m fairly certain at this point I made a very confused and slightly shocked face, however I also managed to reply “Nope” - and at that point the line moved forward and she moved on to get into line far behind me, alleviating me from the burden of having to have any further exposure to her.

I will admit to being vaguely curious about what exactly she was referring to.  Someone my age? Someone my height? Someone of my skin color? Someone my weight?  I’m wearing the skirt with plain black 1" wedge peep-toe shoes, my ass is not in any danger of hanging out of the back of the skirt - frankly the outfit is fairly conservative. I suspect she felt that someone with my body size/shape should be more completely covered up, but no matter what the reason was that she felt the skirt was inappropriate for me, or how “kind” she felt her motives were, her policing of how I present myself is entirely inappropriate.

Yup, these things really happen.

Cover up or don't cover up?

Over this summer and the recent holiday weekend I’ve observed some personal choices about clothing that make me proud, and some that make me sad.  While I fully recognize that it’s just that - personal choice, and that when I’m an outside witness I don’t necessarily have all the information that went into the choice, some times what it seems to be about can have impact.

I’ve seen other plus size ladies out and about rocking a bikini at the pool or beach - and it never fails to make me smile.  Whether they have made a conscious decision to uncover and go against the ‘societal norm’ of covering up a larger body or whether they just chose a swim suit that made them happy, or something somewhere in between, it’s still an awesome thing.

I’ve seen slender women in belly dance costumes that included belly covers.  In one case I happen to know why she does it, there’s a large scar she’s self-conscious about because she finds it distracting, but in other cases you can’t help but wonder if these women think they are “too fat” to bare their bellies.  Are these beautiful women, who are very talented dancers, making choices about their performance presence based on a myth about bodies needing to be some exact way?  That thought makes me sad.

I’ve seen larger women dancing right along side more slender women all wearing midriff baring belly dance costumes without any sort of belly cover, and arm baring costumes without layering a shrug or net sleeves into their costume choices.  It’s a joy to watch them simply enjoy dancing as part of a troupe, wearing the same costume as their sisters in dance, just in a different size.

I’ve seen both large and small women suffering in the summer heat wearing more clothing then would be ideal.  Keeping cardigans or jackets on to cover larger upper arms, wearing long shirts and long pants to cover waists and hips that aren’t perfectly flat and toned.  Basically suffering in order to hide the parts of their bodies that they believe don’t deserve to be seen because they don’t meet some randomly adopted standard of “perfection” that our society crams down our throat at every opportunity.  I’m sure some of the women I’ve seen dressed like this are protecting a sunburn, honestly forgot to pack a change of clothing or have some other completely innocent reason to be dressed as I witnessed, but others are hiding their bodies out of some internal sense of shame or unworthiness.  That makes me very sad.

So how did you spend your summer?  Dressing in cute, fun, weather and situation-ally appropriate clothing that fit your body and made you happy to think about wearing?  Or did you cover up and hide, suffer in the heat because someone else might think you should?  Because someone else had defined beauty or perfection in a way that doesn’t include the way you see your body?

Me personally?  I wore my bikini and that was totally the right choice for me.

Watch on

While the “story line” in the Lane Bryant commercial is certainly different then that in the Victoria’s secret commercials - I don’t see any difference in the way the models in lingerie are presented.  Both have beautiful women moving around wearing lacy bras and panties that cover all the appropriate bits.  So, I’m left wondering what exactly about the Lane Bryant commercial is the actual reason the TV networks refused to air it during ‘family hours’… while they have no issue airing the Victoria’s secret commercials.  Is there a fear that they will get “bad press” for showing bodies that don’t meet a commonly accepted criteria for beauty?  If so, that’s quite foolish on their part - since a rather high percentage of their female viewers would actually be able to wear the items shown in the Lane Bryant commercial and can’t buy anything other than perfume in a Victoria’s Secret store.

In today's episode, a single phrase causes our author to go on a rant

Some days I probably shouldn’t read anything I find on the internet.  Today might be one of those days. 

In reading yet another article about how it’s a good idea to shame, bash and emotionally abuse individuals who’s height to weight ratio doesn’t meet some randomly selected nonsense number, I’ve found myself inordinately furious over how apparently easy people find it to believe that someone can “eat anything they want and never gain an ounce” yet, how impossible those same people will find it to believe that someone can make intelligent food choices and live an active lifestyle and still be fat. Newsflash! If the human metabolism can swing to the extreme at one end it certainly can swing to the extreme at the other end, and probably just as often.

And while I’m ranting about this, why is the individual who’s eating what ever they want and sitting on the sofa without the needle on the scale moving considered ‘normal’ while the individual who chooses reasonable portions of nutritionally dense foods and swims and hikes but has large round proportions considered to be part of an epidemic, to have a disease?  -you can’t have it both ways folks.  …and you know what, in either case it’s not OK to shame that person…. whether they are fat or skinny, have a metabolism that falls at either end of the spectrum or somewhere in between, it’s NOT OK TO GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO MAKE THEM FEEL BADLY ABOUT THEMSELVES.  That includes writing opinion filled articles that have no actual scientific basis who’s sole objective is to tell others that “it’s really OK to be mean to fat people, because you’re doing it for their own good.”

I call bullshit.  I’m an intelligent grown up, and I can tell you exactly what’s good for me - you over there with the unsolicited opinion about my body shape, yeah you, how about you worry less about what I may or may not be putting in my mouth, and give half a thought to what’s coming out of yours?  Better yet, just keep your mouth shut.

Why do some people react like curvy bodies are something new?  I realize that various body shapes have been vogue at different times in human history…  but I keep getting this thought along the lines of “Why can’t we all just get along?” … Why do some folks who are more slender feel like they need to tell curvy women how to change their shape to be more like them?  Why do some curvy women need to bash slender ones for not being curvier?

My body is beautiful.

So is yours.

Even if you don’t believe me.

Owed to a troll

Little crevices to hide in make you happy, making statements with out truth is what you do

crawling out and scrambling back with a vice-like grip on a piece of life you’ve snatched

your little pile of bits and pieces like special treasure to you

wrap each one in regurgitated acid and toss them out, as you peer from your “secret” place

gaining glee from imagined inflictions on no one you know.

I’ve thrived through you before, as I live my life and walk along

You remind me of what I’m working towards

Your hatred wasted and washed away in the brightest light of day.

(yup - you guessed it, I’ve got a new troll!)