Thursday, December 30, 2010

A spoonful of stupid.

So I was over at Shakesville and watching a very cute video of a cute little baby kid who clearly has discovered the word "no" and, as a result, says "no!" to every question posed. "Do you want a million dollars?" "No no!" Very cute. It kicks off, however, by a commercial for (I suspect it's Dannon) Light and Fit Yogurt that is only 80 calories, people, versus that dreadful 100 calories that some OTHER bastardly yogurt is because that 20 CALORIES WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR LOSING .5 POUNDS AND ONE FULL POUND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY

*cough* Anyway, it's the typical three ladies at a cafe table eating the LUXURIOUS and DELICIOUS sweet JESUS this could possibly HEAL THE SICK and bring PEACE to the WORLD yogurt and talking about all the magical properties it contains and how it will make their apparently dreadful lives so much better. One woman proclaims, "Here's to finding more than one outfit that fits me!" The next woman adds, "Here's to my pants not leaving marks on my waist at the end of the day!" They giggle like ladies are wont to do. "Here's to 80 calories tasting CRAZY good," the third woman says.

Okay, I've got an easy solution for them - how about finding fucking clothes that FUCKING FIT YOU? Hey, if you want to get down with some Light and Fit yogurt because it's tasty (I myself am not averse to yogurt, be it the full-metal full-fat yogurt or taking a spin with some random "light" yogurt because it can be tasty - particularly with some granola being involved), knock yourself out. But if you want to avoid those tragic marks on your waist? WEAR PANTS THAT FUCKING FIT YOU. It's remarkable how I, a fatty fat fatty fat Lady Mayoress of Fatville, is able to manage such a feat, as do many of my compatriots. You want more than one outfit that fits you? Go to the store and BUY SOME OUTFITS THAT FIT YOU. I mean, we've heard quite a lot of horseshit diet ad/diet product scripts over the years - how can you avoid it - but this one comes close to being at the top of my "COMPLETELY DEFIES LOGIC AND REASON" list. It's right up there with the "now that I'm thin, I can go to Paris!!!" crap as being "inspiration" to diet.

Well, the UNICORN POWERED YOGURT did serve me some inspiration, I guess...inspiration to want to run around my room going "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!" for a few minutes. HEY that might BURN CALORIES and MAKE ME LOSE .0000003 OUNCES. The tip of my right index finger looks slimmer already! Read more on this article...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Here at the end of all things.

The year 2010 is drawing rapidly to a close, which kind of blows my mind a bit because it seems like the year has raced by for me. And 2011 is looking like the kind of year that's going to zip by, too, since I'll be out of the country for a goodly chunk of February and then...who knows what other kind of tomfoolery I'll get into.

I'm a horribly lazy writer. Even when I was at my peak of writing about 900 years ago, where it was not unusual for me to spend hours merrily and furiously typing away, I'd still hunt for any reason not to sit down and write. Not much has changed...except for those blissful periods of furious typing. So I'm hoping that might change a bit in 2011. Not that it will mean more blog posts, of course. I was thinking about whether having a non-FA centric blog might spur me to write more, but I haven't devoted much more thought to it than just that sentence, pretty much. I suppose that's a decision I'll leave to the wee hours of January 1, 2011.

Since the odds are fairly slim I will update before the heady rush of Christmas and New Year's gets on a roll, I wish you the best for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011. Read more on this article...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Lecture Loft is open!

If there’s anything I like doing, it’s entrancing people into, at the very least, getting some science dropped on them regarding Fat Acceptance and its existence as an alternative to the current societal demand for physical perfection from its denizens. And when I say “science”, I don’t mean the studies and that sort of thing because analyzing and parsing the scientifical stuff is not in my skillset. I’m more of a “this is how I feel/this is how I react/this is how I roll” writer. I like the “A-Ha” moment, I dig on seeing that happen. It doesn’t happen often enough for my taste, of course, but I do what I can when I can. I also think that some “a-ha” moments need to come from within and nothing anyone says or does can make that “a-ha” happen until the person’s ready to rock it.

But for the moment, I’m going to riff (oh god, I used “riff” in a non-ironic context. Sigh) a bit at those who might be struggling a tad with getting their minds wrapped around Fat Acceptance and how it might apply in their lives.

It’s not fat acceptance if all you’re doing is being really, really angry at thin people.

FA’s got layers, and one of the first things I figured out was to hate the game, not the players, if you will. Do I have an internal wince and perhaps an eyeroll or 15 when diet – aka “Being ‘Good’” talk breaks out? Oh heavens yes. But I *get* the conversation, I get why it’s happening, and 95 percent of the time (the same percentage of diets that fail OH SHIZZ) I don’t take it personally. I don’t grumble and snarl at thin people that I encounter because they’re not the enemy. Teethgrindingly oppressive beauty standards pile onto everyone, not just the fat. There are segments of that everyone that don’t feel it as keenly as others, but it wrecks everyone’s jazz up, ultimately.

Of course you’re going to encounter thin people that are insufferable assholes whose validation in life is predicated on the notion that they are morally superior to those whom they believe “don’t take care of themselves”. But you’re going to encounter insufferable assholes that are a myriad of sizes. I’ve experienced thin insufferable assholes, fat insufferable assholes, short, tall, they run the gamut. It’s wiser to let someone earn their “Insufferable Asshole” certificate than to simply tag a group of people as being said assholes before they prove their worth, as it were.

If you want to be “successful” at FA, if you want to “pass” FA…in my way of thinking, the first thing you need to do is quit with the fucking crabbing about the thin people and oh the thin people and ach the thin people and their thin ways and their egos and bragging or whatever other villainous adjectives you want to lay at their feet. Stop with the “she looks like a social x-ray /lollipop/bobblehead” or “he’s a musclebound lunkhead idiot doucheweasel” crap. Because that’s not a) helpful or b) really the jist of Fat Acceptance because it’s got absolutely nothing to do with YOU and YOUR acceptance of YOURSELF. You can’t spread the good word if 98 percent of your words are about how ugly and wretched and evil thin people are.

I’m a high roader, I admit. After internet flame wars in my distant youth where I said some fucking horrific things, I have found it far easier for my own personal karmic level to resist the urge to spew forth rage and bile and whatnot. I know it’s hard to high road when it seems like the universe in general is bound and determined to low road our collective ass, but ultimately, I don’t think it serves a greater purpose to saddle up and go apeshit on those who froth at the fat and the evil we apparently do. And when I say “apeshit”, I’m talking about lowering the level of discourse versus responding in a mannered and level-headed fashion. You know, putting into practice the whole “walk away for a few minutes, perhaps run around in a circle, collect one’s thoughts, and dial it back, spiffy” thing. Taking a moment to dial back and collect doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be angry. Shit, I am fueled on caffeine, defiance, and anger. But the moment I lose control of that finely tuned anger and rage, I’m of no use to me or anyone. Yes, yes, it’s all very Jedi, dammit.

So let’s redirect and have a moment of think – what are you accomplishing with the “thin people are jerks and they’re the reason why I’m so miserable” campaign? I think it’s safe to say, not much. Fat Acceptance’s central message isn’t “Let Us Destroy the Thin For It Is They Who Have Caused Me Such Angst and What Have You”*. If that’s what you think Fat Acceptance has given you the green light to do, it’s time for you to start reading up. Read more on this article...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm quite happy to terrify you.

So yeah, there's this blog and it's over at Marie Claire's website and I'm not linking to it because I don't want to give the writer or Marie Claire one more goddamnable hit on their website, and two writers I enjoy have already thrown down exquisitely regarding the subject:

Lesley Kinzel at Fatshionista aaaand

Melissa McEwan at Shakesville

..and they say what I would say in response to the utter claptrap that appeared at Marie Claire today.


To reiterate to those who read me and those who know me and those who might wander across this blog looking for some sort of assurance that they are worthwhile human beings who deserve to be treated like human beings: you can thrive on a steady diet of defiance. You can thrive in spite of a trillion messages being pounded down your throat every day that you are lesser and worthless because of your fat. I know sometimes there's frustration because you may feel like you're not doing "enough" for Fat Acceptance because you might not blog or write letters or whatever, but SIMPLY EXISTING and BEING and LIVING in public is a gigantic protest in and of itself. Walking out the door every day and making it to the end of that day is a rebellious act. Owning yourself, every single fucking inch of yourself, is a glorious "fuck you" to every person who thinks what Marie Claire writer-person wrote is right on the money or every mouthbreathing internet commentator who takes shelter in anonymity to vomit out bile and bullshit.

You don't have to answer to anyone about your body. You don't have to justify your existence to one single solitary person in this entire fucking universe. You don't have to apologize, you don't have to explain your exercise routine (if you have one, which you don't have to have) or go into detail about what you eat or smile and nod politely when someone who "means well" gives you weight loss diet advice.

And when you have those shitty days (because you will) when you cannot take one. more. bullshit. article or report about what horrendous creatures fat people are, know that you can be renewed just as easily by something positive you read about fat people or a song that you dig or a movie that you love or that knitting project you've been putting off (*looks forlornly at knitting needles and yarn lying dormant on desktop*). You can be renewed and you can summon up the strength to get up and go out and THRIVE on the defiance that is the fuel in this fight.

Fat acceptance and self-admiration/enjoyment/love is, at its heart, in this society as it stands today, the shit-hot ultimate in defiance. Don't despair, my thin compatriots, because the shit end of the stick gets brandished at you a-plenty too. There's always "more" you could be doing, am I right? It's never quite good enough, is it. That? That kind of tripe is precisely why Fat Acceptance isn't simply for the fat. If you're still scared of the word "fat" and all the baggage it carries, then by all means, call it "size acceptance" or "body acceptance", but my message remains precisely the same: you are absolutely, 100 percent a-okay the way you are this very day, this very second. There's no disclaimer, there are no rules that state you can only dig yourself if you're X pounds and X size and X height. And those that would tell you there are are, well, full of shit.

I can only class it up so much, you know.

Defy and thrive, everyone. Defy and thrive. Read more on this article...

Friday, October 1, 2010

I don't think that's the right question.

I was watching the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric tonight, and they did a story about Tyler Clementi. It segued into Katie Couric's Question of the Day or whatever silly-ass way they term it, and the Question focused on the internet and privacy.

All I could think was that's not the right question. Yes, privacy was certainly an issue in regards to Tyler Clementi, but in my head, the question should have been why the hell this young man had to feel so low, so awful, so rotten for his sexuality? Why the hell are we, as a society, still a-okay and supercool with being completely fucking awful to others and insisting that harassment and abuse and dismissing human beings as being less than because of their sexuality or their appearance is "a rite of passage", "a character builder", "something everyone goes through, so suck it up and tough it out"? I want to know what people think about *that*, not coughing up the same rote bullshit about "well, if you're on the internet, don't expect things to be private".

Lesley Kinzel's amazing piece at Fatshionista got me thinking about my own past, and then the Katie Couric question just launched me into orbit and thinking about how fucking lucky I was. I still can't explain to you why I dodged so many metaphorical bullets in my youth. I had one bad year, my freshman year in high school, and I can conjure up memories from that year in an instant. I had been privileged until that point - yes, I was the fat girl, but I had a loud mouth and was eager to please and overcompensate to the billionth degree in order to make people like me. Or, at least, to not blow shit at me for existing. And it had worked until freshman year.

From day one in homeroom, I became a target for being fat, for being "weird", for being who the fuck knows (even to this day). Tacks were left on my chair, signs were stuck to my back, I could feel the staring and the eye-rolling glances directed at me if I wore something "odd", the heat in my face as I turned redder and did my best to "ignore it" (we're always supposed to ignore it, aren't we). One guy (and he was fat, he should have been on my side, right?) barked at me, "I'd kill myself if I were you". I could not/STILL CAN'T fathom why I drew their ire, why they hated me so much, what I'd done to deserve this (because of course we must have done something to deserve it), why couldn't they just leave me alone, WHY.

I haven't thought deeply about that year in a long time. I see my survival and my (eventual) thriving as another piece of my privilege, of being able to push it to the cobwebby parts of my brain that I access less and less. But this story of this young man, and how more and more stories that follow a similar through line like his has conjured up so much hurt and so much anger in me. The hurt isn't as sharp as it was, time does dull it, but oh, Christ, the anger. The fervent wishing that I could go back in time and just punish every one of those smug fuckers, punish them with the irony that in three years' time, they'd be watching me with my ratted up Robert Smith hair and combat boots marching my fat ass up on stage to accept an award for being voted "Most Original" - shit, they may very well have voted for me.

At 38 years old, I want to stay on the high road, I want to be the bigger person and each and every trite, bullshitty cliche that gets whipped out, but the anger fuels me tonight. It burns hard for all the young (and grown up) people who are gone and who are lost and don't know what to do or where they can go, for those who hear that they aren't alone but can't believe it yet, for those who don't know if they have any fight left in them to go through one more day facing the people who seem so eager to destroy them.

I want people to be held accountable.

I want there to be consequences.

I want a reckoning.

I want the answer to "why".

Read more on this article...

Monday, September 27, 2010

No, not a blog break, just lazy.

Given that weeks tend to fly by between my blog postings, one could easily interpret my radio silence as being blog breaks...well, no. Back in the days of LiveJournal when it was fresh and new and you had to get a supersecret invite code and all that stuff, I would update that mother two, even three times a day., it's like pulling teeth.

It's not that I don't have anything to say, but I'm a big fan of saying it only if no one else has covered it. And as of late, far better writers than I say it in such a more awesomey fashion.

For instance (oh yeah, it's shaping up to be a "let's link to other people's blog posts" kind of night)...the effervescent and all-around delightful Marianne Kirby at the Rotund. She rocked my athletic socks right the frig off my feet with her latest post - and it's one I'm keen to bookmark for future re-reads. It's something I try to remember when I get all fired up and clenchy about things - to me, as much as I personally am not down with dieting and all manner of gastric surgery, I have to be cool about people choosing those choices because I respect, above all things, body autonomy.

Where it gets muddy, though, is that more often than not, that respect for body autonomy is not returned. There are few things more irritating in my little world than being on the receiving end of Weight Loss Messiah-ing. I ditched a friendship because of it, and I damn near stopped talking to my sister because of it as well. And certainly society at large does NOT want you to make a choice that doesn't involve dieting for weight loss purposes or bariatric surgery. How often does Fat Acceptance get tagged as "giving up"? Like...constantly? Yet, inside my head, going back to my old habits of dieting and self-loathing and riding that unicycle of suck is my version of giving up.

I've got some horses I'd like to hop back upon - being more active is the main one. I've been doing a lot of thinking and mulling about my activity level, and I think one of the main reasons why I bailed on going to the gym (which I actually enjoyed - hopping on a machine hamster-style appealed to my love of routine) was that it fooled me, you see. When I was a regular gym goer, I was in Fat Acceptance Short Pants - I was in an internal war, torn between "I want to lose weight" and "I just want to be active and feeling good". I dropped some pounds and unfortunately, became entranced with that. And once I slammed up against that wall, like we all do, I stopped focusing on the "feeling good" and got mired in the "but why won't I lose any more weight" whining which led to "I don't feel like going to the gym/I'll go tomorrow/I'll go next week/I'll start up again on Monday/oh shit look my membership's expired". Now that my mind's far more aligned with where I need it to be, I find myself trapped in my personal routine and for those of you that are routine-minded as I am know damn well that breaking out of a routine is a gigantic pain in the ass. But perhaps, with this blog post, I will find the internal spark to find my way back to motivating my carcass hither and yon.

Or...I will continue to play Angry Birds until my pointer finger falls off. Yes, I KNOW the rest of the world totally knows about Angry Birds and playing Angry Birds. I'm the woman who is just figuring out Rick-Rolling, for Christ's sake. It's just...oh my stars, it's a festive little game. Perhaps I could do leg lifts while I'm playing it...well, if nothing else, I will have a most muscular pointer finger by the time I'm done with it. Read more on this article...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbye, horse's ass.

To whatever hipster douchebag, horse's ass, and overall jackmonkey it may concern:

I sometimes wonder what goes through your head as you amble down the street, eyeballing the world and racking up your witty bon mots to share with your Facebook/Twitter/internet audience. Do you think you're this deeply intellectual observer of the human condition, compelled to lord over those in the world you believe to be limited in their capacity to understand the things you consider to be hallmarks of a truly evolved mind? Do you think you have unique, remarkable insight into the world and all its machinations? Do you think you're special?

The thing I love about you, hipster douchebag, is just how much you wallow in privilege and absolutely refuse to acknowledge one drop of it. You're the kind of d-bag that crabs and rags about the horrors of fat people but you hang out with your fat pal and don't consider hir to be "one of them". Your fat pal's one of the good ones, right, because ze puts up with your horseshit and hey, ze's on a diet for the umpteenth time so ze's trying, at least. You insist that everyone can afford to eat "healthy" and cut your eyes at the contents of fat people's grocery carts so you can feel superior about your basketful of organic bok choy. If you can afford it, everyone else can, right?

And by gum, you are going to make sure that every single person within reading or listening distance knows precisely how special you are at any given moment in time, how well you adhere to your assorted "healthy" routines and food choices and bask in the praise that always comes because people mistake food intake and activity levels and weight loss for virtue an awful lot these days. You're determined to be the Messiah amongst your loved ones when it comes to health, for you (and only you) have discovered the way, the truth, and the light. It's only because you care that you're commenting on what your friends and family choose to eat in your presence. You mean well. It's coming from a good place. Truly.

It's not necessary for you to be self-aware, H.D., because you're aware of ALL THINGS. You totes understand the assorted struggles that assorted people endure at any given moment because you read that one book once or saw a movie or watched a TV show about this thing in the middle of the night in a hotel room. Because of your learnings, it's super-okay for you to say insensitive, idiotic things and brand them as "controversial" or "politically incorrect" because you're just speaking the TRUTH in very bold, capital letters. People who might attempt to correct you are oversensitive and need to just get over whatever it is they need to get over and not take things so seriously, god.

It's just, you know, whatever. Read more on this article...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Consternation, uproar!

I have to be honest, I am a cynic, and one with a short fuse in the patience department to boot. Nothing gets my eyes rolling harder or elicits sighs of a huffy nature more than gooey, insipid claptrap. You know, like what Oprah and skridillions of other "self-help" creatures push. My attitude can best be described as "Eat, Lay, Shove". I'm sure someone could scan previous entries of mine and level a "insipid claptrap" accusation at me, and I'd cop to it because I am nothing if not painfully self-aware of how I get when I open up the Lecture Loft and start peeling off Nuggets of Knowledge (tm). Or maybe I should spell it Knuggets of Knowledge (tm)...hmmm, no, that's too cutesy, like calling a place the Kooky Kafe or Krafty Korner.

Anyway, I'm putting out there that I'm an asshole so you know that when I say things like what I'm about to say, you know I'm being very serious. Imagine me staring at you intently like James Earl Jones does in "Conan the Barbarian" when he's trying to hypnotize people before he beheads them, with the little "doodily doooo!" music sting from the "Tiki Idol" episode of "The Brady Bunch" when they go to Hawaii and Vincent Price is tall, Hawaiian-shirted evil. Or not. I can't really remember all that well at this point, but he's Vincent Price for Christ's sake, you know he had to have at least a little bit of evil in him. No, wait, he wasn't evil, but talked to a carved wooden Tiki face named, like, Bob or Oliver or some shit.


What I'm trying to tell you between the vomitings-out of my subconscious on a terrifyingly early Saturday morning is: it is time to get free and stop being afraid. Billions - BILLIONS! - of dollars are sucked out of us every year by those preying on our fears, fears that these creatures generate and exploit and have made a part of our general culture over the years. We are to do whatever it takes and spend as much money as possible in order to combat being fat, getting old, being "uncool", being "different". Oh, you can be different up to a certain point, mind you, especially if you still fit into a certain dress/pant size and, if you take your glasses off and put on some makeup or a classy suit, morph into the Hot Piece of Hiney that was being hidden by your damnable, silly desire to not follow the cultural norms.

We're to be terrified of food, too, have you noticed? It's always been there, but it's just getting worse the more people (people who wouldn't understand the concept of "privilege" if it sneaked up on them and bit them in the ass like a king cobra) yap about it. I think they're sincerely baffled by the concept that not everyone has access to farmer's markets, or even a decent grocery store. They don't get that no, it ISN'T affordable for everyone. And yet, these are the people on the evening news, instructing everyone that if they aren't eating precisely the way they insist you should, you are, essentially, a lazy, horrible, ignorant person. You know, fat. (insert eye-rolling here)

I am more terrified by the misinformation and overblown "DON'T LOOK AT IT KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT!" (/climatic scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" style) attitude about food than I am by a box of Frosted Flakes or the existence of fast food. I am genuinely dismayed, as I've said a trillion times before, at people hanging moral worth on what goes into their mouths. The thing I want for everyone, where possible, is to have a relationship with food that is enjoyable and generates nothing but feelings of "yuuuum". I want people to stop conflating having a normal appetite with disordered eating. I want people to stop believing that they must do all they can to ignore their hunger, to ignore what their bodies are telling them because they're terrified they'll "ruin" something. Lesley at Fatshionista fucking NAILED it when she said in a recent recap of "Huge": "Denial breeds craving — deprivation makes us desire whatever we’re missing more and more." If there's an effort that needs to be made regarding the food ingested by Americans, it needs to revolve around removing the shame that is hung on everyone for eating, period. It needs to revolve around working to give everyone safe, affordable access to food of all kinds. Yeah, it revolves around basically remaking society from top to bottom. Ain't I a stinker?

But it has to be done, so many things have to be done. It's hard work, but even the smallest, seemingly "nothing" things can have huge impacts. Simply being visible and living our lives without shame or apology is GIGANTIC in and of itself. I like to be insidious and sneak in my points in a cheery (yes, I can be cheery), casual fashion if an appropriate conversation comes up. I don't suddenly screech "YOU CAN'T TELL HOW HEALTHY SOMEONE IS BY LOOKING AT THEM!!!" during a chat about "The Lord of the Rings". I like the word "insidious" a lot. Hell, how do you think the powers that be work? They rock their shit in an insidious fashion, so why not do the same? I don't have any illusions that the "Thin Is the Only Way To Be" trope is going away any time soon, and ultimately, I'm a fan of body autonomy. But I am compelled on multiple levels to offer an alternative to everyone I possibly can, an alternative that isn't just for fat people, but for every single person on this planet. You have to do what you think you have to do in order to find your peace, but to give you a phrase: Don't Delay, Live Today.

Holy. SHIT. I think I have just found my cliche'd phrase that is going to pay and PAY HUGE BANK. Look out, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, and oh yes, OPRAH HERSELF: I am coming for you, and I'm equipped with Nuggets of Knowledge(tm) with which I will strike like a king cobra!


Read more on this article...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday morning ramblings from my bed.

I am frigging exhausted with:

Every time someone rails about people being superficial and then turn around to bag on someone's outfit, be they someone famous or someone walking down the street

Every time someone loses their shit "jokingly" about how revoltingly old someone looks

Every time someone trots out "real women have curves" and then crabs about "skinny bitches"

Every time someone says "everyone should embrace their body, no matter what" but then shakes a finger and tsk-tsks at deathfat-sized women, because "we need to be healthy"

Every time someone looks at pictures taken on the sly of strangers in stores and posted online in order to mock the fat, the poor, and the underprivileged

Every time someone makes fun of an old friend they've found on Facebook because they aren't wearing the latest clothes or have "fashionable" haircuts

The above are things I have read online or witnessed in person within the last couple of days. Holy shit, am I exhausted with it. I am tired of people talking out of both sides of their mouths. Don't sit there and tell me "oh yes, I am all for body and size acceptance and our children are being tormented by blahbettyblah" and then turn around and tell me how hideous so-and-so looks in zie's Facebook pictures.

I'm over people being told the "right" way to dress, the "right" way to appear, the "must-have" accessories for whatever, the "right" way to behave. I'm sick of reading wailing about how certain bodies shouldn't wear certain clothing or how one's body is just too "fill in the blank with some sort of body hatred" to wear a certain piece of clothing. I'm tired of fat being used as this devilish spectre that's always lurking around every corner, ready to POUNCE upon any hapless person (usually a woman) who DARES to eat something that involves sugar or carbohydrates. I am way over the idea that being constantly hungry is a state one should aspire to.

Can I also add that it fries my ass a bit when I read a cooking magazine and see recipes doctored up so they're less "decadent", "sinful", or "naughty"? Because you know what? I'm going to take that recipe and I'm going to make it with every fucking inch of full-fat and sugar and carb product I can possibly find. And I'm going to eat it and I may very well take pictures of myself eating it so you can see the big-ass smile on my fat fucking face as I enjoy the shit out of it until I'm satisfied and then I put it in a Glad container for leftovers the next day!

Like I said...Sunday morning ramblings from my bed. Read more on this article...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Today in "Check Your Privilege".

So I was watching the CBS Evening News last night, and they closed the show out with a segment about "Iron Kids", a program that has kids as young as seven or eight beginning to train for and compete in triathlons. Of course, the distances required aren't as massive as grown-up triathlons, but the essential elements remain - you swim, you bike, you run. Of course, it was framed as a STRONG VOLLEY in the BATTLE against CHILDHOOD OBEEEEEESITY with that sniffy underlying theme of "you're a bad parent if you don't have your child training for triathlons"/"nothing's worse in the whole wide world than being fat or having fat children".

What I find endlessly interesting in all the media coverage of fat is the absolute disinterest by ANYONE that has an ass attached to a media outlet regarding the concept of privilege. The particular Iron Kids group that they profiled was a festival of white faces and undoubtedly, serious cash money, and it was presented as simply the default state for all of us. Never a moment is taken to acknowledge that a goodly part of this country doesn't exist in a lush suburb of two-parent families where there's plenty of time in one's day to make homemade meals and shop the local organic coop and the farmer's market and enroll the kids in 1,498 different activities that will all magically make one's child into a slim, attractive, fit, intelligent, courteous, clever, and delightful human. And if you bring up the concept of privilege in, let's say, an internet message board forum about how folks aren't exactly made of money, there's always the ONE person who insists they managed to be unemployed and still eat fresh organic hoo-hah and there's no reason why other people can't do the same on a limited budget...and you know, that one person always seems to be single, no kids, and living in an area that actually has access to fresh organic hoo-hah. But zie's not privileged, no sirree!

When is someone, ANYONE in the mainstream media going to summon up enough courage to fully address the gigantor issues of privilege and how it affects people in this country and around the globe? Until that day comes, I have no choice but to regard every single hand-wringing story produced by the mainstream media as, essentially, a concern troll writ large, a concern troll that doesn't really give a rat's ass about health or fitness or wellbeing but instead is really, really miffed that fat people exist. And I have to admit that the idea that my existence causes such handwringing is kind of entertaining, because it's simply fuel for my fire.

"No matter how hard you try you can't stop us now." Read more on this article...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A lesson in what not to do...and other items.

When a conversation comes up about the immense pressure on people (especially women and girls) to conform to society's extremely narrow beauty standard and people voice their dismay at the difficulty involved in trying to keep our heads above water and above all the steaming, wretched horseshit thrust at us every single day, the way to reassure those participating in the conversation isn't to post up a picture of a Hollywood actress who is slightly larger than the average Hollywood actress as evidence of what a "real" woman looks like.

First of all, let's take a 101 break: EVERY woman is a "real" woman. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. The woman who is 100 pounds soaking wet is as much a woman as one who is 300 pounds. The whole "the only women who are REAL women are ones who have meat on their bones" trope is silly-ass and wrong, so you need to get that through your noggin now, thank you.

Second of all, posting up a photograph of a woman whose body shape is one that would be just as difficult to obtain for many women as obtaining an extremely slender body shape doesn't address the ultimate issue, which is society's extraordinarily small range of what is considered beautiful and the resulting, massive pressure upon all of us, women and men, to conform to that standard. So sit back, think a bit, contemplate the bigger picture.

Third of all...well, there is no third of all at the moment. Or maybe there is, I've still got time on my hands to yap for a bit longer. I found myself astounded a bit ago while reading Shakesville - Melissa McEwan linked to an op-ed column on the Chicago Sun-Times website, which I won't link here because I don't want the writer to get any more page hits than she already may be. The op ed is a fat-hating screed done under the guise of "being funny" (those always wind up going oh so well), and it's not particularly surprising in its smugness or its complete fail in the humor department. It reads like something I might have written as a humorous column for my high school newspaper - pretty much shit, shit, shit for 500 words or whatever. But what's truly that a good 98 percent of the comments...TELL HER OFF. There's no "why yes, you're right Crappy Writer, those darn fat people make this world a shitheap"s or the usual claptrap. Like, there are people telling her she's an ignorant butt writing ignorant nonsense! I'm telling you, it's like setting eyes on a wonder of the world seeing internet commenters on a story about fat NOT HATING ON FAT PEOPLE. It's like Bizarro Internet Commenter World, up is down, black is white, dogs and cats living together - MASS HYSTERIA. I'm sure it's an anomaly, but damn, was it refreshing to read.

Oh, and one more thing - holy shit am I sick of the ad for Miller beer or some such shit that takes place at a dog show at a sports arena. The beer guys are appalled, heavens to Betsy are they appalled that a DOG SHOW is being held in a place where such masculine sporting events as basketball and hockey normally take place. Memo to dog showers - your hobby (in some cases, a mighty profitable one) is officially stupid, worthless, and just a wee bit too sissy to be held in a place that celebrates Manly Athletics and sells Miller products. In my view, it's not a gentle tease at the culture of dog showdom, it's a "jeez, those fuckers are weird and obsessed with *dogs* - so if you want to be cool, you'd better not be one of them".

It makes me think of a blog post I started a couple nights ago and then stopped because I was wedging my head far too up my ass and getting too pompous (and believe me, I am plllenty pompous) and Opening Up the Lecture Loft-y about the facts of life. No, not the facts of life involving the birds and bees, but the little things that I wish I knew at an earlier age that might have made certain years of my life a wee bit easier. One of those was that no matter what your interest might be, be it dog shows or "Star Trek" or cosplay or whatever, somebody out there is going to take quite a large amount of delight in shitting all over it. At some point you will be made to feel stupid for liking something or having a certain hobby, and you may be made to feel so bad about it that you abandon something you love in order to avoid the pain that comes with being mocked. If you abandon it, it's certainly understandable because being mocked constantly isn't, you know, fun. But if you can manage it and take refuge in the thing you love and the friends you may have made because of that thing you love, being mocked won't hurt quite as bad and you'll still have your kick-ass whatever it is to enjoy.

One of the best things I ever learned over my years was to stop wasting my time trying to be cool, trying to be hip, trying to be something or someone I wasn't. There is tremendous freedom in not giving a rat's ass and I invite you to try.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

And I link other people's blog entries.

Shakesville's Melissa McEwan hits it out of the park/smokes it/wails like awesome with today's edition of I Write Letters. Read more on this article...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jonah Hill and my former life.

For those of you who don't know, Jonah Hill is a 26-year-old actor whose star is on quite the rise. He first garnered major attention in 2007's "Superbad" and has since become something of a go-to dude in dudecentric movies like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"* and "Funny People". His latest film, "Get Him To the Greek", matches him with U.K. comedian Russell Brand, who reprises his role of Aldous Snow from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". He's featured prominently on the posters for the comedy, and I'm guessing from the general tone of the trailer, he's essentially the star of the movie.

Oh, and he's fat. Fat, white, and male. Hmm.

I don't begrudge Jonah his success - it's rather refreshing to see a fat guy (not Hollywood fat, but full-metal fat) in the spotlight, even if it's in movies that aren't exactly warm fuzzy huggles for anyone who isn't male or white. He's even done a somewhat arty indie dark comedyish flick called "Cyrus" alongside Catherine Keener and John C. O'Reilly, so he seems invested in expanding his range beyond just baffled/affable zinger-doling fat guy. The thing that just kind of rubs my chub a bit is that we all know goddamned well that if Jonah was Joanie, Joanie wouldn't be toplining a major summer comedy release from Universal Studios. Joanie would be doing heartfelt, tear-streaked interviews with "Entertainment Tonight" or "Access Hollywood" about how repellent a person she was for being fat and how many personal trainers she had in her employ and what diet plan she was currently using to finally GET CONTROL of her life. She'd be doing the usual bullshit song-and-dance that almost every full-metal fat or even showbiz fat woman does the second she receives any sort of notoriety. Just now, I did a google search for interviews with Jonah Hill, trying to see if there was anything referring to him going on any sort of diet or weight loss effort for his "health", and while there's plenty of places where *others* discuss his fat, there doesn't seem to be anything from his mouth itself. His fat - at the present time, at any rate - isn't a liability.

And that just kind of frosts my ass a bit. In my younger days, I did some performing, I trod the boards, if you will. In college, I took improvisation classes with a wonderful teacher, Martin deMaat, probably the singularly most inspiring teacher I had in all my years in school. One of the initial exercises we did in my level one Improv class was standing in the middle of a circle of fellow students and loudly proclaiming, "I AM A GODDESS/GOD!". Ohhhh, I struggled with that a lot. Insecurity and cynicism does not lend itself to proclamations of goddessness. The size of my body and my general disdain of its size restrained me more often than not. I knew I was good at improv, I wasn't afraid of performing, I wasn't afraid of being funny - really, my only fear was saying unfunny things at inappropriate times. Martin gave me one of the best compliments I've ever received - that one of my strongest skills was being able to revive a scene that was dying and make it funny again. I could have easily moved into the training center at Second City, I reckon. But at 21, I also suspected what the score would wind up being. Second City was not (and still isn't) known for being a springboard to success for funny deathfat chicks. So I turned to writing - screenplays, primarily - and lost that improv muscle I'd worked so hard to develop.

Which, really, frosts my ass a bunch to this day. If there are any regrets I sport, it would be how I allowed my fat to guide my chickening out, because it was chickening out. Oh, I don't doubt for a second that my fat would have limited my "potential", and I would have struggled mightily, and hell, probably would have given up the ghost at some point. But I loved improv and I loved performing. I still love making people laugh. Not just *shrug* "love". We're talking LOVE in gigantic puffy letters. Looooooooooove from the back of your throat, looooooove from the bottom of your feet to the top of your skull. But my love couldn't overthrow the voice in my head that said "you need to apologize and make amends for being as fucking fat as you are/you need to be X size in order to be a success". My love (at that time in my life) couldn't have held up against the inevitable barrage of questions and demands my body would have inspired. Hiding was easier. Writing romantic comedies (ironic since when I was in my major screenplay writing mode, my life severely lacked both romance and comedy) that always featured a heroine that was just this side of plump was easier (Kate Winslet would be employed for eons if I had my own production company). I couldn't have borne the brunt of rejection that would have revolved solely around my fat rather than my ability.

Which leads to my ultimate frosting that frosts on behalf of both women AND men - that when you fucking google Jonah Hill, it autofills shit about his weight. It offends me that there are forums discussing Jonah Hill's weight or any other celebrity's weight. It's a plumb fucking miracle that I read an interview with him where he was discussing his part in writing the movie version of "21 Jump Street" and his weight wasn't referenced at all. While fatness might not be quite the liability for male performers as it is for females, we're always but a concern trollesque question or barely-disguised fat joke away in a puff piece or a movie trailer from being reminded that Jonah Hill or Kevin James or Jorge Garcia or Seth Rogen (though not so much at present) are GOOD SWEET CHRIST FAT!!!! They're Hollywood employable-fat, mind you, but fat all the same. And the shame is that 95 percent of the time, it's the performers themselves who work overtime to let us know that they are a) fat and b) will gladly humiliate themselves as needed onscreen or onstage in order to apologize for said fatness.

My dreamiest dream, which I don't expect to be fulfilled anytime soon, would be for a fat actor to be in a leading role where one's character didn't sob miserably due to one's fat; didn't engage in constant, snarky self-depreciation because of one's fat; didn't embark on a wacky montage illustrating just what a lumbering, clumsy oaf one was in physical/exercise situations because of one's fat; didn't sit down in front of a dinner plate piled with towers of "junk" food and proceed to shove it all into one's face because of one's fat; and didn't "strike out" with a romantic interest because of one's fat. I know, I know, it's asking an awful lot to see a movie or a television show where a fat person is portrayed as human, but I told you, my dreams are terribly dreamy.

*I am, despite its many problems, fond of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" as the movie made a valiant attempt *not* to portray Sarah Marshall as the world's most awful harpy woman in the entire world - an effort was made to, you know, give her something resembling depth. Also, frankly...I have a Jason Segel thing.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

A little riffage on thin allies/potential allies.

I had a conversation once, a long long time ago, with someone who was miles, downright light years from being fat. This woman basically fit the societal mold of being appropriately thin. Somehow, the chat turned to shopping for clothes and I mentioned that I generally hated shopping because I had such limited options and finding clothing that suited my personal style AND fit decently enough. She nodded sagely and informed me that she really, really understood how hard it was to be a fat person because she had gone shopping with a fat friend once.

This? In my head? Not the way to be an ally. Not the way to show support. The only reaction I could have was for my eyes to grow very, very wide and go on a hunt for the nearest liquor cabinet.

Everybody's body is a target in this day and age, no doubt about it - the finger-wagging's aimed at every single person for a variety of reasons and no one escapes it no matter how slender, how toned, how muscular, how groomed. I think for Fat Acceptance to thrive, it needs to involve everyone of every size. However, I also think it's terribly important for those who are of a smaller, more societally acceptable size to kick back and listen to those of us who would be cast as a headless fatty in a news report when we say "no, you really don't understand what it's like to be a fat person simply because you shopped with a fat person once and I'm struggling to conjure up sympathy for you when you go on a roll about the trauma of not being able to find anything you like at Express or the Gap or Anthropologie or Banana Republic or Abercrombie and Fitch or about 19 trillion other clothing stores". It's important for you to understand that the experience of a fat woman like me, the dreaded deathfat, is going to be wildly different than the experiences you might have had. My body is the kind of body that gets cast as the headless fatty in panicked news reports about the obesity epidemic. My body's the body that runs the risk of getting its ass booted off a plane for being too fat to fly. And my body's the kind of body that is often tagged as being too friggin' fat for Fat Acceptance. Oh yes, I will explain.

When I say "too fat for Fat Acceptance", I'm not talking about folks who are enmeshed in FA and have been rocking it for a long time. I'm talking about the folks on the outside looking in, the folks who might be taking their baby steps towards reading up on it and pondering the concept, who are still stuck in that "Real Women Have Curves!!" mode. Women's magazines love to give a fuckton of lip service to EMBRACING YER CURVES! and LOVING YERSELF and so often on pages facing the latest HAWT diet advice. There's a decided limit on how much curve we're allowed to embrace and just how much we're allowed to love ourselves, and if you're built like me? Ohhhhh lordy begordy, I am SO not supposed to not diet. I should be on the table right now, having my stomach jacked with and shrunk down to the size of a thumb (or is it an egg now?) because I AM A TICKING TIME BOMB.

I've probably said it before (I do tend to repeat myself), but the thing you're going to need to accept (hurr) is that if you want to be down with Fat Acceptance and be an ally? It covers ALLLLLLLLLL levels of fat, ALLLLLLLLLLLL levels of health, ALLLLLLLL levels of ability. You don't get to decide that you're going to be all for the fatty that goes to the gym five days a week but scold the fatty that doesn't exercise at all. You don't get to fling kudos at the fatty who eats salad and tsk tsk the fatty that would rather shit twice and die than eat anything resembling a vegetable. Deciding that you believe in Fat Acceptance doesn't give you a pass to subsequently declare certain types of fat people unacceptable for Fat Acceptance.

I want Fat Acceptance to spread and grow, and I want to see loads of people join in. But I'll be damned if I'll blow party horns and toss confetti and have a welcoming cake party for someone who'd eyeball me and see me as a liability.

TWO BLOG NOTES!: 1) I am going to be out of town until Wednesday evening, so if you make a comment, I won't be able to moderate it until then. 2) This post was inspired in part by Lesley's comment regarding how experiences differ for differently sized people during this discussion.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Of course it's because of the toys.

Being a FA blogger who shies away from taking apart articles and studies because I don't feel I'm terribly good at it means that I tend to avoid the terror-filled shitpiles of "lifestyle" and "OMG OBESITY GET IT AWAY FROM YEW" articles on pretty much every single website in existence. But as I was perusing the Yahoo Entertainment page, I came across this gem:

California county bans fast-food toys to stem child obesity

I didn't think it was physically possible for me to roll my eyes so far back into my skull!

I just...I can't even construct a reaction to this nonsense that isn't laden with sarcasm and disdain, everyone. From the hand-wringing about that - that - FAT-PUSHING SLATTERN MCDONALD'S!!! to the mind-blowingly dopey "Well gosh, our kids are just so darn persuasive so therefore we are incapable of saying no to them when they demand McDonald's"'s sincerely appalling to me that people this incapable of critical thinking and simple logic are in positions of power.

Look, I'm not a parent nor do I have any plans or desire for becoming one, but I spend plenty of time in the company of parents who have young children (ostensibly the TARGET of the FAT-DEALING EVIL THAT IS MICKEY D'S - THE D STANDS FOR DEVIL!!!!) and let me tell you, none of them have any hesitation looking at their kids and saying "yeah, fuck no" to anything from "can we have McDonald's" to "can I get on the shed and play Superman". I would suspect a vast majority of parents are just as capable. In online brawls about the evils of fast food and whatnot, the mystical Horrible Strawparent is always conjured up - you know, the one that everyone's seen giving her infant a bottle of Coke and a fistful of cotton candy (and it's always the mother, of course, NEVER the father). Horseshit stories about pretend people doing things leads to horseshit "Childhood Obesity Epidemics" and a government program that has no qualms about othering fat kids.

I'm sure I've said it before, but of course, I'll repeat myself: it never fails to astonish me how so many people are willing to roll their eyes and treat with utter cynicism so much of what is reported by the media and handed down by the government, but the second it has ANYTHING to do with fat? Holy SHIT does the logic go bye-bye. Forget about it. Even if scienterrific geniuses of the modern age, the most brilliant scientists ever to walk the earth lined up at a press conference Mercury 7-style and each stated unequivocally that the kids are okay and that good eating and physical activity is great for everyone, not just fat kids, and that fat is not a death sentence and you know, dieting doesn't work, really, and hey, while you're at it, it's none of your fucking business what anyone else's health status is and you can't tell someone's health status by looking at them and oh, let me show you our sciences, I guarantee the average person would call it all hoo-hah. Which simply goes to show you that it's really not about health and it never has been. It isn't enough to feel as good as you can - there's no point to it if you don't have the "right" body to go with it.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The cure for what ailed me.

I had a grumptastic day yesterday. A pair of loungetastic pants that I loved have gone missing, so as part of my fruitless hunt for them I decided I should go through the items in my dresser to see what still fit.

Ooooooh, mercy, it was a bit brutal. I've gained a bit of weight over the last few months, enough to bump me up a size or so, and as I chucked pants and shorts and skirts into a Hefty (hurr) bag, I got crabbier and crabbier, plannier and plannier about all the different ways I needed (NEEDED) to get rid of these damnable pounds that have crept up on me. Never mind that 95 percent of the items I was tossing were items that I haven't worn in literally years and had no immediate plans to wear, they were SIGNS, FABRIC SIGNS OF MY HIDEOUSNESS AND SLOTH.

So I grumped and muttered and ventilated into the ear of my gentlemanfriend (who I'm just going to call Mr. Blasphemies because it's easier than conjuring up new ways to avoid saying "boyfriend" because I'm 38, for Christ sake) for a while, knowing that the next day (or "today", if you will) I would be shopping with my sister who has lost 70 pounds and can't get through a conversation without making mention of it and that's not the kind of shit you want to hear when you're having a bad body day. But I hoped that perhaps a decent shopping excursion might perk me up. Not any random shopping, though - the only cure for what ailed me would be a jaunt to Vive La Femme in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood.

Now, I hate shopping for clothes. My taste in clothing is generally not what is sold by Lane Bryant or Torrid (well, not anymore *HEAVY SIGH*), and I'm small-boobed and big-bellied - hard to find things I find to be flattering or, hell, comfortable for me. So I avoid shopping for clothes as often as possible, preferring to shop online or making twice a year treks to Lane Bryant to find something that I don't completely hate. But shopping at Vive La Femme is such an antidote to my shopping loathery. Owner Stephanie Sack is a force of friggin' nature, a character of characters, who will spend all the time you need picking out pieces she thinks will work on you and encourages you to try things that you might never try on your own. If you're in the general Chicago area, it is so worth the trip (and the hunt for street parking) because I walked out today feeling like a million bucks and then some - and let me reiterate, I. hate. clothes. shopping.

Added bonus - she's got some pieces from Lucie Lu in store, so I was able to try on and walk out with this dress - Marianne from The Rotund was definitely right - this dress is HELLO BOOBY, so I'll be throwing a tank top underneath this. Speaking of Lucie Lu, I ordered this dress a couple weeks ago and a) it looks really cute on me and b) I got it in, like, 30 seconds. Seriously, I think I ordered on a Thursday and got it on a Saturday. So thus far, my experiences with Lucie Lu have been quite positive. I would definitely encourage giving them a whirl.

(Notes: Vive La Femme, as well as Lucie Lu, swing into the pricey range. However, I will say that for the buck, you're getting a lot of bang and life out of clothes as compared to, say, Lane Bryant or Avenue. Also, while VLF states sizes between 12 and 24, there are plenty of things in store that would fit those of us over 24. I generally roll a 26/28 on the bottom and a 22/24 on top. Stephanie is fucking magic, I swear.) Read more on this article...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And now, a message from Your Royal Highness.

(h/t to Shakesville)

"When we get fat, we fool ourselves with every kind of lie imaginable. By 2008, my weight started creeping up and I said, 'Oh, I still look good at 150. I still look good at 155. I still look okay at 165. Some of my clothes still fit at 175.' And nobody was saying 'You're fat.' I was like a bank robber who was getting away with it."—Kirstie Alley

Well, first off, who's "we"? But that's just my initial reaction to yet another gigantically unhelpful quote from the annals of Kirstie Alley.

But let's see how I've fooled myself, Kirstie. I fooled myself for years believing that I wasn't worth a good goddamn because I was fat. I fooled myself for years believing I wasn't worth love or friendship or success because I was fat. I fooled myself as a child and adolescent by enduring verbal abuse from adults (TEACHERS!) who were simply "trying to help" by openly mocking me for being fat - I couldn't believe they didn't have my best interests at heart, because after all, they just wanted me to be "healthy", right? I fooled myself with endless diets that always failed because it was "my fault".

I must have been fooling myself when something - I couldn't even TELL you what at this stage of the game - kept me going, kept me living, kept me from shrinking into a corner and completely falling apart despite everything telling me that I was bad, wrong, awful, terrible, ugly, horrible, disgusting. And when I finally made up my mind that I was enough, that I was worthwhile, that I fucking rocked socks on epic levels as a fat fat FAT FAT FAAAAT woman, well, shit. I am clearly the Queen of Foolvania for daring to think that. You know what I've gotten away with? Freedom. Contentment. Calm. Joy. Enormous amounts of laughter. A real affection for goat cheese. Traveling the world. Shaking hands, making friends. ("Eric Stratton, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you.") Better health, both physically and mentally. Love - and not "in spite of" my being fat. Or that fucked up, creepy conditional shit where it's "okay" as long as I'm trying to lose it all. Actual full-metal no bullshit support and comfort and snuggles and smooches and nudity love.

Your experience is not universal, Kirstie. And you don't speak for me, or loads and loads of people like me. And it's my goal to see to it that there are more being added every day to the loads of people who have gotten away clean.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The line must be drawn here.

Yeah, I'm getting all Captain Picard/"First Contact" on your ass because I am officially DONE, DONE, DONE with the food policing and the dubbing of foods as "sinful" or "decadent" or "bad" or "good" and people turning their lives over to what the hell they place into the mouths.

It's Sunday and on a Sunday I like to lounge and channel surf. More often than not, I land on Food Network because I like food and I love to cook. They have a show called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate", featuring assorted FN hosts as well as people that are connected to food somehow - though I find it questionable why you'd have someone like Lisa Lillien, the Hungry Girl person on since she's built a career off being constantly focused on food and how "good" or "bad" it is and what you should and should never eat. In my fat, humble opinion, there's no place for anyone who sees food as the enemy, as an adversary, in anything to do with the enjoyment and consuming of food. But hey, she's thin and I'm decidedly not, so clearly SHE'S THE BIG BIG WINNER, AMIRITE???!

But I digress, kinda. The episode I watched was all about - bing bong - Guilty Pleasures.


Twenty-two minutes of *gasp* people eating things that have been deep-fried or involve cream or cheese or cream AND cheese and...the worst worst WORST thing of all...strap in and grab your socks and pull because it's about to get so fucking tragically real it's going to blow your hair back:


The only person who managed to not apologize once for his love of clam chowder from a place called Cabby Shack was Beau MacMillan. He was rapturous in his love of the chowder - and let me tell you, it looked fantastic if you're someone who loves a quality clam chowder. He said right out of the box that he wasn't going to apologize for eating or cooking with foods like heavy cream, cheese, or basically anything else that falls on "the naughty list". Everyone else - Michael Symon, Sunny Anderson, Michael Psilakis, Donatella Arpaia, Claire Robinson, and even my beloved Duff Goldman pretty much fell over themselves to talk about how TERRIBLE and AWFUL and LETHAL their particular "guilty" pleasures were. My head was already primed to cave in AND bust right on out again when Lisa Lillien appeared - I didn't know who she was until the big-ass HUNGRY GIRL caption popped up and I almost fell right the fuck out of my bed. This is someone who, on her website's front page, doles out "advice" on eating, trots out a disclaimer about how she's not a medical professional or a nutritionist, and caps her elaborate dance with:

But it's entertaining, helpful and enjoy it!

No, I don't think I will, but thanks for asking anyway! In fact, one of my dreamiest, fattiest, most corpulent dreams is to help people not to torment themselves about what they eat - it's that we'd live in a universe where people are allowed to believe and TRUST THEMSELVES ENOUGH to EAT FOOD. STUFF YOU LIKE. AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. You are capable of so much more than you think you are, which terrrrrifies the weight loss industry. You aren't a grown-up who takes care of your business but the second a “forbidden” or a “decadent” or a “sinful” food is anywhere within your view you morph into a gibbering toddler whose hand must be slapped and be told "NO BAD WRONG NAUGHTY".

Trust yourself. You can eat. You will not eat any innocent bystanders who happen to be close when the melty goat cheese in tomato basil sauce appears (spread appropriately on crusty bread instead). How much more energy do you want to spend berating yourself and policing yourself at every single party, at every single breakfast/lunch/dinner? How much longer are you going to put up with it?

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Voulez-vous the bus.

(h/t to Jezebel)

Let me tell you, when I read the "etiquette" column linked through Jez, I damn near died. I mean, seriously. First of all, just the title alone is ridonk: "Do the obese really deserve contempt?" Because it's a question that only has one answer, which is "DUH."

Now, of course, the douchebaggions of the internet/world would say "DUH, of course they deserve our contempt because they're smelly/awful/ugly/horrific/lazy/blah blee blah blah blah". I would wager the comments on said article are chock-full so, as always, dear readers, avoid. On Planet Jane, however, the "DUH" is followed by another question: "are you dumb?" Don't get me wrong, there are plenty who I think deserve my contempt in several areas of my daily life, but my contempt has nothing to do with the simple fact that they, you know, EXIST. I don't zero in on Joe Dude standing on the corner and toss him into the Contempt Column. If he opens his mouth and says something asinine, then it's time for him to be launched into Contempt Town.

I think the author of said article, Mary Mitchell from Seattle, means well...but I also think we all know how absolutely jacked shit gets when somebody "means well". She "means well" when she makes statements like:

"The fact is, most obese people are fundamentally just average-sized folks who have become trapped under layers of fat and can't seem to find a way out"

Or suggestions like:

"Be wary of activities that require a lot of walking or standing. You would do the same for anyone with a walker or wheelchair."

I've never, EVER been "average-sized". Ever. I used to joke that I sprang forth from my mother's birth canal a size 14 and never looked back. I wouldn't know what "average-sized" feels like because I've always been big. I didn't encounter a boy that was taller than me until I hit high school. I was never small enough to shop at Express or the Gap. So when the "well-meaning" get on a roll about how much pain I must be in from my fat, it's like they're talking about a Jane that exists on some other plane. I'm not in pain - well, I'm achy because I've been a walking stressball for the better part of the last nine months thanks to work, and I have a difficult time getting rid of tension. I'm not "trapped" under layers of fat. I'm not being "smothered" or "choking" or any other number of dramatic adjectives. I'm just fat, that's all. I've always been fat, fat is my default, and it's something that I am done fighting with.

Please don't assume that because I'm fat that ambulating or being upright is the bane of my existence. In fact, stop assuming that you can figure out by eyeballing me what I'm capable of doing or not doing. And that little nugget (cuz you dug it) bit of advice goes for EVERYONE you might encounter, not simply us folks who are "trapped" under layers of fat. Add that to your Mannerly To-Do List - stop fucking thinking you know precisely how healthy or unhealthy/capable or incapable someone is simply by clapping eyes upon them. Or what their lives "must be" like. Or how much they eat or don't eat.

You would think that would be common sense, but as we've learned over the years, and are reminded again and again and again pretty much every single freaking day, fatness and common sense rarely mingle in the cocktail party that is society. Read more on this article...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The more things change.

First, a quick note - Marianne Kirby, aka The Rotund, is going to be on ABC's Nightline Face-Off regarding "Is it Okay To Be Fat". I'm having a hard time not calling it Nightline After Dark and/or Nightline FACEOFF!!!! with exploding graphics. I've read the article over at but can't bring myself to watch the clips. I go from zero to flipping my shit very easily and I know watching the video is guaranteed to put me over the edge. No matter how much I try to logic Meme Roth and the vitriol that falls out of her mouth, I can't get past her being from the Planet BWUH in the constellation *bzzzzztWOOOOOO* and that's not good for my brain or general demeanor. I think that's why I kind of take the easy-peasy way out on my blog - it's rare that I will address any article directly and approach fat acceptance, etc. from a more personal experience/emotional angle because my style of debate quickly devolves into "get bent" instead of "Here are 50 scientific facts that you overlooked, my fine fellow". I'd much rather settle into a comfy chair and rap with my readers.

Isn't that what the kids today do, get together in beanbag chairs and rap? Well, let's rap about a little something. And I might repeat myself, but bear with me.

Way way way back when I was a girl in grade school, a favorite game of mine was called "Kissing Monster". I would chase the boys around the playground, tackle my prey, and then cover the victim's face in kisses until they managed to squirm away from me (I was a bruiser as a child, so it was harder for them to escape than you might thing). One day, a teacher pulled me aside and told me (while trying very hard not to laugh) that I had to stop doing it "because they don't like it when you kiss them". Oh, how prophetic Mr. Rossi's instruction would be.

In April 2008, I talked at length about my state of singlehood and how frustrating I found the entire affair. Since then, I've spent a good deal of time taking a peek into my innards and determining how to navigate life solo in as enjoyable a fashion as possible. Which, I found, was the key - trying to have as much fun as I could despite all the noise from the outside telling me I was too this, too that, too loud, too fat, blah blah blah. At the end of the day, I really, really enjoy the hell out of my own company. If there's any advice I would give anyone who is single and may wind up single for the foreseeable future is to figure out how to enjoy your own company. Hell, it applies to everyone, single or partnered. Yes, there will be days of epic shit and loneliness and irritation. But we can have way better days and better days that far outweigh the shit days because we're all capable of way more than I think most of us give ourselves credit for. We're so trained to think we're less than, that we're incapable of reaching that mysterious "potential" simply because of the size of our waists that it can't help but bleed over into every single aspect of our lives. If anyone were to ask me what the crux of Fat Acceptance was in my head, it would be that the world would be a far better place if people didn't believe so fervently that life doesn't begin (and simply wasn't worth living) until (or unless) you hit a certain weight. So much time is being wasted, so many experiences aren't being had because of this bullshit trap, and that's tragic to me.

I touched on this in more detail at the end of December and at that time, I couldn't have predicted how my life would take an unexpected turn. It's a turn I've been trying to figure out how to discuss here because I think it is beyond important in the movement to present not just Fats With Partners Defying Stereotypes, but Fats Who Are Single and Pissed and Mixed Up About It as well as Fats Who Are Single and Rockingly Okay with it. I don't think we hear enough about the last two. But I'm going to have to start officially disclaimering myself as I have a beau (I'm 38 years old, for cry-yay, "boyfriend" seems just so...25-year-old me). Rest assured, you will be spared my waxing poetic about his dreaminess, inappropriate TMI-ing, and I'd venture to say he will be rarely discussed unless it's in the context of a fat acceptance topic. But I felt it was important to let you know what was up instead of presenting myself as Single and Pissed Yet Okay Most of the Time I Think, because that would be jerky and dishonest. I'm guilty of being jerky a bunch, but dishonesty is not my bag.

I can't really explain why my fortune in that particular department happened to change. There's no formula, no magic revision of my methodology. The thing I can promise you is that if I ever am tempted to type a platitude like "OMG THERE'S SOMEONE FOR EVERYONE!!" or "YOU HAVE TO STOP LOOKING IN ORDER TO FIND THE ONE!!!"... I will punch myself in the face for you.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

To those who know me but might not *know* me.

I'm apologizing in advance for this blog post because I will probably get disjointed (more than usual), ramble (more than usual), and whatnot. But this is a blog post for the people who don't know me as Jane, fat acceptance activist from Casual Blasphemies, but Jane... from View Askew or Janesy from LiveJournal or JaceyIBLTD from Musicland.

When you're done with this, chances are good you will think I'm deluded or ignorant or touched or all three. And you're welcome to think that when you're done because I expect it. I've heard it and the following all my life, really:

"Doesn't she realize what she looks like?" (audience member at 1990 Madrigal dinner at high school where I was playing Portia from a playlet called "When Shakespeare's Ladies Meet")

"My mom asked me if you have any friends" (friend in third or fourth grade)

"TUB OF LARD!" (car of males driving down a side street, probably junior high)

"Yes." (a young man in response to being asked if he'd accepted a bet from his friends to dance with me, senior year of high school)

"Are you pregnant?" (third grade)

"If I looked like you, I would kill myself" (Freshman year, when the entire homeroom of about 25 kids engaged in nine months of harassment, including "Wide Load" notes on my back and tacks on my chair)

My experiences aren't unusual. Ask anyone who is or was fat or in any way different from the so-called norm and I'm sure they have similar stories. I'm not particularly special in that regard. I might be slightly special snowflakey because of how I chose to deal with it. Instead of completely rejecting the world (which would have been understandable), I chose to go at it headlong and goddammit, I would make people forget I was fat by sheer force of personality. I would be the funniest, I would be the nicest, I would be the most fun person you could ever hope to meet so that the first thing you thought of when my name came up wasn't "oh, the fat girl" but "oh, the cool girl/the one who sings/the comedian/the one on the radio/the one who eats fire/the one who gives really good advice/the one who listens well/the one who writes well".

I dieted with purpose and with skill, like so many of us do. I counted my calories and exercised accordingly and I'd lose that weight and oh, how wonderful I looked, how good I looked! It was never enough, of course. My body held onto as much of my fat as it could and the second I would relax a little, not work out all five days or six days or seven days, KAZAAM it came screaming back. I did it for years. I did it from the age of 10 until my early 30s. I almost committed suicide twice in my teen years because I knew no one would love me because of my fat and I'd always be alone. (First time around, I didn't do it because I wanted to see Duran Duran live; second time around, my ego - which is epic, mind you, to this day - wanted to see how many awards I would get at the end of senior year of high school because I was very active in theater, speech, the radio station, the newspaper. Yes, the stupidest things can actually save you.)

Being a fat acceptance activist is the best decision I made, one that I'm 110 percent happy I made, and I will go to glory believing deep in my bones that fighting the diet culture and the sizeism and fatphobia and fucking wrongheaded information and attitudes that rule this country is right and the truth and even if I make ONE person embrace their size AS IT IS and not give a shit what the scale says and lives one's life without tormenting themselves about one's weight or appearance and lives one's life how it suits them without fear or apologies for it, I will feel like I did some good. But actively rejecting the diet culture, the default, the lifestyle that is deemed morally sound and "good", fucking sucks on many days.

It's been sucking the last couple of days, ever since Kevin Smith got booted off his Southwest flight and he went public so gloriously with it. It's sucked because it's served to remind me just how hated I am. When I say "I", I don't necessarily mean the Jane that you know (either in "real life" or "online"), because you may be of the "oh, I don't mean *you*" persuasion. That is, when you go on a tear about the horrid fatties making the world a shittier place or when you have no compunction about peering in someone's grocery cart and criticizing their choices because of their size or busting on a celebrity's weight gain - oh, *they're* fat and horrid, but oh no,'re not horrid. You're not like THOSE fat people - why, I don't even see you as fat! I understand that mindset. I've lived in the shadow of that mindset my entire life, worked my ass off to distract people into that mindset because I wanted to be liked, I wanted to be loved, I wanted to be cool.

Over the last couple days, it's sucked and it's hurt me to see fat people apologizing to the universe for existing and not trying hard enough to be thin and taking up too much space and failing morally for being fat; the cheery, game self-deprecating tinged with self-loathing, the act I put on for so many years rolled out before me over and over. The act is exhausting. The act is wrong. The demand for the act is morally bankrupt and vile. And yet, it's easier. It's approved, you see. If I were to declare I was going on a diet tomorrow, I would be praised to the high heavens. It wouldn't matter the kind of mental pain it would cause me, the personal pain it would cause me, the pain it would cause those closest to me because of what dieting requires of me. I would be trying for a just cause, not something as foolhardy and useless as fat acceptance (pah!). I would be liked by more people. I might even be loved. I certainly wouldn't be "crazy", that's for sure.

I don't require you to understand my fat acceptance stance. I wish you could, but I know there aren't any miracles coming down the pike anytime soon. If you're dieting, I'm not going to cheer you on or praise you for losing a half a pound. I'm not game to agree that any food you consume is "bad" or "good" because it's just food and food is lovely. I'm sure we can find plenty of other things to talk about other than your diet and other than my fat acceptance (except "Lost" - I bailed on that shit in season one). I hope you find contentment and that you find a way to dig yourself and your body and all the things it's capable of doing regardless of how much fat may be on it, and that you don't put your life on hold until that magic day when you've met your goal weight. I wish you only the best.


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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let me tell you the one about the director and the airline...

As covered nicely over at Shapely Prose, director Kevin Smith found himself getting the boot off a Southwest Airlines flight for posing a "safety risk" - in other words, flying while fat. Kevin's Twitter can be found here if you'd like to keep an eye on any future Tweetings he might leave about the subject.

It's hard for me to objectively talk about Kevin because I'm a blatant fangirl of his, very active on his message board at, I've had the pleasure of meeting him a couple times as well as his enormously cool wife, Jen Schwalbach. In many ways, he reminds me of me - "the fat kid" who honed the sense of humor to a razor-sharp point and developed a personality that would hopefully distract people from my fat, that they would like me *despite* my size. He's broken my heart with his honesty about his feelings regarding his weight and his numerous attempts at losing weight because holy fucking shit, I've been there, we've all been there. And I've been horrified seeing him get concern-trolled by his fans at times.

I can't say whether or not Kevin would be eager to become a public proponent of Fat Acceptance, though I know I'd love to have him. I think I *can* say that he wasn't banking on becoming a hot topic in the Fatosphere tonight. If nothing else, I hope that he holds onto the disdain and Twitter-rage towards Southwest Airlines and the realization that *he* wasn't the problem and Tweets the dopes into oblivion. Read more on this article...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Why, I have a blog business note!

I'm sitting here in the nerve center of my spinster lair, running through lists for the triltonlith time to make sure I don't forget anything as I'm leaving for Australia tomorrow. Granted, I'm not the most terribly prolific blogger, but I felt compelled to keep those who read me posted that I'm going to be awake for, like, 24 straight hours or more but thank the universe for Valium. I may even blog internationally (oooh! Exotic!) as I'll have internet access at my final destination. So that's my story.

Oh, one last thing - while I was heading into work this morning, I was turning the phrase "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" over and over in my head and thinking about meals and foods I've had over the years that I suspect taste and feel way better than being skinny does (though I've never actually been skinny ever - a future post will feature me from my youth to present and you'll understand):

*An old school Caesar salad complete with poached egg in a restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand

*Eggs Benedict with crab at a place outside Clearwater, Florida

*A warm cinnamon sugar pretzel from a stand on the upper level of the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas

*Lobster bisque from the Capital Grill

*Cranberry White Chocolate Almond Moose Munch from Harry and David

*Chicken schnitzel from a cafe in Canberra, Australia

*Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity 3 in New York City

*Creamed spinach from Smith and Wollensky

*Grilled vegetables from Benihana

*Grilled portobello mushroom sandwich with goat cheese at Cleo's in Chicago

If anyone comments, since I'll be IN THE AIR FOR FOURTEEN HOURS (oh mercy), it'll take me a bit of time to approve. But I'll get to you, I swear. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for reading. Read more on this article...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Prepare ye the way of the fail.

Dear New Year’s Dieters,

It is with some degree of sadness that I inform you that chances are rather good your “New Year’s Diet” or so-called “Lifestyle Change” that you’ve adopted effective at 12:01 January 1, 2010 is going to fail. Unfortunately, I’m unable to give you a precise date or time as to when the Brand New You is potentially going to revert back to the Old Old You, but suffice it to say you may want to begin considering a new approach.

I know you’re going to get angry with me, which I expect. I mean, it’s harsh on the ears to hear “you’re probably going to fail”. But in this instance, since it’s early in the new year and there’s still time to kick back and do a little introspective poking into one’s own gray matter, let’s use my admittedly harsh statement to do just that. Let’s have a bit of a think together.

I’ve been where you’re at, about…oh, I’d say 15-20-25-30 times or more over the course of the last 37 years. And every single time I believed that THIS TIME WILL BE THE LAST TIME because “I know what I’m doing this time and I did it alllll wrong the last time!”. Uhhhhh-huh. I just KNEW I had to cut out all carbs or never eat sugar or only eat salads or only eat things the size of my fist or never use butter or only eat fat-free products or only eat at certain times or never eat after six p.m. or drink 180,000 ounces of water a day so I felt full or constantly chew gum or eat only using chopsticks or only use my non-dominant hand to eat or put down my fork between every bite or drink a sip of water with every bite or or or or or or or or or. Sure, I lost weight.

And sure, I hated every single minute of it as I divorced myself from enjoyment of anything that might have threatened my imagined “virtue” and obsessed about what I could eat, what I couldn’t eat, will there be food I can eat at that party or at my mother’s or at my friend’s or at that restaurant is there time for me to work out what if I don’t work out oh god if I don’t work out and I eat something involving fat maybe I’ll just stay home. But I lost that weight. And it came back. Plus ten. Plus twenty. Plus who knows how much more.

You’re saying right now, “that isn’t me. I’m not obsessed about my diet, and it’s NOT a diet, it’s a Lifestyle Change, thank you very much.” So why am I hearing people getting bent over officemates bringing sweets into the office or sighing heavily over the salad they *must* eat or the amount of miles they *must* run/walk or the amount of pounds they *must* lose and that’s…pretty much all I’m hearing? If you’re not obsessed with your Lifestyle Change, then why is it the only thing you can discuss? Why am I hearing about your laundry list of foods you simply CANNOT eat? Why am I hearing stories of your failure to do a full 45 minutes at the gym (you only did 40, you naughty monkey)? If this Lifestyle Change of yours is such a revelation, such a pleasure, such a delightful thing that is going to bring you nothing but joy and unicorns and butterflies, why are you so terrified? How is any of this healthy?

“Well, the end result will be healthy, I’ll be X pounds lighter and I’ll be super-healthy and super-happy, so eff you, jealous fatty ugly fatty fat girl,” you might be saying. Hey, if that’s your awesome dream, Dreamweaver (gary wright omg) then don’t mind me – and you won’t because I know how people are as I happen to be one of them. You can go back to your Atkinsing, Weight Watchering, Nutrasysteming, Jenny Craiging, Slim Fasting, Optifasting, Medifasting, Gastric Bypassing, Alli-ing, Sugarbustering, and Lapbanding with loads of support from millions upon millions of others. And every January 1, you swear you’re getting back on the wagon, back on the horse, you’re going to be good and do things right and get yourself back under control with loads of support from millions upon millions of others. You will berate yourself for being bad if you have a cookie or two cookies or five cookies. You will berate yourself for being a disgusting slob if you eat more than your daily Points allow. You will berate what you see in the mirror for not looking like Mr./Ms. X down at the gym even though you’ve been going faithfully almost every day for weeks and weeks. You will berate yourself for not losing a third of a pound. You will hate exercise and sweating and moving your body no matter how good it might feel because you didn’t lose that third of a pound. You will berate yourself for being hideous and revolting and appalling to look at while forcefully telling any friends who voice how hideous and revolting and appalling to look at they believe themselves to be that they are wrong and they are beautiful and wonderful and delightful.

You are worth more than this, you know. Take the chance and let yourself “fail” for a while. Allow yourself to eat without involving a book that involves calorie or point counts – you won’t believe me when I tell you, but you’re not going to revert into some sort of gelatinous “Altered States”-esque protohuman that devours absolutely every single sugary, fat-laden foodstuff in sight if you do so. Remove any goal that says “be in size X by Date X/lose X pounds by Date X”. Enjoy what your body is capable of doing instead of hating it for what it doesn’t look like, move your ass because you have fun moving your ass, sweat just to sweat.

But…I know the chances are good you’re not going to listen to me. You’re going to roll your eyes, maybe swear at the screen, perhaps assign me the role of being “delusional”, “crazy” and certainly most definitely “lazy”. You might get angry at me saying such things, insisting I’m advocating people stop being healthy because I would love to see people stop dieting for weight loss purposes. The great thing is that you can click away and trot on over to SparkPeople or any of the batrillions of diet-friendly internet forums and get back to the business of Losing Weight and Looking Great! Or remembering A Moment on the Lips, a Lifetime on the Hips! Or engraving Nothing Tastes as Good as Thin Feels on a plaque from Things Remembered. You do whatever you need to do in order to make yourself happy.

I just hope you take a moment while setting down your fork between bites to figure out what really does.

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