Category Archives: fat

[cranky] CFF manifesto (in progress)

CFF became a place for me to understand that there is more than fat shaming — there is skinny shaming too, and that I’ve participated in it. Today, I do post mostly about fat shaming, but I make a point of never skinny shaming.

gabourey sidibe

I’ve also reflected a lot on how I’ve felt fat since probably the age of 9 or 10. I hit puberty early (period came at age 10) so I was extra tall and hairy early. I’ve always had wide shoulders, and by 6th grade I was a 36C. I was always bigger than every other girl, and most of the guys. I told myself constantly that I was fat. Middle school (the years of self hate, mean girls, exploring make up, leg shaving, girl on girl hate…) only made my fat feel fatter.
Since then I’ve realized that almost all of us felt fat (regardless of how little we may have weighed). I want this page to be a community in which everyone who has ever felt fat — ever — to feel safe and realize that we must love our bodies. Even if you want to change your body (weight, gender, tattoos, clothes) you have to start by loving your body.

You only get one body.

strong women

Every day when I check CFF I’m reminded that I MUST love my wonderfully imperfect body. I am reminded the true meaning and importance of intersectionality, looking through comments and looking at all of the countries and cities the “likes” originate from.

This then reminds me that all over the world fat means different things. When I was in Ghana fat was a good thing (although personally traumatic for the first six weeks). We must accept our bodies, love our bodies, and remember that maybe it’s your society that does not “approve” of your body — but it’s not the world that does not approve.
she dares to take up space

I love messages from other CFFs, and posts shared on the wall. It helps open my eyes more to the world outside of my little ass-backwards southern city.

I somehow was incredibly sheltered from the fact that men have body image issues as well. Having CFF really opened my eyes to this, and I’ve worked my hardest to include all genders in body image conversations. My own father’s body image problems have also been eye opening. He weighs much less than me, but is desperate to lose 20 pounds. His doctor hasn’t asked him to lose weight, it’s just for him and the man he sees in the mirror. While I don’t understand it, I still have to respect him.

pretty

Always a work in progress, respect and choice are essential to feminism.

[cranky] periods and porta potties, and bullshit at work, oh, and cleavage

A month ago, four hours from home, I arrive at this new work site, 6:45am, bleary-eyed and desperately clutching my nearly empty coffee cup. Turns out we were called in early just for the sake of being early and sorting paperwork, which really only took 20 minutes. By 7:45 my bladder is full of coffee and I have to ask where the restrooms are… only to find out that we had access to porta potties. Perhaps if I walked half a mile up the road to this fancy arena people would be there and let me in to use a real restroom. But that was perhaps. After tucking a just in case tampon into the shorts I’m wearing (which are really my new boyfriend’s extra pair of work shorts) I hand my helmet to one of my female coworkers and head to the row of porta potties. My hands have already touched the gross “community box” of hard hats, borrowed someone’s pen to sign paperwork, and had just touched the door of the porta potty. While trying to keep the bottoms of my shorts from touching the pool of water around my boots, I discover that I have indeed started my period. And I have no where to wash my hands before I use the tampon. Surely comical if anyone had been watching, I managed to keep the shorts out of the puddle and put in the tampon. About to walk out I remember, I still have no where to wash my hands. I clean my hands to the best of my ability with the one-ply, but have no choice but to walk out, grab my hard hat, and get ready to work.
dont dumb yourself down

It’s a male-dominated field and we’re in the south. Essentially, if you aren’t a badass feminist with a point to prove you won’t last more than a few months. As a general trend around here, the women have a larger skill set and a better work ethic. The men can get by as long as they’re very muscular or tall, or if they’re funny and love to kiss boss-ass. A large number of the guys will flat out tell you that they would rather have only guys working with them. More and more are getting smart enough to keep their mouths shut and just look down on you. As long as they don’t grope and don’t name call, they can’t be called out for being sexist, so they can’t get in any trouble.

If the work community doesn’t want women around, all they have to do is keep providing porta potties– no one wants to feel dehumanized, which is exactly how I felt using dirty hands to put in a tampon while making sure my shorts didn’t get wet. Maybe if cargo shorts were made for women and not nearly-exclusively for men I wouldn’t have had to worry about the bottom two inches of fabric getting pee on them. Maybe if there was just a jug of water nearby for hand washing I would have felt much cleaner.

Besides the panties and bra, my clothes were asexual. No, actually, that’s not true. Asexual would be fine. I was wearing men’s shorts, and men’s steel toed boots (what? women wear steel toes? never. hope they made a small enough men’s pair for you). I was wearing a t-shirt that I got after a show, which meant that others there had the same shirt too. And because of my big boobs, I can’t get away with a tank top or a cut-neck t-shirt to provide the twin heaters with some ventilation. The fastest way to be sent home is to have any sort of cleavage. (The fastest way to be sent home SHOULD be not wearing steel toes, or not wearing your hard hat.)

cleavage-12

Indecent and distracting, boobs are definitely evil and always dangerous for men. Before and after every show the lights are on. During the show, the lights are off. When the lights are off the men can stare at anything and anyone without being caught– they can watch dancers change backstage, they can watch singers strip down and redress with so few seconds that modesty has no time. We are all human, and the understanding is that no one is watching because no one cares, because we are all people, with variations on the same parts. But the problem is that some of these guys are watching. And their bosses know, and don’t care. Some of these guys are watching the private dance studio 14 year olds change clothes, they’re staring at the bouncing boobs of a 19 year old college dance major. But it’s dark, and no one can see where they stare. Until the lights come on, and then suddenly they’re in deep shit for staring at the tiny bit of a coworker’s cleavage. So in an effort to save the good old boys from any embarrassment, cleavage goes home immediately so that guys don’t have to be reprimanded.

 

[fat] Fatropolis

Have you ever sat on your kitchen floor, in tears, with the thought that everything in your cabinets is “fat food”? Have you ever drawn a hot bath only to realize you don’t fit in the tub? When was the last time you heard snide comments about how your size makes you automatically unattractive? Do you struggle to find both well-fitting and flattering clothes?

fatropolis

Here is proof you aren’t alone.

Tracey does a phenomenal job highlighting the absurdities and hypocrisies within our size-discriminating society by flipping the coin and showing thin people as the black sheep, and “hearty” people as the preferred body type. Fatropolis is flooded with advertisements for weight-gain products, television stars feature hearty actors, and there’s no shame in second helps or ordering dessert. No need to hide your sweet treat to eat in private to avoid judgmental eyes.

Big really is beautiful. Escape to Fatropolis and fall in love with your body again.

Order Fatropolis on Amazon Here or by clicking the Amazon link on the side of the blog (if you enter through one of these links I’ll get a commission that goes towards paying student loans and rent!)

[cranky] “useless dependent”

According to my father I am the useless 23 year old dependent. I cannot find a job, and I’m not looking hard enough. Sometimes when the primary breadwinner loses their job, the child steps up and becomes the primary bread winner. Why hasn’t that happened?

Why can’t I be more dedicated to filing out dozens of online applications, and even more walk-in local applications? Why am I so disheartened by my lack of application response that I don’t want to keep filling out applications? I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve received a response from a potential employer letting me know they’re no longer interested and have found their person. I feel like I’m screaming out into a vast wasteland, and my voice has become hoarse. No one wants me to serve their burgers or stock their shelves. No one wants me to be their administrative assistant. Despite over seven years of employee and volunteer management, no one wants me to oversee a single person or task.

Every time I think we’ve made up, and I just start to get comfortable again with my father, this comes up. I’m not pulling my weight, I’m only getting more depressed. I’m able to pay my car insurance and student loan payments but not my phone or my medical bills and prescriptions.

I do something wrong, and then my sister or mother does or says something he deems as mean, and his only outlet for anger is me.

Yes, I have applied for a job today. No, only one job. I’ve done more job research, but that doesn’t really count.

I want to wait tables for drunk sloppy gross men for $2.13 an hour; I want to mop floors and take out trash for $7.25 an hour; I want to pay all of my bills and pay rent. I don’t know what to do. I just can’t keep doing this.

[Fat] progress?

Progress is a long long journey. I feel that I’ve been making progress in terms of both my mental health (depression, anxiety) and my personal acceptance of my body ever since I came back from Ghana. Mental health has had two big hurdles/setbacks in the last year, but I’ve honesty never felt better about my body than I do these days. However, this week has been incedibly hard. My sister has been struggling for the last two weeks, she took it out on my father, and he took it out on me.
So I’m taking it out on the blog.
Have you ever written a hate-note to yourself? For years I used to just write “fat ugly stupid” and leave it in my underwear drawer or the corner of my desk so that my parents or roommate could never find it. I haven’t written one in ages, but I did a few days ago… its almost funny, almost, that this time I wrote “too fat.”
I know this is all part of being human. But it hurts so much. And waking up in the morning to find my note the next day just threw me back down again. I have to remember that we are all human, and I am not alone in this. And that if you have ever been here, you are not alone either. It takes time to make progress. And we’re here together to make that journey.