F is for FAQ!

19 Dec

I’ve had some questions lately about myself and my opinions on certain topics. Hopefully this post will clarify a few things for my lovely readers.

Q: What size are you?

A: This is probably my most commonly asked question and I understand why. I am a US size 24/26 on bottom and 16/18 on top.  Of course, my closet is packed with clothes from medium to xxxxl and size 10-26.  I’m sure you all know that women’s clothing is terribly sized. One company’s small is another companies xxxs or xxxl!

Q: Where do you shop?

A: Almost strictly thrift stores.  Goodwill, St. Vinnie’s, Salvation Army, and a few one of a kind shops.  When I do shop retail I stick to places that cater to a range of sizes, even when shopping for shoes or accessories.  I try not to give my money to fatphobic companies.  So, Lane Bryant, Torrid, JCPenny, Maurices and Deb.  Occasionally, I will shop on Amazon, the Bettie Page Store, or a few other places.

Q: Do you have any general tips for plus size women looking to dress for x,y, or z occasion?

A: Wear what makes you feel confident. You can’t enjoy yourself if you are focused on what you look like to others.  If that means you wear big horizontal stripes, short shorts, a miniskirt or a boxy shirt then so be it!

Q: Where are you from?  What do you do?

A: These questions always come together for some reason.  I am from a small town in Wisconsin.  I am taking a break from my four year liberal arts college and trying to get sick of adult life enough to come back 🙂  I am currently on a job hunt.  My areas of interest are women’s and gender studies, transitioning families, and writing.

Q: How do you deal with fatphobic people or hate mail on your blog?

A: The same way I do in real life: ignore them.  Reacting gives them power and since I don’t trust myself to set the best example for the fat-o-sphere community (I am a crass woman) I tend to just move on.  My stance is that their comments say more about them than me.  If anything, I feel pity for them.

Q: What is your favorite article of clothing?

A: Currently my red circle dress featured on my blog! But I’m sure it will be something new next week 🙂

Q: Can I submit pictures or opinions to you for your blog?

A: Of course! I would love to feature your pictures, articles or opinions.  Send them to me at powersm@beloit.edu.

F is for fashion!

19 Dec

Suspenders!  I love, love, love suspenders. On jeans, shorts, a-line skirts, pencil skirts, etc.  I found my love of suspenders through other fashion blogs and I just can’t get enough. The great thing about them is that they are commonly found abandoned ay your local Goodwill or other thrift store for just a few dollars.  Another great thing about them: they fit all sizes! I’ve never found a pair that don’t fit and I am 5′ 11″.  Maybe I don’t use them for their intended purpose, but I do enjoy the way they look. And a pair on a man….purrrrrrr.

Let me explain the photos below. I had Bear the Boyfriend take these. He insisted on taking them while I was a) trying to put my shoe on and b) making a stupid ass face. But you know what, whatever. You get the picture 😉

Everything is from Goodwill. A whole outfit for under $20.00!

F is for Fun!

19 Dec

Today I was out getting Seamus T. Dog a haircut with Bear the Boyfriend and I stopped into a few shops. At one, I overheard an employee chatting up a customer and say, “Ugh. It’s really hard when you get off at 6 because then you have to rush home so you can work out. I don’t want to work out.  I’m sooo tired!”  At that point I had skirted away to another part of the store as to not be rude (also hearing diet talk is tough for me and it was inevitable based on context clues that is where this one was going).  It left a bad taste in my mouth though.

I, personally, believe that for my body exercise of certain varieties is very comforting.  This includes yoga, pilates, walking, swimming and playing badminton or occasionally volleyball.  Some chubby women enjoy running, skating, gentle stretches, low or high impact sports, etc. Cool.  And other women find exercise of any kind distasteful, painful, boring, or a chore.

To all women, chubby or not, I pose a question: Why are you doing something you don’t enjoy every single day when you have a choice not to do it?  I suppose the answer might be that a woman doesn’t have a choice. She doesn’t want to be fat or die young or lose her muscle.  They say that exercise isn’t meant to be enjoyed. It’s a means to an end.

I say, exercise is meant to be enjoyed. It is meant to make us feel good, before we do it, while we do it and after we do it.

That doesn’t mean that women who don’t enjoy running should just stop exercising all together.  Running isn’t the only exercise out there (contrary to what many former fatties trying to convince you to join them on the lighter side of life my say).  Nor does it mean that women who don’t exercise should never give it a try (if they felt so inclined to try in the first place).   I’m simply saying, if you don’t enjoy what you are doing: stop! Try something new. Try something you would never find yourself enjoying.  I only learned that I enjoyed pilates after my mom lent me a tape on the basics.  I watched my sister do yoga every morning in college, too self-conscious to ever bother to join her, until I did some online research and learned a few poses in my cluttered dorm room.

Of course, many women will continue to drag themselves to the gym until they get lazy, or something happens in their lives to give them an excuse to quit, or they injure themselves and never really make it back.  It’s not because they are not good enough or thin enough or talented enough for the gym. It’s because at the core of their being, they hate what they are doing. They listen to a woman on a talk show who has lost 150 lbs and she tells them that she loved to swim or run or walk or play raquetball after the first few weeks and that is how she lost the weight. Then we turn off our tvs and tell ourselves we are that woman and we will love a sport or exercise after the first few weeks. When we don’t; we adapt the all or nothing mentality.  Few of us dare to try something new or different or outside of our comfort zone.  So we resign ourselves to one of two options: we are the girl in the retail store dismally anticipating our evening run or we stop exercising at all.

But do we have to be one of those two people? Or can we be someone else? Can we be the ones who when faced with unhappiness try something new?  I challenge you to give it a try!

F is for Forgiveness

17 Dec

All my life I’ve been told I’m not worthy of good things because I am too fat.  It’s the same sad story that every other fat individual has told since the dawn of time.  As a kid I remember my mom and her boyfriend calling me a tank now and again. My dad turned to me once and repeated a line he heard in a movie, “Not much in the body, but a beautiful face”.  He thought he was being sweet.  Living at home felt like body prison.  I would have to constantly look over my shoulder when I went into the fridge as my mother would undoubtably appear saying, “What are you getting into now?”

My portions were controlled, seconds were rare, and compliments about my figure virtually nonexistent.  When I was old enough to start enjoying fashion and dressing up my mom would often leave me in one part of the thrift store to look for clothes while she and my skinny sister went to the “normal section” to find clothes in their size. I remember my mother being militant about what size I was wearing. She once threatened that if I went above a size 16-18 she would make me buy my own clothes. I remember the day I did. I was sitting on the floor of a dirty Goodwill trying to choke down sobs while wiggling in and out of pants that wouldn’t button. No matter how I willed them to, they would never fit again.

Five years later and, while the tone isn’t as harsh, I still feel people trying to subtly control me.  “How is your eating going?” “Did you hear so-and-so lost twenty pounds doing this?” “Maybe you and “Bear” should get a YMCA membership. Just take one class or something.”  The words may be different but the messages are the same: conform.  Do what I tell you to because I read x, y, z and can’t think for myself. I feel threatened when you aren’t part of the herd.

The worst part is that these people honestly think that they are doing the best thing they can for me. Getting me and Bear to lose weight is their personal mission and they will use any tactics necessary; often changing from a tone of unconditional concern and affection to harsh teasing.

Ultimately, there comes a time in every adult human’s life where they need to sit down and have “the talk”. It could be about using the proper pronouns for a transgendered individual, accepting that their daughter has a girlfriend, or, in my case, that I choose to be the way that I am.  They will fight. They will grumble and groan. They will insist it’s a phase, that as you get older you will be sick and in pain and understand. And you will have to hold up a hand and stop them right there.

“I choose this and I release you from the responsibility of the repercussions.”

Maybe then they will be angry and call you stupid or lazy.  They will laugh at you. How can you CHOOSE to be fat? At least make up some excuse about your thyroid or a bum knee!

“I appreciate your concern, but this is the last time I’m going to tell you. If you love me, you will allow me to be an adult and make these adult choices.”

At this point most of them will scoff and walk away. It will take time. Some will come around and some will not. It is up to you to decide if the ones who end up being toxic are worth keeping in your life. But there will be some who truly open up to the dialogue. Only then do I let them in. Otherwise it’s like hitting a brick wall with a fly swatter. That conversation isn’t going anywhere.

You don’t have to forgive the people who tore you down. Many of them have names and faces. Some of them still know you, but many do not. Many are just part of the crowd in your childhood or maybe even your adulthood who stood by and agreed to the beat down society gave you.  You have a right be to be angry and to hold it against them. It doesn’t make you less of a person or your journey any less complete.

But for me forgiveness comes, however slowly.  There are those who are ignorant. Their crimes are no less hurtful, but somehow they are easier to pity.  People who I love the most, who have been around the longest: their burns still sting.

There are days when my youth catches me and holds me under a raincloud. When I still look over my shoulder when I open the fridge or when I try, with emotion, to squeeze into the pants in the back of my closet. But those days are fewer and further in between and that, in and of itself, is victory.

 

 

F is for Fashion (Lust List)

17 Dec

Checked out ASOS which is an online shop with a plus size section called “Curve”. I have to say I much prefer it to other lines’ names such as “Faith 21” (faith that what? We can find something to fit our fat asses?) or Target’s “Pure Energy” line which makes me think they are planning on melting us down as a viable fuel source.  Anyways, here are some things I am lusting for!

This dress screams bridesmaid a little bit, but love the flowy bottom and the see through top. The horizontal rouching on the bust seems a bit much, but very cute anyways.

Feminine, business, and very classy. It’s rare to see a dress in this color and it seems Asos really knows what they are doing with the shape. I’m curious to see it on an actual plus size woman.

This dress is a bit more trendy.  I love the shape of it and I think it would look great on a bigger gal.  I’m a bold red fan myself. This really makes a statement.

It’s the holy grail. A nice winter jacket that is super trendy and classy.  It seems plus size women have a choice between being freezing cold in a cheap, but trendy knock off of higher end brands made for skinnies or to be warm in a marshmellow suit.  I want to se MORE of this!

At first, I wasn’t sold on the whole jumpsuit/romper business. I thought the rompers looked very infantile and the jumpsuits were a blast from the past that never needed to return. Asos proves you can do a jumpsuit in style though. This look comfy enough to wear everyday but classy enough to pull off with a cardigan in a business casual situation.

I love maxi dresses. I never owned one until a few years ago because I was told they made me look pregnant. This wine colored maxi is all in the details. I love the long line broken by the gathering at the side. And the color! I think it would look stunning on me. A bit steep on the pricetag for a college girl though!

This may be my favorite piece! It’s on sale, too.  Gold metallic is not something we are supposed to wear (eyeroll).  We might draw attention to ourselves. I think this would make me look like a goddess! I might be able to swing it over the holidays with my Christmas money, but this is a definite want!

F is for fashion!

17 Dec

 

Circle skirts!  God, I love circle skirts. Bouncy, frilly, full, classy you name it.  I own a few semi-circle skirts I guess you could say and all of my pin up dresses come fully equipped with a circle skirt attached but I’ve been craving a cheap circle skirt to pair with some tights for dress up winter events (namely Christmas). Now I wasn’t expecting to get this in until next week sometime, but my red circle skirt came today.

The story behind it’s purchase is pretty simple. I had a big Amazon.com credit and I wanted it. For the price ($26.99) I am a little disappointed by the scratchiness of the material. Since I am wearing my crenoline underneath it anyways though, I’m not too worried. I love the length and the fullness of it when worn under my crinoline.  I have just been dancing around the house in it since the postlady dropped it off for me.  So pretty, so pretty! If you want one of your own and you are not looking to spend $50.00 here is where you can get one.  They fit up to 2xl which is, I believe, a size 22-24, but worn at the waist and I’m sure it will fit up to size 26-28 or more.  I got the 2xl and I wear it at my waist with plenty of room to spare, but it grips nicely with plenty of elastic.  Sorry about the head-cut-offness. I just jumped out of the shower and snapped these with photobooth. Crappy photo quality is something you will have to get used to.  If you are interested in a plus size crinoline I recommend the Bettie Page Store. You can order online or there is a store in Las Vegas and in the Mall of American in Minneapolis, MN.

101 Reasons I Love Me (Just the way I Am)

17 Dec

Recently I stumbled across a weight loss blog entitled “101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat”.  You can google it and see for yourself. I’m not going to link it here because I don’t need that negative energy clouding up my blog. But, it got me thinking, what if someone provided 101 counterarguments to show that it isn’t about being fat, but the mindset that one is in about their own perceived flaws.

Now I know I was getting off the fat positive rants, and honestly I tried. I was actually going to look for some exercises designed for ladies with knee and back problems but you get what you get, right?

So here goes:

REASON #1: Boobies

Not my bobbies (source: superbbw)

Alright, maybe it’s a bit unseemly to start there, but I can’t imagine a better place to start.  I have, I kid you not, the most amazing boobies. Soft, round, bouncy, not particularly pale but not particularly tan.  I love them, wouldn’t trade them for the world.  Here are some other things about my boobies: they have stretch marks on the sides, blue viens, sometime bumps and little grooves.  They aren’t particularly perky, but hell they must weight five pound a piece.  We have confirmed that they are, in fact more than a handful.

I’m not trying to say that these are the “ideal” tits, but I have to admit, they are to me.  Of course, I would never pass up a pair of giant, creamy freckled boobies or dark, flat breasts. Beautiful boobies come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Some of the most beautiful chests don’t have boobies at all!!

Boobies are, it seems, one of the only places we are allowed to have “a little extra”.  You know, as long as they are firm and buoyant and can pass the pencil test (note: I can hold my hard cover text book under my tits. Strong man competition here I come!)  Breasts are put to as much, if not more, scrutiny as any other part of the female form. They have to be big, but not too big and if they are too big keep those puppies covered because cleavage, in many cases for large women, is just obscene.

So in reality, while boobies should be fat, we don’t want to know that. Fat might be what they are made of, but you’d best have a flat tummy underneath or no way, Jose!  And how many women like that do you honestly know? I suppose that is why so many women turn to breast augmentation, a terribly dangerous procedure that maims and kills thousands of women.  It’s sad really.

But I digress. Boobies. My boobies and your boobies and big boobies and small boobies. Boobies are wonderful and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.