Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On being fat and visible

This is something I've been meaning to do for a while, it's kind of my little bit of Fat Activism and the reasons for doing it have been written about by a bunch of other people much more eloquently than I'm up to doing at present (or ever probably).

The short version* is that I'm fat, I'm ok with that and I'm going to share pictures of myself because it helps to drive home the message that fat people are, well, people. People like me. People who are entitled to be treated with respect and dignity and not vilified, objectified and othered as we so often are by discourse in the public sphere and even sometimes by casual conversation amongst our friends.

And we also quite like having awesome clothes to wear, but DAMN are they hard to come by.

So, instead of always being the one behind the camera

The woman behind the camera

I'm going to try and remember to hand it over to someone else more often
and then I can post more of this

Mum's turn

sort

Damn it's cold

of thing

Archery

along with the occasional "look, I'm wearing something other than jeans and a t-shirt!" Outfit of the Day type posts.

Enough with the old photos, here's a couple of new ones. First up, just in case anyone missed the other places I've shared this:

New hat!


We went to Strand Hatters on the weekend because Adam wanted a new Akubra and of course, when one is standing around in a hat shop waiting for someone else to make a decision, one tries on hats. Once I'd put it on there was no way I was going home without it. It's the Akubra Jazz and I luffs it.

And secondly, today's outfit of the day.

OOTD
Top and skirt - Autograph
Boots - can't remember where I bought them but they're Giovanna ones

*The long version is a whole bunch of links to other people writing about fat acceptance, no reinventing the wheel for me today.

There are so many wonderful writers (and just all round fabulous people) out there in the fatosphere and I was lucky enough to meet a number of them a couple of weekends ago when I went along to the Art Exhibition and Spoken Word event ‘Bodies Abound’ that was held in conjunction with the Fat Studies conference at Macquarie University (which I didn't go to but really wish I had). There are plans afoot for another conference next year and there'll be no keeping me away from that!

For your reading pleasure:

"I blog about my outfits (real and ridiculous) because I’m passionate about the visibility of fat bodies. I don’t care if people don’t like what I wear and I don’t care about trends – I blog because fat people are dehumanised and made invisible and if I’ve got a platform and an audience, I’m going to take advantage of it to normalise my body and bodies like mine."

The Rotund - "Low Fences; Why, Yes, FA IS Difficult"
"Y’all, I really do love Twitter. I love the immediacy of it, sure, but I also love the way the 140-character limit kind of forces you to be concise. You know I’m not really super at being concise but I try! And I managed, in my melatonin-assisted state last night (I take melatonin to help manage my low-grade insomnia), to say a couple of things that I think bear repeating.

Self-hatred cannot continue to be the status quo.

and

The response to “I hate my body” should never be “Have you considered weight loss?”
Split Milk - Talking about diet talk
"It’s offensive to talk to me about losing five kilos to be in a ‘healthy weight range’ when I would ‘need’ to lose forty. It’s offensive to talk about how gross your fat is, how ‘bad’ you are for eating, how desperately you want to keep from gaining too much weight in pregnancy, when you are standing right beside a fat person. You may not mean to disparage my body in pointing out the ‘flaws’ in your own, but you do. So don’t."
Spilt Milk - Acceptance is not "giving up"
"My body, today, is good enough to go to the gym or wear a new dress or dance or have sex or play on the floor with my kid or to run up the stairs at work, even if I jiggle and even if I sweat and get out of breath. (Thin people sweat and get out of breath, too, although it’s apparently only disgusting or humorous when fat people do.) My body, today, is worth taking care of and will still be next week or next year, whether I lose weight or not."
Fat Heffalump - Australian Fat Studies Conference: My Paper
"Collateral Damage in the War On Obesity
A perspective on how the “War on Obesity” affects someone who is obese, and whether any of those effects are of any use to the obese person."
The Discourse - Fat Stigma: We know it exists, but what do we do about it?
"It’s a no brainer that fat discrimination exists. There have now been a whole bunch of studies done, predominantly in the USA and Australia, about the prevalence of fat hate (sometimes called weight bias), people’s experiences of it, and how it impacts on their lives."
Fat Dialogue Blog - Control Top Underpants at 'Bodies Abound'
"I wrote the piece I've included below for 'Bodies Abound' about my fat body taking on a pair of control top underpants. I didn't write it as a humourous piece, but people laughed, and I got into the absurd poignancy the piece does pick out, and really enjoyed giving the reading.

Well....at least I hope the laughter was supportive!"

23 comments:

Eternal Lizdom said...

You know I've been on a nourney to become healthier. You also know me well enough to know that I love myself and my body as they are. As I've been working out and eating healthier foods, weight loss has been a side effect. I've continued to be amazed by my body as I develop mosucles and strength and endurance that I didn't know I had in me. I'm still a large woman- over 200 lb, stomach, butt, thighs are large and in charge. And I love me the way I am. My venture to run a 5k, to become healthier, isn't about becoming smaller or changing how I look. I fact, the changes in my appearance have sometimes been my struggle, I think.

Anyway. You are gorgeous. Because you are a truly beautiful person, Mim. I firmly believe beauty comes from the inside. A person can be asthetically pleasing to the eye but be vapid and cruel to others- not beautiful.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Journey. Not a nourney. I don't know what a nourney is...

mimbles said...

Nourney...nope, I dunno either, but now I'm curious...

And yes, I know :-) Love ya Liz *hugs*

Deborah said...

I love that Autograph top and skirt and red/burgundy tights and boots ensemble. It looks fabulous.

mizchalmers said...

Here via Hoydenabouttown. That hat is adorable on you.

Lauren @ Hobo Mama said...

This is wonderful, and I love those links. I've recently read some, but I'd like to explore the others. This is an ongoing journey (/nourney) for me, too.

I love your hat and that outfit. Very stylish! I can never find boots that fit my calves, so I'm envious now. :)

mimbles said...

Thanks all :-)

Lauren, The trick with those boots is they stop just below my calves, I want longer ones but haven't been game to try the online shoe shopping thing yet.

leishpod said...

@natatree on twitter (she does some work for hub) also has a blog called 'extra large as life' http://www.extralargeaslife.com/ if you're interested.

Penthe said...

Great outfit. Love the tights and boots combo.

And thanks for the affirmationy thinking. I need it today.

Penny said...

The Carpenters Daughter has some cool stuff for girls with curves http://www.tcd.co.nz/ - I love the colours!
Personally I am on a bit of a "lose weight" mission, but it's for me since I feel a heck of a lot more energetic when I'm lighter. But I hope I don't inflict boring diet/exercise talk on others *she says in a small voice*.

malyn said...

This sounds cathartic. Good on you for doing this and I say the last photo of you wearing 'something other than jeans and t-shirt' is awesomeness!

It's not about being fat - or thin - it's about being happy with oneself and letting that radiate naturally.

Hi from Ruth! said...

Hmm, was just in the middle of writing a comment when it disappeared on me...let's try that again.

Being a round person myself, I wanted to echo the sentiment about clothes for large women being hard to find. What's up with that?? With the statistics being what they are, you'd think that this is a massive marketing opportunity (and money maker) for a company able to understand that we larger folks also want to wear clothing that ROCKS! And yet, at least where I live, the number of stores I can shop in can be counted on one hand...easily. It's very frustrating. I want to wear great clothing, oh manufacturers out there!!

At any rate, I'll get off my soap box now, for long enough to say 'good on ya, Mim!'

You are a beautiful woman...though I thought that even before I saw your self-portraits!

Blessings,

Ruth

Nap Mom said...

Look at y-o-u! Great! I need to include more pics of myself too. I read somewhere (and maybe it came from you now that I think about it) that we need to take more pics of ourselves... for our children's sake. So that when we are gone (hopefully not anytime soon) they have pictures to remind them of us... the way we looked... how we did our hair... playing... and so on. I loved the action shot. Nice post!

Nezzy said...

Your just beautiful sweetie, and don't let the critics get ya down. This Ozark farm chick know that there are many skinny gals who are unhealthy and rounded girls who are healthy. You go girl!

God bless ya'll from the beautiful hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

Sharon Cohen said...

I am so glad to have followed the Saturday Sampling link. There were dozens of opportunities for me to remark on this post (and the links) but I will have to keep coming back as I find time.

Let me say - If I were you and for the benefit of all of us fat people - I would trademark and market this phrase as a poster:

"You may not mean to disparage my body in pointing out the ‘flaws’ in your own, but you do. So don’t."

Mrs4444 said...

You are beautiful :) Loved this post and look forward to checking out some of the links.

Did you mean this the way it sounds? "just all round fabulous people" cuz it made me chuckle :)

Emily said...

I was attracted to your post's title because my illnesses are all invisisible. I am 5'6 and since my pregnancy, my weight has gone crazy...down. At my heaviest since my pregnancy I was 135 and at my lowest I was 117. I am telling you (all) this not to brag but b/c it all has to do with me being sick. When I was down to 117 people were telling me, "You look amazing, I can't believe you had a baby 7 months ago!" What they didn't know was I was being tested for cancer, and I was horrified by how I looked!

No one knows the reasons why some people weigh what they do.

I think you look beautiful!

Good health to all no matter how much we weigh!

Leslie said...

This is a great post. Rock on sister. I love the colored tights and the hat.
have a great day

Sleepydumpling said...

Finally catching up with blog reading!

Firstly, thank you for the link love, most appreciated.

But most importantly, I think you're gorgeous, amazing and have great taste in hats and tights!

cat said...

Oh I love your outfit! Looking stunning.

Candy said...

You are a doll - your hat, your outfit, your face, your body. You are also so funny that I just love you! An added bonus is that I learn something every time I visit.

Unknown Mami said...

You are beautiful and I love seeing pictures of you. I love the outfit of the day that you shared.

dkzody said...

Why are clothes for short women with more pounds and curves so hard to find? Nice clothes. The few that are out there seem to be grabbed up quite quickly and my size is almost always gone when I try to shop, especially on sale. The short part seems to be a real problem. Clothing manufacturers seem to think that all short women are tiny and all overweight women are 7 feet tall.