If You Can’t Love Me Fat…

polka dotsIf you can’t love me fat, you’ll never love me thin. Because if I lost all of the weight that society says I should, the only thing that would change would be the size of my pants and the number on the scale. I won’t be any prettier. My eyes will still be the same weird, trash can gray color and my nose will still be too witch-like and so will my laugh. My hair will still be too thin and fine to grow out into a luxurious mane and my skin will still be too pale and I still won’t look good as a blonde. I’ll still have my scars and my stretchmarks and spots of bad skin and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that my boobs will still be uneven. I’ll still be funny and given to fits of the blues and I’ll say shit that I shouldn’t because I still won’t be that great with tact. I’ll still have a temper that comes out of nowhere and I’ll still hide all of my secrets as deep down as I can because the idea of being vulnerable is a level of trust that I haven’t been able to achieve with anyone yet. I’ll still be selfish and I’ll still be greedy and I’ll still be sacrificing and I’ll still be giving. I’ll still be the shoulder to cry on and the clown to cheer you up. I’ll still struggle and I’ll still fail and I’ll still take more than my share of the responsibility and my share of the blame. None of that changes. I’ll still be the same person. The contents of this bag will not have changed, wouldn’t even have shifted. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me thin.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old. I’ll age. Time and gravity will take a toll on my body. It’s already started. I’ve got a few lines I didn’t have before. I started getting gray hair at 28. I sag in places now and that’s only going to keep happening. Gravity is everywhere. I’m not going to constantly nip tuck things back into place, smooth my face and take a beauty belt-sander to my skin to eliminate those signs of life. I’m going to get a point when I go full silver and I quit coloring my hair because it’s too much of a hassle and an expense and I know I’m not fooling anyone. There will come a time, an inevitable point in my existence should I live long enough, that I will no longer be young. Hell, if you ask around, some folks will already tell you I’m there. Past my prime. I’m already too old to be desirable, to be loved, to be anything. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me old.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick. Everyone will tell you that being fat is “unhealthy”, but thin people get sick. Thin people get colds, they get the flu, they get strep and mono and pneumonia. They get cancer. They get arthritis and back strains and vitamin deficiencies from eating like shit. They suffer from depression and anxiety and PTSD and OCD and ADD. They get debilitating diseases that rob them of their strength and capabilities and they’ll need someone to take care of them until they eventually wither away and death finally takes them to a better place. They were actually sick, not just perceived to be that way because of a billion dollar diet industry and a bunch of medical professionals that lost their souls ages ago. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me sick.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love me openly. You know that old saying. “Fucking a fat girl is like riding a moped. It’s a lot of fun, but you don’t want your friends to see you do it.” It’s not done, loving a fat girl out in the open, is it? Your friends will make fun of you. Society will tell you in a bombardment of messages from TV shows to movies to magazines to books that you’re wrong, that loving a fat girl is wrong, that you deserve to be the butt of the jokes because of it. It’s characterized as a fetish, something to be kept hidden, don’t let anyone know what kind of a deviant you are. Because it takes a lot of strength to spit in the face of society like that, to have to constantly put up with the jokes and remarks and insults, to decide every time someone opens their mouth how you’re going to deal with their bullshit, to love someone fat anyway, and to do it right out there in the blinding light of day where everyone can see when it would be so much easier to keep it all hidden away in the dark and let your ego remain intact. If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never love openly.

Let’s face it, baby.

If you can’t love me fat, then you’ll never, ever love me.

Are You a Good Fatty?

Fat girl bikiniThis is a mindset that I have struggled with and one I’m working very hard to correct. Why? Because the Good Fatty is bullshit, that’s why.

Here’s how it works.

People make generalizations about fat people. They’re lazy. They eat like garbage. They’re unhealthy. You know, the same song and dance folks have been performing since before Jane Fonda made jazzercise a thing.

Immediately, my reaction is, “Not all fatties! I’m not lazy. I exercise. I do yoga. I belly dance. I count my steps. I lift weights. And I eat healthy! I rarely eat fast food. I eat vegetarian meals several times a week. I don’t eat a lot of processed food. And my health has been more affected by not having regular access to affordable healthcare than by my weight.”

Now, all of those things are true and generalizations are garbage. But, the fact that I feel the urge to defend my honor and separate myself from those other, “bad” fatties is bullshit. I shouldn’t feel that way. I shouldn’t actually have to do that at all.

Why?

Because there are thin people whose only exercise is walking out to their car so they can drive to a fast food joint. There are thin people whose diets consist of not much more than Starbucks and cigarettes and cupcakes. No “good” thin person has ever felt the need to distance themselves from those “bad” thin people by saying, “I’m not like them! I run twenty miles a week and take a spin class and do hot yoga. I eat gluten-free vegan. I’ve never drank or smoked and I haven’t set foot inside a Starbucks in my life!”

No, no thin person, good or bad, feels the need to defend their life choices because they are, by default, “healthy” just because they’re thin. Regardless of their choices, they’re treated with basic human respect. They don’t have to worry about anyone judging their choice of fries over salad. They don’t feel the need to remind everyone that they walked their five miles yesterday and today is just an off day. They don’t feel the need to say, “But I’m not like them.” They know it doesn’t matter. They will still get that basic human respect.

That simple respect isn’t extended to all fatties, just the “good” ones and only if they prove that they really are “good”.

So, riddle me this, Batman, why is that?

Why is some lazy, Whopper-eating thin person treated with more respect than a fat person who does the same thing? Why is perceived health the basis for simple respect? Why does a fat person not deserve respect because they’re not “healthy”?

Who the fuck came up with that rule?

Here’s the real skinny, Minnie, until proven otherwise, we all are entitled to basic human respect. All of us. Even the “bad” fatties.

I’m not going to draw that line between me and the “bad” fatties anymore. I’m going to work really hard not to do it. If I don’t draw that line between me and the smokers and the drinkers and the “bad” thin people, then there’s no need for that line to exist between me and other fatties. Their health choices are theirs, such as mine are mine. End of.

The respect thing, though, that’s non-negotiable.

Regardless of my weight, regardless of what I eat, regardless of how much I move, I refuse to accept anything less than simple respect.

I insist upon that.

What I See Ain’t What You Get

Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.
Did I mention the Ursula purse? Oh yeah. I took my Ursula purse.

Last week I went to my cousin’s wedding. It was a simple, pretty affair in a ballroom that was decorated subtly, but effectively. The ceremony was very sweet and I had a great time visiting with family I don’t see very often.

Now this is the first wedding I’ve been to in years and I agonized about what to wear. I am one of those people that frets about dressing appropriately for the event. So, I was trying to come up with an outfit/dress that would be appropriate but also wouldn’t make me look like a frump. Because I’m one of those people that frets about looking like the frump that I’m not.

The first outfit I picked (coral shift, purple jewelry, white flats, ’60s style hair and make-up) got scrapped because the dress wouldn’t survive a 2 1/2 drive in 90 degree heat with no a/c. With my roommate Carrie’s help I ended up going with a black, flouncy skirt that I hiked up above my waist, a white cami tucked in (the effect made it look like a color blocked dress), a hot pink shrug, black flats, the purple jewelry and ’60s mod hair I was going to do before, and bright pink lipstick. I thought it was super cute and not at all old, fat. I could drive in it without worrying about wrinkles and I could dance in it without worrying about anything falling out. Total win.

In the few days after the wedding, family posted pictures they’d taken (I took like four because I’m lousy at acquiring photographic evidence of events I attend) and there I was in one of my cousin’s pictures, full on frump while boogying on the dance floor.

No, I'm not wearing tights. I'm just that pale.
No, I’m not wearing tights. I’m just that pale.

Dammit!

This happens a lot.

When I look in the mirror, I see a hot chick. Fat? Yes. Not classically pretty? Yes. But still, I rock the package I’ve got and I think I rock it pretty damn well.

Then I see a picture someone else has taken of me and I’m like, “Holy hell. That’s what everyone else sees.” It’s jarring because I don’t think I look like that at all. I think I’m looking super cute and in reality, I’m looking like an uncool fat girl trying too hard to look cool.

It’s like a magic trick.

And it’s not just pictures, either.

The mirror in my bathroom must be blessed because other mirrors aren’t so kind. For example, I look about thirty pounds heavier in the mirrors during floorset than I do at home. I also look about ten years older. And while the college girls I work with are pulling off the sloppy-cute look with their yoga pants and tank tops and hair messily arranged in an up-do, I look like an old, tired woman who lost the will to fashion even if I put my make-up on just before I left and I’m wearing a cute outfit of t-shirt and pedal pushers (I don’t wear my “good clothes” to dress mannequins) with my sneakers. It’s like something horrible happens on the twenty minute drive to work. Because I know I didn’t leave the house looking that way.

The point of this isn’t to fish for compliments. My ego probably shouldn’t be fed. I’m just acknowledging that there’s an obvious gap between what I see and what everyone else sees.

It’s a little disappointing to know that my hot looks are all in my head and no one else can see them.

You guys are being deprived.

This Fat Girl Isn’t on a Diet

donut dietYou’re probably coming into this post going, “Who cares?” because you’re probably tired of people talking about their diets (and exercise routines, but that’s another post). You’re tired of hearing about paleo and gluten-free and high protein and low fat and no carbs and fasting and juicing and everything else that everyone else is doing in order to get healthy, be healthy, and lose weight. You’re probably wondering, “Why does this ditz need to proclaim that she’s NOT dieting?”

I’m glad you asked.

Two reasons.

1. I’m probably giving people mixed signals in regards to my eating because I can’t eat mass quantities in one sitting (I’m the disgrace of my family; my tiny little ninety year old great-aunt eats more at a family dinner than I do) and I do eat fairly healthy most of the time. I don’t drink a lot of soda, I don’t eat a lot of fast food, I don’t eat a lot of sweets or candy, I don’t eat a lot of processed food, I make a lot of vegetarian meals, I will crave salad, and if I’m not careful, my baby carrot addiction will get out of hand and I’ll end up turning orange.

So, it can look like I’m on a diet. Especially if you see me eating celery because who in the hell eats celery any other time?

(For the record, I actually eat it to help with acid reflux. And it works. Weird.)

And since it can look like I’m on a diet, then it also looks like I’m going off my diet or cheating on my diet when I talk about eating my weight in Sorrento’s pizza. Or when I talk about drowning my sorrows in ice cream because the Cubs lost. Or when I post pictures of me eating a plain cake doughnut with strawberries and whipped cream. Or any other time I talk about eating stuff that’s “bad” (the labeling of certain foods as bad irks me, but again, another post).

I don’t want you to panic and think I’m failing at yet another thing in my life. I’m not. Everything’s cool. I’m not riding on any wagon so you don’t have to worry about me falling off.

Also, that baby carrot intervention isn’t necessary. I can quit any time I want.

2. It’s easily assumed that because I’m a fat girl that I should be on a diet so I can qualify for Good Fat Girl Status.

You know what that is, don’t you? Good Fat Girl Status? Being a “good” fat girl means that you’re trying to lose weight. When people see you eating healthy and/or exercising, they assume you to be a “good” fatty because you’re trying to no longer be any kind of fatty.

Well, you know what happens when you assume, right? I wreck your world and burst your bubble and make you sad.

I am not on a diet. My health focal points actually have nothing to do with weight loss. For me, weight loss is a side effect of doing better for my health. My ultimate goal is to feel better, a total subjective measurement that only I can evaluate. My “diet” for this is drink a lot of water and don’t eat too much garbage food. That’s it. It gives me far less angst than counting calories or keeping track of points or wondering if cavemen ate cottage cheese.

And if that gives me Bad Fat Girl Status, then I’m cool with that.

We all know that bad girls have more fun.

Being Fat on Twitter

Full fat aviThe past couple of weeks, I started getting a lot of friendly interaction from guys on Twitter. Friendly to the point of being straight up creeper. In one case I was pretty sure I was being measured for a skin suit and the guy doing it was kind of underwhelming and I was seriously bummed by the anti-climax there.

But, I digress, as I so often do.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why I was getting all of this attention. I wasn’t tweeting anything differently than I normally did. If anything, I’d been tweeting less than usual.

And then it hit me.

I had put up a new avi a few days after New Year’s Eve. A head and shoulders selfie of me wearing a white cami (that’s a kind of tank top, fellas) that I’d tinted to blue to give it a wintry look. I liked it. I thought it fit the January feel and I was looking for something I could have for a while before I got bored and decided to change it. Sounds pretty legit right? Nothing weird. Nothing overtly sexy. Nothing overtly anything, I thought.

Except the angle, the framing of the picture, well, you couldn’t tell that I’m fat.

January aviAhh! That’s it!

Guys think the “fat girl belly dancing” line in my bio is some sort of self-deprecation thing when they see that pic. I actually had one guy tell me that I’m “not that big”. Thanks, dude. Didn’t ask for your pitiful reassurance, but okay then.

As soon as I figured this out, I changed my avi to the full-figured shot at the top of the post. And I made a vow. Only full-fat avis (avies? avi’s? I still don’t know how to spell that) from now on.

First of all, that does cut down on some of the questionable attention, except for the odd chubby chaser.

Second of all, I don’t want the people that follow me, that read my tweets to forget that I’m legit fat and not “OMG I’M SO FAT!!!” fat. That when I talk about my weight, even when I joke about it, I’m talking about my actual state of existence. I’m not fishing for a compliment. This is my actual being, kids. I am fat. Legit fat. For real. And I’m going to comment upon it from time to time.

I don’t want guys to be misled because I put up a picture of my pretty face and they miss out on the rolls in the bakery and cottage cheese in the dairy section. I want them to know that I am more than likely a girl they wouldn’t give the time of day to on the street because she’s a “fatty”.

This is a public service, my friends.

I just can’t be responsible for anymore broken hearts.

Sew, It’s a Mini Dress

The mini dress as first pieced together.
The mini dress as first pieced together.

I had two button down shirts that I bought ages ago but never wore because I hated the sleeves on them. Hey, plus size clothing designers/manufacturers, some of us fat girls have fat arms, too. I know! Shocker! Anyway, I shoved them away in my “fabrics and projects bin” with the idea that I would make something out of them. They’ve been in there for several years and I’ve periodically pulled them out and messed with them whenever an idea hit me. I was stuck on the idea of turning them into a skirt, but I just couldn’t get that to work out. What mostly held me back was how to work the waist.

And then finally the glowing spark of epiphany hit me.

I’d make a shift dress out of them!

I love the shift dress style. It’s very ’60s and I love clothing from that decade (’70s, too, particularly boho stuff). I also decided to go bold and make it a mini dress. I’ve recently become very enamored by the concept of mini dresses, something I thought I shouldn’t wear because I’m fat and have fat legs and such. But now that I’m wearing tights with a lot of my dresses, my fat legs aren’t such an eyesore anymore. I thought this would be a good chance to give a mini dress a try.

When I first started piecing this dress together, I already knew that I’d have one problem with the set up: the shirt I used on the bottom would have to be split up both sides and fabric added so that it would fit my hips. And since I was using the red gingham on the bottom, well, that was going to be interesting. Soon I also realized that I was going to be cutting mini dress really close if I wanted the dress to look the way I wanted to. I had limited fabric I could comfortably work with. There was also the problem with the fabric itself. It’s a crinkly sort of thing that frays pretty easily. I decided the best thing I could do was go for a deconstructed look, which solved the fraying, patching (because the shirts acquired a couple of holes), and pattern matching problems, and pray that the dress would be long enough in the end, knowing I could add fabric to the bottom if I really needed to (but really didn’t want to).

I started by cutting off those hated sleeves from the red shirt and then cutting the bottom of it off. I cut the top off of the gingham print shirt, slit it along the seams up the sides, and pinned the two pieces to the bottom of the now cropped red top. I tried it on to get a feel of how much fabric I’d need for the new sides and the length was pretty shockingly short. This was the moment I doubted that it would work. And so, instead of giving up or trying to work it as something else, I said, “fuck it”, and whip stitched the new top and bottom together to see what would happen.

The length got better.

I sewed in the new sides, which basically completed the overall form of the dress. And it worked! It’s really short as a mini dress should be, but I was pleased to realize that I didn’t HAVE to add any fabric to keep my dignity. If I find that it rides up too much, I can always weight the fabric later.

Featuring my newly acquired button skills!
Featuring my newly acquired button skills!

After I reinforced the stitching between the two former shirts and patched up the holes (gingham on red, red on gingham), I turned my attention to the buttons. In cutting apart the shirts and sewing them back together, there was a gap where a button should be. I debated about this because I had never added a button hole to anything before. I thought maybe I’d just sew that gap together and disguise it with a bow or something, but in the end, I decided to go for broke and try a button hole. If it didn’t work out, I could still cover up my mistake.

I Googled how to do it, ended up learning a new stitch to do it, and, TA DA! I did it! I’m pretty proud of that bit.

And I’m pretty pleased with how the dress turned out.

Oh, and just as a reminder, I can’t work a sewing machine. This was all done by hand.

The Uneven Body Quirk

Aloha!Nobody is perfect and no body is perfect, either. Definitely not mine. I’ve been rather forward with all of my short comings.

Today, I want to point out a very specific body quirk that never fails to baffle and amuse me.

It’s a reasonably known fact that when it comes to body symmetry, things can be slightly uneven. Typically, the dominate side is slightly bigger simply because it gets worked more. Though, my friend Haley told me that while most women have one boob bigger than the other, it’s usually the left boob that’s bigger regardless of the dominant side. She brought it up because she wondered if that were true for me, since I had breast reduction surgery. It turns out, my left boob was bigger both before AND after surgery, though  the size difference after surgery is much less notable.

But I digress a little (you people know so much about my boobs…).

An example of my body symmetry being off with my dominant side, in my case the right side, being bigger can be seen in my calves. My right calf is bigger than my left, though it’s not immediately noticeable. Lots of people have body symmetry like this. It exists, but you only really notice it if you look.

This is not true for my upper arms.

Of all of the body parts I have available to cause me insecurity, my upper arms are the part I have picked to worry the most. I started doing certain weight lifting exercises to strengthen, tone, and shrink my upper arms, and they’ve been working! But one little thing remains.

My right arm is significantly bigger than my left. Like immediately noticeable, ridiculously bigger.

arm fat

This should give you a decent idea of the size difference, but you can really tell when I spread my bat wings (which I don’t have a picture of). It’s a thing of unsymmetrical awe.

I have no idea if I keep doing these exercises if I can get my right arm to shrink down closer to the size of my left, but it certainly won’t hurt anything to try. And if it never happens, if my arms remain lopsided forever, well, I can live with that, too.

I’ll use it as a conversation piece.