NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

When “The Holidays” are Triggering…or worse!

November17

(Image of small illustrated holiday tree with the following written above it:
Reminder: we don’t have to continue holiday traditions that leave us broke, overwhelmed, and tired.)

*Aprox. 11 minute read

I came across this image and text whilst scrolling my FB feed and I instantly clicked and shared it to my own timeline, but then it wouldn’t leave my mind immediately and I realized just how much I’m processing and working through so much of my own stuff around this time of the year. My own current circumstances may differ than many/most, but I hope to alleviate some of the negative things we all think about and carry with us through this complicated season. This isn’t about religion at all, for me or for this post, but more about family dynamics, consumerism, societal obligations, and general toxic behaviors. I hope you will comment below with your own thoughts and feels and advice if you have them to share. These thoughts and feels are my own, no matter how unpopular. Ha!

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The media and marketers want us to buy into the idea that “The Holidays” are about family, togetherness, giving, kindness, celebration, gratitude, helping those in need, etc. What that really looks and feels like in our actual lives is often very different. And even if it is still about those things, it doesn’t mean that’s what we’re actually feeling while in the midst of it all. It’s more often than not the most stressful, saddest, toughest, coldest, rudest, and most triggering time of year. I personally feel that the brunt of this hustle and bustle and work and emotional labor (not to mention the shopping, gift wrapping, housekeeping, cooking and such for these gatherings) falls on women almost exclusively, but that isn’t what this post is about. This is about the toll these things take on us. The impact they have on our quality of life and most of all the trauma we endure and ultimately have to carry as a result of it all.

Yes, I said Trauma. It’s a heavy word, but necessary. We are exposed to people, places, and things at this time of year that we just aren’t the rest of the year. There’s the travel aspect if that’s something you must go through to visit with family. As a fat bodied individual, you are subject to an entirely different set of rules if traveling by aircraft on a commercial airline. You may be forced to buy two seats, you may be forced off of a flight you’ve already boarded, you may be abused or assaulted by fellow travelers and even airline personnel. This is something we accept as part of the privilege of air travel, but it is traumatic. You can plan for everything, but the world still chooses (IT IS A CHOICE!!!) to oppress fat people throughout the world. It might be the only time of year you travel because of this. You might be preparing for your travels now and considering if it’s truly worth it or not. This doesn’t even bring the financial impact of air travel into this equation, but I’ll get to that shortly. You do this to be with Family! Your Loved ones! They would do it for you…right?!

Family traditions! Oh, the warm and fuzzy wholesomeness of being Home with Family for The Holidays! Right?! Isn’t that what this is all about? Every family has their own traditions and rituals or ceremonies. My family would go to Midnight mass after spending Christmas Eve at one of my grandparents’ home for a big dinner. The next morning we’d open our gifts at home but then rush over to our other grandparents’ house for the opening of more presents, followed by a full day and evening of family revelry. We’d usually get home late, exhausted (I often had to be carried to the car or into the house after passing out), but full of that family love that everyone hopes to have in their lives forever. I just didn’t realize I would only have it for 13 years. Ha-ha!

That’s not always so close to reality, that wholesome image. Often, families at this time of year consist of a variety of personalities, values, and beliefs. Sometimes those beliefs are outdated and downright damaging. But we’re expected to remain silent (especially women!) and “just try to enjoy the holiday!” So what exactly are we getting together to celebrate here? If we have to just shut up and sit down for this shit, we become part of our own oppression. Wait! Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating togetherness?!

Okay, okay…Family! Maybe your extended family isn’t toxic. Awesome! You sit around the dinner table passing all those delicious homemade dishes you’ve been looking forward to. Grandma’s pie and Auntie’s casserole, but the minute you take a helping for yourself all eyes are on your plate! If it’s only that you’re lucky. Often our worst food and body policing come from those who claim they love us most, Family. If it’s not monitoring your portions or actual food choices, it’s comments on your body, unsolicited diet advice, mentions of abusive ex-boyfriends (okay, that one’s personal), and more. I don’t care what they say, they are not concerned about your health at all! If they were they wouldn’t make you feel like absolute shit for simply inhabiting a fat body! It isn’t your fault! You have done nothing wrong!

The foodstuff doesn’t seem to end, really. If it’s not one holiday feast it’s another, or a potluck at work, it’s always something! And there is always some miserable ninny who will ooh and aah at all those delightful and delicious delectables, only to loudly shame and blame anyone actually eating the fucking food! I hate this person, and I don’t care who they are! This person hates themselves, hard! This person is mad at you for not feeling as bad as they do. This person will steal joy from a toddler! Seriously! Unforgivable! There must be some requirement for every company ever to hire this person. UGH!!! Anyway, fuck them, enjoy and nourish yourself!

The financial impact of this season is perhaps toughest of all. How many of us have gone into debt all in the name of giving? Or had to go without necessities yourself so that you could give to those you love? I get it. It’s hard to make those choices. And I don’t know what it’s like to have the added pressure of having kids who expect things this time of year. I grew up poor, but my grandparents always made sure we didn’t go without too much. Though being an 80’s kid (born in ’77, after all), it was the height of the toy craze. I’m kind of glad about this part in a way, I mean even now I never really want or expect the newest/coolest/hottest/top of the line anything! Ha!

For me, one of the worst parts of this time of year is the societal obligations and phoniness. People you know who outright hate you will somehow make you feel as though you should be buying them a special gift just for knowing they exist. Then there are the competitive gifters! You know the type. You think you got them a nice, thoughtful gift and then they get you something ridiculous like fucking plane tickets or some nonsense (I realize how that sounds, I’m a very untrusting human, because that very thing happened to me). There’s just so damned much you’re “supposed to do” because of what time of year it is and that just stinks, in my opinion! Even if you aren’t religious, there’s this whole American way of consumerism that drives folks out in hordes, and often against each other, all in the name of bargains. It’s disgusting. (I worked retail for ten years.)

Look, it isn’t all terrible. I love the smell of the crisp, late-autumn air! Few things in this world exhilarate me like that or fresh and new rains (it’s so rare in California, I cherish every drop!). The scent of douglas firs and pine and veggies roasting in a hot oven. I love giving gifts most of all and take it very seriously! But the pressures of the holidays are just too fucking much, dude! Gift giving is my love language and let me tell you, I have been hurt and burned far too many times. Now I hold back, I can’t just give because I want to anymore. Not just because I’m broke as fuck, but because often folks don’t know how to handle a thoughtful gift, given directly from the heart. It can be too intense for some.

I’m voluntarily estranged from my family as I write this. I’m also divorced, single (no romantic partner to speak of, not that I’m prioritizing that at all right now, obv.), and unemployed, living alone for the first time in my life.  I don’t know how to feel this year. Mostly just terrified for my survival, but aside from that, how does one celebrate when all of the trappings of the season do not apply? How can I not let all the past traumas of my life drag me down in my darkest hour as these dates approach? I am fortunate to have an incredible friend group who feels more like family (most of the time) than my own ever has. But they each have their own families to celebrate with. I’m not “Oh woe is me!” over here, I am simply looking at patterns and behaviors and society more critically these days.

I used to love Christmas! I would wear Santa hats and eat a candy cane every day with glee! In my town, we have a Candy Cane Lane where all the houses in the neighborhood decorate and the fire department gives out candy canes to the kids, and families and couples stroll along the sidewalks in the evenings. It’s really lovely and special (and you probs have one in your town, too), and I miss all of those feelings that used to go along with all of that. I miss my grandma and my aunt Jo and I can’t ever think about this time of year without them, their warm and inviting homes and arms, their cooking and hilarious banter. This year especially! I have never felt more alone in the world in my entire life! Not lonely, mind you. I just miss what family meant back when ya know? I miss the matriarchs of my family in a deep and cutting way I can’t quite put into words.

This time of year also brings up a lot of memories of my adolescence, like my first love. We met just 1 week before Christmas. I’d sneak out at night and walk around my neighborhood with them or sneak them in my window and just kiss and hold each other for hours. I don’t know how I never got caught! Ha-ha! It felt so romantic though, to be freezing cold out, but so full of warmth from a connection between two people. It didn’t last long, but it is still fresh in my mind and I just haven’t ever had to think about this time of year as a single, solo, independent human. It feels complicated! Ha! I’m glad to have my own space and safe place to live. I just miss having someone to stay in and keep warm with.

Facing December without a job is so tough! Most companies won’t start hiring until mid-January when the new budgets come out. So I have to just stick it out and hope for the best. I have been applying to allllll the jobs and have already had a bunch of interviews, but these things take time. Patience I have, but money I do not. I’m actually far worse off financially than ever before in my life, and I know I have published those exact words the last time I would out of work. I can assure you that this time it is far worse. C’est la vie!

I share all of my absurdities because I want you to know that it’s okay to question what has “always been”. It’s okay to not want to do things that you didn’t or don’t get to have a say in. It’s perfectly awesome to start or create your own new traditions and rituals, with whomever you choose! Seriously, what other point to adulthood is there?!  You get to decide what you will and won’t stand for in your life and in your celebrations. There will always be hard times, complicated feels and so much to navigate through this time of year. You can choose to opt out or to opt-in, in whatever way feels right for you!

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If you do not have a support system of your own for the coming festivities, I offer my unbiased and empathetic ears/eyes. Send me an email, take a load off your mind or chest or whatever, I get it and I’m here for ya! notblueatall@notblueatall.com I’m also on some other apps and things if you need real-time support. I don’t yet know what my plans are for celebrating if I even feel like it at the time. But I’m always glad to be able to provide some emotional support for someone who truly needs it.

What gets you through a difficult holiday season? How do you prioritize your own self-care? What helps you stay away from self-destructive behaviors when it’s so easy to fall into those traps? What is your favorite part of this time of year? Least favorite? How do you stay true to your beliefs when surrounded by others toxic behaviors? Do you have a new tradition or ritual you started? Do you have a fave handmade item or recipe you’re proud of? I wanna hear it all!

Thank you so much for your continued love and support! I have been truly touched by the kindness and generosity of the readers of this blog. My fat community has been such a bright light in a dark time. You have my undying gratitude and affection!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

If you are able, please consider donating any sum you see fit to support and keep the blog alive until I’m back on my feet again. It isn’t much to raise ($150 for hosting), but I am hoping enough people can donate a buck or two in order to keep this little safe space alive another year. I have more things I want to share with you and some exciting fat projects I’ll be partnering on soon! Stay tuned!

Donate here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Support This Blog If You Are Able

November14

Dear Readers,

It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you that this blog’s hosting bill ($150 for the next year) is coming up in a few short weeks. I’ve lost my job and my unemployment benefits have not yet begun. I’m faced with the possibility of having to shut down my blog entirely and that breaks my heart. I know I have not written much in awhile, but I see my stats and the archives are still read, relevant, and valuable to many.

If you are able, please consider donating any sum you see fit to support and keep the blog alive until I’m back on my feet again. It isn’t much to raise ($150), but I am hoping enough people can donate a buck or two in order to keep this little safe space alive another year.

Donate here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

*Edited to add donations received have reached $106! Thank you so much! I am in awe and humbled by this outpour of love! <3

I have never accepted advertising or sponsors of any sort. I have always been a firm believer in creative freedom and ownership of my writing. I want to write more, but the stresses of life have been incessant obstacles to that as of late. I am a better human for having this blog for nearly ten years. I have struggled and grown with the love and support of my readers. My readers have become friends and confidants, over the years.

I am working on a few stealthy projects with other incredible fat activists that I hope to share with you here very soon! If for some reason this blog must go dark, I will continue to share links and articles on the FB page, but doubt you’ll find much personal writing or content there as their advertising and privacy policies are, well, bullshit. I hope, if you are able, that you will support this blog in some small way, and other writers and artists and activists who also believe that we are more than just a Fat Body. We are multifaceted individuals born to stand out and to make a difference in this world.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Curvy Girl Lingerie Fashion Show 2017

October20

*Waves* I’m back! I had no internet at home yesterday, so couldn’t post anything, but it’s back and so am I and hey let’s do this! Woo!

(I was in no way paid, reimbursed, or asked to write this post in any way shape or form! The lingerie I wore in the show I paid for myself, with the discount that Chrystal gave to all those modeling in the fashion show.)

Curvy Girl Lingerie has been a silicon valley gem for some time. I have been fortunate enough to be invited as a guest by my dance partner and dear friend Tigress for the last couple of years and have enjoyed myself as I got to watch the show from the audience. This year was the first time I was in the actual show. It was kind of funny how that happened. Tigress and Saucye had at first talked me into that modeling audition this past spring (Oh, I guess I should post about that, too? OKay, will do!) and I couldn’t believe it when I got a callback for it. It was an interesting experience, but when all was said and done and Saucye’s gorgeous face lit up and said, “So are you hooked for life?!” I don’t think she expected my response. “Fuck no! This isn’t for me.” Ha-ha!

I knew they’d be in the Curvy Girl show because they have been for the last few years (3-4, not sure). Tigress asked if I would and I hemmed and hawed. I was kind of avoiding it, to be honest. Once the application date passed I thought I was in the clear! Nope. Chrystal, the owner, reached out to me directly and asked me to be in the show. How could I say no? I didn’t. I said yes and then tried to choose something to wear but honestly I’d never bought lingerie before and it suddenly all felt so surreal and not applicable to me and my fat life. There was a models only group page on facebook and that helped a bit to see what others were wearing and how their individual looks were coming together. We were encouraged to be creative and have fun showing off our personalities.

I was clueless and while I did ask for help, I suck at it and didn’t really say what I needed, and I’m just always convinced that I’m an annoying bastard who should leave people the heck alone. Introverts high-five! Ha-ha! In the end Chrystal suggested something different than I originally picked out due to my particular body dimensions and I was finally relieved. Chrystal had a store closing party on her last day of business in her brick and mortar store (the online store will be her main focus and shuttering the shop in San Jose was due to health concerns – This is the exact reason I sold my cafe, owning a small business is incredibly taxing on one person). I went to buy my lingerie for the show but also to try it on first to be sure of sizing.

I went with the Stephenie in a 3x/4x and it fit fantastic, but I will say that the straps were a little tricky to get right at first. Once a fellow model leant me a hand (I think there were 4-5 of us in the exact same item) and cinched my straps all the way to their tightest setting, I was good to go! I had originally wanted the same item in this sort of purply-wine color, but they’d run out of my size and I was kind of digging the vibe of this peach number with black trim. I thought it was a girl-next-door with a naughty side sort of a thing! That was where my look was heading and I was stoked and went to the fabric store and bought some fun remnants to play with. Thought I’d make myself a little hat or fascinator, but I just couldn’t get it together.

The night before the show I sat on my little loveseat and watched a marathon of Good Times (70’s sitcom about a poor working class black family living in Chicago’s projects, my favorite of all time for sure). What can I say? Inspiration took over! That peachy color? Very 70’s! The fashion in the show always dazzled me, even as a kid, but this was all about the higher cut babydoll style tops and dresses back then and that was sort of how my lingerie was cut and them BAM it hit me: A glamorous wrap! I took this peach chiffon remnant and laid it across my lap and started to just think really hard about how this could work. I soon realized I didn’t have enough fabric, but then I tried something different and pinned each side horizontally and tried it on and yep yep it all worked out. I made a fancy (not really at all) shrug! I just watched my fave show and hand sewed the seams and finally the marabou-like trim for the cuffs. Perfect!

Before the show everyone was getting ready, but when I put on that shrug, well, I was worried at first that it wouldn’t look right. All the other models seemed to have more put together looks. So I popped on a spooky new batwing-bow headband and my shrug and just worked it! And I got so many compliments on my handmade shrug! I was so proud, if not a little embarrassed at how much so. Ha-ha! But it looked great and sort of looked more me anyway. I always gotta have a little retro in my look! I love classic with a twist, ya know? So I finished my makeup and lined up with everyone and got ready to walk the runway.

I’ll say right here and now that I think I’m one of the most awkward human beings ever, but Tigress has twice now insisted that even if that’s how I feel, that is not at all what comes across to others in my interactions. I’ll accept this. That said, I was the most awkward fucking model on the damned runway! Ha-ha! It was fine, I didn’t fall or have any wardrobe malfunctions, but I didn’t hear them call my name at first so that was a bit funny. In the end I was on the runway a total of like 30 seconds, so who even cares?! I haven’t seen any of the professional pictures yet, but I’ll add the ones I have that Tigress took of me and include some from the site as well so you can see the same item on different bodies.

The event itself is super fun, very empowering, positive, and just a great time! It’s attended by all women and there are always great vendors selling awesome body positive things and stuff. I actually didn’t get to check out the vendors tables until after the show, but I was also between paychecks (and now unemployed – who knew?!), so I really barely browsed. There was a latex-wear table that I found very intriguing and the vendor was super gorgeous and sweet to me, but I was not in the right headspace for such a purchase as I had a billion questions but little time. I had intended to have a drink before the show, even brought some moscato to share, but time and nerves did not allow. Tigress and I had a glass after the show before we went to Ross and Smashburger! Ha!

All in all I am glad that I did it! Who else can say they modeled lingerie just a few weeks away from turning 40?! Let alone at 325 lbs?! That’s right! Breakin’ all the “rules” and barriers over here! Ha-ha! That is what that show is, though. It is really the customers and community that was built by and around Curvy Girl! Chrystal built it from the ground up, so to speak, from a pleasure party business to a full on community of awesome people! And that is what it felt like, it seemed that everyone knew each other or were becoming fast friends. I was abnormally shy feeling that day and really just stuck to myself when not getting ready with Tigress and Saucye. Oh! Speaking of…Tigress and Saucye also gave keynote speeches at the start of the show! So fantastic! I think if you go to Curvy Girl’s facebook page you can still watch the original livestream. Always worth paying attention when either of these incredible fat activists are speaking, lemme tell ya!

Do yourself a favor, seriously, and get yourself something you feel fabulous in! Check out the shop online and if you have questions about sizing, or anything, ASK!!! Chrystal steered me away from ill fitting things and into something that works for my body and my comfort level! Those are reasons alone why it took until 2017 for me to buy myself lingerie! I even busted out my Size Queen booty shorts to wear underneath my babydoll! Fun! I hope you can support this really great, fat accepting business. A great place to shop for toys and lubes and all of your pleasure-related needs, it’s also fantastic for gifts!!! You might even have some time left to get yourself a sexy lil’ something for your halloween celebrations! Woo! And onto the pics!!!

  

 

 

I am ceaselessly inspired by Tigress as well as local fat community, and am so grateful to have access to it where I live. I hope that you’ll also check out her blog here: iofthetigress and here for GREAT pics on her Instagram!

Check out Saucye West’s Instagram for all things #FatAndFree, not to mention fucking FABULOUS!!!

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

If you feel so inclined (Ranges from $2 – $150):
My 40th Birthday Wish List: http://a.co/0a2nLYO
Cash & Gift cards also appreciated…I just lost my job! 😛

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 
Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll
I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

If you would like to support this blog (the hosting bill is $150 and coming up next month!), and it’s archives, via paypal, you may do so here: paypal.me/notblueatall and you will have my undying gratitude, too!

Countdown to 40!!!

October18

Holy shit! Yes, it’s true, it’s real, and I have been assured, that 40 IS in fact a Thing! Whaaaaaaat?! In 7 days I will turn 40! I had been very excited about this for some time, as not everyone gets the privilege. I’m also facing this, among so many other things, alone. (Note: I did not say lonely!!!) As life is known to do, it grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me, HARD! Last week I was fired, right out of the clear blue sky, for literally doing my job! (Obviously not what they put down on paper, but I didn’t work for dummies.) I’ve never been fired before, and I’m still in shock. Just a few weeks ago I was pulled aside by a VP and told that they upped my equity because, “You’re an important and valuable member of the team!” So, trust no one, basically.

While my head’s still spinning and I’m questioning reality, it has also shown me who is there, who is real, and who will show up for me when needed. Two weeks ago I walked the runway as the most awkward model in Curvy Girl Lingerie’s annual fashion show. And this past weekend I did a little song and dance number for Big Moves Bay Area’s annual “A Taste for Dance” show. The contrast between  those two events is night and day! They were both body positive, of course, but only one was truly fat accepting and inclusive, IMHO. I’ll get into that more soon, as I have the time I should do my absolute best to get back to writing if I can. My block has been unbearable! (Perhaps I’ll talk about that soon as well.)

I have been single since March, but I haven’t really been interested in dating much. Yes, I’ve gone on a few dates, most good, one terrible, and one awesome one.  I’ve had some heavy crushes (the current one is made of magic, I swear!), had some minor hurts and heavy disappointments, but overall I’m good in that department. I’ve been more focused on work and building/maintaining friendships. Ultimately, I would like to meet people to date and get to know and connect with on a deeper level. Dating has changed, even online dating has changed in the four years I was in an LTR. Luckily I have a strong bullshit detector, and don’t waste time on fools. I have become more secure in my own sexuality and identities (Bi-Sapio-Femme), though, and I am glad for that!

I don’t really feel as though I’m at an ending of something, though. It feels more like the start of something…big! I’ve had this feeling for awhile, that I’m on the brink of something awesome, and I guess getting canned made that suddenly become even more clear. Just wish I knew what it is so I could get right on it or at least begin the research! Ha-ha! I trust in the journey and the process. I trust in the people who have become my support system to steer me away from disaster. I really just haven’t a clue what it is I’m meant to do at this particular juncture of life. *Shrugs*

I have wanted to post here for some time, but never could get the words to come out. I want to change that. I want to share with you my thoughts, feels, struggles, and joys. I want to rebuild and repair the relationship I once had with my readers, and hopefully in doing so attract new thoughts, ideas, and people into this sphere. As I have been inspired by fat community countless times, I hope to give as much back as I can. It is what makes me do these intimidating things and continue to challenge my own and others misconceptions about fatness, feminism, bodies, autonomy, fashion, connections, and you know, just, like, every damned thing! Ha-ha!

I know one thing is for certain, I have the love and support of my nearest and dearest friends all over the world. I carry that with me for the tough moments. We just never know what the universe has in store for us at any given point in time. I want to thank those who have seen me when I felt the most unseen, held me when I struggled hardest against my own journey, and gifted me with their truth and their stories when they saw that I wanted to listen. It is through these interactions and connections that I have found strength and light in a world that seems unreal and cruel.

Birthdays are really tough for me, when I hope or trust, I get mostly hurt and trauma. So, I can’t. I know this is the past getting in the way of the future, but it’s a wound that refuses to close on it’s own. I have a tiny, glimmering, pinprick of a hope that this year’s and all the ones going forward will help to heal this wound.

I see friends celebrate their entire birthday month with something each day, but that sounds almost terrifying to me! Ha-ha! Then again, every single thing I had planned this month has been terrifying, and I’m a firm believer in getting out of your comfort zone, but this? Celebrating myself? No, that feels so wrong. So, perhaps I’ll simply share a thought or memory or photo for the rest of this month and hope that you will chime in with your usual wit and wisdom!

#TooBlessedToBeStressed #PugLife #FatAndFree #SingleReadyToMingleWithFeminists #BiPride #Gratitude #BadAssFatAss

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

If you feel so inclined (Ranges from $2 – $150):
My 40th Birthday Wish List: http://a.co/0a2nLYO
Cash & Gift cards also appreciated…I just lost my job! 😛

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 
Or get the same “shared” content on twitter: @NotBlueAtAll
I also have an Instagram, I rarely use it but would like to more…encourage me to?:
https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

If you would like to support this blog (the hosting bill is $150 and coming up next month!), and it’s archives, via paypal, you may do so here: paypal.me/notblueatall

Fats Hating Fats

July25

I know that I no longer really use the term Fat Acceptance anymore, but for the context of this post I will. I have been a fat activist and fat acceptance blogger/supporter for many years. Gosh, how long has it been now? Well, I’m not exactly sure, but a long ass time. For me it all started with a copy of BUST magazine and the article about the U.K. Chubsters fatty gang. I immediate hopped online to discover all I could about  them and the movement they represented and talked about.

Soon I found myself jumping from link to link to blog to blog until finally happening upon the community that would change my life for the better: LiveJournal.com’s Fatshionista community. Without that community I never would have dabbled in fashion, question my own internalized fatphobia, learned to heal my relationship with my body, taken a helicopter ride over Maui (had to buy 2 seats and feared fat shame, so glad I did it!), started my own small business or this very blog.

I longed for fat friends, solidarity and community. It took awhile, but I did find it. The key was that I refused to quit no matter how hard it got. The first few meet ups I organized were disappointing. When I had my cafe there were times when no one would show up at all. Or the clothing swap where only four people came and I was left with a car full of left over clothes to donate. Slowly but surely though I met the right people and found my community in fat acceptance.

I have met some very famous fats on my journey but only one gave me that awkward “OMZ! I have your book!” feeling and moment. What I have found is that most fats, famous or not, are awesome people. I never had fat friends growing up and the few that I did hated themselves and the world, too. I haven’t always been fat myself, but was fatter than most and then some once I hit puberty. I had a fat bff when I had the cafe, but her refusal to accept my fat body and her constant self hate was too much for me to handle.

Years of attending fat events and conferences and meet ups and dances and picnics and more and I thought I knew what my local fat community was: awesome! What I hadn’t realized until the last year or so is how it is also very fluid. It changes and reshapes itself constantly. There are the veterans and the newbies and while I thought everyone was accepting and positive and loving and all of that, I was very wrong.

Even in a community where we share the same pain, oppression and battle against a society brainwashed by marketing schemes, there are still cliques and mean girl attitudes that continue to shock me. This past weekend I heard stories of fats hating fats. Of famous fatties saying things like, “I’m fat, but not mid western fat!” or terms like “Forklift fat” and more. I’ve heard disabled fats feeling invisible or worse, that their needs were “just too much.” It seems even in a community where we bond over our mutual struggles in the world, there is still so much room to grow in just loving and accepting each other. The worst is the whole “good fatty versus bad fatty” mentality. It has got to end if we are to make any progress outside of our own community.

Racism is an especially vital subject that often isn’t addressed in the fat acceptance realm. Racism is something I have been keenly aware of, an activist and ally against and a struggle in my own life as far back as I can remember. In a space like No Lose I learned so much last year in the anti racism workshops and white allies group on Facebook. I had no idea until then what a privilege I have by having grown up in such a diverse community (the San Francisco Bay Area). I was looking forward to doing more of this type of work and learning this year and was excited to jump back into the tough dialogues and conversations necessary to make this community inclusive and safe for everybody.

What I hadn’t thought I would hear in such a space is how I and other white allies, regardless of the work we do within our community and at home, would be reduced to nothing but a skin color. I heard a story from a fellow fat that in seeking information to coordinate for a workshop they were told, “I’m not talking to white people this week.” and dismissed. Had this person given them even a moment to speak they would have thanked them for helping them through a difficult time last year, but they never had the chance. It breaks my heart to see past connections broken like this. I have no idea what caused this, nor is it my place to guess, but it was still a surprise and in an activist space I do not think that this is okay.

From the No Lose page:

NOLOSE* is a vibrant community of

fat queers and our allies,
with a shared commitment to feminist, anti-oppression ideology and action, seeking to end the oppression of fat people!  

I did not see this philosophy or attitude at the conference itself. The workshops I attended did not once mention solutions, healing, community support or even open discussion. It seemed to be more of a sharing of painful stories, anger, frustration and experiences thing and not a workshop at all. I understand and support having a safe space for connecting and bonding over shared pain and experiences. I think that it is important and vital to have this, but not alone. There needs to be more of a creative mindset, I feel. There were caucuses for this, but workshops? Nothing was “workshopped” in my eyes. At least not in the five or six workshops I attended.

No Lose may provide a more revolutionary space than the straight world has to offer, but it is not the inclusive utopia it strives so hard to be. There is work being done, don’t get me wrong. But the work and solutions versus accusations and calling people out and insisting upon accountability without making it safe to do so just isn’t happening or working. In a previous post I was put upon to hold those accountable who bullied me at the conference. If you’ve ever been bullied you know this is not an easy task, often it is impossible to feel safe to do so.

I was minutes away from a full blown panic attack when I was physically pushed aside by a smaller fat. This was moments before the talent show began. When it was time for me to hit the stage there was an issue with the mic stand on the stage (I needed it moved in order to dance) and then my music started late and I could barely hear it and I forgot all of my choreography. The moment I left the stage my panic attack hit me harder than a brick wall and I ran hysterically crying up to my hotel room. By the time I’d composed myself and calmed down enough to re-enter the conference space again, everyone was gone. The dance party was canceled and so I chose to hang out with some awesome people in the bar for an hour instead.

The following morning was my volunteer shift bright and early and then the Sunday Salon where I read my controversial piece “Fatty Dancer” and things would never be the same again. Not once did I feel safe enough to report or hold accountable the people that bullied me (physically or emotionally, there was way more than the pushing incident). There was so much going on, and in the end, what would it have accomplished? All I have ever wanted to be is myself. I fight for the right to be me and to live the life I want to live everyday in the straight world. I didn’t have it in me to fight for that at No Lose. Perhaps that is on me, so be it.

Since no one is willing to tell me exactly what I have done wrong, what specifically in my piece hurt people or is racist, I cannot see that anything with it or me is wrong. I was held accountable, I got up in front of the entire conference and acknowledged the pain I’d caused without knowing how or what caused it. In an activist space I expected more information, compassion and discussion. There was no discussion that I was allowed into. Many superfats felt invisible in a conference where the social currency was fuckability and always the smaller fats deemed more popular/accepted.

I wanted to quit being an activist due to how I and other fats were treated. But fuck that! I am an activist. I have always been and always will be an activist! I may not always have the spoons to speak up for myself but I almost always want to help and stand up for the underdog. I know the work I have done and continue to do can speak for itself. My events are inclusive to all. There is talk and sharing of pain and struggle, but always with a message of healing and connecting and community. No one is an island, but we all know what that feels like.

Living in a fat body in western society is hard enough. We are the embodiment of many people’s worst nightmares. Those on either end of the spectrum of oppression get it worst of all and that doesn’t take or give to anyone else. We have to stay connected and work with each other and for each other in order to make things right. Hating people you do not personally know is continuing the oppression you claim, as a fat activist, to want to end. What the fuck is that about?! We can do better! So stop spouting hate about who is or isn’t in your cool fatty club and realize that you’re harming all of us by doing so. There are so many great minds and vibrant voices being silenced and shut out. I refuse to sit idly while this happens. I will not be silenced and I will not stop working towards something better. Please join me.

Rad Fatty Love to you ALL!
<3
S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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