Once upon a time — before URLs, handles, likes and shares — I put some good old-fashioned postage stamps inside an envelope and sent away for a zine (made of actual paper!) that was filled with some very big ideas. I was 16 and the zine was called i’m so fucking beautiful, a title that hooked me instantly because at the time I was quite literally starving myself of that sentiment. I was all punk rock by day, but I had a couple of dirty secrets that did not exactly jibe with the Manic Panic and combat boots:
- I thought calories were evil. Unfortunately this didn’t stop me from willingly and regularly consuming wretched diet foods that were almost certainly concocted in the bowels of hell. Listen, when a chocolate product in a plastic tub includes instructions on how it can be enjoyed frozen as “ice cream” or microwaved into a “shake,” it no longer qualifies as food, okay? But I ate (and drank!) that sugar-free, chemical-laden kryptonite sludge like it was my duty, each scoop and sip meticulously tallied in my Calories and Fat Grams Journal, which was really more of a disturbing collection of numbers and equations scribbled on Post-Its and scrap paper than an actual journal. Think “A Beautiful Mind” for the eating disordered set.
- I kept a stash of “thinspiration” featuring pictures of models I tore from magazines (‘90s-style! Old school!). I wanted to be that kind of beautiful. And the more I stared at those images, the more fervently I started to believe in that waifish brand of perfection. So I made myself sick chasing sizes that were smaller than the small sizes I already wore. I developed a mortal fear of weight gain. And while my weight fluctuated up and down and back up again as I abused it with brutal cycles of starvation, bingeing, and purging, I was never anywhere remotely close to being plus-sized, full-figured, curvy or any other palatable euphemism for that oh-so-terrifying F-word.
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Kirstie Alley has good Photoshop skills, but questionable judgment when it comes to pointing out her weight issues. She posted this pic of her head Photoshopped onto a fat woman’s body on Twitter, cracking jokes about drinking beer and whether her “butt looks big.” I can appreciate that she’s a celeb willing to poke fun at herself. And I don’t blame her for having body image issues; lots of us do. But poking fun at her yo-yo dieting/weight loss, which is clearly a very big deal to her and has been for years, vis-a-vis another, obese woman’s body just makes me uncomfortable. That’s a real person with feelings (and, apparently, a chain bikini)! Not cool, Kirstie. [Twitter.com/KirstieAlley]
It’s not often that a dude comedian stands up for a woman who’s getting fat shamed — and be funny about it! So a big high five, or whatever it is they do Down Under, to Australian comedian Adam Hills for telling Joan Rivers to STFU. Joan’s been all over the place cracking jokes about how fat Adele is and on his UK show The Last Leg, Hills called her out in a very emotional “FUCK YOU!”
If you make fat jokes, you’re being a dick! And I’m referring to you, Joan Rivers. Seth MacFarlane started it at the Oscars but after the Oscars, Joan Rivers tweeted “You could easily pick Adele’s Oscar out of the lineup. It was the only one wearing Spanx.” Then she went on the Letterman show and made a whole bunch of awful jokes which included her saying “I met Adele” and then she went [puffs cheeks out and makes "fat" motion with hands]. FUCK YOU!
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I’ve been asked by people on different ends of the fat lover spectrum about advice being a good ally. From the “My lover doesn’t see how beautiful she is and won’t have sex with the lights on” to the “My lover uses the term ‘fat’ to describe themselves but I’ve always thought of that as a derogatory word … isn’t it?” For Fat Sex Week, I’ve highlighted some of the best ways to be a good ally to your fat lover.
This is all from my limited perspective, you should obviously be in good communication with your lover to find out what works for them and how they operate in the world. Communication is an essential sex toy!
This advice applies to folks of all sizes, not just thinner folks partnered (in all the myriad ways one can partner) with fat folks. And a lot of it is good advice for sex in general, regardless of whether or not your partner is fat. Keep reading »
People on the internet have been telling me I’m fat for at least a decade — since whenever the first full-body photograph of me appeared on a blog author page. I still remember one of the first times it happened. I was probably 22 years old, wearing a pink pencil skirt and cute black top, retro-style, in the photo.
“Just like I thought, she’s pear-shaped,” snarked one commenter, who apparently previously inferred from the quality of my writing that my body was not up to his high expectations, only to have it all confirmed by a photo.
I stood in front of the mirror in that same outfit, staring at my body from every angle, trying to figure out just how pear-shaped I was. Was it my thighs causing the problem? Had to be, right? I measured them. I calculated my BMI. I took more digital photos and compared them to the existing photo. I went through the size tags on all my clothes, trying to find the biggest one so I could prove to myself that I either was or wasn’t fat. Definitively.
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I shook my head recently when I read about New York Observer film critic Rex Reed’s personal insult toward actress Melissa McCarthy. In a review of her latest offering, “Identity Thief,” he called her “tractor-sized” and as big as a “hippo.” Isn’t it interesting, I thought, that a man, who himself is part of a marginalized and often supressed segment of society [Reed is widely believed to be gay.] wields his pejoratives so freely when directed toward another similarly ill-regarded community, the “un-thin” or “un-commercial.” The part of our population that still hides in a closet of self-hatred. The part of our population, fearful that they won’t be accepted or seen for anything other than their physical appearance. You don’t have to be overweight to be part of our collective; you just have to have a self-loathing of some physical feature you feel you possess. Surely, this is something that everyone can relate to at some point in their lives and certainly, unless he was blessed to have grown up amongst royalty, Rex Reed himself must have had to deal with.
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