It is hotter than my ass in short shorts out there, and I’m feeling a certain type of way about it. I am not a babe who copes well in the heat, and shit has been hovering around what feels like 36 degrees celcius (thank you humidity) – so essentially, I am living in hell, and frankly, so is everyone around me.
I walk across the room and my body is pouring sweat – My fucking knees were sweating yesterday and I didn’t even know that was a thing that happened. I live in a house with no air conditioning and I’m at the point where I will literally come for you if you step in front of my fan. Don’t even bother asking me to set it to ‘oscillate’, that option is not on offer, not by a long damn shot.
So yeah, its hot, my mood is piss poor, my temper is short, and my goal is to get through this heat wave without being responsible for the total decimation of every good thing in my life – if i make it through successfully it will be a goddamn miracle sent from our holy mother of fatness.
Part of the problem is my own heat addled attitude for sure, but the bulk of the issue here is the way the world treats fat babes when the temperatures soar.
Look babes, being hot in the summer is a universal feeling, but for fat people it comes with a little extra je ne sais quoi- as if I’m not already on the fucking edge of reason. Cause like many, many things in life, fat people are not allowed to look hot. And I don’t mean hot as in ‘lets do this thing, babe’, because against all odds, we fucking pull off that kind of hot just fine, thank you. I mean the sweaty, sticky, stifling kind of hot.
There is a lot of pressure on fat people to ‘manage’ our bodies. If my body is gonna be fat, there is a cultural expectation that I keep it quiet, or at least out of view when it just does what is natural for bodies to do. No one gives a shit when skinny people are sweating. No one cares if the sweaty size 4 sits next to them on the bus. People are fucking charmed when skinny people’s hair sticks to their sweaty faces – the ‘pushing the sticky hair out of her face’ move is one of the more common, tired rom com tropes out there. Only thing is, ya can’t be fat. Cause when you are fat, that shit is not cute. We have been told over and over again that our bodies are not deserving of respect and nothing underscores that more than the way we get treated in the motherfucking heat.
It is already the worst out there, but fat babes have to consider so much more, just to stay cool. We do not live in the same spaces as our thinner brethren. I am under constant public scrutiny every time I leave the house in shorts, never mind when I am also red-faced, sweaty, and miserable. Strangers REGULARLY have a thing to say, or a look to give, or a giggle behind a covered mouth. I am the proud owner of a deeply practiced strut, sneer, and snark combo that allows me to wear what the fuck I want, but on days like this, when it is hot as balls out there, I can barely muster a sneer. And, to be crystal here, I shouldn’t have to. My body is fat, and sweaty, and red, and now it is time for everyone to get the fuck over it. Cause it’s summer out there and I got shit to do.
And I’m trying babes, but my fat babe armour is too hot for teacher, and in this heat, I don’t always have the emotional wherewithal to bounce back from the casual fatphobia of strangers (read: i turn into a temperamental fat bitch- and to be real here – its too hot out for that kind of exchange.). And yet, as per usual, I’m gonna do what I want. So in the interest of laying it down for a fatphobic jackoff, here is a list of things that I have done and will continue to do as long as I feel like it. I have also helpfully included the appropriate public response since civility, it seems, may in fact be rocket science.
1. I’m gonna wear the romper that is so short that you can see the pimples on my inner thighs, a result of sweltering heat induced chub rub and exercises in hair removal working in tandem to piss me off. And you are gonna appreciate the balls it takes to be hot and fat in the world and you are gonna see those pimples as goddamn badges of honour in a world that wants my body in pants all summer long.
2. I’m gonna bring my sweat rag (that’s a hankie to wipe the sweat off my brow for those not in the know) along with me whenever I’m headed out in this heat and I’m gonna use it, as needed, in front of people. Said people are going to say ‘goodness it is hot, you are a beautiful fat genius to have brought along your hankie’.
3. I’m gonna wear my bikini top and nothing else (except maybe a denim vest, see above), like every other damn broad in the world. People are gonna mind their own business, close their gaping jaws, and stop double taking, and in return they will not have to enjoy a public call out, by moi.
4. I’m gonna use my shirt to wipe off boob sweat when I’m at the garden cause the sweat stings my eyes and feels like bugs and if you see my tits in a bra then you are just gonna deal, old man.
5. I’m not putting on shorts the second I’m done swimming. My suit is wet and I’m hot and I don’t wanna. Also, your kids need to see fat people who are living their lives like bosses, so you are also welcome for the teachable moment.
6. Bras are gonna be fucking optional and if you see a little nip you are going to be polite as fuck about it.
Babes, It is hot out. Our fat bods are tryna stay cool just like everyone else’s. There is nothing wrong with fat babe bodies in the heat – even at our sweatiest and hot messiest, our majestic bods are worthy of respect and some goddamn admiration. The people that cross paths with us may want us to take up as little space as possible, well I want them to zip it lock it and put it in their damn pocket, but apparently in this heat, no one is really getting what they want. And I, as previously stated, am gonna do what the fuck I want. And what I want is to stay cool enough that I still have a little kindness for the people i love, so if that means the world gets to see a little more of me then the world is gonna have to just eat it. And then they are going to LOVE IT.
So, given this heat, and the hair-trigger temper it inspires in me, I fucking dare anyone to try a thing with me or my fat babe fam. JUST. TRY. IT.
I get it, it’s summer, people are wearing shorts when its hot and that has got you seriously bothered. We all fucking know you, you are entitled, you hate when fat femmes feel safe in the world, you are bored, you get off on scaring us, you love the vibe you get after you shame us for existing, you feel like it is your god given right to police other people’s bodies, and you need to feel like a big fucking deal cause you are deficient in other areas – namely decency, but probably also your ability to get laid by someone who is actually into it. I do really get it, lemme summarize: you are a fucking dick and telling you to go fuck yourself is LITERALLY too good for you. See, I get it, I’m an emotional empath like that; I understand that you are a sack of shit that doesn’t deserve nice things.
And yet here I am wasting my time and energy on you because you have been fucking with a lot of fat babes I know lately, and we are more than a little tired of dealing with the nonsense that is your existence. You have been shouting out of cars while we are out walking and riding our bikes, you are getting in our way at the beach, speaking when you have most definitely NOT been spoken to, and honestly, you are just taking up the fucking space we are entitled to, and you can’t shut the fuck up about it. Even though we have heard your shit a fucking million times before (yes i have a fat ass, yes I’m a fat bitch, yes i have thunder thighs, yes i do think i should be wearing this, yes i should go fuck myself, obvi.) you still think we need to hear it again and again and again.
Now I will be real clear here, you are not novel, you are not new, you are not special. Seen one bag of dicks and you have seen ’em all, amiright, babes? Most of us have been putting up with you for the better part of our lives and mostly we have learned to do what we need to do to survive you measly little ass wipes. Whether we shout back, find solidarity with other fat babes, smash your windows, cry hot angry tears, key your cars, put up with your fucking shit at the family dinner table, or like, follow your sorry ass home, track down your mother, and fucking tell on you, we are taking care of business like the fucking boss bitches that we are.
But we are also tired. We are tired of having to brainstorm witty comebacks to the fucked up shit you feel entitled to say to us. We are over having to brace ourselves every time we go out in the world. We want to be able to do the shit that we want to do without fear of you opening your mouth and taking a big shit out of it. Taking care of business takes a fucking toll and that is on you. You are responsible for stealing our joy in moving our bodies. You are the reason, we don’t wear the things we want to wear. You are why we avoid beaches, pools, gyms, doctor’s offices. You are responsible for fucking with our lives. You are the fucking reason we carry shame about the bodies that have survived you over and over again.
But just because you are the reason doesn’t mean you have the power. Just because you want to destroy us doesn’t mean you will. Just because parts of us are so deeply and irrevocably hurt by you doesn’t mean every part is. For example, my fist is SUPER fine.
We have spent our lives building up armour so that we can protect the gentle, delicate, sweet, and fragile parts of us that hold space in our bellies, and upper arms, and thighs, and chins, chests and hearts. We protect those parts because they are vulnerable, but also because they are fierce and eventually, we hope, they will be the parts of us that we allow to be free, even for just a moment when we know it is safe enough.
Cause asshole, you may be a constant in our lives, you may find the words that can cut us down even when we know they shouldn’t, you may even sometimes trick us into thinking we deserve what you are dishing out, but you don’t fucking own us. You are not in charge here. You are a thing we get together to manage, deal with, work around. You are a problem to be solved. And if there is one thing angry fat bitches are good at it is asshole mathematics. All we need to do is knock down the first domino and the rest of you will come toppling down. Its douchebag physics, you taught us that.
Motherfucker, you are mean. And boring. And mean, boring, motherfuckers need to get the hell out of our way. Because as of this fucking minute, we are coming for you.
BAAAAAAABES! HI! It has been too damn long. This blog and all you babes have been on my mind a lot and if you could see my draft folder you would see that I have been busy as fuck starting shit I never finish. Honestly, this winter has been bullshit and brilliant and busy as hell and, just to lay it down for a motherfucker, I didn’t feel like I had a goddamn single thing to contribute (which for anyone who knows me is basically in direct opposition to my bossy, know-it-all, let me tell you how the fuck it is, true self). So I have let this little slice of fat babery lapse for a while. It’s not like i didn’t try, I literally have 23 drafts of shit i will never publish. Trust, when I tell you it is basic dreck that should never see the light of day.
I couldn’t write a single thing that felt real or honest. I couldn’t even manage surface level engaging – And fair to middling internet fuckery is a hard limit of mine. So I just stopped writing. Dark days babes, dark fucking days.
Here’s the thing though. When you are doing some serious personal time trying to figure things out for yourself, and you realize that a ton of the strategies that you had in place to cope and manage big feelings of loss and pain were actually doing you more harm than good, you may not feel like the most boss as fuck fat babe version of yourself. And you may not want to let the whole world in to see that your heart is cracked in pieces. Realizing that you may not be able to fix the things that are broken is some fucking intense and real life shit. So maybe you just start writing a million posts that you never finish. Maybe you just stop believing you have a single relevant thing to say.
That was my winter, in a nutshell. It sounds bleak as fuck, I know, and while it kind of was, it also kind of wasn’t. This was the winter of discovering that I can have my shit together at the same time as it is totally falling apart. As I have said many times before, we are complex motherfuckers like that. And again, I’m still relevant.
The thing about bleak winters and shit getting really goddamn real is that there comes a point where you either sit the fuck back and sink into the muck, or decide to fight a little harder to hold on to the things that matter. I’m still not totally sure which I did more of, but both approaches opened me up to some shit that has me thinking about my business a little differently.
And it is July now, and shit is green and I’m wearing the shortest shorts and there is something about my fat ass hanging out of a pair of denim cutoffs that inspires me to talk about shit like I’m the authority on living your best goddamn fat babe life.
(Obvi, I’m not trying to tell anyone how to make their way in the world – I can barely keep my own shit afloat, but I do think that when a fat babe has a shitty time of it and has to learn some hard fucking truths, the least she can do is share ’em. Cause if there is ANY way to make this kind of shit a little easier for another babe out there, then it is the fucking least I can do.)
****Just a little note here to say this blog is long as fuck and, if you are like me and get bored halfway through reading long ass articles, now is a good time to bookmark that shit and come back for the second half next time. Sorry (not sorry) I am so vain and think every word is critical, that’s fucking life with me, babes.*****
SHIT I LEARNED DURING THE GARBAGE WINTER OF MY LIFE/A PATH TO WELLNESS OR WHATEVER
I don’t need forgiveness to do better.
Fucking hell babes – for most of my life I have counted on the forgiveness of others to forge forward on a new path. Like, I do some dickish thing cause I often say shit I regret, apologize super sincerely (natch), and work to make shit better for next time. It has mostly served me well and I felt like forgiveness gave me permission to move on, do better, suck less. But here is the thing, babes, do you have people in your life who apologize and then shit stays the same? I can safely confirm that was me for the past 24 months (at least), so eventually my apologies meant shit and forgiveness was hard to come by. So, this winter, babes, there was not a lot of forgiveness on the table. I had checked out of life and been kind of an asshole for a super long time (like several bathing suit seasons worth) and that is a hard thing for friends and family to forgive. Like, maybe they will, but maybe they fucking won’t cause they are still pretty seriously pissed at me. So I had to learn to forgive myself and do better through the anger and hurt of the people I loved most. It fucking sucks, and im still doing it, but it is possible and also doesn’t force someone else to be the impetus for change. Especially those people who have been burned a million times before. So, in the spirit of salvaging what I had left, I decided to just try to forgive myself for not doing something earlier, and try to be more present in the lives of the people I love. And fuck me, if that wasn’t the goddamned solution all along.
I can’t just love my body, I have to listen to it too
Babes, if you have been here with me for a while, you will know that while I am a disaster about many, many things, I am not lacking in love for the majesty of my fat bod. I am so fucking down with my thunderous thighs and my heaving belly, and y’all, if you weren’t aware, my tits are amazing. I feel like at this point in my life, my sense of style and my bombshell hair are really just a given. I am deeply and committedly engaged in a very public, very vain, love affair with myself.
What I have not done up until now is listen when my body is feeling a thing. Up until, literally, the last 6 months, I have NEVER, not once, tried to figure out what my body was telling me when it was hurting, in the throes of a panic attack, or feeling like I was at death’s door. I wrote off my body’s cues, ignored it, and then managed it (poorly) when I had no choice – like when i would end up tachycardic, diaphoretic, and losing my shit- panic style. To be fucking crystal here, it is not my intent to minimize mental illness – that shit is debilitating as fuck. All I’m saying is that for the past 19 years of my life I have been looking away from my anxiety pretty damn hard and ignoring every cue from my body like a goddamn avoidance champ. Basically, I learned some shit as a teenager to deal with impossible feelings and never looked back. Yes, that’s right, I’ll say it: I have been using my coping strategies from the 90’s to manage my anxiety (The holy trinity of deep breathing, denial, and dissociation). Now babes, as you know, I believe that nearly everything from the 90’s should be featured HEAVILY in the present, but even I have come to realize that shit that i did in my 20’s may not be the next level wellness strategy I am seeking as I roll into my late 30’s. I have been realizing that while I have had an anxiety disorder my entire adult life, my body has also been screaming at me to pay attention for about the same time. And they are linked. Deeply. Can we say fight or flight times a fucking million? So, this winter I have been working on paying attention to the things that my body needs from me, fuel, exercise, rest, and gentle, loving attention (I’ll be honest here: I have varying degrees of success – it’s a day by day kinda clusterfuck of repeated attempts, so do with this what you will).
At least now I’m going to the gym to help my body regulate, feel good, and get centered instead of to run off enough energy to avoid a panic attack. I’m no longer punishing my body for sending me signals to be gentler, more vulnerable, and more present. Babes, I’m trying to lean into the hard shit and notice when my body hurts and try to just love the fuck out of it in the best way I can.
ASIDE: Fat babe shout out to body workers in my life who helped me get back inside this hot piece of ass and learn to be responsive to what it needs and to not ignore it when it has something to say, even, and especially, when I don’t particularly want to.
I am in charge of my feelings
Also, I am so thoroughly done shutting down my panic, my fear, my anger and all the other big feelings that felt too hard to manage, because, spoiler alert: they fucking catch up to you. Now, to be fair, it is possible to shut shit down for a while, but it is like putting your fist in the dike (wink), eventually a leak will spring somewhere else, and then somewhere else. It takes time but it will fucking happen, and two fists in the dike is about all most of us can handle. I will be eternally grateful to a couple of motherfucking geniuses in my life who suggested riding those feelings, like a surfer does, to see where they take me and to honour them for telling me something about the path that I’m on. Like, actually welcoming those feelings as teachings. I know that feeling feelings may not be a revelation for a lot of you, but I was gobsmacked, and this, more than anything else, has allowed me to live inside my body and not completely disassociate from it when shit gets too real. The parts of me that are raw and traumatized and scared deserve my attention and love. Those parts are also me and it’s ok to let people see that. Honestly, that has been the fucking newsflash of the decade for me. Also I love the idea of a Fat Maggie Surfer catching a wave of anger in a bikini. And who am I to deny the world that mental image?
Feeding the spirit is as important as feeding myself
Look, however you define the part of you that is nourished by family (chosen or otherwise), dogs running in fields, sweaty dance floors at the gay bar, bare feet on hot sidewalks, badass friends who stand firm, sunny afternoon naps, making out on the street at night, thunder storms that crack open the sky, or the way ice sounds when it breaks, is what I mean when I say ‘spirit’. Basically, what I’m talking about is the part of us that chooses another day. That part needs to be sustained as much as every other part of us, maybe more. That part is what makes the hard shit feel even the tiniest bit possible.
We live in a world that is not ok, babes. I don’t think I am remiss when I say shit has gone pretty fucking seriously sideways. We have built deeply fucked systems that are working super hard to destroy people and the planet. That is just the goddamned truth of things right now. And that truth has eaten away at me for the better part of my life. And I thought it fueled me. I’ve been trying to stem the tide of evil because I am afraid. I’m afraid of what’s to come. I’m afraid we won’t survive.
BUT WHAT IF WE FUCKING DO?
What if we do? What if we imagine that for a goddamn minute? What if I take all of the shit I have been telling other babes my whole life to fucking heart for once? What if I actually lead with the spirit, in my own life? Well fuck, I might be a little more flippin’ ready. A little more clear on what the hell I am goddamned fighting for. Less willing to fight from fear and fucking ready to fight for what I love. Cause I want to be able to imagine a future that is fucking full up on spirit. Where that is what we nurture, where that is what we make room for.
That is what I mean by feeding the spirit, babes. We need to figure out what sustains us, cause something damn well does or we wouldn’t be here. We need those moments of joy, of conversation, of love, of desire, and of hot goddamn nights to feed the parts of us that want to be alive. Cause, let’s be real, some days don’t give our spirits a lot of time to fist pump the universe, some days all we feel of spirit is the tiniest flicker. So babes, lets feed the goddamn flame, until we burn it all down.
Babes, that is the jist of what I have come up with in the past 6 months. I am clear that none of this is earth shattering, but (ugh) it was for me. It still fucking is, if I’m being totally forthright. It is the first time in my life that I have actually reflected on my own personal shit, and so, for the better part of 2017, mostly I have just been wandering through my life muttering ‘fer fucks sakes’ every time I realize something, or some advice I’ve been given turns out to have been right. I am not a person who has traditionally asked for help. And now, even when I do, it doesn’t come with a lot of grace – mostly it comes with a string of expletives, resistance, and then several weeks down the road, a begrudging acceptance. Charming, I know. Honestly, it is a miracle anyone will consent to working with me on this stuff. So basically this year has, so far, been an epic lesson in humility and also bravery. Cause changing how you manage shit is a fuck ton of work and, as someone who believes herself to be a charismatic, perfect, glittery, angel on earth, learning that sometimes you are just a glittery hot mess is a fucking tough pill to swallow.
I have learned the hard way (as per fucking usual) that if something’s gotta give, to make damn sure it is shit that I can do without. Cause I don’t want to lose the things that matter cause I’m too busy pretending shit is fine.
Babes, my life is a fucking beautiful disaster and most days, these days, I’m pretty, mostly, ok with that.
(me unleashing the fuschia sparkle on new years eve and Princess Leia keeping it motherfucking real. RIP.)
Babes welcome to 2017. We made it through what was, for many of us, a shit-box of a year. Box after box, babes, just full of shit. We all just kept unpacking it and unpacking it. But we are here, the last carton full of crap has been delivered and, if you are reading this, you have hopefully emerged unscathed. I feel like a goddamn warrior slowly standing the fuck up after a serious, didn’t know if I would make it, battle. 2016 babes, she was a doozy. For me personally, for nearly everyone I know, my community at large, and the planet, specifically. For real, babes, 2016 unleashed a bag of dicks upon humanity and I for one am ready to put those dicks back where they belong: on the internet quietly jerking off to shit they find on Reddit.
And now here we are in 2017. ‘Who knows what this year will hold’ feels pretty goddamn ok to me. I’m not gonna lie I get wooed by a new year. Feels like the world is full of possibility and that suits me. That said, I’m not really a fat babe who waxes philosophical about the new year, and goal setting, and intentionality. I’m down for however my fellow fats want to roll, and I’m not gonna lie, I get inspired by that shit all the time, but y’all I’m still wearing my armour and I’m hopped up on the adrenaline rush of getting through 2016, and it just seems like maybe a bitchy, blaspheming, Fat Babe in full armour is just what we need to get through the fuckery that is January. I mean, babes, it is a month like none other for the spewing of body hating nonsense. It is the month where collectively the universe does that thing that I hate the most about office lunch rooms: atoning for the fun you had on the weekend by punishing yourself come Monday. Fuck. No.
Welcome to January. Had fun over the holidays? Saw people you love? Ate seconds at turkey dinner? Went out drinking with friends? Got sick by eating multiple boxes of tofifee? You didn’t think you could get away with just enjoying life did you? DID YOU? Don’t worry, January is here to disabuse you of that notion. January is here to say natural consequences are not enough, that you should be mixing that hangover with a hearty dose of shame. January is here to sell you lies about your body. January is here to distract you from the fact that we have some serious organizing to do in order to deal with the aftermath of 2016. January is the fun police. January is a punk ass mother fucker and I have no time for that. So here I am, feeling ballsy as fuck for getting through 2016, and I think Ill just ride that feeling a little goddamn longer. Cause babes, we can gently, lovingly, and intentionally work our way through January by giving zero fucks about what she has to offer.
6 ways to give zero fucks about January, her evil twin Fatphobia, and her kid sister, Capitalism
Don’t drink the mother fucking Kool-Aid– do not be fooled. January is not about making changes. It is about making us feel so shitty that we buy stuff/memberships we are not actually gonna use. Once the ‘joyful xmas/xmas frenzy’ marketing strategy of December is behind us, capitalism switches gears to bring us the ol ‘buckle down/you are the worst’ strategy for January. In the same way that December manipulates, so too does January. And it is sneaky and, unfortunately, a part of the collective consciousness. It is at the dinner table, in our workplaces, and cozily wrapped in our hearts and minds. We confuse naming our hopes and desires for the year with guilt and the feeling that we have somehow cheated and must atone. We need to slow down that thinking to give it a closer look. Cause when we really think about it, we know what is real. We know that behaviour change is complicated and isn’t magically successful just because the year turned over. That is clearly bananas. I go to the gym every damn day and January is full of people ‘making a change’, but y’all, come February it is back to regulars. January is not about behaviour change, it is, like always, about consumption and capitalism. Babes, lets not get sucker punched by some gym trying to sell us a boxing class, yeah?
Make space – making space for reflection, goals, and hopes for the new year is a bomb ass thing to do – in January or when the fuck ever. Fat Babes, we deserve to take a minute, catch our breath and think about what we are proud of, what we wish we could do more of, and how we want to move in the world. So feel free to make some space in the world for yourself. Space that allows you to gently and kindly celebrate who you are and who the fuck you want to be. Sit down with a coffee, or tea, or whatever you drink, and think about how you honoured yourself last year and what you want to do to honour yourself this year. It may be cheesy as fuck but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good for you.
Take space- Babes, remind yourself of why you are worth rejecting the resolution, you are goddamn enough. Ima just say that again for the hell of it. You.Are.Enough. No one has the right to tell you to change, to suggest you improve, to tell you what would make you better. You are the only one who can do that for yourself. And only if you goddamn want to. So take space back from the toxic lunchroom chit chat, don’t attend family dinners that make you feel bad for eating, and go dark on social media if your feeds are all about body hating and diet talk. Resolve to take that space back for yourself. Go ahead. You deserve it.
Remember to breathe – Babes, if you had asked me 10 years ago if I would ever consider mindfulness to manage my anxiety, and my constant state of being emotionally over stimulated, I would have told you to take your junk science and get the hell out of my house. Today I can say that I was deeply wrong and for that I am sorry. If I can do nothing else but save other cranky dirt bags the time it took me to get over myself and try a thing that is super far outside my comfort zone, my work on this planet will be done. Look I get it. It is a stretch, a different way to heal from what many of us have been taught. And also, it seems kind of like the ol ‘take a bath and go for walks’ strategy to manage the deep traumatic ache of the planet. I mean exactly how many baths must one fat babe have to get rid of rape culture, hmmmmm? Self-care practices ain’t gonna convince brahs to change a damn thing. But babes, my logic was flawed and my attitude was shitty. And really, where has cynicism and detached irony got us anyways? If we are gonna be tackling this shit head on, if we are going to stand firm, if we are gonna protect each other, we need to breathe. We need those moments to store up a little flicker of energy and hope here and there. So whether it is a bath, or a walk, or shaking your ass on the dance floor, remember that you are storing up these tiny breaks so that you can face the world with an open heart and kindness while giving a total of zero fucks. Taking a breath to be in the present, to just be alive, and feel the wonder of that, is not twee (or like maybe just a little twee). It is living. I even have a fucking app that guides me through the whole practice of mindfulness. That is how hard-core I am now. An app. So whatever your version of breathing is, however you take space for yourself to be alive in your body do that now, cause we need it this time of year.
Move your body – Yall just cause I am opposed to having exercise sold to me under the guise of self-improvement/body hatred doesn’t mean I don’t love getting sweaty. I love exercise for my body, but mostly to quiet my mind. I even love going to the gym (even with all of the MANY flaws of gym culture). I am so here for fat babes moving their bodies in ways that feel fun and empowering. If you can find a way to move your body in a way that celebrates it, then for shit sakes, go forth and move.
Eliminate diet talk- I did this for myself years ago and it is the total best. I started telling the people around me that I didn’t want to hear about diets or the ways they hate their body. I was ruthless in that I was all ‘look you can either stop talking about it around me or we can’t be friends. It is that important to me.’ I reminded my people that they can be celebrated for their diet talk by nearly EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD so surely they could just not around me. It worked. I had maybe one post on my feed about losing weight this January. That’s it. Feels good. Maybe that should be the resolution, y’all.
Babes, it turns out we can step into new things, and care about ourselves in loving ways, and swear like a sailor, and shit talk the clusterfuck that is January, and fight the fucking shitstorm of douchbaggery. From where I’m sitting, 2017 should have literally nothing to do with diets and weight-loss workouts and EVERYTHING to do with loving our selves in a deep and real and fucking righteous way, and then getting out there to fight the misogyny, racism, white supremacy, and other tomfuckery that is exploding extra all over North America. If our resolutions have nothing to do with fighting oppression and everything to do with fighting our bodies, well, babes, we are doing it all wrong. Don’t let vapid resolutions take up any brain space just cause your co-worker/sister-in-law/auntie/bestie is making bad choices. Make your body a safe and cherished place to come home to. Cause babes, it’s a riots not diets kinda year. Welcome to 2017.
Babes. Hey. So, if you have been keeping up with my blog life from the start you know that I have been working out at my local gym now for a few years. And in a lot of ways it is the total best thing in my life. I am there easily 4 times a week. They know my name which is charming as fuck. I do cardio and recently, a smidge of circuit training. I am still fat. I go to the gym cause moving my body and getting sweaty makes me less crazy and it feels good. I do not have a weight loss goal connected to my working out, nor do I ever intend to. This makes me a fucking unicorn in the world of gyms and muscle heads. I am usually super fine with my gym role as Our Lady Of Perpetual Fatness, but lately I have noticed that I am developing a bitter resentment towards gym culture. I mean not to go all conspiracy theorist on all y’all but I am basically sure that gym culture is all built on massive lies that are messing with me and my fellow fats. No, fer real.
And the biggest lie is this: HEY! GUYS! GYMS ARE FOR EVERYONE!!
Bull to the motherfucking shit.
Gyms are deeply and committedly not for fat people. From the physical space to the attitudes that abound. Sure there are fat people in gyms, but we are having to hold down space for ourselves on the regular and it ain’t always easy. More importantly we shouldn’t have to steel ourselves to use a goddamn elliptical machine. The truth is this: Fat people have to do about a million times more emotional prep work just to walk through the fucking door of a place that is supposedly for everyone. So I have been feeling like I deserve the mother load of cookies for going as often as I do. And yes, I mean both actual cookies that I can eat and the righteous cookies that feed my soul. What can I say, babes, I want it all.
Instead this is what I and my fellow fat people get from gyms:
NO FATS NO FEMMES
Not a single staff person who works in the actual gym portion of the Y looks like me. Now I know for a fact that there are fat people who do gym shit for a living (or they would if we could lose our craptacular attitude about fat) so why are my people never represented? Hmmmmmm? If we know that dieting is a failed experiment and weight maintenance is what all the kinesiology academics are talking about as a realistic goal, then why can’t fat babes see other fat babes as boss fat trainers? I mean babes really, its science. And while there are some people working the ‘front of house’ who look like they are not hard core gym bunnies, they are most certainly not fat. At least not in the conventional sense (like they probs think they are fat, but they are tops a size large in straight sizes).
PETITE POWERLIFTING ONLY
Nary a fat person working out on the free weights and weight training equipment. This is what is giving me the most rage cause I wanna use that stuff – I want to learn to power lift that shit. And I will, but currently the intimidation factor is greater than my rage fueled sense of fat babe entitlement. Look, maybe all those buff people are the sweetest in the world (the trainer friend that I know and love is – she just wants everyone to feel good and work it out – bless her), but I don’t know for sure and gym culture means I am way too intimidated to risk it. Cause gym culture is super clear on who should be lifting shit and it ain’t me. We generally have two groups of people at the gym feeling entitled to dead lift: 1. ripped motherfuckers (as in ‘holy shit you are a ripped motherfucker). 2.brahs (as in ‘brah! spot me while I bench press the shit out of this weight). Surprise. Not fat people. Babes, I’m not saying ripped motherfuckers and brahs should not have access to equipment – of course they should, but do they have to get all of it?
PRETENDING WE ARE NOT FAT
PSSST, babes. Its not a secret, amiright? Pretending like all bodies have the same workout needs and that we are all intimidated by gyms in the same way is just as bad as telling me I shouldn’t even bother. Yesterday, for instance, I watched as a very skinny gym attendant oriented a very nervous looking fat couple to the gym. I could feel their unease as they were shown around by a well-meaning, but totally ill equipped gym babe. She was super friendly and I heard her say ‘with a membership you have access to all of this equipment!!!’ All I could do was smile encouragingly at them while sweat poured off all of us. Now obviously I don’t know what was going through their minds, so let me just spell out how this experience has played out for this fat babe at the gym, yeah?
Here are the pressing questions I have had as I was oriented to a new gym – will I be able to use the equipment as a fat person? Will I fit? Why are the cardio machines squished so close together? Will I fit? Can I take a class and keep up? Are there other fat people who go here? What if I sweat more than the skinny broad next to me? Will she notice? Are people in the lockers going to talk about anything besides how they hate the fat parts of themselves, and how many calories they burn? Am I going to break the equipment? Am I going to break myself? How the fuck do you use this shit? Is this stuff safe for me? Are they going to whisper about me? Do I shower naked? Are there stalls? Will I fit? Are people here going to be kind to me while I learn to love my body with exercise?
Here are the answers that I am given in response to my unasked questions: Here are all the activities that you can do here! Everything here works for everyone! Welcome to the gym!!! GYMS ARE FOR EVERYONE!!
Y’all, fer real, the exclamation point does not make it so.
Here is the truth about many gyms: The cardio machines are too damn close together and squeezing by people working out is humiliating. My legs don’t fit on every single machine cause these thunder thighs are next level glorious. People in the locker rooms almost exclusively use body shaming as small talk with one another and we have to hear it. Sometimes classes are too fast for me and I can’t keep up. Instructors that are not fat are terrible at developing adaptations for fat bodies. No one talks about how exercise just makes you feel good. Sometimes I get hurt because fat body expertise is not something that trainers learn (Which is totally fucking wild cause the entire world just wants fat people to stop eating and work out – EXCEPT WE ARE NOT WELCOME). So a big hearty fat babe fuck that to fucking hell, fer fucks sakes is clearly in order.
Gyms are not for everyone (even though they damn well should be). Saying that they are just invisibilizes all of the bodies that don’t easily fit into the perception of gym culture. And that invisibility means that these spaces don’t take us into account. And really, they don’t take a lot of bodies into account. Queer bodies, Disabled bodies, Trans bodies, BIPOC bodies, femme bodies – None of us are centered at the gym. Not surprisingly because gym culture is just a more intense and like, steroid addled version of the fat hating, body shaming, cis normative, white supremacist world we live in. It sucks because moving our bodies in a way that feels good, that tires us out, that makes us sweat is a sweet sweet gift we give ourselves.
And this is where I have found myself recently – a kind of pissed off fattie that works out at a gym that doesn’t quite meet my needs. And if that is true for me – a privileged, albeit fat as all get out, white, cis, mostly able bodied woman then I feel super confident in saying that there are a bunch of us who are feeling a certain type of way.
But babes, What if the lie wasn’t a lie? What if gyms actually were for everyone?
What if they were spaces that warmly welcomes all bodies, but especially bodies that are not privileged in regular gym culture? A place where the locker room talk is never about how much we hate ourselves. Where exercise goals are not linked to weight loss, but to strength, endurance, having fun, sweating. Movement for the sake of movement. Nothing more. Where getting a milkshake after a work out is as celebrated as a protein shake. Where I learn to dead lift without feeling shitty about being fat, and where my fat body is honoured for being able to move serious poundage! Where the pictures on the wall are of us – fat babes getting sweaty together, dancing, lifting weights, running, lunging. And where the staff step into things with you, where they work to ensure the most welcoming, body positive, diet-free, unintimidating, fun, goddamn workout of your life. I would so fucking totally go there.
Now, every time I work out, I spend a significant chunk of my time fantasizing about a gym for fat babes, for all bodies. Look, not every fantasy can be a throw down, hot for teacher scenario, ok?
I have a friend who loves to say ‘mass moves mass, baby’ about her fat babe workouts, and maybe she is right. Maybe if we demand that our bodies be honoured in the gym. Maybe if we refuse to let gym culture mess with our chance to move our bodies. Maybe if we hip check ourselves into position in front of a mirror with some weight to lift. Maybe we can get there together.
Hell, who knows? Maybe I will open a fucking gym. Its not like I’m doing anything else.
Babes. I fucking quit my job. A job I loved. A job I was good at, that I think made a tiny difference. And, let’s be real, a job that paid half the bills and meant that we could have fancy cheese sometimes.
That is some messed up, holy shit, mid life mother fucking crisis business, no?
Rhetorical question – IT IS OBVI WILDLY RECKLESS. Especially for a fat babe with a protestant prairie work ethic. YOU NEVER QUIT A JOB WITHOUT ANOTHER JOB. It is the middle class mantra of prairie people since time immemorial. But I totally fucking did. So there.
Welcome to the party. Confession: by party I mean the exact opposite.
I am fucking exhausted. Babes I’m tired. The kind of tired that makes me want to sleep for days. The kind of tired that makes nothing seem worth getting up for. The kind of tired that often requires expensive therapy and significant life changes. And, y’all, I have been tired for a while. So I quit.
Look it was either quit or lose everything, so the choice was a no brainer. I mean, babes, I pretty much have it all : partner that I love and that I still think is a total babe who is kind and patient and knows how to fix shit, a scrappy kid that is pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me, a couple dirt bag dogs, a mostly un-fucked up family that loves me, enough disposable income to ensure that I look sick as fuck, and a place to lay my head every night – not the worst life. In fact, kind of the best life.
And then there was a moment in time (my fucking birthday if we are going to be specific – which I am) where my S.O. was all ‘get your head out of your ass and engage with the people who love you like you love them back or I am outta here’ – Babes that is the kind of sentence that you fucking pay attention to. And then you fix it.
The reality of my life is that my anxiety has always been a tricky little fucker. And the other truth is that the kind of work that I do is deeply impactful – in all the good ways and all the really fucking bad ways. And then this other shitty thing happened where my crazy went and tied itself to land and humanity and the ways that this planet and her people are so sick. Babes, there is no escape from a sick planet. A lover once said to me ‘i don’t know how you can manage your anxiety when the world is so full of hurt’. She nailed it, babes, how do we manage in a sick world? How do those of us with giant hearts who feel things hard and long and deep stay afloat?
The hard truth is I have no fucking clue. I can’t tell when I am sick and when I am just anxious. I feel like I am dying every single day. I can’t turn off my worry about dying and leaving my little girl, I can’t stop being afraid that she will turn out like her mama, hurting in a world that needs more love and heart and peace than we can give. I can’t stop wondering whether today will be the day when my partner has just had enough of it and walks out the door.
Honestly, babes, anxiety has pretty much meant that I can’t have nice things (or maybe, secret confession, that I don’t deserve them). Or at least that’s how it feels. A lot.
That is why I had to quit the ever loving hell out of my job. Cause this is the kind of wonky brain stuff that fucking destroys lives and I may be crazy but I am not stupid and I was not gonna go down like that. Hell to the fucking no. Cause babes, on my clear days, I know that we are all worth fighting for, I’m worth fighting for fer crissakes. My people and community and this planet deserve a fat, kind hearted, blaspheming warrior femme to bring the noise, the chaos and the motherfucking style.
Now I get that quitting a damn job is maybe a large-ish gesture and that many people just hire a life coach or do yoga or something less, well, drastic. But I am a babe that tends to lean towards the dramatic, the hysterical, the ‘burn it with fire’ approaches to significant life problems. I mean why do anything halfway, amiright?
K, and to be clear i am also fully aware that quitting a job the same day you first think about quitting said job is not just born out of enormous balls and recklessness, but also privilege and a partner who works, so I get that I sound actually ridiculous. But here is the goddamn lowdown: I have until mid February to figure out what the fuck do with myself that will give me energy instead of suck the life out of me. I gotta figure out how to live in this world in a good way for my family and my community.
So the current plan is to start by doing myself a solid and taking some time to chill the fuck out. And from there, I am banking on the fact that adventure awaits.
So I quit. I worked my last day Friday. So that I can live.
First Day at No Work:
Post Work Out:
My new work has an even more casual dress code than the clinic!
My New Co-Workers and Office:
this one sleeps on everything
Things could definitely be worse.
This one pees on everything
The bar for efficiency and work ethic is extremely low here. Like, if I stay awake and don’t pee on the couch I will have surpassed my colleagues by significant amounts.
Sorry it has been so long – I have been busy lighting shit in my life on fucking fire so y’know, less time to blog about it. I am coming out at the other end now so you will probably hear about all of the sordid details in a later post, but for now it is summer here on the Canadian Prairie which means I am totally goddamn overdue for a fat babe does summer blog.
Now when you live somewhere that boasts virtually 8 months of Winter, you know that that tiny little piece of summer sunshine is essentially the fucking most important thing in life. And you also know that soaking in the vitamin D that has been leached out of you every single frigid day is, like, the only purpose of summer (aside from getting laid, and bbq, natch).
So babes, essentially what I am saying is:
it is time to take off all your goddamned clothes. I mean, it is essentially the only responsible thing to do as a fat babe in the sunshine.
Don’t worry y’all I get it, summer can be a rough go for a fat babe about town. What with the sweat taking out our ‘waterproof’ foundation, the eternal summer curse of chub rub, and the entire world telling us that being fat in the summer is some kind of horrific nightmare, it can feel like summer is a fat phobic dick of a season. But babes I have to tell you that summer, she is just a power bottom. A couple of tweaks to the fat babe’s summer regimen and we can top summer all breezy day and sweet sweaty night. Trust, babes. This is our moment to fucking own summer. So, get this season leashed and let’s tear it up.
First things first, a slight detour to sound off about the fuckery that blooms every glorious summer. I need to just state for the absolute record that the level of fucked up people get about summer bodies is beyond tolerable. I am aware that, much like the mosquitos in my home town, it can range from a constant low level irritant to full on decimation of joy and fun. It is the season where body dysmorphia kicks into high gear and everyone who hates their body suddenly also feels the need to pull some spandex over certain parts and then roll around in the sand and swim publicly with strangers. That is some complex shit for the average person so it is no wonder that everything around us starts to scream extra loud about how we are looking. Between the magazines, and the diets, and the endless body grooming it is no wonder we are drowning under the weight of it. The capitalism that swirls around fat phobia has essentially stolen summer from everyone, especially fat babes. So, babes, let’s do the world a solid and take that shit back. Also cause for real, we deserve to swim.
How to Own Summer – a Fat Babe Primer
Tools to win both the physical and mental game
PHYSICAL or the actual shit you need:
Chub Rub – First, contrary to corporate media, the bulk of humanity have thighs that touch. Sure there are some people out there who do not experience this, but on the whole thighs that don’t touch are not a thing. And for those of us blessed with delicious thick and ample thighs, the chub rub story is legit non-fiction. At this point I have tried virtually every. single. thing. to minimize the rub and I can say with full fat babe authority that there is a different solution for everyone. For me, its BodyGlide. If you are a runner you may be familiar – if not let me tell you that this is one more moment in time that we can thank atheletes for making shit better for all of us – hip replacements, cortisone shots, and motherfucking BodyGlide. It is literally a product designed for some random runner problem that I am not familiar with (although it has to do with nipples chafing on athletic wear – whatever), but that also works like a goddamn charm to make summer great again. Smear this shit on your inner thighs to keep the chafing from getting you down. It is magical. Solving chub rub is the first step to making summer your submissive little puppy so I have linked this article for some other ideas. I will say that although the author of this article poopoo’s the use of silicone lube, I know a TON of sex positive fat femmes who swear by uberlube for both its intended use and as an off-label chub rub solution. Also the article is for sure targeted towards women, but body glide knows no gender. Whatever works babes, whatever works. http://www.xojane.com/healthy/chub-rub-thigh-chafing-solutions
Bathing Suits – Not gonna lie, bathing suits for fat babes can be some next level shit for many of us and with totally legit reason, but if you can get there bathing suits will become the greatest fucking thing that ever happened to you. First, reality check: I am no fool, I know not everyone is down with getting naked in a world that treats fat like a worse fate than terminal illness. That’s cool. Babes, you don’t have to love your body every goddamned second to be a fat babe. Body positivity can literally go fuck itself. It doesn’t help; it just makes those of us who don’t always feel awesome feel guilty about our lack of positivity. And y’all we don’t need that shit in our lives. My baseline is pretty fat and pretty vain and that still doesn’t help me on the beach when I know the world is thinking otherwise about me. What helps me is this: gentleness with my body, swimming in comfort, and options for my beach fashion. Fat babe bathing suits are super plentiful as are cover ups, beach pants, all things that can help you rock a bathing suit. And babes of all genders and sizes can do bathing suits all thanks to a little thing I call ‘the Internet’. On-line bathing suit shopping. Totally here for it. whether you are a fancy femme, a genderqueer dandy, or a lumberjack butch, the internet will provide. Honestly there are no surprises about fabric- it’s all spandex so really all you are doing is deciding what style gives you the most life. So, whether you are full on string bikini at the busiest beach around or a full piece in your backyard, give yourself a minute to feel your body in the sun. No one can take that away from us. You are goddamn worth it. Let me just say it again – You are so completely worthy of summer.
Here’s some fat babe bathing suit fashion inspiration, if you need it:
Beach bag – get a big ass bag and put shit in it. When we are tackling the beach as fat babes, we need to come prepared and for me, that means multiple options for multiple emotional possibilities. The beach bag gives you options for when your bravery takes a nose dive or for when it comes out swinging. Cause babes sometimes we got this and then sometimes we don’t. Either way the beach bag has your back.
My beach bag has the following:
extra tank top in case I need more/less coverage
shorts or beach pants in case I need more/less coverage
a coverup that barely covers up
phone for selfies, natch
Big ass towel that can handle my big ass
Shorts – For years I thought I couldn’t wear shorts. Years babes, years. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that I was finally all ‘enough, I’m too hot for pants’ both literally and figuratively. I really thought that my body didn’t ‘suit’ shorts. I was convinced that the chub rub i experienced from wearing them was a sign that I should not be engaging in short wearing. Also, not a lot of fashion spreads featured fatties in daisy dukes. Then i ended up in a Facebook group full of fat babes who wore shorts all the time and looked sick as fuck doing it and so began my full obsession with shorts. Cause sometimes you just need to see a real live fat babe wearing a thing you told yourself you never would to get over the rules we make up in our heads. So, in case you think your fat ass can’t wear shorts (or whatever it is that you think you can’t wear) here is my fat ass wearing them.
Babes, for real, my thighs are not made to be wrapped in fabric all summer long, not anymore.
MENTAL or how to level up from the physical
‘Go Fuck Yourself’ Attitude– this almost goes without a need for commentary, but really if you can channel this at the beach everything will fall into place. Practice your strut. Prepare some choice comments for anyone who thinks they get to take up your space and time with their fatphobia. And literally tell people to go fuck themselves if they say anything. Yelling on the beach at strangers not your thing? No problem, use your mom voice to bring shame upon them, make out with your sweetie who knows how good they have it, or just slowly take the headphones out of your bag while never breaking eye contact with the offending dirtbag and put them on and walk the hell away. Bring someone who’s got your back, or better yet a crowd of fat babes to drown out the damn noise. I have no time for dirtbags when I need to cool down and neither should you.
Strong vanity game– summer is made so much easier if you are a vain motherfucker. If we feel like everyday is an opportunity to gift the world with a big dose of us then it really takes the edge off the beach fear. Honestly, people should be so lucky to be on the same beach as us. I mean fat babes are everything, non?
Fat Babe Friends – Find your people, babes. They will be your salvation. Find the people who dont give two shits about what anyone says because it is 30C and their face is melting off. Find the babes who will hold you up when the world wants to tear you down. Stick with the ones who don’t want you to be perfect in your body- you know, the ones who just want you feeling enough in your body. Find the vain fatties, and the gentle, kind fatties, and the ‘i will cut you if you fuck with my friend’ fatties. Because babes, we are better together. Also rolling with a whole crew of fatties makes it a little easier to own the beach and, consequently, to own summer.
Which brings me back to my original point. Summer, babes. It is the best of times and the worst of times. And isn’t that what makes topping so fun anyways?
I am on a tear today. Trust when I say there is a lot to be on a tear about. Babes, honestly I see myself as a positively oriented person. I do. I really feel like a glass half full kind of babe. And today is no different; its just that my glass is half full of bullshit. Kay fine, its totally full. Whatever, haters gonna hate.
Here is the deal. The internet is ablaze with some real world shit – my social media is currently packed with badass activism. The kind of activism I want to put my energy into: harm reduction, prison and justice reform, calling out rape culture, and decolonizing the ever loving hell out of healthcare. That’s what’s up for me and the people I love right now. And of course I’m also trying to be the least amount of racist i possibly can as a white settler here on Turtle Island (which is to say still pretty racist, but hopefully a little less all the time). So y’know I’ve got some shit on my mind.
And then today. Today, babes, I learned that my college put together a learning module about professionalism that asks that I wear clothes that flatter my body type and infers that I think twice about piercings, tattoos, and eye rolls.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
I can’t even babes. I will say right now that I am gonna be real real for a sec about some gender shit. By now most of you should have gathered that my fat babe utopia is for fat babes of all genders, but today I need to address some motherfucking lady business. I work in a gendered profession so when I read things like I did today all I can think is ‘how have we let ourselves use up so much goddamn energy on hating ourselves and fatphobia?’. And then I remember that our capitalist and colonial system has brilliantly co-opted women’s bodies(especially BIPOC bodies) as a first line of defense against those of us thinking about rising up. It is devastatingly unsurprising that my colleagues feel that this is the pressing issue on the table for my profession. It is because it is also the pressing issue in most women’s minds. The average woman spends an entire month a year worrying about appearance. A goddamn month babes. That’s 12 hours a week. Of that, 1 hour and 45 minutes is spent on worrying about being/getting fat (the rest is a more generalized ‘i look the worst and everything is terrible about me’ kind of worry). No wonder we have no time to smash the state, we are too busy destroying ourselves. That is how this system works to keep us separate, judgmental, and cold. Body policing babes. It is sapping our goddamn energy and taking away from the work that needs doing.
So, to get a little social work-y for a sec – lets unpack some of the ways we are fucking with each other – cause I believe that it has to start with fat babes, those of us who are already on our way to flipping tables about this stuff while also looking as babely as we wanna. Fat Babes can handle the duality of our lives – we get that we can care about how we look at the same time as we challenge how we think about how we look. Fat Babes, yall, we are complex motherfuckers.
Maggie’s Top Three Fat Hating Phrases That Keep Us All Down.
First off fucking fuck flattering straight to fucking hell. What the hell does flattering even mean? It is just another way that we have learned to hate on each other. I have been told wearing stripes is unflattering…so is showing a little belly, so are tight mini-skirts, same for bikinis, and shorts. Too bad all of these things figure prominently in my spring/summer 2016 fashion game. Reality check. I know a million hot fat babes who buck these trends every. single. day. And they look like righteous babes in their sick threads. So what are we actually saying when we talk about ‘flattering’? Well first off, if we are talking about fat women, we are saying they are not covered up enough in billowy clothes to hide their fat- basically it isn’t flattering to wear clothes that make fat more visible. In general though, we are saying there are rules to follow – especially if you are fat and woman identified- and if you don’t follow them then we will put you in your place. We say ‘why can’t she just wear clothes that are more flattering for her body’ which means ‘i would never ever wear that because I know the rules and I would never break them because then other women would judge me too’. It is a vicious cycle of nonsense where no one quite knows the rules, and we really dont wanna break em so we distract from our lack of knowing by judging and assessing everyone around us and the beat goes on. This is some classic white people comedy of manners realness. And it will never end unless we all just stop using the word flattering forever. FUCK FLATTERING.
2. ‘Dressing for your body type’.
Let me just tell you how to do this once and for all. Find clothes you like. Put them on your body. Ask yourself ‘does this fit comfortably? do I feel hot?’. If the answer is yes to both then you have successfully dressed for your body type. Bravo.
If you feel amazing in what you are wearing where do the rest of us get off having a shitty attitude about whether you should wear that crop top with those leggings (you totally fucking should, btw.)? Stop policing each other, stop having an opinion about what we can and cannot wear. Guess what? If it is on my body, I can wear it. The ‘dressing for your body type’ trope is just another way of making women feel like they can’t wear what they love. Wear. What. You. Love. Life is too short babes. People are gonna hate us no matter what we wear; especially if we choose to be unapolagetically fat in the world and you know what? Better them than us. That’s not about dressing for your type, their shit is about body hatred and fatphobia, straight up, served ice cold.
3. ‘Does she think she is getting away with that?’
Get away with what exactly? Wearing clothes other people don’t like to see on bodies like mine? Easy. I just get dressed.
When we wear clothes others don’t think fat people should wear, we never ‘get away with it’, we just don’t give a shit, or at least not enough to cave. Believe me, I know that when I wear a bikini to the beach that people are gonna have a thing to say. And babes, trust me, I spend time harnessing my inner fat babe bitch to get ready for whatever other women wanna throw at me. For real though babes I’d rather not-it would be way easier if women just stopped shit talking my steaze and *actually* let me ‘get away with it’.
These types of phrases are coded body policing. Most women experience it at some point in their lives and fat women live with it on the daily. This is on top of the month a year many of us spend doing it to ourselves. We spend so much time hating fat that we don’t even realize that we are wasting our lives on something that doesn’t even matter.
Babes, it’s not a dirty word unless we make it one. Even fat activism has been diluted by body positivity. I’m all for loving our bodies, but my personal feeling is that until we get right with fat, we aren’t gonna get anywhere with another love yourself anthem. We need a fucking fat revolution so we can get to the actual revolution.
Cause babes, imagine if we all just stopped.
Imagine if my college put all that energy about appearance into integrating the TRC health recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Comission into nursing.
Imagine if all the fat phobic body hating clatter in our minds just quieted down.
Imagine if we could stop worrying about the giggling group of teens at the beach or the mothers cluck clucking at the school, or the women working out next to us at the gym.
Imagine never having to hear someone berate themselves for enjoying a piece of cheese before they eat said cheese.
Babes in this version of the world we could get some goddamn work done. We would have an entire month of spare time to give capitalist, racist and colonial systems the shit kicking they so richly deserve. We could stand in solidarity with fat babes fighting deep injustice on the frontlines; we could love each other so fiercely.
It would be so beautifully quiet. We would suddenly have time and space and peace to think. So much beautiful fat babe energy to focus on creating a just and kind and loving world. A world where we gather in the streets to honour, resist, celebrate, love, acknowledge, and engage with one another. In booty shorts, if we want.
Babes I’m sucking right now, spring has sprung and so has some grade A anxiety. I have been crazy since my early 20’s; you would think I would be a little more prepared, but alas, I am still surprised when shit gets cray cray. My kid’s been sick, I’m sleep deprived, I am taking care of my gran, who I love big time, who has a damn ulcer on her foot that is stressing me the fuck out, and, if I’m being honest, I have been a shitty, checked out partner for the better part of a month, fine, maybe longer. My adulting gameplay is currently non-existent.
I can’t shake the pit in my stomach and I am feeling pressed by the weight on my shoulders. I literally had to pull over on the way home to take some deep, calming, breaths. Yes, like a damn hippie. An idling, deep breathing, hippie, but still.
It really feels like some grownup should be here to help me find my way and the fact that I am the only grownup in this scenario is daunting as hell.
I mean really, whoever thought leaving the fat babe queer in charge of the very young and the frail and elderly must have had a significant amount of drugs on board, right? They can’t possibly mean for me to be the one making sure people are ok.
Cause Babes, these days I am barely keeping it together.
Real talk, my life is a bit of a large scale disaster multiple times a year. The worst part is, it is often of my own making. I have a total dick of a brain that enjoys a spiral of dread thought process more than any damn thing. And when I’m bad I am straight up absent, especially around my family. One minute they have a totally present kickass version of me and the next I’m gone. Poof! Like a mental illness magic trick. I have been like this most of my adult life and I feel like I’m at the best crazy version of myself yet! Which, if I am being completely honest, is still an awful lot to ask the people you love to take.
Now what has possessed me to get all personal about shit on the Internet? Honestly? I mostly just wanted to air my dirty laundry with all of you because no. one. ever. does. I’m writing this because I think it is kind of a lie to just write about how to be a fat, fierce, shit kicking babe without also talking about the things that hold me back, that keep me inside on sunny days, and that threaten my most dear and loving relationships.
Our spirits are hurting in this world that is both the best and worst of us wrapped up in a ball of water and rock. I am tired of being only the best version of myself. I think I could be less crazy if I just started letting the worst out too.
And while I love social media and selfies and Instagram, it is not designed with truth in mind-how can it be? A fat babes’s life is just a hell of a lot more messy than that. We are fucking beautiful badass layers of complexities. One second we are slammin’ hot, top model realness and the next we are fighting to sustain our relationships with one another and ourselves. And when you are working from a ‘keep it cute or put it on mute’ social media strategy you know the ugly is not going to make the cut. And that is okay. Facebook is not the real-est place in real town so no need to lay down our deepest darkest there, yknow? I just think we need to take a deep breath and start saying this shit out loud to each other and to ourselves. I’m tired of thinking every other fat babe out there has it together except me and I’m tired of feeling like the best version of myself is all I am. I’m just not here for that. So babes, I want you to know my life is hard right now, but it has been hard before and I’m pretty sure I’ve got this, but fuck it still sucks. I also want you to know that I look sick as fuck on the regular and that the reason my shit looks pretty good on the Internet is cause it is pretty good. It’s all the things, cause that is what living is like.
Babes, I’m a shopper, I am. Fat vanity is my total game and I’m not ashamed to say I give many fucks about my appearance. Like, really a lot, a lot. I want to present in the world in a certain way and performing my gender and fat femme identity is important and helps me feel able to meet the universe head on. Also, I wanna look hot.
I love clothes and adornment and I love finding cool shit to wear. And babes, I’m pretty good at it. I have to admit though that sometimes my shopping gets a little out of control. I blame feelings of fat babe fashion scarcity- y’know, when you are like ‘I better stock up on this halfway decent sparkly sweater cause you don’t know what kinda plus size nonsense they are gonna come up with next’.
I have been scarred more than once by plus size whimsy- the weird razzle dazzle that ends up on random clothes. Like somehow if you bedazzle jeans enough, or embroider enough flowers on tops, or sew enough lace onto a dress that somehow this will fool people into thinking I’m skinny. Babes, there is no known number of sequins that can distract you from my fat ass (thankfully). To be clear, I am not opposed to rhinestones, sequins, lace, or flowers. I AM opposed to using them to try to hide my fat. I am beyond over plus size design that believes if you look deeply enough into the sparkle you won’t notice my fat bod. That is some fucked up fashion logic, y’all. Screw ‘slimming’. I am not here for clothes that want me to hide in them and really, sequins should be used for the power of good, not evil.
I’m also old enough that, for much of my 20’s, plus size fashion was largely about designing clothes to keep you from being seen. Cause why would a fatty want to be noticed in the world.
Fuck. That. Noise.
But I digress.
Whimsy and invisibility have directly led to my scarcity based shopping process. For real, I have been known to buy the same outfit twice, just in case.
Babes, do not do what I do. It is a shopping flaw. It’s unaffordable and it is what sustains the fast fashion industry, so basically the worst. Besides, things have gotten better, not great, but better for a fat babe’s fashion game.
I have spent the last couple of years trying to shake the twin shadows of whimsy and scarcity while shopping. For too long they have haunted my fat babe psyche and are the reason I have two pairs of the exact same goddamned sweat pants.
Babes, welcome to my fashion thunder dome: one babe enters, one babe leaves with only what she needs. Follow me into the ruthless world of the shopping trip and come out the other side unscathed and with a super cute outfit for your trouble.
Here is my shopping game plan – designed specifically to help me avoid being decimated by consumerism and my own personal fat babe shopping demons. These 6 key shopping strategies help me avoid a panicked shopping frenzy and major buyers remorse.
1. I only shop when I’m feeling A level hot. Basically I have to feel like the whole world wants to get with me and I’m all ‘meh, I’m busy’. Happily for me I’m often A level hot.
2. I put on my current favourite outfit before leaving the house and I don’t try on anything that I feel is less cute than the outfit I’m wearing.
3. Never buy doubles. Unless you are buying bras, but otherwise, never. Babes just don’t do it. It seems like such a good idea, but that is just the other side of the scarcity coin, and then you have two pairs of the same pants for the swap pile.
4. Avoid the ‘cute enough for a fattie’ fashion. Y’know, the shit that is made out of fabric that looks kinda ok but feels like shit, or that has just a little too much business going on. These items can be sneaky and sometimes they make it into the change room, but don’t let them come home with you. No matter how much they whine about it.
5. Bring a friend. Someone who will give it to you straight and not let you make bad choices. Friends can’t make it? That is why we have smartphones. I have been known to text change room photos to other fat babes for second opinions.
6. Look beyond the whimsy. Sometimes you gotta see past the sequins. I have a stitch ripper and I have used it to make clothes that fit great, wearable. Sometimes a fat babe has to take matters into her own hands and sometimes the whimsy can be removed.
Ok babes, come top shopping with me:
Ok. See? Pretty cute right? Casual, side pony, didn’t try too hard, but still looks slammin’.
Then I take off the coat and scarf…
That is a leopard print t-shirt dress. Top that Winners…if you dare.
K, first up:
ok, teal. You are tricky because I love you no matter what. You could be a misshapen sack and I would have a hard time leaving you behind. Babes, honestly I probably would have bought this if my brother had not been all ‘it’s ok, but is it really worth 29.99?’. THIS IS WHY YOU NEED A FRIEND! Or a younger brother who doesn’t care that teal is like, a really hard colour to come by.
Ok on to the next. Now even though it is still in the effing deep freeze of the Canadian prairie, spring shit is starting to pop up, and I am so desperate for this ungodly season to be over that I tried this on:
Cute right? Cute print, nice shape, can be knotted for all your crop top needs…WRONG. This is a trick top. The fabric was awful and I overlooked it for aesthetic. Do not buy clothes that feel shitty because you are wooed by a print. Fabric. Is. Everything. I don’t care what it actually is made of, just don’t buy shit that feels gross on your body. I have had to learn this lesson multiple times, don’t be like me.
Also, don’t buy clothes for a season that is not yet upon us. Especially spring fashions. Now I am aware that what I am suggesting is a seemingly impossible task for those of us who get 6 months of winter. I know babes, you just want it to be over, and a tank top in a rack full of winter wear is like seeing the first robin, but just leave it there, in nature, for the next fat babe to see.
Ok moving along.
Well, this happened:
At first I was all ‘maybe?’. Cause y’all, I like a deep V and a horizontal stripe as much as the next babe, but then… There was the issue of extra side fabric. Why? What is the point? Just, no. This felt like some straight size designer got stuck making a plus line and was all ‘extra side fabric for drapiness, sure. Whatever.’. Just cause people clearly hate their jobs does not mean fat babes should have to pay. Lazy design or evil design-You decide.
Either way this top is a mess- at least on me. I will say that it is so interesting how one item that looks crap on one fat babe can look brill on the next. Our fat bodies are all so different that sometimes shit that is an epic fail on me will look sick as fuck on you. Pretty sure that extra side fabric is a universal fail, but I am prepared to be surprised.
Ok, I was totally sure I was trying on a dress next, but I was deceived by this tricky tunic:
I love the print and feel strongly that a denim vest or black cardigan and clunky boots would make this totally work appropriate.
Babes then I noticed the slits:
on each side. A TUNIC. Now I have nothing against a tunic, I just don’t like being surprised. And this print as a tunic gives me pause. I phoned a friend. Well texted, cause I had to send pics, natch. Here is the text convo:
Me: Is this work appropriate or just ugly granny?
Me: K just looked at the pics I sent and I’m thinking ugly granny?
Gill: I feel like you look hot and would rock that dress.
Me: It’s a tunic. 😦
Me: I feel it is too ‘tragique fat girl fashion’ for me.
Gill: I understand those concerns.
And there you have it. When in doubt mull that shit over with someone who has your best interests at heart.
Finally, this shopping trip started to pay off:
This is more like it. Fabric I can totally live with even if it is that cotton feeling rayon. That print is fucking awesome and this length is perfect for a mini skirt. And I like it as much as the leopard print dress I came in with. Also I can’t wait to wear it which is an excellent sign.
And so endeth my shopping trip. One cute top, singular. No doubles, no nearly there fashions. No feeling shit about my choices. All thanks to my guidelines for avoiding fat babe shopping traps.
Now fat babes, I showed you mine, show me yours? How do you avoid personal Fatshion “dont’s”, and bring home only the cutest most wearable things? How do you take risks and still manage to dodge the plus size weirdness that exists out there. Tell me all your secret strategies!
Cause babes we gotta wear something, so figuring out a way to make shopping fun and effective is a deeply useful fat babe skill.
And remember, your fat bod is fucking perfect. If clothes aren’t working don’t despair- we don’t need to take on plus size designers poor choices as a reflection of our body’s worth. It is not a matter of your body not fitting the clothes, it is the clothes not fitting your body. Which is the clothes’ loss not yours.
Go forth and adorn. Smooches.
This is how I wear that top, by the way. It was not cropped enough for me so a quick knot helped make it work, dontcha think? 💋