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.