‘Dressing for my body type’ like a fat babe does.

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.

**EYE ROLL**

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

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does this ring make me look fat?

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.

1. ‘Flattering’.

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Clearly I’m not the first genius to come up with this thought.    Naturally there is a crop top. #croptopsforalloccassions
 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.

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Can you even with this hot fat babe model from http://www.readytostare.com        And also that sick tee – beyond babes, just beyond.

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.

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Cage bras, babes. Pretty sure we should all be ‘getting away with this’.

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.

Fat.

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.

Smooches.

healthcare providing like a fat babe does

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Don’t let the nurse-y side eye get you down.

Babes. I have a confession. I try not to tell people unless they already know me and think i’m not the actual worst. I’m four posts in to this blog so I’m thinking if you are still with me that you are ready. Here it is: I am a health care provider, a nurse to be specific. A fat one, but still. And on behalf of healthcare providers I would like to offer you fat babes my sincerest apologies for our dickish behaviour towards fat. We, as a group, are deeply uninformed, thoroughly incompetent, and essentially body phobic assholes. Its not you, it is so totally us.

We don’t read the articles about health(if you want that) at any size, we don’t see the journal articles about how fat people live longer, we have never heard of the ‘obesity paradox’, we don’t go out of our way to learn about how to make space for fat bodies in healthcare. And for this i am deeply sorry.

We consume the same epic bullshit media as the rest of the world and it makes us bad at our jobs. You know what i mean, yeah? Oprah talking about bread and weight watchers in the same breath, vogue cosmo marie claire who do a ‘size issue’ once a year (as if that gets them off the hook for the other 11 months), celebrity magazines dedicated to dissecting celebrity bodies (too thin, too fat, what not), and shame-y public health campaigns that, for some reason, love to use exactly no evidence for their social marketing. Healthcare providers have been trained in the same way that  all of us have – to hate our bodies and to believe that changing our physical appearance is the answer to living life to the fullest (Fun Fact: it’s not).

Then your friendly wannabe docs and nurses et al go to healthcare school. In the beginning it’s ok. We learn that there is no magic bullet in healthcare, that healing is complex. So far so good.

Unfortunately for fat babes everywhere, eventually shit gets really real in healthcare school and we learn the most messed up logic fail in medicine:

That ‘lifestyle changes’ are the solution to it all- wait, what? Especially for fatties – oh hell no.

Suddenly, despite that earlier training about how there is no magic bullet in healthcare, we are taught that, for fat people, there is and that bullet is a diet. It is this moment where everything goes sideways and all of a sudden losing 20 pounds will cure cancer.

And so this begins our training in talking out of both sides of our mouths; learning to say things like ‘dieting doesn’t work’ at the same time as we tell you that ‘losing ten pounds will cure whatever ails you’. It is nonsensical at best, and, actually, harmful at worst. Yay.

We are totally and hopelessly fucked up when it comes to taking care of fat babes.

I am not going to get into it with anyone about whether losing weight is or isn’t good for you – perhaps another blog I will just post an epic list of journal articles backing up my shit, but not today. BECAUSE THE POINT IS MOOT. The fact is that all of this conditioning and weird health care training has lead healthcare providers to believe that we get to have an opinion about someone else’s body. The straight up truth is: no, we fucking don’t.

We don’t need to weigh you at every check up to do our jobs, we don’t need to lecture you about your food choices, we certainly don’t need to give you gowns that barely cover your hot asses, and we definitely don’t need to prescribe weight loss as a cure all. Doing these things is not healing, it is not sound medicine, and it is not trauma informed. It is about punishing you for being a hot fat babe that believes you have a right to be cared for by the healthcare system (which you completely do, FYI). Ima say it again to be totally clear: none of this stuff is about true healing nor is it about health. It is about being a massive douchebag.

You have the right to come and see us with a flu, or a sexually transmitted infection, or a broken bone without hearing about how your body needs to change. You have the right to talk about post partum depression without being told to lose weight. Hell, you have the right to see us about high blood pressure, diabetes, and sore backs (you know ‘fat people problems’) without us talking to you about how your body needs to change. Unsolicited advice, lectures and shame are not acceptable healthcare interventions nor are they effective.

And yet. And yet.

So many fat babes see their healthcare providers with dread in their hearts. Or they don’t go at all. We are denied healthcare(however subtly) because of how healthcare providers talk to us, or we get healthcare that doesn’t actually get at the heart of healing. And we internalize it – we blame our fat, or our lack of strength, our confidence or our motivation. We turn it inwards instead of looking at why we feel these ways.

So, i would like to say a few things as a healthcare provider. The poor care and cruelty we display in serving fat people is not your fault. Your dread and fear and avoidance are brilliant goddamn survival strategies. You have adapted to shaming and problematic healthcare in the most reasonable and honest way. You are protecting yourself in the best way that you can from a system that is far from kind. Fat babes deserve better. We deserve healthcare providers that honour how our bodies have gotten us this far, that see that fat babes are the strongest survivors, and that our fat bodies have carried us through life, have created life, have survived trauma, and have made us the fierce hot babes that we are.

I know that most of us don’t get that kind of care. I know because I don’t get it either. So, fat babes, survive healthcare providers, survive us however you have to: by stepping on that scale or by refusing to, by demanding better care from your provider or by quietly searching for someone new. However you navigate your way among us is the right way. Your glorious bodies are not any of our business unless you want them to be.

You are beautiful and you are fine. Your soft bellies and strong thighs are getting you through this world, not us.

Smooches.

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That tank top says ‘blah blah blah blah’. Im not saying i wear it to the doctor’s, and im not saying i dont. 😉