WE will be doing this every week from now on so keep an eye out…also if you think there is something we’ve missed that we so have to see – let us know by either commenting below or messaging us on facebook!
Lindsey: Good news – Three words, Ashley Nell Tipton. I mean, please tell me you are watching this badass fatty work it on project runway. This girl is making beautiful clothes and with each design proving that you can be smart, creative, silly, confident and FAT. I always knew Ashley was talented – but wow. It is so fun to watch a fat person succeed. She is taken seriously and her work shines. She won the first challange and this week her work was beautiful and she proved that she can collaborate. I really hope they give here the opportunity to make plus-size clothes. Lovin’ it. If you’re not watching you really should be #projectrunway. Bad news – I don’t know if you all know this but I am a junkie for really trashy TV – I try to stay away from reality tv (#projectrunway excluded), but I am a sucker for family dramas – particularly ones that are progressive, like The Fosters. I even wrote a diatribe on how well this show manages really complicated issues on my blog Feminist Cupcake. That said, I am plagued by a recent scene between the lead character – Callie and Rita – Rosie O’Donnell’s character. You don’t need to see the show for me to explain this – basically Rita has lost weight – because obviously Rosie has lost weight. Rita, who is a counsler to wayward young women, mentions this weight loss to exemplify control while talking to Callie about repeating poor choices. She says something like I can choose to eat a piece of cake or I can continue the poor choices I used to make and eat the whole cake. I hate this diet culture/will power stuff. Unless – you suffer from BED – which is a complicated issue unto itself that deserves respect, reverence, nurturing and care – you are most likely not eating whole cakes to become a fat person! Also, cake-eating is not on par with stealing, lying, cheating, and all the other bad choices these girls on the show are making. So yeah – way to go with the back handed fat-shaming. #boo to the Fosters.
Viri: After another marathon day of work this week, I kicked back to surf the channels for any brain candy to decompress my mind. I fell upon Last Comic Standing. I’m always prepared for fat jokes when it comes to comedians; they’re about as common as a brick wall in a comedy club. Let me state up front, I have a passionate appreciation for comedians. It’s a skill and even the most dangerous jokes, if played right, can be read as smart social commentary. One comedian (certainly not alone that night) did not succeed at this. He approached the stage to discuss being fat in the gay community and when he described himself for the punch line, he called himself “Precious” (referring to the film of the same name). It was clear his intentions were to simply point at the fact that being fat for gay men is complicated, but instead he continued a problematic cycle of using fat as a distraction, overlooking intersecting oppressions when it comes to gender, race, class…etc. The joke was pointed at his fatness, no discussion of anything else, so why of all examples to lighten the mood, would he choose Precious? Had he said Fat Bastard, there would still be a discussion of fat as a joke unto itself, but to be fair, a pop culture callback is a great way to illustrate a concept. It was just his example that ruined the joke. I believe humor can be used in miraculous ways to educate and inspire important conversations. But these jokes must benefit our growth not casually dismiss it.
Melissa: This week was all about fat acceptance images for me! Admiring and being comfortable with pictures of fat bodies has been the most helpful, loving fuel for my own body positive fire. First, I just adore the “101 #Body Positive Bikini Babes” created by Fatshion Peepshow! All of these stunning, marvelous ladies enjoying the sun, sand and waves in their fabulous fatkinis just makes me happy! Also, I was also deeply and powerfully moved by the Mic article featuring The Adipositivity Project. These artistic photographs of diverse body sizes expressing love draws out such strong emotion for me. I am so grateful to Substantia Jones for the work she does!
This week, I’d like to share a 2012 YouTube video from Look TV. The video, featuring actress Michelle Money, resurfaced recently, and I admit I was drawn in by the click-baity title: “OMG Michelle Money Shaves Her Face”. I don’t typically talk about it, but I’ve shaved my face for years – having PCOS, this isn’t new territory. But seeing face shaving as a beauty tip coming from someone who falls more into the “conventionally attractive” category was intriguing. I watched the video, in hopes of feeling empowered and less weird about being a girl who shaves. Her initial points are familiar and I felt vindicated – shaving is awesome for exfoliation (yes!), it makes your skin soft (so true!), and makeup goes on and stays on better (bonus!). But then Michelle decides that these tips aren’t enough to make believers out of us all, so she turns on the shame: “I don’t care who you are, ladies, you have hair on your face and men don’t like it. Get rid of it” I’m sorry, what now? She gets in one or two more shameful barbs before launching into her demo of how she goes about shaving her face each week. But by that point, all my joy is gone and I’m back to being the weird hairy girl. I’d hoped to have normalized something that I feel some shame at “having to do”. Instead, I’m given more reasons why I have to do it. The insecurity that my husband secretly knows and cares if I didn’t shave today came back, along with the added insecurity that now everyone will know. This became less about beauty and making my skin feel great more about shame and making me feel horrible. I had hoped for a positive, enlightening experience (yes, about shaving my face) but was instead met with one more instance of a woman shaming other women. And for what?
Amanda: (Spoiler/TW) A few days ago, I watched the movie “The Gift.” It got good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, so I had high hopes. The ending poisoned the whole film! The context: Jason Bateman’s character (“Simon”) is a master manipulator. As a child, he lied about seeing one of his classmates (“Gordo”) raped. These rumors had negative consequences. Gordo takes revenge…. by assaulting Simon’s wife, Robyn. It disgusted me. In a true tit for tat scenario, Simon would have suffered the stigma of being perceived as a rape victim – not Robyn. It seemed misogynistic to me: as if the director thought an assault on Robyn would be better-received by the audience, you know, because sexual assault on WOMEN is normalized. BTW, I would love to see movies without being subjected to rape scenes every other visit… develop some other plot device, people. (Um – so yeah, this isn’t about body image – but it was still important.)
Mandy: Everywhere I look I keep seeing about Melissa McCarthy’s new clothing line, which is great! Many of the headlines are attention grabbers like “Melissa doesn’t like the term plus size.” I wish we could talk about more important issues instead of what terminology should be used. I feel like that is the least of the issues for fat people! Melissa’s new line caters to woman above size 12, this shouldn’t be news! This should be the normal! To quote model Georgina Burke “The day where we don’t get so excited about seeing a plus size model in a magazine, is the day we have made it!’
Fiesty Fox: I find it interesting that a lot of the Real Housewives deprive themselves of food but drink buckets of booze. They refuse to ingest carbs yet seem to freely allow themselves gallons of silly juice, even when they are sick . . . and until they are sick. It is possible they suffer from Drunkorexia – an eating disorder where sufferers intentionally deprive themselves of food in order to save up calories to put toward alcohol and binge drinking. Or has dieting become so ingrained in their psyche they don’t think twice about what would most nutritionally satisfy their bodies? Or is the pressure of being on screens all across the world, screens that notoriously “add an extra 10 pounds,” just too much? The players of Reality TV to are judged so harshly by viewers and weight is always a wonderful go-to for the spewing of hate.I wonder what would happen if they ignored the haters who are gonna hate, hate, hate and started to love their bodies instead. Oh, they’d be out of a job.
SO – WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING – AND HOW DO YOUR FAVORITES GET IT WRONG OR GET IT RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO DIET CULTURE, FAT PEOPLE AND BODY LOVE????
* This blog post is the opinion of a particular Fattitude intern – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.