So, here at Fattitude we have decided that rather than gripe and rave about the media we see all week to each other – we are going to share our raves and rants with you! 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!
Viri: This week I’ve been working epic days so my media round up is a small nibble of…well, Cinnabons. This morning I caught a minute of the Today Show as I was putting on my shoes and I found myself giggling watching them unapologetically stuff their faces with Cinnabons. I joined this segment in the middle so I can only speak to the second half, but one of the hosts, Tamron Hall, announced her revelation that if they mention what they like on the air, it will be delivered. Thus, her declaration of her love for Cinnabons was answered. Although they continued to discuss other topics, she continued to eat away at the gooey goods and then when they cued the weather lady, she admitted her enjoyment of the frosted wonders as well. Willie Geist rushed over with the box and she palmed one and dove right in. I’m not celebrating the fact that this feasting of pastries was broadcasted. I’m celebrating that I didn’t hear one person mention their guilt for taking part. I can’t speak to any of the regular practices or messaging these hosts broadcast. Perhaps there was a warning label of the fat content or a new gym regime flashed on the screen when I glanced down to loop my shoelace through. But for the sake of examples, let’s imagine this little slice of life was untarnished, a simple illustration of suspending our attachment of morality to food. This wasn’t a good or bad food, it was just titled “delicious” and then celebrated in the way it should be: by eating it.
Lindsey: So, like Mandy (see below), I caught up with “My Big Fat Fab Life” this week and while you could point fingers a some of the show’s nuances, I find that the show provides viewers with things that we just aren’t seeing elsewhere. First of all – Whitney is delightful – full of joy and genuinely trying to live a body positive life – her way. She does things, has goals, seeks love, works, has friends etc. I find myself feeling happy just to see her body type and personality on screen. Secondly, in one of the episodes this season Whitney explains and physically notes to the camera why riding a bike is problematic for her body shape. The conversation never takes on a tone of I need to change to fit bikes – instead an accommodation is made and Whitney gets a bike that works for her. No one implies that Whitney should change if she wants to go biking and that’s a big deal. Sure, the theme of seeking health is sometimes presented in ways can be perceived as problematic or in conflict with fat acceptance – such as dieting, albeit under the guidance of a HAES-style dietitian and Whitney’s constant representation as potentially a health risk. No one denies that – but this is Whitney’s journey. It’s her body and her road to body acceptance, we are just along for the ride. And as a fat women I get it that is really easy to want the whole kit an caboodle right out the gate – but I also get that this show is providing something we rarely see – A fat woman living a regular life that is not completely controlled by her size.
Melissa Mc: It was announced this week that, after long last, Facebook is finally caving to its users wishes and beginning work on the much requested “Dislike” button. The internet, after hearing this announcement, went ballistic, with responses ranging from “This is the best thing ever!!” to “This is the worst thing ever!” For me, personally, I find myself somewhere closer to the latter than the former, and for one specific reason. Social media, and Facebook in particular, is already awash in negativity. It’s a place where the old adage of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” seems to have been replaced by the mantra “You are mandated to voice every one of your opinions, no matter how controversial or offensive, as often and as obnoxiously as you can.” For people who use Facebook as a means to affect change, either within themselves or within society; for people who share art that others may not “get” or understand; even for people who use the service just to post videos, pictures, and stories about their daily lives – this often means facing an onslaught of negative comments and abuse from online trolls and bullies. Dealing with such comments is often tiresome, at best, but Facebook does provide the opportunity to delete comments that a person doesn’t want to see, as well as the ability to report comments that may violate community standards. With this new “dislike” button, however, some think that Facebook may be opening up a new avenue of harassment. Trolls might not even have to say anything to have a devastating impact on the self esteem of people who are just looking to share their lives and views with the world. Think of a young girl who posts a picture of herself in a bathing suit on vacation, feeling proud of how she looks or just wanting to show what a wonderful time she’s having. Bullies from her school see it and begin to inundate the picture with “dislikes”. These aren’t comments that could be deleted and then dismissed as if they had never been there. Though information on how this new feature will work hasn’t been released, it’s assumed that it will be similar to the “Like” button – once a person “Dislikes” something, that’s it – it’s there. The only way to get rid of the offending thumbs-down would be to delete the post and re-post. And then be subject to the same cycle again. I understand that it’s important for people to be able to voice their opinions online. But this seems like a needlessly complicated, and kind of unnecessary, way to allow people to express their disapproval of something, especially considering that people are already more than capable of doing so already. While I’m sure that there are plenty of people who will be judicious in their use of the “Dislike” button, I can’t help but have an overall feeling of Dislike for the whole idea in general.
Amanda: I watched “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology” narrated by Slavoj Zizek this week. The movie does not reference the body as political instrument specifically, but it discusses the 1988 movie “They Live”. Most people might just dismiss the latter title as cheesy, but Zizek dives right in. I thought the overall premise of “They Live” interesting: apparently, there’s a pair of glasses that you could put on that surmises the subconscious messages that headlines and other advertisements are trying to sell to you. A lot of the mags marketed towards females stated, “Marry and reproduce.” Amused, I went to the grocery store later in the day and tried to put on my “ideology glasses.” (Of course we’ve all heard “be critical of media” in every women’s course – but the premise of the exercise made it a fun game for me.) Don’t you know, those women’s magazines didn’t have anything nice to say about us? I read them all as saying, “Conform to THESE beauty standards; oh, no you can’t . . . buy THIS stuff to compensate.” Am I wrong? Try this game yourself! It might be a good game to introduce young people to media literacy, too.
Kiaro: #PlusIsProfitable So I’m sure, being the fashion forward ladies you are, you guys heard about the #PlusIsEqual Lane Bryant spectacle. Yes I call it a spectacle because honestly I don’t know how else to take it. I absolutely hate being that person who sees the bad in things, no wait I’m a bitch so I actually take solace and call bullshit when I see it. For one I am not a fan of the choice of words, plus is everything but equal. It is a tangible reality that everyone is not ONE SIZE. That is me being petty of course as I’m sure that they mean plus size individuals deserve equal treatment as smaller sized individuals, I get it. My issue is the amazing fact that the models, gorgeous and plus size, were damn near all the same size albeit on the smaller plus size scale. No we can not tell what size a person wears by looking at them but come on look at this picture. These ladies are absolutely gorgeous I admit, I guess I was hoping for at least one or two double chinned divas but I digress. Another fun fact that was pointed out by the amazing Virgie Tovar (who was actually in attendance) is the fact that they only sold shirts S-XL at the event….Yea let that sink on this one. What the F*#$ is Plus equal to Lane Bryant?
The Feisty Fox: The “Twin Twist” of this season’s Big Brother came to an end at the September 10th eviction when one of the twins, Julia Nolan, was sent to the jury house. Julia and her identical twin sister, Liz, spent their first five weeks of this season taking turns in the house acting as just one person that the other house guests only knew as Liz. What tipped them off as to the fact that Liz wasn’t just Liz? They realized that some days Liz was “fatter” than on other days. Contestant Da’Vonne started the nastiness, but another contestant, Jason, quickly took the fat-shaming to a new level. Keep in mind that A. The difference in size between the two sisters is so negligible that I had to Google which one they believe is bigger and B. Liz, the one they are shaming, is probably, at most, a size 2. Click here to read some of Jason’s body-shaming quotes gathered by Kadeen Griffiths for a piece published on Bustle. I’m glad a couple houseguests called Jason out for his cruel remarks, but no one explains to him why his words are offensive. Sure, Big Brother is nothing more than a trashy summertime guilty pleasure, but, whether used in a positive or negative way, a platform is a platform. At the very least, it would have been awesome if someone pointed out that in the same way Jason wouldn’t want to be mocked for his sexual orientation, neither would fat people want to be mocked for their size. Regardless, for now, Liz remains in the house and Jason doesn’t. So there’s that. Will “the fat one” make it to end?
Mandy: It has been very refreshing to see some body positivity on TV lately especially when there are not very many positive things on TV in general. I am so excited that “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” is back for season 2! Whitney said something really important on one of yesterday’s episodes, she finally realized that she didn’t have to be thin to do things and be happy. Whitney’s life didn’t have to be sad and stuck simply because of the shape and size of her body. If only one person sees that from her actions on the show then that would validate the show alone. Luckily I know that idea will touch thousands of people like it touched me. Whitney’s show is fun and inspiring. You might think she or her laugh is crazy or annoying, but Whitney is genuine, give her a chance and you might learn to give yourself a chance too! #NoBodyShame
* This blog post includes the opinion of Fattitude interns – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc