cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
There have been a few posts this week in various blogs about all people, especially fat people, owning their weight and ceasing to lie about their weight. This post at Big Fat Blog gives a nice round up with lots of great links.

Working with Big Moves has shown me, time and again, that the vast majority of the public has no freakin' clue what 200, 250, 300 or 400lbs actually looks like. People have said to me at shows that they have seen really big dancers dance, like OVER 200lbs big, much bigger than me, when I was, in fact, over 200lbs. The assumption being, of course, that I wasn't REALLY BIG so there was no way I could have crossed that magical line of 200lbs. I have long believed the miscalculations have resulted from so many people lying about their weights. People who are 300 say they are in the low 200's. People in the low 200's saw they are 150-170. People even lie about on diet commericals. Kirstie Alley? Yeah, she claimed she her "high" weight was 203. Bull Fucking Shit. She is tall (at least 5'7) and there was no way when she was at her biggest she was only 203 (I am guessing it at around 300). Of course, she no longer discloses her weight. She only says she lost seventy pounds. Everyone knows there is no way anyone is going to believe she is 130lbs now. So, somehow, Jenny Craig et al just assumes we cannot do math, or have short memories, or don't care, or OMG WE COULD LOSE 70LBS TOO who cares if she lied about her starting weight...or something.

But I digress.

I am tired of it. I am tired of people treating me and others who disclose our real weights (often for politcal purposes) as some sort of freakish biological exceptions. I am tired of hearing "But you carry it well!" or "No one would know you weigh so much." No, they don't know because everyone lies. We have been brainwashed by the lies into believing that 150lbs is "fat" and 200lbs means the EMT has to lift you out of your house with a crane. I am tired of people telling me "But, it's not like you're OBESE", when, in fact, according to the BMI and the greater medical community, I am, with my size 12/14 ass, obese. I would have to lose 55lbs (which would mean I would probably be a size six and anorexic) in order to be considered at the very top end of "normal" weight. I would probably be dead or on a feeding tube at the low end of "normal" for my height.

So, let's get real here. Take a hard, long look at Illustrated BMI Categories (unless, of course, dealing with weight numbers triggers you in some way). Don't doubt their weights. Don't say "Oh, but they must carry their weight well" or "They are an exception". They aren't. These are what people look like who are categorized as "obese" (and "overweight" and "normal"). And the next time you need to disclose your weight, and you know it (there are plenty of valid reasons for not knowing it), don't lie about it.

Oh yeah, I'm 5'4 and roughly 190lbs. I have a BMI of 32.6 which makes me "obese". Anything above a 30 is "obese". I wear a size 14 in pants and dresses, sometimes a twelve, and mostly larges in shirts, though sometimes a medium or extra large.

And elephant costume aside, here is a decent recent picture of my body (yes, I am in a corset-type thing, but it is a lingerie corset so it doesn't really change what I look like)

The sexy elephant. The sexy elephant.
Dressed for "Mein Herr" at Animal Masquerade at Great American Music Hall 08/04/07.


And here is a recent picture of the whole family from behind. According to the BMI and greater medical community, [livejournal.com profile] ptor is at the very top end of "overweight" and just a few pounds shy of "obese", the kiddo is "underweight" (he is not, really, and I don't think the BMI was intended for babies) and I am "obese". I think we all look perfect.

Walking at Ardenwood farm Walking at Ardenwood farm

cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
I watched Britney Spears' performance on the VMA's last night out of perverse curiosity. Her performance was even worse than I could have imagined. I have seen more stage presence and better dancing on five year olds in beginning ballet, not to mention the horrific lip synching (did anyone actually sing at the show?). However, what I marvel at the most, is not how she managed to turn out such a wonderfully craptastic performance (did she even rehearse?), but rather is the commentary I have seenthat refers to her as, well, fat. Let me tell you. Spears may have delivered one of the worst public performances shy of Roseanne's now infamous "Star Spangled Banner" venture many years back, but fat Britney ain't. Here's what the AP had to say about her performance (emphasis mine): As in most train wrecks, it was hard to focus on just one thing as the Britney Spears disaster unfolded on MTV's Video Music Awards. There was just so much that went wrong.

Out-of-synch lip-synching. Lethargic movements that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor for a nursing home. The paunch in place of Spears' once-taut belly.
. The headline SF Gate used for the piece reads "What A Waist".

A paunch.

Belly flab. Really?

Here's the photo accompanying the story:



That's a "paunch"? That's belly flab? Granted, she clearly has plenty of body make-up on to conceal any perceived imperfections, and she may not be as small as she was when she was sixteen and before she had two kids. But, my friends, her belly is far from a "paunch" and far from "flabby." And so what if she really did have a "paunch" or "belly flab"? What the fuck does that have to do with her performance, good, bad or indifferent? Why must assessment of female stars' bodies and general appearance always accompany critiques of their work (or lack thereof). Why is her supposed fat belly the damned headline ("What a Waist") and not her awful dancing and barely-there lip synching? What the fuck is wrong with this society that the size of Britney's belly is do damned relevant?

And we wonder why nine year olds go on diets.
cassidyrose: (Harlie claw)
I just got an email addressed to me to my bigmoves.org address from a TV producer "inviting" Big Moves to "help promote the casting" of a "new weight loss reality show to be aired on a major network" because "it is clear we both have the same goal which is to help people with weight loss."

What. The. Fuck.

No really.

What. The. Fuck.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, on our web site or in our promo materials that markets us as weight loss crusaders. We are a fat-positive, health at every size organization. Apparently, the fact that we are a dance organization with fat people involved must mean that we all want to lose weight, or the reason we exist is so we will lose weight. Urgh. Gross.

I am going to contrust a more detailed response than "Fuck you, you brainless, soul-less exploiter of people for television ratings and adverstising dollars", explaing what Big Moves is really about, etc. But damn if I am not tempted to really rip her a new one.

It is bad enough that travesty "Wife Swap" has approached us twice to try to find "plus-sized families" for them to exploit cast and that some news show on ABC wanted to come film us for a piece of the seven deadly sins (yeah, guess which segment we were going to be in?), but this takes the cake. No pun intended.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
[livejournal.com profile] vito_excalibur posted an interesting, if infuriating, excerpt of an interview Erica Jong did with Judith Thurman about Thurman's "Secrets Of The Flesh: A Life of Colette." (thanks Vito!) In the excerpt, Jong focuses on Colette's weight (180lbs) and calls her obese, and continues to seem mystified by a sexy fat woman. Several other people here on LJ have pointed to vito's post and there have been a number of comments on the original post and on the referring ones. I have read many of them and am now halfway to crankypants land.

Why?

Because the point is not whether or not Colette was obese/fat/overweight, etc., damnit! The point is that it is infuriating that a woman's weight is considered so damned important, regardless of her size. The point is that a woman like Jong cannot get past the subject's weight.

I have seen several comments (not all to Vito's post) essentially saying "180lbs--that's not obese!" (actually, if you are a woman of average height, 180lbs is considered obese) and getting into discussions of what is obese and what is not, which is not very body-positive at all and is, quite frankly, bordering on the type of fat-phobia seen in Jong's initial comments.

Others have stated that Colette looked "healthy" not "obese". Really. Why the dichotomy? What exactly do people think "obese" is, other than an arbitrary label used for people above a certain weight for their height? I've got news for you folks--the label of "obese" has nothing to do with health or anything else except height to weight ratio. Arguing about what is considered obese is a losing battle, and in the end just continues to engender fat-phobia and facilitate the use of meaningless medical language in our everyday lives.

I am suprised more people couldn't get past the numbers and be horrified at what Jong was actually saying, rather than focusing on Jong's perception of Colette as "obese." And it makes me wonder if Colette had been, say, 380 lbs, and Jong had said the same things, what would the reaction be? Would Jong's comments have been more widely accepted in the extended circles here on LJ?

Arguing about whether or not someone is fat/obese/overweight does us all a disservice when we are talking about fat-phobia, body acceptance and weight diversity. Who is "fat" or "obese" or what constitutes those things is so not the point. The point is that it is so sad, frustrating and downright infuriating that it still matters far too much to far too many people, and Jong is just one of the culprits.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
In a community elsewhere someone posted how they liked that Mo'Nique said in her movie "Phat Girlz", "I'm not fat...I'm sexy succulent."

I agree that sexy succulent is a great way to describe oneself. However (my comment to the original post):
    It is not an "or" thing. Embrace the power of and.

    I'm fat and sexy succulent.

    I loathe the "I'm not fat, I'm [fill in the blank}" thing. It perpetuates the notion that fat is bad and ugly and that the worst thing in world to be called is "fat", even if it is a very appropriate descriptor. Rejecting the word gives it far more negative power than reclaiming the word.

    Comments like Mo'Nique's undermine the basic tenets of fat liberation, specifically, that being fat is not bad/ugly/unhealthy/unsexy and that fat people can be and are beautiful, sexy, healthy, etc.

    And, yeah, Mo'Nique is fat. I hate cute euphemisms for fat. She can also be "sexy succulent" or whatever else she is, but it doesn't make her not fat, just like being fat doesn't preclude her being "sexy succulent."
cassidyrose: (weight diversity)
Interesting article on Big Fat Blog about the removal of regular sodas from schools and the ways it benefits companies like Coke and Pepsi, and how schools will continue to benefit from the contracts with Coke and Pepsi. Also, some very interesting thoughts on how fat people are once again being shown as "bad" and unhealthy.

I get so tired of this shit.
cassidyrose: (all that jazz--butt)
I can't believe I didn't notice [livejournal.com profile] fatshionista until today. So many rockin' fat people in one place--it makes me happy.
cassidyrose: (weight diversity)
I am finding a lot of posts in the pregnancy communities where the poster wants validation that they don't "look fat" in photos of themselves, or complains about "looking fat" instead of "looking pregnant." I took a deep breath today and finally responded to one of them with the following (other things more relevant to the original post have been removed):
    There is nothing wrong with looking or being fat. There are plenty of us in this community who were fat (and I do not use that word in a derogatory way at all--it is merely a descriptor) pre-pregnancy and I don't like it when "looking fat" is portrayed as terrible and something to be avoided, because to me, that says looking like me or the other fat women here is awful.

    I understand you probably didn't mean to convey that with your words, but to this fat person that is how it sounds.
cassidyrose: (weight diversity)
TLC has a new fat-hating show it's been promoting with equally fat-hating commercials called Honey We're Killing the Kids. At first, I couldn't believe they were actually doing such a show. Why am I shocked by anything anymore?

The thing is, I agree that a lot of children's eating habits are crap and they don't get enough exercise. However, I think these things need to be addressed outside of the realm of weight loss, fat-hatred, and harmful stereotypes (There is a commercial for the show that shows a fat kid being transformed into a fat adult to the horror of his mother--talk about fat hatred. Then there is another commerical where a fat dad and a fat kid are sitting on a sofa eating a platter of donuts, because, you know, all fat people do is sit around and eat platters of donuts.) Not to mention the fact that a lame-ass "reality" TV show is not exactly an appropriate way to deal with the issue. The children involved are not old enough to give consent, which means their parents are giving consent and I find that appalling. Here, make a mockery of my child and use him/her as a schill for the diet industry, TLC and for fat-hatred. Way to give your child some issues. It makes my skin crawl.

There are just so many things wrong with this. It is difficult for me to coherently talk about it.

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