by, for and about Women of Size and their allies

Archive for the ‘body positive’ Category

On Instagram, Fat Assery and Role Models

In a nutshell: Meghan Tonjes put her big, fat, lovely ass on the (internet) line. It was flagged and removed as “offensive” or “mature” by the powers that be at Instagram. Ms. Tonjes didn’t take that sitting down. She demanded in an open letter (which she also recorded to her youtube vlog F.A.T.  “Frequently Asked Tonjes”) that Instagram identify what made her ass objectionable compared to other thinner, similarly clothed ones apparently not violating community standards.

Instagram took notice. And so did many others. Tonje’s banned butt pic was restored. As of this writing, her open letter vlog (below) has been viewed 435,611 times. The conversation spurred by her butt banning made the news in this article by The Today Show and is even on Upworthy.

 

I couldn’t be happier for Meghan Tonjes. I like to see big, fat body-positivity in the news. BUT… and here’s the big but (pun intended)… I’ve noticed a trend in not so subtle apologizing and “conditional” body love in the women recently embraced as body-positive heroes. Meghan’s femme-nifesto even includes before and after photos of when she was fatter… and what? Less butt-photo worthy? Positioning her body pride in relationship to what she’s accomplished ie losing weight? Tonjes is entitled to be wherever she is in her own self-acceptance journey but it makes me nervous to embrace her as a role model or a poster child of the Fat Positive movement. This is the same discomfort that makes it impossible for me to enjoy TV shows like Fat Actress, Mike & Molly, and Saturday Night. Just the existence of a fat body on screen must be balanced against body-hatred and food obsessive humor.  Make no mistake, these are the icons the mainstream would prefer. Pretty, healthy and saying with a coy head-toss “I plan to lose weight”.

“I wish I was different.”

Because this is the way our society prefers its differences: wrapped in the acknowledgment of superior/inferior. Worthy of tolerance. Without shaking the status quo.

I say SHAKE IT. Your asses. Your concepts. Your social networks. The staid status quo. SHAKE IT UP. I’ll be watching.

Image

Sign of the (best) times

hatefree

What’re you waiting for? Love yourself.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. –Oscar Wilde

Curvy Ruler with Fattitude

Curvy Ruler

Curvy Ruler

Accept no barriers to living with pride

Big Girls Busting Barriers! Push back against body hate. Take back your life.

Big Girls Busting Barriers! Push back against body hate. Take back your life.

Beautiful attitude

Just fucking beautiful

Just fucking beautiful

J.K. Rowling on “Fat” as an insult

“Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”
― J.K. Rowling