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I had the privilege of attending the first Big Fat Blog Think Tank and, in addition to meeting some fantastic folks and learning a lot about Fat Acceptance as a movement, I also received a really awesome pin designed by Paul at Big Fat Blog that looks like this:

I affixed the pin to the flap of my messenger bag and anybody seated on the train or bus while I stand in the aisle has a direct, eye-level view of a simple, important, yet still quite subversive message: Love your body.

What’s so subversive about loving your body? Well, that depends on the body now doesn’t it? If we fit within the narrow confines of what this society finds beautiful, if we are thin but not too thin, or white enough or appropriately exotified or at least not too ethnic, if we are tall but not too tall, if we are able-bodied, if our hair is of the right texture, if we have the right size boobs, if we have no socially unacceptable body hair, if our skin is free of zits and wrinkles and freckles and moles, if our periods are light and our shit don’t stink then hey! What’s not to love? But what if your body falls outside the framework of what we are told is lovable?

Fruitfemme wrote stunningly about this idea of the unlovable body on Blogging for Choice day:

Bodies on the margins have always had to fight for integrity.

Untidy, abnormal, non-compliant, oppositional bodies.

Bodies that can’t be ignored when they’re too big or small or too female or too ambiguous or too uncaring of gender rules altogether or too mobile in a power chair or too loud with their sign language or too brown or too black or too difficult to categorize or too fertile/infertile or too damn many of the above all at once.

(Those paragraphs and a beautiful poem are at The Fruit Basket, found via cripchick in the kind of serendipitous link clicking that makes me love the internet.)

When your body fails to conform to the many requirements for attractiveness, when you refuse to harm yourself physically and mentally to abide by these ever more strict rules, when you love your unlovable body, you are being one subversive cookie. And when you wear a pin encouraging others to love their bodies, when you tacitly assert to the general public that you are okay with your own sweet, oppositional body just the way it is, you’re informing everybody who can read your pin that it is indeed possible to quit the game and come out ahead and love your unlovable body. That’s some heady and liberating stuff. And it terrifies those with something to gain from our continued self-loathing and whimpering compliance.

Some of you are aware that Rachel of The F-Word (wearing the aforementioned “Love Your Body” pin on her stylish lapel!) and Monique of BFD exhibited some iron-clad ovaries and appeared on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet today to advocate for the Fat Acceptance movement, going up against monomaniacal insane person Meme Roth and a very telegenic doctor who fit very neatly within society’s approved definition of attractiveness. At about 34 seconds in to the second video linked on BFD or Shapely Prose, when asked why she had such a problem with fat acceptance, monomaniacal insane person Meme Roth said:

When we first heard about the fat acceptance movement, I think we all thought it meant that we wanted no one to be cruel to any one at any size and I think every one of us would agree to that but it’s kind of become is somehow “big is beautiful,” a glorification of obesity, somehow obesity and feminism are connected, it’s really kind of gone off the bend.

In other words, Meme Roth is okay with fat acceptance as long as its primary goal is to eradicate meanness, but as soon as it begins to espouse a beauty standard that contradicts her own personal aesthetic opinions, it’s gone off the bend. The fact that she includes the intersection between fat acceptance and feminism as examples of around-the-bendness is pretty strong evidence that her problem is less with health and more with these uppity fat bitches daring to oppose the hegemony of beauty standards.

This tells me that Fat Acceptance as a movement has some serious potential to be about more than just fat, but can serve as a platform on which all nonconforming bodies can stand and shout “We love our bodies” until the walls come down.


Inspired by Weight Watchers Works. For One Three Out of a Thousand (and I’m not changing my clever title to match the change to Fatfu’s clever title, although I suppose I could go back to my working title, which was “Fuck you, Weight Watchers”).

I have always said that one of the most important milestones in recovering from the break-up of a long-term relationship is The Rage. It’s hard to end a long-term relationship. It’s hard to admit that all that love in your heart was not enough to make it work. It’s hard to mull over the possibility that you wasted your time and energy, or that while you were busy bailing out a sinking ship with a tea cup, the most awesome sailboat in the world was floating there waiting for you, until the crew ran out of provisions and went back to port because, damn, girl, just let that junk hit bottom and come on aboard! It’s hard not to internalize the failure of a relationship as a failure of some fundamental aspect of your own self. And so because it’s so hard, people at the end of long term relationships often say things like, “Well I still love him/her, and we’ll always be friends.”


Don’t get me wrong. You might be friends again someday, but not until after The Rage. Because, you see, to love this person again, you have to hate her first. And I mean hate. Like, honestly attempt to seriously injure that person and feel sincere sadness when you fail. Like get so mad that you literally spit every time someone mentions his name. Healing requires an intense and extreme hate that burns hotter than a thousand suns, that rages like a forest fire and clears away all the dead emotional underbrush of your past relationship, leaving a layer of nutrient rich ash from which the sprouts of actual friendship with this person may grow.

I am rich in metaphor today, no?

So it also goes with any long-term emotional investment, as with a job, or a volunteer commitment, or a prolific writer of horror novels who was fairly original and entertaining when you were younger but then ran out of ideas yet failed to have the grace to quit publishing the books that you keep reading because you can’t let go of that glimmer of hope that he’ll stop sucking for like, a second. Or a diet. Like Weight Watchers.

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1. Hi, C & J!

2. I guess I am going to a hooping class… I have never in my life successfully hula hooped and the last time I engaged in any group-based aerobic activity I fell off the step (step aerobics, you see) and sprained my ankle in front of the instructor and the whole class and like, God and the whole world, but the first line of the class description is “Energized by the modern sounds of Chicago Style House music” and really, how can I say no to the modern sounds of Chicago house? I can’t, that’s how. I can’t promise I will be any good at this, but I can promise that I will be very amusing in a “laugh at” way. 

3. Remember that time I complained about not being able to wear Lane Bryant Right Fit jeans? Of course you don’t. Why would you? But never mind because here’s the thing: I bought a pair of Red 2s (at the same store and on the same day as Colleen – OMG SISTERZ) and they are truly as awesome as I had been led to believe they would be.  I had a hilariously irritating exchange with the cashier, during which she tried three times to get me to open a charge account, asked me if I would like to be measured, asked me if I understood how the Right Fits worked (I assured her that I was familiar with pants), told me that the jeans would not stretch out at all (lies! On day two, I was hitching them up like a plumber on a day hike), told me that I was buying the jeans in “tall” (true – my legs are a wee bit long for average length, and indeed too short for talls, but I hate that thing that happens with too short pants where the cuffs stick out in the back at the heel so I buy tall pants and hem, or cuff, or just walk on the backs of my pants like some sort of sloppy raver kid), told me I had selected “stretch flares” rather than “stretch boot cut” (false – I have no idea where she got that idea or why she felt like that was something she needed to tell me), and asked me again if I would like to be measured so I could be sure I had the right jeans for my shape. I reassured her that I had, indeed, tried on not only the pair of jeans I was purchasing, but four other pairs in various sizes, shapes, and lengths and that I was confident, having tried them on, that I was about to purchase the best jeans for me. I’m not altogether sure why this woman worked so hard to get me to not buy the pants that I was clearly excited about buying, but whatever the origin of her nefarious plan IT DID NOT WORK. Not only did it not work, but I intend to buy yet another pair of the same size, fit, and length in the darker wash. YEAH TAKE THAT, LADY.

4. I know that we are way behind on this one, but we finally sat down and watched a few episodes of Flight of the Conchords and all I have to say about the show is this: ROFL.

You be the judge:

Thanks to Kate for the capital A-dorable tip!

You know you’re a Chicagoan when…

…people reference the “Sunday Times” and you naturally assume they are talking about the Chicago Sun Times.

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January 2008
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