I've had a bit of increased traffic of late due to the excellent link ups I partook in, via the Near Sighted Owl and the Militant Baker - two of my favourite blogs. Which is amazing! So thank you to everyone who has commented on my posts or is now following my blog. However since those last few posts I've been a bit stumped as to where I want to take this...
I'm loving the fashion posts but I've not really found the main purpose for this blog yet. I think ,or at least, I want it to be about my personal discovery of self acceptance, the wonderful world of fat acceptance with a side of HAES, but in all honestly my writing just isn't up to scratch yet and there are so many things whizzing in my brain I don't even know where to start.
I have a few conflicting feelings which I will attempt to explain and will probably just highlight just how utterly new I am to all this.
The first thing is that I almost feel ashamed to be the newbie to all these wonderful concepts. Like why the hell did it take me this long to realise what was staring me in the face all these years? I guess the answer to that is that the media had me so fooled by the idea of "you can make yourself BETTER with diet and exercise". It had me believing that my fat body was bad - that it could be molded like a big, clay lump if only I had the right tools/will power and wasn't so lazy.
What I didn't realise at the time is that I projected those ideas on to others and thats where my biggest shame lies. Of course I was never a concern troll or bully or nasty to anyone of size (other than internally to myself!), but I actually believed in the whole "personal responsibility/ fat people can change if they really want to/should change" myth and thats because you have to, if you want to hold on to the thin myth. To truly believe that fat = bad and change = magical life about yourself, you're pretty much projecting that hate and ideal onto others without even meaning to. That's exactly how 'they' want us to stay, because the thin myth is just that - utter bullcrap designed to keep us consuming products.
The other confliction is the idea of thin privilege - another new concept to me and actually owning up to that for the first time in my life - I guess deep down I always knew it was there but never truly thought about it or faced it.
Then I read a few bits and bobs, tweets, tumblr posts, blogs that almost made me feel like a fat imposter that I was too small to be calling myself plus size and existing in the fatosphere wasn't right. This made me a bit sad because I have always identified as fat. I have suffered through shame and struggles particularly as a child and the discoveries of the last few months made me feel like I was home.
I think with that though, I need to acknowledge that being on the small end of plus side means I need to call out my thin privileges and really acknowledge them too.
I can still shop in most high street stores. 16-18's are not as hard as they used to be to get hold of
I'm somewhere between an hour glass/pear which is still a "socially acceptable" shape
I carry my fat fairly evenly across my body and I'm tall - I'm fat but don't have any stand out features
I still fit in aeroplane seats/ booths/ roller coasters etc..
Once I've accepted them I need to call bullshit on them! Friends will say when fat bashing - "Oh I wasn't talking about you. You're not THAT fat. You have a nice figure - you're just curvy".
Bull shit. Why are certain fat shapes unacceptable? Do you really think that about me or is that literally just because I'm in the room?
Clothed I don't appear that fat, but my body bears the evidence of when I was a lot bigger. I have an apron fold of fat (and nope, no baby to show for it), a host of stretch marks and a lot of excess skin on my upper arms. My skin is genetically not particularly great at snapping back. So when people point out those kind of "flaws" on other people they are essentially saying it about me, when they call out someone who is large they were saying that about the way I used to be. Is that what they thought of me back then? Why do I suddenly have more value because those things about me are less visible?
I feel so hyper aware at the moment. So many concepts, so many injustices so much tangible feeling around these topics I feel like I could talk for hours to anyone who would listen (my husbands gets the brunt at the moment), but I also feel like I don't really fully understand the gravity and magnitude around it all yet. At the moment I'm just trying to absorb as much info as I can. I'm surrounding myself with images and stories and posts from wonderful people fighting the good fight, to love themselves and those around them.
I've been so eager to read and learn that I haven't really paused to remember which sources are from where, but I read this great thing recently that utterly described it.
Discovering fat acceptance/HAES is like being unplugged from the matrix
If you said this or know where it came from then please let me know and I'll credit it! It may have not even been in that exact context but it totally resonated with me the moment I saw it. You unhook from all these horrible conceieved ideas and its like you see the world properly for the first time, and yet so many others are still plugged into it, and oh boy do they want to stay that way! I want to run in and start unplugging as many people as possible, but its just not that simple.
Being utterly open to beauty in fat bodies has completely broadend my view to all bodies, avoiding sources of anti-fat propaganda and pre-subscribed. photoshop images, means I'm seeing so much more diverse beauty everywhere and I love it. Seeing it in others helps me to also see it in myself.
The more aware I've become of it and the more confident I've found myself, the more I actually feel sad for people around me who still berate themselves. In particular my thinner friends who are as much victims of thin privilege as I am. I wish I could unplug them from the matrix and help them see in them what I see.
This blog is my little baby steps towards being the fat activist I want to be. I figure that if I can start anywhere I can start inwardly, and already I feel like I've made huge progress.
I have soooo much to learn, but I'm ready for the first time in my life to be truly educated.
If any of you have any awesome resources, blogs, fatshion sites, HAES sites...then please send them my way!