Archive for October, 2009

Fat Admiration and Fat Acceptance

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on this for months, but was given a kick in the pants by a post on Big Fat Deal titled ‘Fat Fetishists on Tyra’.

First of all, we need to work out our definitions. There are very clear differences between fat admiration (a preference for fat people), fat fetishism (can only be aroused by fat), and feederism (actively wanting/making your partner fatter). People have used these terms interchangeably and they shouldn’t.

More than anything, my problem with the whole Tyra thing (that bastion of media integrity) is that those who are attracted to fat women are considered so odd, their preferences considered so bizarre, that they have a whole segment dedicated to them. Really, Tyra? REALLY? You wouldn’t base a segment on men who prefer blondes, so you’re revealing yourself to be incredibly judgemental by treating fat admiration as an ‘issue’ to be dissected.

Straight up: I have no problem whatsoever with fat admirers. I was introduced to the online fat admiration scene by a boy. At that time, my self-esteem wasn’t the best – I tolerated my body, but I certainly didn’t love it. I figured guys were attracted to me in spite of my body, not because of it. As taboo as this is to admit in the Fatosphere, it was a huuuuuuge revelation to find that people not only thought I was sexy, but preferred my fat self.

Don’t get me wrong – some guys on those websites are creeps. I’d get ridiculous messages that were obviously written with one hand. And I am not defined by how many people find me attactive. Having said that, realising that there were people out there who thought my body was perfection meant that I could finally let go of all the ‘my body isn’t good enough” bullshit that I had held onto for years.

I’m not saying that external validation is the only measure of worth. But I can’t ignore the fact that fat admiration was a significant part of my fat acceptance.

Seen in… Sydney

Thanks to blogs like The Manfattan Project and Curvy Street Style on Saks in the City, I’ve been noticing more and more how many well dressed fat women there are walking around. So I am officially hitching myself to the Street Fashion Bandwagon with my new feature, Seen In…

Giddy up!

Imogene, Sydney CBD

Corporate wear can be so frightfully dull, but I saw Imogene’s sweet blouse and suit combo from about 20m away. (Then I raced over to her and nervously babbled about taking her picture for my blog. She was nice about the whole thing, which was quite good of her, so extra points for Imogene.)

Fluvia Lacerda in ’16’

I received an email from the people at the plus-size brand IGIGI that opened with “I know you are a big fan of Fluvia Lacerda…” (Is it really that obvious? I thought I was being subtle.)

IGIGI have commissioned a short film titled ’16’, directed by fashion photographer Mark De Paola and starring my beloved Fluvia Lacerda.

In the company’s words:

This film is about beauty – real beauty. Not the artificial, airbrushed, enhanced, starved beauty we are bombarded with everyday. It is about a powerful, sexy woman who loves herself and her body.

It’s certainly an interesting idea. The film is beautifully shot and Fluvia looks UH-MAY-ZING.

For more information and to have some input into the second chapter of ’16’, visit IGIGI’s website. The beautiful dress worn by Fluvia in the film is also available at IGIGI.

“No one wants to see curvy women”

There goes Karl Lagerfeld, running his mouth again.

“No one wants to see curvy women,” Lagerfeld was quoted as saying on the website of news magazine Focus on Sunday.

“You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly,” he added.

The world of fashion is about “dreams and illusions”…

I get that much of Karl’s anti-fat outlook probably has to do with the fact that Karl used to be a fatty. Not only that, when he was a fatty he had ACTUAL FACIAL EXPRESSIONS.

Proof fat people are jolly.

So maybe he’s not some twatty body fascist. Maybe he’s still navigating the body acceptance journey. Poor little dear. Karl, if you need it, there’s a hug waiting for you in my now ample bosom.

I agree with him on one point. Runway shows are, for the most part, about “dreams and illusions”. Even I, from my casual flirting with fashion (read: I look at pictures of fashion shows every so often when avoiding work), can see that the catwalk relies heavily on the theatrical. But I fail to see how this is exclusively the domain of the skinny model.

Crystal Renn in the finale dress for Jean-Paul Gaultier prêt-à-porter S/S06

Johanna Dray for John Galliano, S/S06

Velvet d’Amour for Jean-Paul Gaultier, S/S07

See? Fierce as shit, hips and all.

While runway shows look amazing, they don’t exactly translate to the street very well. Which is where Brigitte comes in.

[Lagerfeld dismissed] as “absurd” the debate prompted by Brigitte magazine which said it would no longer feature professional models on its pages.

Brigitte, one of Germany’s top women’s magazines, said last week it would only publish photographs of “real women” after readers complained they could not identify with the models depicted.

The magazine’s editor-in-chief Andreas Lebert told The Guardian last week that he was sick of having to retouch photos of underweight models.

“For years we have had to use Photoshop to fatten the girls up,” he said. “Especially their thighs and decolletage. But this is disturbing and perverse, and what has it got to do with our real reader?”

He said he would invite German women to put themselves forward as models for the magazine. According to The Guardian he is likely to extend an invitation to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The magazine will stop using professional models from 2010.

There is a reason why blogs like The Sartorialist and all the fatshion blogs out there are so popular – we want to see how trends translate onto a real body. Professional models take very nice photographs, but someone like me with a body like mine is not exactly inspired to try out, say, the jumpsuit when shown a photo like this:

Carmen Kass in Spanish Vogue, May 2009

But put it on a body like this:

via Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too

Or even a body like this:

via Le Blog de Betty

And you’re more likely to get my money.

This is not about banning skinny models from catwalks or only allowing fat(ter) women in magazines. This is about allowing consumers to relate to fashion in a more meaningful way through a wider spectrum of bodies. The validation women will get for their body shapes is just gravy. From a cold, hard, financial standpoint, it makes sense for fashion magazines, advertisers and clothing brands to get on board the Everyday Woman train.

Oh, and Karl?

Article source: Sydney Morning Herald
Picture source: Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too!
Picture source: Le Blog de Betty

My new favourite website

Allen, Bedford Ave. (photo by Greg Speck)

Everyone should check out The Manfattan Project post-haste.

In the words of the moderator:

[The Manfattan Project is a] collection of photographs of stylish everyday people in New York City. These people are beautiful, they are well-dressed, they are confident. They are also, without apologies or contradictions, FAT.

Hana Malia, Union Square Farmer’s Market

I never realised how rarely I see the everyday street fashion of fat people until this site came along.

Jess, FIT.

Well, go on then. Clickety click your way over there.

My boobs are outraged.

Recently, my tits grew. I’m not sure when exactly because, due to my deep deep hatred of bra shopping, I put up with spilling out of ill-fitting bras for months. When the last hooks on my bras threatened to snap off suddenly and violently, I decided to brave the hideousness of the department store lingerie section.

I’m quite pear shaped, so it was only with this recent booby growth that I made it into plus size bra territory (I’m now a AUS 16D, which I think equates to a US 38D). With my new back-to-cup ratio I have apparently made the transition into completely sexless bras.

Helllooooooo boys.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a wee bit hard to think “I break hearts for a living” when encased in this much beige microfibre.

Even the prettier, less practical bras – like this absurdly expensive one by Fayreform – subject my tits to an unnecessary amount of control.

HI. I'M STRAPPED IN.

My hatred for bra shopping has now increased tenfold.

What’s the deal? Who decided that bangers, once past a certain size, must have enforced sexlessness thrust upon them?! MY BOOBS ARE TOO FABULOUS FOR THIS SHIT.

I need your help, Fatosphere. I know there are many of you that have been dealing with this crap for many years and have worked out which brands flatter the girls and which try to hide them from the world completely. Where should I go? What should I buy?

Asia Pacific has had a rough week

Padang after the earthquakes. Photo: Reuters

This not your usual fat-lovin’ Corpulent fare. This is an appeal for donations.

In the last week, Asia Pacific has had a gutful. Typhoons have ravaged the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. An earthquake and tsunami has hit Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga. Two earthquakes, measuring 7.6 and 6.8, have hit Padang on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Hundreds have been killed, thousands have been injured and the damage is enormous. Luckily, we have some amazing international aid organisations here to help.

The Australian Red Cross has set up the Pacific Tsunami Appeal. Funds raised through this appeal will be used to support relief, rehabilitation and recovery activities for communuties affected by the disaster in Samoa, Tonga and other affected islands. You can donate to them here.

Oxfam Australia has established the Asia Pacific Appeal to send additional emergency staff and supplies in response to widespread flooding in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the tsunami in Samoa and the earthquake in Indonesia. You can donate to them here.

Plan Australia has set up the Asia Disaster Appeal to support relief efforts Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines with a focus on protection and care for children. You can donate to them here.

Médecins Sans Frontières has sent more than 60 surgeons, doctors, nurses, logisticians and others to Manila in the Philippines, Padang in Indonesia and Samoa in the South Pacific. They are identifying unmet urgent needs and have started carrying out mobile medical activities and the distribution of relief items in targeted sites. You can donate to them here.

Please dig deep.


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