Archive for April, 2010

World’s fattest woman?

You may remember a story from the Daily Mail last month about Donna Simpson, a New Jersey woman “determined” to become the world’s fattest woman.

The Daily Mail isn’t exactly a bastion of media integrity. It is a conservative, reactionary British tabloid that has been involved in a number of notable libel cases. All of this was noted in an excellent post by Charlotte Cooper of Obesity Timebomb, who questioned whether the article was just “journalistic spin on running a random stereotype-filled story about a superfat woman on the eve of bikini season – always a crowd pleaser”.

In spite of the Daily Mail’s track record, many did take the article at face value. Donna Simpson’s alleged goal inspired some pretty visceral reactions from people: that she is the antithesis to fat acceptance, that she is eating herself to an early grave, that she is a bad mother, that she is selfish and – horror of horrors - that poor old Joe Six-Pack will be saddled with her ever-increasing hospital bills.

As it turns out, Daily Mail did twist Donna Simpson’s words in order to turn her into a big fat freak show.

As was gleefully pointed out in the article, Donna Simpson is a model on the fetish website Supersized Bombshells (“she runs a website where men pay her to watch her eat fast food”). Like all models on all sexually explicit websites, she provides very obvious fantasy for her subscribers. Her ‘goal’ of eating 12,000 calories a day to reach 1000 pounds? All part of the act. The mind boggles at the idea that a journalist could take information from Treasure Bombshell’s profile – who is essentially a fictional character – and attribute ‘her’ words to Donna Simpson.

Internet porn is nothing new and gainer/feedee websites – like all fetish websites - have long been a part of it. Despite this, because of the attention the Daily Mail received as a result of their article, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a story on gainer blogs. Predictably, the story speculated at the undiagnosed mental conditions these craaaazy gainers could have and noted their inevitable death by fatness.

The media’s portrayal of fat people forever feels like one step forward, two steps back. Just when it seemed like progress was being made – with plus size fashion and health at every size getting more and more attention - fat people are objectified as mentally ill sexual freaks that market their bodies to perverts.  Spectacular.

After all this, what I’m really curious about is what premise Donna Simpson was given to get her to agree to the interview with the Daily Mail in the first place…

OoTD No. 6 – The Final Hurdle

I never wear bodycon. I’ve seen fat girls wearing bodycon clothing before and they looked fantastic, but I’ve always thought it was a style I could never rock.

You see, the way fat sits on my body means I have quite a noticeable pot belly. For something so chubby, it’s surprisingly firm and it sticks right out. Not only that, but the way my back arches means my belly always sticks out further than my boobs. Even though I shake my belly at my family and even though I say I love how I look, I never had the guts (yuk yuk) to wear something tight enough to put my stomach firmly on display.

This was my last hurdle to absolute body acceptance. Over the years, I had managed to embrace all the parts of my body I used to hate. I’m now very good friends with my thick thighs, proud arse, soft upper arms and double chin. But for some unknown reason, whenever clothing was stretched across my stomach, I always felt too exposed. Too imperfect. Too fat.

So when I saw a black, zippered, bodycon tunic in Target a couple of months ago, I had to buy it. I didn’t know when I’d be comfortable enough to wear it, but I knew that I had to get over this ridiculous body shame.

And I did.

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Amazing purple framed glasses: Cutler and Gross
Tunic: Target
Domino brooch: A vintage store near Carnaby St in London
Leggings: Beth Ditto at Evans
Sneakers: Converse Lady Weapon from Asos

The looming threat of chronic illness

For some reason, my blog doesn’t get too many troll comments. Maybe it’s because I don’t bang on about HAES that often or maybe I’m just a really likable person, but either way, troll comments are few and far between on Corpulent.

So I was a bit tickled this morning when I logged in and found one from ‘A Healthy Person’ (this may or may not be a pseudonym). After going on about tribal communities, genetics and science M/s A.H. Person gave me this pearl of wisdom:

[I]f you continue down the same path, chronic illness will befall you.

‘Chronic illness’ is thrown around a lot in an effort to scare people thin; so much so that I wonder whether people actually know what a chronic illness is.

‘Chronic’ describes the course of the illness. It does not hint at the cause and does not describe the severity. A chronic illness is a persistent and lasting medical condition (as opposed to an acute illness, which has a short course).

I’m aware of this because I already have a chronic illness; I’m asthmatic. In fact, I’m surrounded by people with chronic illnesses:

  • My brother, who has a PhD in Sports Science and works out multiple times a week, has asthma
  • The Boyfriend, who has a lean body, has asthma
  • My brother-in-law, who eats a better diet than anyone I know, has gout
  • My mother, who does weight training three times a week, has arthritis

The point of all this is not to diminish how challenging a chronic illness can be. I think I can speak for my family in saying that our conditions are a spectacular pain in the arse, but we’ve all learnt to manage them. What I am saying is that these chronic conditions affect many people for a variety of reasons. They can be the result of lifestyle, but they are also caused by our genes, our environment and sometimes just bad luck. Chronic illness is not something that solely “befalls” us fatties.

How much did you miss me? Was it a lot? It was probably a lot.

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My plane landed at Sydney Airport on Friday morning and it’s only now that I’ve fought through enough of the jetlag to type something longer than 140 characters

Six weeks doesn’t seem like such a long time, but a few exciting things have happened while I’ve been away: 

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Tara Lynn in Elle France, April 2010

In news more directly relating to me (= the best kind of news), I bought a pile of new clothes and new accessories in my travels that I can’t wait to show you - watch this space for more multicoloured OOTDs.


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