Archive for the 'Fatosphere domination!' Category

Frances Lockie, published writer

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Check me out!

An exciting thing happened this week: Girlfriend, an Australian monthly magazine for teen girls aged 14 to 17 years of age, published a story on fat stigma. Even more exciting: I’m the one who wrote it!

Girlfriend has really cool, feminist editors; some of the stories they’ve featured in recent months include street harassment, transgenderism, and a critique of the idea of ‘real women’ (interspersed with posters of One Direction, naturally. SO GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT OF MY HEEEAAAAD AND FALL INTO MY ARMS INSTEEEAAAD…) They hold the young women of Australia in such high regard and I’m stoked to be published in their pages.

Click here to read the story.

The Ongoing Adventures of a Media Tart

I’ve been seriously low on blogging mojo, but here I am again. I missed you too, fatosphere.

While I was absent, I was featured in the winter issue of Peppermint magazine. Peppermint is a “green fashion magazine, celebrating eco and ethical style”. It’s the most positive women’s fashion magazine I’ve seen and I’m proud to be in their pages. This issue is still on sale, so go buy it – stare at my mug AND support an awesome independent Aussie mag at the same time!

The feature was called ‘What is Beauty?’ and asked a variety of women of different ages, sizes and cultural backgrounds exactly that question. This was my part of the spread:

My section says:

I had pretty low self-esteem throughout my adolescence. I grew up in a coastal town and all the girls there are tan, fit and blonde whereas I’m bigger, bi-racial and a completely different body shape. I wanted to look like someone that wasn’t me. While I’m actually bigger now than I ever was in high school, the one thing out of all of my ‘flaws’ I thought I could change was my size, so that’s what I attacked. I went on my first diet when I was 10 years old.

Those years were seriously bleak. When I was 18, I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t hate myself anymore. It has been an incredibly long process – I still have bad days sometimes – but seven years later I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a single thing about me. Not a single freckle and not a single gram.

The cultural messages on what is aesthetically pleasing seem to be more and more uniform. Perfection exists in such a tiny Goldilocks-style window (not too fat, not too thin, not too dark, not too pale, not too soft, not too muscular…) But truly beautiful people are not photoshopped. Inspiring music is not auto-tuned. Important art is not precise. We need to remember the appeal of imperfections.

A couple of years ago, I set up a tumblr blog called Hey, Fat Chick! Spending so much time looking at pictures of bodies outside the beauty ideal has blown my mind. It has helped me realise that there are no bad bodies. When beauty ideals are so prescriptive, making peace with your body is a revolutionary act. Smash the ideal. Never apologise for your body!

I feel most beautiful when I’m at home, in varying states of undress, doing something completely mundane with my boyfriend. Those quiet, unconscious moments are the most beautiful of all.

Here are a couple of extras from the associated photo shoot I did with Leanna Maione:

Coat: Second hand from Shrinkle on etsy (BEST PURCHASE EVER EVER EVER)
Dress: Asos
Tights: We Love Colors (Free shipping to Australia and New Zealand on orders over $30 with the code WELOVENZAUS. Offer valid until 31 August.)
Necklace: Dinosaur Designs
Belt: Second hand from GlobeAmaranth on etsy
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell from Solestruck

Me and my links

My planned takeover of the internet is progressing steadily…

1. @FatStigma

Dr Samantha Thomas, Elizabeth of Spilt Milk (blog and tumblr) and Brian of Red No. 3 have a new twitter: @FatStigma. Here’s a post explaining the purpose of the twitter. Basically we’ll be keeping an eye on stigmatising articles, obesity campaigns and reports etc. If you want to send articles our way, tweet us, use the hashtag #fatstigma or email us at fatstigma@gmail.com.

2. Cosmopolitan Australia

I’m doing some blogging for Cosmopolitan magazine (Australia) about their Say No to Fat Talk campaign.

I know that similar campaigns, like Fat Talk Free Week, have copped some criticism in the fatosphere because it’s seen to further demonise the word ‘fat’ and shut down useful discussions about what’s it’s like to live in society with a fat body. That’s why I’m doing this. I want the fat perspective included. I want to recognise that there is a difference between feeling fat and being fat, and I want that difference to be recognised by others.

Click here for my introductory post and, if you’re so inclined, leave a comment! Over the coming weeks I’ll be writing about things like health, sex, fatshion, stigma… I’m pretty excited.

3. Like me!

I’ve finally set up a facebook page for Corpulent (/Hey Fat Chick!/All Bodies): http://www.facebook.com/corpulent.blog. Like me! And once you do, don’t be a stranger – I want the page to actually be interesting to youse, so say something.

Fat on the air

Yesterday, I was interviewed on Triple J’s Hack program. For those of you outside Australia, Triple J is the national youth radio station. It’s part of the government funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it plays a lot of alternative music not heard on commercial radio, it fosters unsigned Aussie talent and it’s generally very cool. Hack is their current affairs program.

For context: On Wednesday, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Councils in Australia released the results of their National Secondary Students’ Diet and Activity survey. The research surveyed 12,000 students in years eight to 11 across 237 schools to determine their dietary and physical activity behaviours. The research memos can be found here and they make for some interesting reading.

Unfortunately (unsurprisingly?), the conclusions the organisations drew from the research fixated on the inevitable, detrimental effects of obesity. Despite finding that adolescents across the board weren’t meeting the recommended amounts of fruit/veg intake or the recommended levels of physical activity, the organisations chose to recommend the implementation of a “comprehensive obesity strategy”. Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, even trotted out the tired old line “We may see today’s teenagers die at a younger age than their parents generation for the first time in history” (an unnecessarily alarmist statement that has never been supported by any evidence).

This story got a run on Hack and, being the enterprising young go-getter that I am, I wrote to host Tom Tilley in the hopes of getting on the show to present an alternative, fat positive view. It worked like a charm! I even dragged in the coolest academic on the block, Dr Samantha Thomas, to provide some academic rigour to the proceedings.

Click here to check out the story on Hack. (I bloody love that the title is ‘Fat Defenders’ as it makes me sound like a superhero.) I sound Very Serious in this interview because I was sweating bullets. (My nerves were not helped by the fact that Lindsay MacDougall, the object of my deep pubescent desire when I was 14, was recording in the booth next door.) It’s mainly Fat Acceptance 101 stuff, but it’s amazing how contentious the idea ‘fat people are people too’ can be.

This whole thing is a pretty big deal for me. Triple J is awesome and this was my first go at live radio. (Luckily, Tom and the Hack crew are ace. Thank you again, guys!)

As is my way, I spent the entire night after the interview thinking about all the things I should have said. Above all else, I wish I had said this:

Even if all fat people are the way they are due to their bad choices, even if every single fat person is unhealthy, that does not justify sub-standard treatment. How can the health of strangers possibly inspire such vitriol? If you remain convinced that others’ bodies are your business and that people must justify their existence to you, perhaps you should consider the possibility that you are an arsehole.

Oh my Stars: The Fat Body (In)visible

A lightning quick post to alert you to the wonderful documentary, The Fat Body (In)visible, made by the lovely Margitte of Riots Not Diets, and starring the gorgeous Jessica of Tangled Up in Lace (and tumblr of the same name) and the radiant Keena of Buttah Love. I’m so proud of you, darlings!

My world domination continues…

On Wednesday 25 August, I was featured on Double X:  a weekly half hour feminist program on Radio 2SER. The theme for the program was female role models. Though I was chuffed to bits, the idea that I can be anyone’s role model kind of cracks me up (especially since I was featured alongside a female Rabbi and a skinny sumo wrestler who represents Australia in her sport).

The Boyfriend assures me that I don’t sound too much like a doofus (I haven’t listened to it as I can’t bear listening to a recording of my voice). To see for yourself, or just to marvel at my dulcet tones, click here for the mp3 of the show.

Many thanks to Farah Ahmed, who produced the show.

Attention everyone: I am well famous now

(Not really.)

On Sunday 15 August, Jackie from Fatuosity, Dr Samantha Thomas from Discourse, Bri from Fat Lot of Good, Dr Rick Kausman from If Not Dieting and yours truly were featured in an article in News Ltd’s Sunday Magazine. It gave a great overview of fat acceptance and I was very lucky to be a part of it.

As Sam wrote in her post, even though the article is overwhelmingly female (possibly because Sunday Magazine’s readership is overwhelmingly female), fat acceptance is for men too. In fact, there are a few male bloggers out there in the Fatosphere, including Brian from Red No. 3, Nick from Nicholosophy and Axis of Fat, Ivan from Fat in NYC and Shannon from Atchka! and Fierce, Freethinking Fatties.

Many thanks to Jane Hutchinson and my fabulous Sunday Magazine photo team: James Demitri, Felicia Yong and Hannah Mathew (my photo demonstrates how much fun I had during the shoot).

Click the pictures to see the high resolution scans.

Sunday Magazine, page 1

Sunday Magazine, page 2

In case you were wondering about the details on my outfit, here they are -

Dress: David Lawrence
Necklace: Gift
Belt (worn backwards): Rokit
Bangle (purple): Dinosaur Designs
Bangle (orange): Dinosaur Designs
Jazz shoes: Bloch

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.

Fat Acceptance Taking Over the Aussie Media

Well, sort of. In a ‘one magazine at a time’ kind of way. But two fat positive articles in two mainstream Australian magazines in two consecutive months? That’s a major win for us. GO TEAM!

The July 2009 issue of Australia’s Shop ‘Til You Drop magazine (STYD) had an article titled ‘Size Matters’, which highlighted the never-ending battle that is plus-size shopping in Australia. It’s actually quite a good article, though I wonder whether STYD will be able to keep this up: the August issue listed only one plus-sized item in the entire magazine (a bandage dress by Flirt) and had two advertisements for plus-size brands available in Myer, one of Australia’s major department stores. Not a great effort for a 200 page magazine, but I suppose it is a start.

Here is the STYD article in full. Click the images for the high resolution version.

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The August 2009 issue of the Australian Cleo magazine provided a general introduction to the fat acceptance movement. Kate Harding of Shapely Prose and our own Bri King of Fat Lot of Good were interviewed. It even got a mention in the editor’s letter!

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Both STYD and Cleo are aimed at young women and both are owned by ACP Magazines. ACP has a huge presence in the media and publish a lot of our major magazines, so this is a big deal. These articles and the increasing visibility of fatshion in Australia signals that we are on our way.

Slowly but surely.

I am bloody excited.

EDIT: One day after I write this, and fat acceptance is being featured by Fairax Media on the Sydney Morning Herald website. Geeeez, we’re picking up momentum!


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