not fabulous

This post was originally attached to the entry below, but I separated them because it is worthy of a discussion.

This was said by a local fashion blogger on Twitter this morning:

@demiCouture: fat is never going to be fabulous, so stop pretending and get over it

Fat Hate makes as much sense to me as being anti-gay – my body is of no concern to you, so why does it make you so angry? There are enough things on this planet that make me feel less than human; why do you have to add to it? I already know you can’t market Mama Cass – what could possibly be the point of bringing me down further?

Doesn’t everyone deserve to feel good about themselves? Or is self-confidence solely the domain of the 2 dimensional?

35 thoughts on “not fabulous

  1. A couple days ago, I got bitchy comments about wearing heels when I’m already 6’3″. I was like, “OH SORRY, I TOTALLY FORGOT TO WEAR THE BAG OVER MY HEAD FOR YOU TODAY.”

    Who on earth thinks unsolicited advice from strangers is welcomed? Or even that offering it is in one’s own self-interest? I’m glad our betters are out there to share these pearls of wisdom.

  2. I saw the demiCouture blog, and while she doesn’t do a very good job explaining herself, I agree with her disappointment with using “fat” (a highly subjective label to start with) as a gimmick.

    I think her point is that every time one sees a plus-sized model anywhere, it’s in an article/show/statement about *being* plus sized. If there are fat people pictured, fat is the subject. It would be better to see fat people in any old article, the same way we see skinny or normal people.

    Fat isn’t being regarded as fabulous (through inherent acceptance) – it’s being paraded around with a lot of overcompensation.

    It’s kindof like having a black friend, so you can claim you’re not racist by saying “here, look at my black friend Randy” instead of just having a friend Randy, and who cares what colour he is.

    As for me? I don’t give a damn. Confidence is fabulous – doesn’t matter what size, shape, colour or flavour you happen to be.

      • aah. i had no idea she’s been that way before. in which case, her post and associated comment are totally along the lines of “here, look at my black friend Randy.”

      • @demiCouture: all arguemnts aside, it’s a fact clothes look better on thin ppl. it may not be ‘healthy’ but that’s life.

        Honey, no size 0 nothing could ever do justice to the shirt I’m wearing today – or 99% of my wardrobe, for that matter. The world does not revolve around people without tits or asses.

      • Jeez, demicouture is full of it — there is a LOT that I can’t wear because I simply don’t have the tits for it. Like, anything strapless just won’t stay up unless it’s constructed VERY carefully, and nothing in my price range ever is. Or anything that tries to show off cleavage. I don’t HAVE cleavage.

        I’m also shaped weird. I tried on two pairs of jeans last night. One was great in the ass (although the artificial “wear patches” were … not where my butt was, so they didn’t really work for me) but too big in the waist — which is bizarre as hell, because I’m basically rectangular. My hips aren’t much different from my waist. And one size down, I couldn’t get over my hips.

        Fat hate sucks ass and is worse than most, because it’s SO freaking embedded in society, but almost EVERYBODY has a hard time finding clothes that fit exactly right. I’d love to know who this mythical “thin person” they’re using as their model, but it sure as hell ain’t me.

        I suggest we all wear rubber. Everybody looks good in rubber. :D

  3. No fat hate here.

    I have a blog that discusses style, and I personally don’t think that wearing unflattering clothing for your body type or having sizable women take over magazines in nothing but bras is positive for any size movement is helping any body cause.

    I don’t see how I have demonstrated any sort of hate, though it is perfectly within my bounds to discuss styles and garments that would [honestly] not look as intended on a fuller figure. That isn’t hate.

    Since you [the author] clearly think I have some sort of crutch against large people, please point out where this ‘hate’ is documented. I’m tired of being told that because I’m thin, that I’m not the equivalent of this new ‘real woman’ the media has drummed up. If you’re taking that personally, then that’s your issue.

    At the end of the day, if you don’t like my opinions then don’t follow my Tweets and don’t read my blog.

    • @demiCouture: all arguemnts aside, it’s a fact clothes look better on thin ppl. it may not be ‘healthy’ but that’s life.

      @demiCouture: fat is never going to be fabulous, so stop pretending and get over it about 3 hours ago from HootSuite

      @demiCouture: it’s nobody’s fault you are the weight you are but your own. People forget this so easily. 12:19 PM Jan 6th from HootSuite

      @demiCouture: @princessbrooke the designs and styles I enjoy profiling don’t look well on larger women 4:51 PM Jan 5th from HootSuite in reply to princessbrooke

      @demiCouture: I just got a PR blast about Plus Size Fashion Week. CLEARLY THIS PERSON DOES NOT READ ANYTHING I WRITE. 4:35 PM Jan 5th from HootSuite

      @demiCouture: @toototo being thin is the everlasting fad of the fashion industry. Hard facts is a dress looks better on a thin body than otherwise. 2:24 PM Jan 4th from HootSuite in reply to toototo

      @demiCouture: @joannefaith I just find obese female bodies to be something I NEVER want to see under ANY circumstances 1:24 PM Jan 4th from HootSuite in reply to joannefaith

      @demiCouture: @cutblog yeah, if I see any more rolls on “real” women my head is going to explode 1:19 PM Jan 4th from HootSuite in reply to cutblog

      .. these were all said IN THE LAST THREE DAYS. How much more proof of your fat hate do I need to provide?

    • Victoria: I think Kimli pretty clearly pointed it out with the two tweets she posted. Do you really want her to waste her time digging up more?

      Don’t take it too personally — you’re simply the characterization of an unhealthy society that has convinced people that if you weigh more than 120lbs, you’re ugly and “can’t be marketed”.

      Don’t try to tell us that all clothes look better on thin people, because I just spent an extremely frustrating & fruitless evening of shopping for anything that would look good on MY body type — thin & rectangular — with nothing looking even remotely like something I’d want to wear in public (granted, the fact that most clothes in stores these days look like shit on EVERYBODY is a slightly different subject all together. What’s with all the asymmetrical baggy shit? Since when is “burlap sack” a good look?)

      Kimli’s curves cause me envy, I would LOVE to rock some of the fabulous cleavage-inspired shirts she does, and I sure as hell can’t without looking like I’m wearing my mothers clothes.

      And that’s okay, I’m (usually) pretty comfortable with my body type, and deal with the frustration of trying to find clothes that look good on those of us neglected in the T&A department, but I also have the advantage of having a socially acceptable BMI. It’s pretty damn offensive to me when people deny that social acceptableness from other people.

      fuck BMI. and fuck fat hate. (and while I’m at it, fuck the fashion industry. argh, I just wanted a pair of jeans, damnit!)

    • “I have a blog that discusses style, and I personally don’t think that wearing unflattering clothing for your body type or having sizable women take over magazines in nothing but bras is positive for any size movement is helping any body cause.”

      Huh? Do you even read what you write?

  4. I see you’ve dedicated an entire blog post in reply to this tweet, but you’re speaking out against a tweet that is designed to be less than 140 characters. A lot of things can be taken the wrong way with restrictions like that, and you didn’t offer her an opportunity to explain more about the tweet, you just wrote a blog post about it.
    So many things on the internet are blown out of proportion or misconstrued because of the reader. I’d say if you don’t like what she says, you don’t have to subscribe to her twitter feed.

    • So… she was misunderstood in all 10 fat-hating tweets she wrote in the last 3 days? Seriously, at that point if you can’t make yourself understood clearly, you just need to give up twitter.

  5. She explained by linking to her own blog post Lauren. There is no that isn’t fair here.

    My thoughts? Be who you want to be and let the others be happy where they are. You can like and enjoy what styles you like without hating on everyone else’s styles. It is not that hard to be tactful. You can express that larger women can look good in clothes but of different styles than the ones you like, but you don’t have to say that larger people can’t be fabulous.

    The idea of using all sizes of women in media is a great message for the future of our society. If you don’t like it, take your own advice and don’t read those magazines. Be who you want to be and LOVE yourself for it. There is no reason to tell people they can’t be happy with who they are.

  6. Dear Victoria…so if I don’t like what you say I shouldn’t listen…hmmmm, do you prescribe the same principle to racism? …and hey, if I don’t like it, I just don’t have to listen. #ignorant

  7. Being an overweight woman, I feel you on the “fat hate is ridiculous” side, but kudos to everyone here for not going to the other side of this coin we so often see — remarking that ” ‘real’ women have curves” and de-legitimizing the femininity of thin women’s bodies to legitimize our own heavier selves. I’m hoping that within my lifetime, SIZE hatred goes out of fashion. I’m so tired of hearing women, fat OR thin, getting hated on for what they happen to be. We’re all searching for this mystical perfect body, and what we really need to do is learn to love ourselves and each other.

  8. Wow. That’s a lot of hate to spew out in only three days. Jeeze.

    Similarly, if one doesn’t like what someone else is writing in her blog about one’s twitter, one could simply not read that blog, no?

    • Sure, just as I can choose to ignore someone who advocates the sterilization and forcible institutionalization of gays and lesbians. You know, for the sake of the children.

      Or I can confront appalling bigotry that has no place in our society.

      One Grand Home recently posted a similar list of biased posts from the folks at the usually excellent Apartment Therapy. There were a couple overtly racist photos, but most of the cited posts tended towards being classist. (Of course, class and race in in America are pretty closely entwined.)

      One of the editors was not super appreciative of it being raised in a public setting, but said it had actually kept him up at night wondering if he actually had let his biases get the better of him.

      If nobody ever says anything, many people never consider the possibility that something is bigotry in the first place.

      • I was actually referring to all those people who are telling Kimli that if she doesn’t like what demicouture has to say, coming here and reading what Kimli has to say about what DC has to say to tell Kimli not to read DC while reading Kimli, etc.

        It’s a whole stupid chain from people who clearly aren’t following their own advice.

        I clearly think everyone has the right to call out the stupid shit people say on twitter and on their blogs.

    • @eli I must disagree. If you don’t speak up against things you see as wrong—specifically hate and discrimination against any group or individual—you’re only allowing those spewing the hate to continue. It’s all well and good to say, “just don’t listen”, but sometimes, that’s just not enough. Sometimes you’ve got to call people out on their BS opinions. Silence is complicity in my mind a lot of the time.

      That’s not to say you need to open your mouth and freak out at anyone who doesn’t share everyone of your opinions, absolutely not. You pick your battles, to be sure. But sometimes you need to stand up and say, “You know what, this just isn’t right.” Especially if you are privileged enough to be in a position to do so.

      I’m glad Kimli called out the BS. Totally my hero <3

  9. People get ‘skinny’ and ‘healthy’ and ‘fat’ and ‘unhealthy’ confused all the time. If you can’t run around the block, you need to see someone about that, fat, skinny, or black.

    By the way, there are no black people named Randy. Nice try.

  10. I also don’t like fuller women being referred to as “real women” — it doesn’t feel very feminist or productive to denigrate other body shapes. Not to mention it’s just a continuation of the big boob obsession, which is another very traditional way to make women feel bad. (Like, okay, so you’re not thin but at least you fit our standards for sexual objects by having big boobs. You get a B-!)

    However, thin women claiming they’re “offended” by this — by a magazine featuring a token full lady once a year and calling her a “real woman” — are you serious?! You have the entire REST OF THE UNIVERSE telling you you’re better because your waist circumference is less than whatever.

    Also, this is hardly worth saying it’s so obvious, but being a fashion blogger does not excuse saying “fat people are ugly,” even if you rilly rilly think so. When you’re talking about people, rather than clothes, expressing your aesthetic judgment should come second to your not being cruel.

    (Personally, I feel that a lot of designer fashion would actually look better on a woman with *some* breasts and hips. On your typical size -2 model, clothes just hang lifelessly. But that’s neither here nor there.)

  11. I don’t often write about body issues but what the heck–I think that Catherine Winters is right in that we should call out injustices where we see them. The idea that fashion blogs or design magazines or tabloids or other sorts of ‘soft culture’ get some sort of pass is an insidious one and I think that the criticism of the OP is pretty spot-on. I most agree with Alison that the proper way to respond to fatphobia is not by delegitimatizing thin women. There’s a tendency in these conversations to start making generalizations about how real women are ‘overweight’, large breasted, wide-hipped, etc., and the truth is that reality is different body by body.

    And finally, I think a lot of the fat-hatred we see is an anxiety on the part of some women who have the privilege of ‘ideal’ body weight or proportion that if fat women are accepted as attractive or potentially, they will lose standing and distinction or, worse, become the victims of a completely inverted beauty complex. As a result, we see the sort of hysterical responses to press releases about plus-size models, etc.

  12. I hate the term “real women”, aren’t we all real? I hate that the media has chosen this term to define curvy women. I don’t understand the us against them mentality either. I hate it when large women call thin women “stick insects” and “skinny bitches”. It’s not a fucking contest to see who is a better person based on their BMI.
    @demiCouture “fat is never going to be fabulous, so stop pretending and get over it”? What exactly does that mean. Am I supposed to just give up on myself? Should I stop trying to look good and dress sexy even though my husband loves it and thinks I look great? It’s not my body size that makes me fabulous it’s how I feel inside and what I believe in and aspire to every day. It’s hard to feel like I measure up some days but it’s based on so much more than the size of my ass. One thing I try not to do is put down other people to make myself feel better, that makes me feel fabulous too.
    If you don’t think that larger women care about fashion or don’t deserve fashionable well made clothes then you are just wrong. It doesn’t matter what you think there will always be people out there striving to bring fashion to larger women, why are you so threatened by that? Why do we have to be punished for or confidence? Every time I see an article online about fat models or plus fashion the comments following it are usually so hateful. It’s like acknowledging we exist is a crime because it encourages us to be okay with being fat. Fat people can’t be encouraged because if we feel good about ourselves then the world might end. It’s all such bullshit. What are you so afraid of? We are all women and should support each other for what we have in common and especially for our differences.
    Do you really want a world where everybody looks the same or a world where some people are the wrong size and you are the right size and that makes you a better person? Fashion doesn’t have to be shallow, it’s clothing, and it should come in different sizes so different sized people can wear it. Get over yourself.

  13. a crutch against them? a crutch? do you mean a grudge?

    here’s some fashion for you — victoria, you’re a douche with no brains. no wonder you’re fixated on looks.

  14. Saw this today when I was going for my daily political news fix, I think it might be of some interest.

    http://crooksandliars.com/node/34099

    Everyone should be allowed to feel great about themselves, and have clothes they can feel great in. In highschool I weighed 165, I didnt have a flat stomach, but it wasnt a gut either and my mental image of myself was fat and it affected me a lot, especially in dating, not having any self confidence doesnt work out so well.

    Now I weigh substantially more, and its not something I’m personally happy with, but you need to be happy with yourself to live and to even be able to make improvements in your life, whether its in a career, a relationship, mentally or physically.

    Body image is important, and everyone has a right to feel good about their bodies without other people denigrating them. Some days I’m just not happy with the person I see in the mirror, I really dont need to hear it from others too.

  15. Wow… I’m coming into this one late, but I really feel like I need to add my two cents in, here.

    What happened to using a filter on the internetz? Good lord. Ask yourself, Victoria (or anyone else who feels the license to hurt others with words) — Would you actually say that to someone’s face?

    If no, perhaps a FILTER would be in order?

    Why can’t we all just… get along.

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