Two Crowdfunding Projects I think you should support (if you’re able)

By supporting these projects you’re helping make the world a safer place for people like me.

Today is a signal boost for two very deserving projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. They’ve both made their goals, but with more help they can make their stretch goals and make an ever bigger difference in the world.

The first is Fattitude, a documentary by Lindsey Averill, exposing fat hatred and offering an alternative means of thinking.

WHY WE ARE MAKING THIS FILM?

We feel that most people are ill informed when it comes to fatness. We want to offer a counter argument to the current popular notions that condemn fatness in all forms, an argument that overturns notions of fat hatred in favor of body acceptance.

The media and other cultural sources say that people need to lose weight – that obesity is a deadly epidemic, but there is scientific research that shows that weight loss and health are not linked like we think they are. For example, according to ASDAH, “Weight and BMI are poor predictors of disease and longevity. The bulk of epidemiological evidence suggests that five pounds “underweight” is more dangerous than 75 pounds “overweight.”

Lindsey has been attacked by fat-hating trolls and had herself, her husband, and her supporters dox’d just for daring to campaign for people to treat fat people like human beings. (Doxxing is when someone’s home address and phone number are posted publicly, online, with the express purpose of sending harassment that person’s way.) Having trolls attack en masse like that is terrifying, but Lindsey has stayed strong and now her campaign has been funded.

I still think it deserves more backers, so if you’re inclined, you can fund it here. (You have the option to put yourself as anonymous when you back it so you can’t be dox’d.)

The second is Make Me a Radical Dietitian by Michelle Allison, aka The Fat Nutritionist. Reading Michelle’s blog, in the early days of my coming to Fat Acceptance, helped me on the road to recovery with my eating disorders. She — more than anyone — let me know that it was safe to eat, that I was not a bad person for eating or not eating, that food was not a moral choice. Her blog told me I could make my own decisions about my food and I would not be wrong, because it’s my body and I know it best. I learned about intuitive eating from her and attempting to put it into practice is what has helped me start to recover from my disorders.

I say attempting because I’m not perfect, and recovery is a journey, not a destination. I mess up, have slip ups, fall backwards. But I pick myself up and continue onwards. I am committed to my recovery.

If Michelle does this dietitian internship, she can help even more people like me. She will be given a bigger platform to do the good she does in the world. I think that’s worth supporting.

You can fund her here.

I myself plan on supporting both campaigns, assuming I get some money in the door in the next few days (and assuming I can decide on what perk I want; there are so many cool ones). If you feel the urge and you can, you should too. Signal boosting is also an awesome thing to do.

Campaigns like this, when successful, will help to make the world a safer place for people like me. This is why it’s so important to me that these campaigns reach their stretch goals. I want to someday live in a world where I am not on guard all the time, where I am not constantly fighting against fathatred, food shaming, people triggering my eating disorders. I want the world to be safe for me and for the next Katje who’s growing up, hating herself for eating, hating herself for not eating, and not receiving any support from the world around her.

-Katje

PS: Fat-hating comments will not be approved and the IPs will be blocked. Concern trolling comments will not be approved and the IPs will be blocked. Comments of “But but but SCIENCE!” or “You’re LYING about having eating disorders!” will not be approved and the IPs will be blocked. This is not a public forum; it’s my blog. I am not required to give fat hating trolls a voice here. If you really need to show the world how much you hate fat people there are plenty of places on the net where you can do so without consequence. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

We’re not public property

A quote from Rachele’s amazing rant about the scummy, scamming diet company “Venus Factor.”

Fat women shouldn’t have to be afraid to post their photos on the internet. We are not public property. We shouldn’t have to worry that a diet company is going to use our photo and fat shame to sell their “system” or that forums are going to post disparaging comments alongside our photos. We shouldn’t have to deal with rude trolls sent to our websites to bother us. It isn’t about legalities, copyrights and watermarking, it is the culture of fat hate that encourages and approves it.

-Rachele, Fat Babe Designs

Read the entire story of how her picture was stolen by a scummy, scammy diet company called Venus Factor here.

This type of thing is, sadly, common — women are considered public property on the internet, and especially fat women. We are used as “inspiration” pictures — heads cut off, of course, because heavens forfend we’re treated like actual people — for people wanting to lose weight. We are attacked in large number by misogynistic, fat-hating trolls, because we dared to put pictures of ourselves up without the requisite apologies for even existing. Our pictures are stolen for snake oil salesmen to use in their ads for fake diet companies.

It shouldn’t take mass activism or a social media campaign to get a company to take down stolen pics. One note from the owner of the pics should be enough. But, again — fat women are not considered people. Misogyny + fat hate means we need to go the extra mile just to be treated like human beings — we have to fight for people to give us some common human decency.

Rachele has my unconditional support as she traverses the roads of fighting these guys legally, and if I have any money to spare I will donate some to help pay her legal fees. She is fighting for all of us fatties — especially those of us with a smaller voice, fewer followers — and showing these gross companies that we’re not taking this shit lying down anymore.

I am tired of being treated as less-than human, as public property.

I am Katje. I’m fully human. I am not public property. My body is a dictatorship, and I am its ruler. You do not get to treat me as anything less than a fully sovereign human being.

I’ll “Fat Talk” as Much as I Gorram Please

What I take issue with in this video is the labeling of self-hatred as “fat talk”.

Trigger warning: fatphobia, silencing, diet talk

Someone shared this on Facebook yesterday. It’s a video by Special K about “fat talk” — their special term for “self-hatred”.

(Content warning: may cause indescribable rage. Also fairly fat-shaming, and definitely silencing.)

It was shared via Upworthy, the content aggregator with the emotionally manipulative titles. The title for this video was “First These Women Were Offended. Then They Realized Who Was Being Offensive.”

Are you rolling your eyes yet?

There is a MASSIVE problem with this video. HUGE. You could even say it’s a FAT problem. So let’s talk about it.

First, let’s get this out of the way: self-hatred — whether it comes from internalizing the kyriarchy’s unreasonable expectations of you or from mental illness — sucks, no matter what form it takes. If you’re hating yourself, you should work on not doing that any more, because self-hate harms you. You’re worth feeling better about yourself. You’re worth good things. Self-hate is not a good thing.

What I take issue with in this video is the labeling of self-hatred as “fat talk”. The assumption that any time a woman/person socially-classed-as-woman says she’s fat, she’s hating herself.

This not only reinforces the idea that fat is always bad, it also polices how other folks self-hate. If a woman says “I’m so skinny,” as a form of her own self-hatred, she’ll likely be met with cries of “I know! You’re so LUCKY! I wish I were that thin.” Yet a woman saying “I’m fat” is met with “Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re really pretty!”

As if fat and pretty can’t go together. (News flash, they can, and they do. So do fat and fabulous, or fat and gorgeous, or fat and sexy, or fat and smart. I am a prime example.)

Partners in Crime (Doctor Who)
Ok, so it’s less neutral in Doctor Who. Still, wasn’t the fault of the baby Adipose! Besides, they’re totes adorbs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fat’s a neutral term, folks. Ok? It means “abundance of adipose tissue”. Ask any person who actually knows something about the body and they’ll tell you: adipose tissue itself is not a negative. It’s a necessary part of the human body. We need fat to survive.

(And no-fat diets, by the way, are basically the worst thing ever for you. Just so you know.)

Is too much fat bad for you? Maybe. Maybe not. The truth is, we don’t actually know the full truth there — there are a lot of correlations between being “overweight” (why that word bugs me) and health issues, but they aren’t actually causation. (For more about fat, disease risk, and correlation vs. causation, read this post.) What is likely quite bad for you is a heavily sedentary life and a lot of processed food, which is related to weight gain, yes, but not the sole factor.

This doesn’t mean fat is always unequivocally bad. Nor does it mean that fat is unattractive.

Yet by labeling self-hating talk as “fat talk” exclusively, this video says that fat is always bad. Fat is always unattractive. Fat, in fact, is the ONLY thing that’s bad about you — go on and self-hate about anything else and we’ll cheer you on! But don’t fat talk, ladies. You don’t want to call yourself fat, do you? Why would you want to be a fatty fat fat fatterson? That’s bad.

Think I’m reading too much into it? Direct quote from the video:

Reversing the fat talk. Making it positive talk.

They are outright stating that fat is negative. Always. Videos like this make it harder for fat acceptance activists to do what we do.

This video is being hailed as some sort of amazing breakthrough on body image. Sorry, no. It’s more of the same old bullshit that continues to throw actual fat people under the bus. This is glaringly apparent with the phrase that shows up on the screen midway through the video: “You wouldn’t talk this way to anyone else. So why do it to yourself?”

Oh, huh. I guess all the fat-hatred I’ve had lobbed my way over the years is my imagination? Because, you know, no one would EVER talk that way to ANYONE else. I guess I was hallucinating.

The video ends with a big silencing fest. Women literally shushing each other, and the camera, saying “Let’s fight the fat talk!”

I had no idea that silencing other women was supposed to be a big win for women and body image. This video is saying “Shush anyone who says they’re fat.” Thanks, but no thanks — I get enough of that already from “well-meaning” folks. I really don’t need another source urging people to fight us fatties on our own damn territory. I mean, how very dare we reclaim a word that’s been used to marginalize us?

After the video, Upworthy has a credit note, and they make this comment:

So this is just a bit hypocritical coming from a food company that runs ads that ask “What will you gain when you lose?”

No, Upworthy. It’s not hypocritical at all. Special K is, in fact, saying the same thing they’ve always said — FAT IS BAD. They’ve just put a different spin on it, and you and the rest of the internet have bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

[quote of the day] September 5th, 2013

If you gave a good goddamn about the health of fat people, you’d shut up about our fatness. You are destroying our mental health — and that can kill a person just as surely as anything else.

Marianne Kirby, “This Fat News Anchor is Mad — And Not Going to Take Being Bullied Anymore”, xojane

In other news, I hate leafblowers

You may notice some changes around here. Try not to panic. I’m just re-vamping my brand.

Ok, you know I hate “author brand” stuff. Mainly because I feel I can never settle on anything. Well, I was feeling the need to change up the blog for a while. Bacon and Whiskey wasn’t what I was writing about, so it had no discernible link to, well, anything.

Mom and I were talking last night about everything marketing, in this particular part of the conversation, and we talked about brand for a while. She said she thought the best way for me to put it was that I’m a bewitching author.

I liked it. So I put it in the back of my head.

Then, I was reading over the posts for The Nearsighted Owl’s How to Be a Fat Bitch ecourse. I’d signed up a while ago, but hadn’t kept up with the lessons. (The course, by the way, is excellent and if you’re fat and struggle with accepting that I highly recommend it. Actually, I just highly recommend it in general — if you’re not fat, or if you’re fat and think you’re cool with it. Because I thought I was cool with it, but the course has been a bit of an eye opener. I’ll be blogging about the assignments here as I do them, by the way.)

I realized I wanted to do more with my blog, and I decided that fat acceptance was something I should really start talking about. Especially after the events of last summer — when a bunch of trolls from the anus of the internet invaded my YouTube channel because I’d made a video where I was fat and unapologetic about it.

So from now on you can expect more posts on fat acceptance. That may mean just me posting Outfit Of The Day posts every once in a while, to show you with pictures how fucking fabulous I am. Not in spite of being fat; because of.

Also, I realized I talk about feminism. Duh.

After that it was just a matter of finding a third eff word to create the perfect tagline. I’m a fantasy author, so ‘the fantastic’ seemed right. For the title of the blog, I went with Bewitching, Enthralling, and Enticing, because I liked all those words together and also the initials spell BEE. Bees are awesome. I love bees.

In the coming weeks you’ll notice more changes to the blog and my persona all over the web. I’m working on getting new author photos done, and I’ll be re-doing my bio. Yay branding.

You’ll also probably notice Flattr buttons around the blog, and that I’ve removed the Project Wonderful ads. Reasons for that: I’m not getting enough traffic for Project Wonderful to continue listing my ad box, so until the blog does pick up in traffic I’m removing the ad box. Flattr is a way for you to show me you like my writing. No pressure. It’s just there if you use it already; if not, no biggie.

If you still really want to support me and you don’t have a Flattr account, buy my book. If you have it already, get your friends to buy it. Word of mouth advertising is the best way to help me out. Seriously.

(Also, reviews. Reviews are like candy to authors.)

If you’re reading this before March 27th, 2013, and you want to know the best way to help me out right now? Spread the word on my donation campaign or donate yourself. Mom and I are still trying to get enough funds together to help us on our way to Spring Mysteries Fest.

That’s it for now. See you again on Friday, when I post my Assignment #1 from the Fat Bitch Ecourse.

Stay classy, my enthralled minions.

-Kat

 

 

Eating Disorders and Losing Weight (trigger warning: disordered eating, mental health issues, fatphobia)

I suppose I’m continuing in a somewhat depressive vein, here, but it needs to be said.

I’m a fat-positive activist, and I believe in HAES — Health At Every Size. Fat people are still people and should be treated like human beings, instead of like second class citizens or monsters who live in catacombs below the opera house. Which, yeah, is how we are treated.

There are also different levels of fat, and if you’ve never been above 200 pounds you have no idea what it’s like to be 330 pounds (just like I have no idea what it’s like to be above 400). There’s a different set of oppressions for each level: under 200 pounds can be seen as socially acceptable fat, whereas the higher you get, the more you get slotted into “deathfatty” and seen as an animal. There are very few clothing options the higher up on the scale you are. If you’re a size 14 and you’ve never been higher than a size 18, you may be considered fat by society, but you still have no idea what it’s like to be a size 26, 28, 30, 40.

Now that that’s all said.

I am fat as fuck and hot as hell. And I’m okay with that. But my health is suffering. Because I don’t eat as well as I should, and exercising is painful. Part of this is related to health problems that have nothing to do with my obesity (chronic back pain, for one). But losing extra adipose tissue would also help these health problems get resolved. At least to a point where I’m not in pain every single minute of every single day (is there such a state of existence?). This is not true for every fat person; it’s true for me — so I’m not going tell you that losing weight will help you get healthy, because fat is not an indicator of general well-being and I’m not a fucking doctor. (Pro-tip: all you people who are so concerned about my, and other fat people’s, health, aren’t doctors either. So stop lying to us; we’re fat, not stupid.)

So I want to lose fat and gain muscle. I also want to eat healthy and exercise.

But I keep on running into road blocks.

Last summer I tried to do this. I tried to count calories, and exercise. Almost immediately I fell into a death spiral of anorexia nervosa and binge eating. As soon as I start counting calories, I go from eating a healthy amount of food to eating almost nothing each day. I looked at my measures of calories per day and realized what was happening — I’ve gone through anorexia before, and it was much worse than it was last summer. Fat anorexics do exist, and I’m sick of hearing “anorexic” as a synonym for “thin” because it erases us.

Continue reading “Eating Disorders and Losing Weight (trigger warning: disordered eating, mental health issues, fatphobia)”

Tales from the Fat Side: Coldstone’s Cold Shoulder

Mmmm Coldstone
A Coldstone’s by itself. (Photo credit: Michael D. Dunn)

Today a friend and I decided to go to Tim Horton’s for some Coldstone’s ice cream. I was really happy when Coldstone’s came up here from the States, as it had been a favourite of mine when I lived in Hawaii. The fact that it’s in Tim Horton’s means it’s easier to convince my boyfriend to go and get it, so win-win.

There are several Timmy-Coldstone’s in Vancouver and the GVRD, but only one in Nanaimo. (There’s also one in Duncan, which is a 100-km round trip. Not happening.) There are other, cheaper ice cream places in Nanaimo, any of which we could have gone to — but we wanted Coldstone’s. It’s special. And it was a really hot day. Also we make no apologies for wanting whatever the fuck we want and eating it too — in public, even.

Here is the point where I tell you something you already know: I’m fat. So is my friend. And while we are both feisty, fat, awesome individuals, we still struggle with self-esteem issues. Because we have spent our entire lives being told that we are inhuman, horrible disgusting blobs that should kill ourselves for allowing ourselves to be so fat and offensive to the eyes of society. How dare we breathe your air and take up all your space with our fat! How dare we have big bellies! How dare we eat ice cream or junkfood — this is, of course, no problem if you’re skinny and it’s all you eat, because obviously thinness is the only measure of health. No, because we are already fat we should eat nothing but salad and watercress and wear nothing but sackcloth and ashes.

So, let’s start from that. We’re fat, and we’re awesome people and we deserve to be treated like human beings. Regardless of our fatness or awesomeness. We’re human.

We’ve gone to this Coldstone’s before. Almost every time we go, we stand there for a long time before someone serves us.

Today we stood there for 10 minutes. There were several people walking around behind the counter, and it wasn’t terribly busy. Each person ignored us.

Continue reading “Tales from the Fat Side: Coldstone’s Cold Shoulder”

Why words like “overweight” bother me.

Juan Carreño de Miranda‎'s
Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve been paying attention the past several years, you’ll know we have an “obesity epidemic” on our hands.

Well, that’s what they like to call it. I don’t, because it makes it seem like we fat people are the disease. The way we get treated by most people, you’d think we were.

I don’t mind the descriptor “fat”. In fact I embrace it. It’s completely devoid of any negative or positive denotation — all it means is that I have an abundance of adipose tissue on my frame. That’s it. Simple, to the point, accurate. I am fat.

However, the connotations associated with the word — well, that’s another story. Here’s the skinny (pardon the pun) on denotation vs. connotation, in case you’re not aware: denotation is what a word actually means. Connotation is what people think it means. And because what people think as a whole shapes our society and thus, our language, connotation will quickly become denotation.

That’s why pejorative words are pejorative. They get used as an insult long enough and soon that’s all they are, regardless the actual denotations of the words themselves.

Connotations are completely valid ways of understanding the definitions of words — words mean things, and they don’t exist in a vacuum, separate from society. However, as I am a member of certain groups that are constantly marginalized and referred to in pejorative ways, I’m very invested in the idea of reclaiming pejorative words to remove the negative connotations.

Continue reading “Why words like “overweight” bother me.”