5 Things I’ll Do That’ll Make Me Happy

It’s Friday, so you know what that means. It’s time for me to share with you my assignment #1 of The Nearsighted Owl’s How To Be a Fat Bitch Ecourse.

Week 1’s assignment was “Write down 5 things that you are going to do that make you happy. Not “even though you are fat” but because you are fat and awesome. 5 things that have nothing to do with trying for the sake of others. 5 things for yourself and your well being.

Here’s my answer:

How To Be A Fat Bitch Ecourse, assignment #1

How To Be A Fat Bitch Ecourse, assignment #1

If you can’t read my writing (no one can, not even me), here’s a typed version of the list.

1. Write as if my life depended on it (and it does)
2. Finish my degree
3. Find a new pair of heels. Get used to walking in them again.
4. Be femme as fuck, no apologies to anyone.
5. Bake cookies and make pies for me and my fiancé.

Most of those are pretty self-explanatory, but maybe 3 and 4 need some elucidation.

I miss walking in heels. I love being taller, I like wearing heels. They’re hard for me to find (size 13 women’s, wheee), but regardless — I love ’em.

Since the spinal injury, I haven’t been able to wear them. That’s going to change. I’m going to start going to physio again and get to a place where I can wear heels. Even if it’s for shorter time periods than before; even if I won’t be able to walk in them after 2 pints of vodka. (Dragon*Con peeps know what I’m talking about.) I miss heels, so I’m going to work on finding a new pair and getting used to them again.

Regarding my femme-y-ness: for a long time I made apologies for being femme because I was fat. I believed that I wasn’t allowed to be femme because femme meant feminine to me, and fat girls are constantly taught that we’re not allowed to be feminine. Because feminine is reserved for attractive women, and we’re told we’re not attractive.

Fuck that. I’m tired of making apologies for what I am. What I am is femme and fat, no matter what gender I’m swinging into on any given day. I have always been femme; my years of hiding behind a butch exterior (my nickname used to be Butch) was because I thought I wasn’t allowed to be femme.

So I defy that. And to prove it, here’s extra credit for Week 1:

femme as hell

Thanks for reading along, bewitched friends. See you on Monday.

-Kat

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

 

 

Ursula apparently too fat to sell make up; am I skinny enough to wear it?

Disney is putting out a limited edition set of make-up items this September: “six limited-edition collectors’ dolls and coordinating beauty items” for six Disney villains, apparently “from Cruella de Vil to Maleficent”. All of the villains have had their image updated, to the point where Ursula has gone from a size 30 to a size 0:

What the hell, Disney?

I could get really angry with Disney here. This comes as a slap in the face to fat people everywhere — by giving Ursula such a makeover, you’re effectively saying “It’s okay to be a villain that tries to kill people, but if you’re fat you don’t even deserve to wear nice make up or a pretty awesome purple and black evening gown.”

Would it have been so difficult to give Ursula a makeover just by making her full human, as they’ve apparently done, and giving her some cool clothing? I mean, that’s pretty damn extensive; the lady is an octopus before the makeover. But no, we have to shave away the pounds, too!

Continue reading “Ursula apparently too fat to sell make up; am I skinny enough to wear it?”

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”

Rape Culture and Fatphobia

[TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE, FATPHOBIA]

Rape seed caught at sunset
This is not the rape I’m talking about. (Image by jimmedia via Flickr.)

“Fat girls should be happy for any attention.”

“Oh, come on, she’s too fat to be raped!”

How many times have you heard or seen the above sentiments, or ones similar to them? How many times have you uttered them, either because you truly believe they’re true or because you’ve internalized hatred of yourself, or both?

I’ve heard and seen these sentiments a lot. I wish I had a quarter for each time, because then I’d have enough quarters for several rolls of quarters, and then I’d use them to beat people. Namely misogynistic fatphobic rape apologists.

Which, by the way, the people who utter these sentiments are.

I get it if you’ve internalized the hatred of yourself. I do. I was there for a long time. But darlin, you’ve got to pull yourself out of that trench. Please believe me when I say that a) rape has nothing to do sex and everything to do with power and b) you are beautiful regardless. And please believe me when I say that continuing to utter those sentiments contributes to rape culture and fat hatred.

This is the insidious thing about oppression: we are trained to be complicit in our own degradation. From birth we are put into this culture that tells us these sentiments, these vicious lies, and parades them about as truth. And with so many years of this being drilled into our heads, it’s understandable we may believe these things about ourselves.

So we utter these same statements and make it easier for the oppressor to keep his great big boot on our faces. We have been well-trained to hate ourselves. We have been well-trained to hate others like ourselves, to question their every move.

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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.”