Flattering and Fat Bodies

love-tummyYesterday I wrote about the issue of people who suggest that fat people are responsible for accommodating their size bigotry by wearing what they think we should wear.  You can read the whole post here.  It got a lot of positive reactions and some really strong reactions, both on the blog and around the internet where it got picked up, from people who said things like:

  • What’s wrong with wearing flattering clothes?
  • Why is it wrong to want to look my best?
  • I’m short and I prefer to wear heels because they make my legs look longer.
  • Some clothes look better on some bodies than others, that’s a fact.
  • I like to wear make-up so that my skin looks better and I feel more confident
  • I prefer to hide my rolls.
  • I like to wear shapewear to smooth out my stomach bumps

I said it in the original piece and I’ll say it again – people are allowed to wear what they want for whatever reason they want, including an attempt to get as much societal approval as possible, or to try to get as close as possible to the current stereotype of beauty.

I was not trying to tell people how to live or what to wear.  What I was suggesting was that it might be worth thinking about the social constructs that dictate what is “flattering.” Why do we, as a society, think that certain looks are better on certain bodies? Why is being seen as taller also seen as better (up to a certain point where women are seen as “too tall” and given suggestions on how to not appear less tall.)  Why are long legs “better” than short legs? What’s wrong with rolls and cellulite?  How do racism, sexism, ableism, ageism and homophobia play into our ideas of “flattering.”  Why do we, as a society, value clear skin – even if the make-up we wear to give the appearance of clear skin causes breakouts and ultimately skin damage.  Why does “looking our best” mean working toward being as close as possible to a single stereotype of beauty.

In short, why do we believe that looking our best means spending our time, money, and energy making our bodies look different through what amounts to a series of optical illusions?  Why can’t we learn to perceive beauty in every body instead of trying to make every body fit a single perception of beauty.

Again, I’m not saying it’s wrong to do these things – I’m suggesting we consider the roots of why we do them, and decide if we feel like that’s ok, which is a decision each of us gets to make.  Then what’s important is to be able to make our choices while not trying to push our ideas onto other people, or judge them through our lens.

As I said in my piece “F*ck Flattering” – you get to dress how you want for whatever reason you choose.  You can pick clothes because you like them, because you think they will gain social approval for you, because they highlight your shape, because they disguise your shape, because your significant other likes them, because your mom hates them, because you think they are flattering, because you think they are unflattering, or for any other reason.  It’s your body and they are your clothes and you are the boss of your underpants and also the boss of your regular pants.

Something that we are not often told is that we do have the option to throw off our jacket and give flattering the finger with our arm fat waving unrestricted in our tank tops, our breasts comfortable in a bra that neither lifts nor separates (or no bra at all), our skirt showing every roll of our stomachs, and our leggings showing every dimple of cellulite on our thighs.  We get to choose how we dress our bodies and why, we can choose to wear things that are flattering by some definition of flattering or not.  But no matter what we choose, I think it’s important to remember that we do not owe anybody flattering, and nobody owes it to us.

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Published in: on September 12, 2013 at 8:01 am  Comments (51)  

51 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. These are all interesting questions. Why do we find some things beautiful and not others? And which categories are arbitrary and which aren’t?

    Clear skin seems to have held constant over history as something desirable, whereas only the Chinese thought breaking foot bones to make a foot smaller was a lovely look – so maybe their definition of beauty was also strongly linked to oppression. Maybe we need to be really suspicious of some ‘beauty standards’.

    But if there are some definitions of beauty that never change, and we can’t fit into them, why does that matter? Why are we only valued by our beauty in the first damn place?

    • “Clear skin seems to have held constant over history as something desirable”

      Not really, at least, not how we think of clear skin today. In the 18th century, aristocratic women and men wore heavy (obvious) makeup and beauty patches, piece of black taffeta cut in shapes like stars or crescent moons and stuck to their faces.

      In the Victorian era, blue lines were drawn on skin to give the impression of translucent skin showing veins.

      There is very little in the definition of beauty that is actually constant over history and culture.

      • Well, but I doubt skin disorders (acne, eczema, etc.) were ever considered attractive. But if I’m wrong, I’d like to know! Also, as someone with sensitive skin, makeup (of which I don’t wear much) is the least of my concern when causing breakouts. Weather, water quality, and stress are bigger issues for me.

      • True, but a lot of that fashion in make up started because people were trying to cover up pox-ridden skin. There are references to how desirable blemish-free skin was in literature dating back to the Middle Ages. But in the same pages there are references to the ‘swan neck’, which we couldn’t care less about today.

    • And Europeans didn’t let a little thing like a compressed ribcage and you know, breathing, get in the way of having a nipped in waist!

  2. There is a world of difference between, “I prefer to wear clothes that hide my rolls” and “I can’t wear X because my rolls will show.” And the whole, “You can’t/shouldn’t wear X” pisses me right the hell off.

    I think some of the information in the “flattering” discussions is useful, but I loathe the way it is presented. I think it would be much more healthy to present the information along the lines of, “X trick creates Y visual effect”–basically throwing away the idea that everyone should be trying to look as tall and slim as they can and embracing the idea that some people, for their own reasons, wish to accentuate or de-emphasize aspects of their bodies and giving advice on how to accomplish those goals (without trying to impose reasons on anyone.)

    I can rarely get through a full episode of What Not to Wear, but I wish their message that clothes off the rack rarely fit anyone was more widespread. Information on how to choose a tailor (and how to determine if a garment is worth the expense of tailoring) and what to look for regarding garment quality is awesome.

    • Exactly! It’s the difference between whether you’re doing it for your own comfort or because you’re afraid of what others will think or say.

      I think “flattering” too often is used in place of “slimming”, when it really doesn’t mean the same thing.

  3. I stumble upon your work a couple years ago when I was trying to do something different and perhaps shocking for a final paper during my undergraduate work. I have always been fat (since 6) but never ‘struggled’ with my weight. I had no issue with my size until 22 when I noticed other people around me going in diets and trying to lose weight when they were smaller than me. My family doesn’t obsess about weight or size so it was new to me. Anyway my point is that Thank You!! You are appreciated and you help to give me the words I do not always have when I am trying to combat hate towards bodies. You empower me and I love waking up to your blog and having my confidence restored by your words. Thanks

  4. I f***ING LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  5. Yes!! We get to choose. My dogs love what I’m wearing whether or not my husband or kid doesn’t. I can wear leggings and loose tops, and the dogs are happy, or be all dolled up in a pressed dress, and they are just as thrilled. Not going to let humans (other than our sainted Ragen) care what I wear.

    And, SHE doesn’t care! Thank you. —Jen

    • My dog can hear me put on pants. Seriously.
      He can be anywhere in the house and when he hears me put on pants he will come check on me to see if I’m putting on potential dog-park, play, hiking clothes, or if it’s going out and leaving him at home clothes. I know he can tell the difference and acts accordingly, either barking and bouncing with excitement, or lies down and pouts.
      So I guess he does care about the clothes I wear.
      But I get your point, and agree completely. Dog is love!

      • Too funny. My dog does the same thing. The minute I put on shoes she’s heading for the door, hoping for a walk. I can’t wait for it to cool off so I can finally take her in the car with me when I’m out running errands. Dogs make everything better.

  6. Exactly! Nobody here is trying to tell anyone to throw away their high heels or their Spanx if that’s what they like to wear. Nobody here is insisting that the only way to dress is to go around half-naked, either. It’s about choice. It’s about examining your choices once in a while to decide whether they truly make you happy. It’s about being aware of the social context of your clothing choices. And it’s about finding ways to express your true self.

    If black is the color that makes you happy, by all means wear it! If you are happier in pale pink, in bright orange, or in heather grey, I’ve got your back. If you want to showcase your breasts, go for it. If you’d rather feature your butt, your belly, your shoulders, or your left ankle, it’s cool.

    But if you never stop to think about the ‘rules’ and whether you actually want to follow them or not and why… you never get the chance to truly choose, do you?

    I like to dress to stand out. I have a horror of invisibility. I like how I look and how I feel in bright colors and extravagant cuts. I go literally nowhere without a hat. But I don’t like fussing with makeup on a day to day basis and my husband hates the taste of lipstick, so my face remains bare. In high heels, I do myself a lot of injuries, so I don’t do them.

    And you know what’s really funny? When I tried to dress to the ‘rules’ a lot more people noticed how short I was and how fat I was. My theory is that they noticed it because I was dressing to hide my body and not to fit my personality. When I dress for my personality, more people notice me before they notice my body size.

    But just like bodies, personalities come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Yours and mine may be polar opposites. Like different bodies, there’s nothing wrong with different personalities. So you dress for yours, I’ll dress for mine, and we’ll both be happy campers.

    It’s all about choice, people.

    • I love bright colors, die over hats and can´t wear heels without twisting my ankles. Wanna go shopping together someday? We´d sure looked dashing

      • It’s a date!

  7. Choice. For Adults. Lets remember the warnings from teachers, though.

  8. Thank you.

    I told my sister I stopped wearing bras because I find them uncomfortable and that my back and neck pain has since disappeared, and that there is evidence to support (ha) bra-free living as better for the ligaments and such. Yet she insists I’m wrong, that the opposite is true (though she cannot provide any sources), and gawks and makes a big deal out of it every time I see her.:/ Yes, I have big breasts. No, I don’t want to bind them to “fit in.” My body does not look abnormal by any stretch of the imagination, but if all you ever see is bustiers and padding, YOUR perception will be skewed. Ugh.

    • Thank you for this, I consider bras torture devices, yet I still usually wear them when out in public. Fortunately, I work from home, so that is not often. I wish, wish, wish I could stop feeling self conscious when I’m not wearing one. I’m slowing making progress, especially since I had a breast reduction 10 years ago. I don’t bother wearing one when walking the dog, or having happy hour with my neighbors, but when going to the grocery store or running other errands I still feel like I’m unacceptable. Got any suggestions for me?

      • I had first stopped wearing them around the house and on vacation even in large groups (lax medieval reenactment expectations). Then I complained on Facebook about not being able to do it more often and received a LOT of encouragement (some of it pervy-friendly) from friends. So I quit entirely this year. I still need crazy-expensive sports bras for fitness activities, but I never wear ’em for anything else.

        I’m still self conscious at work, though. Being an editor, I don’t see a lot of coworkers throughout the day, only when I go to the bathroom or break room. So I’ve been relying on a light sweater or shrug for those occasions since the office is usually cold anyway. We don’t have a dress code, but it is a corporate gig with pretty conservative higher-ups, so I worry a bit.

        The alleviation of constant upper back and neck pain, though, has been amazing. This all happened shortly after I did a LOT of research and really got the right size bra for several weeks and was really mad at how snug a band I needed for support, how expensive and difficult to find this size is, and the lack of pretty options. So I quit.

        • *Meant to add: I give roughly zero fucks about what strangers in public think of me–I have legit health condition reasons to go without–and breasts are awesome all-around, mine especially. Good luck!

        • Thanks so much. I did go and get a professional fitting but the “right size” was so uncomfortable that I didn’t buy it. I felt like I had a boa constrictor on my chest! I hate shopping for clothes in general but bras are the worst. Well, other than shoes.

    • I tried not wearing bras in the 70’s, but my breasts did flop around a lot, and I chose to go back to bras. I liked looking perky with cleavage showing in those underwire jobs. Now that I am older and even floppier and feeling pain with the underwires, I decided to go to wire free and give up the cleavage look. Who am I trying to impress? Certainly not my significant other who complained about bra design every time he helped hook me up. This change makes bra wearing much more comfy. And, when I am home or just outside my house for gardening and such, I wear no bra.

    • Hear, hear! I’m a bra adherent, but many of my friends very much are not. My BFF, for instance, would need to get one custom fitted. As that’s well out of her price range, she’s a perky B-cup at best, and she has fibromyalgia and scoliosis, she’d rather wear a cami or a shelf bra if she needs coverage.

      Honestly, if I could get around the painful sensation of boob-on-chest, I’d go sans boulder holder far more frequently. As it stands, my favorite sleepwear is a combination of Genie Bra and granny panties.😀

    • Thanks for this. I am 64 & I have cerebral palsy, which involves a lot of things such as motor skills & reach issues. I have been struggling into bras every day for 53 years now, usually feeling uncomfortable & itchy somewhere, spending a good deal of time pulling up my straps, looking for bras that are easier to get on & as comfortable as some promise to be, etc. Usually, if I am sure I am in the house for the rest of the day & not expecting anyone outside family, the bra comes off. Last night, because it was humid & sticky & I sweat a great deal, when my son decided that that was the moment to do the grocery-shopping, in the midst of changing pants, putting on shoes & socks & struggling to get a bra on, I got totally frustrated & went grocery-shopping without a bra. I figured, “What the hell! I am old, fat, disabled, I walk funny. I am already one of ‘the people of Walmart.’ How much worse can it be?”

      Another part of the equation with me personally involves my place in the life of my granddaughter, for whom I care a lot & I have cared for her since she was an infant. Her mother, my daughter-in-law, is one of those women who are never braless except in the shower, even wearing a bra to bed. My granddaughter is all of 8 & Kate is already trying to make her wear sports bras. Karmyn argued, “But Amma doesn’t wear bras!” & her mother assured her that I do, so now I feel that I must wear a bra when I am around my d-i-l & my granddaughter. The exception there is that Karmyn spends part of most nights with us because her mother goes to work in the middle of the night, & I refuse to sleep in a bra.

      But, yes, I hate bras, & the older I get, the quicker I am to take them off. And I don’t think anyone even noticed that I was shopping without one last night.

      • Thank you for sharing your story, Patsy. I think comfort should come first, especially with as difficult it is to get the damn things on!
        The sleeping with a bra thing has always baffled me, but this is where the Underpants Rule literally applies.

        Depending on whether you want to make waves, maybe you could explain to your grand-daughter that grown-ups get to decide what they want to wear, and when she is a grown-up, she can choose to wear a bra or not or to even live in a nudist colony if she wants to.

      • One of the best things about getting older is I care less and less what others think. It’s so hot where I live. Today I threw on a tank top with no bra and went and got my hair cut and did my grocery shopping. I was covered up and that’s as far as I was willing to go.

        Patsy, probably no one did notice you last night. And if they did and didn’t like it all they had to do was look elsewhere. I would say let your dtr-in-law wear what makes her feel comfortable and you do the same.

    • Yeah, my bra is a torture device. However, I have several reasons to wear mine. The first is my ultra-sensitive nipples. No joke. The seams of the bra I wear protect them from accidental rubbing.
      The second is their sheer size and how uncomfortable they are to have bouncing around, swaying and jiggling against my body and fabric while hanging down to my belly button – literally.
      The third is the fact that I walk and bus…and I mean WALK. I have to hightail it to buses in the morning and in the evening. I’m hustling and the first two reasons come into play big time.

      Oh, and if those weren’t an issue, my current job would probably make a rule that women were REQUIRED to wear bras just to make me conform to their rules. They’ve done so already.

  9. Thanks for throwing in the “no-bra” option. I rarely wear them on weekends, or when I’m puttering around in my yard. I don’t see the point. One day, years ago, some old dude was standing outside a market when I came out with my stuff, and he gave my (big, loose T-shirted) chest THE most scandalized look you can possibly imagine. Not even me, just my chest. I guess I was too big/old/fat/unworthy to be letting my chest move around on its own. Or to even merit eye contact.

    I should have been offended or called him out, I guess. But mostly I just thought it was funny. Nobody forced him to look at my breasts, after all. So if he was horrified it was his own damn fault.

    • This reminds me of an anecdote I once heard in which a young woman was approached by a strange man in a store who lectured her about her indecent cleavage and her tempting men to evil and blah blah blah. She immediately scolded him for having such lascivious, sinful thoughts about another woman in front of his WIFE.

  10. I enjoy fashion. I like looking at it – artistically speaking. But I hate clothes. I’m like those fashion designers who can make incredibly beautiful clothes (and other things), but then come down the catwalk at the end to take a bow and are dressed in the most boring outfit ever….that’s me. The clothes I wear are boring, pretty much just there to cover the bits that would make me lose my job and right to not be in jail. Truth be told, I think I look my best when clothes are not involved at all!😉 Yes, I dress for societal expectations!

  11. I’d like to hear what people think about the idea of fashion and health. A feminist lawyer was questioned about her statement regarding “playing femininity,” and she wrote about doing things to your body that may cause serious health repercussions. An example would be Sarah Jessica Parker saying she has permanently damaged her legs by wearing high heels (obviously too frequently; nobody damages their legs by wearing them occasionally). In America the Beautiful the filmmaker mentions the common makeup ingredient that is carcinogenic. Are we so different from Victorian women putting arsenic on their faces for white skin, or the Chinese binding girls’ feet?

    • Good points, and it’s worth further pointing out that skin bleaching is still common among many cultures/demos in the US/West and abroad.

      See also: tanning.

  12. Thanks Ragen, another excellent thing to think about. I literally just finished watching the film The Sapphires (based on a true story about four Aboriginal women in the late 60s touring Vietnam to sing to audiences of US soldiers) and was so excited to see that they were all played by beautiful Aboriginal women of varying and “a-Hollywood” body shapes. The outfits they wore to perform were all fun, shiny, sparkly, short, carefree and very 60s. And they all looked amazing in all of the costumes, even though they probably broke all the so-called “fashion rules” to flatter ones body. If anyone here hasn’t checked it out, it’s worth a watch! Just thought I’d mention as I was excited about seeing the actresses in very different clothes and it kind of fit in with this post🙂

  13. Yes, absolutely! It’s important to look at the underlying deeply ingrained messages and their intersectionality within our Culture. The how and why it impacts our choices.

    For instance I struggle with finding appropriate oxford-style office shoes. I need that kind of shoe that supports the foot and accommodates the natural foot size. But there is a trade-off. I know I (and other women like me), risk not being hired (and it’s difficult enough as it is for a fat woman to be hired no matter how professional she looks), for certain positions if we don’t wear heels. These high-heeled shoes can overtime cause deforming of the foot where the toes overlap and crunch together to form the triangle demanded on such footwear. It’s happened to every older woman I know and they have spent their lifetime in heels. Men have no such foot deformity requirement. It also places immense strain on the ankles as the body is never really in balance and of course women are perpetually on point instead of flex mode which can cause immense strain on the body to compensate. Personally since I’ve spent my life doing theatre I grew-up in tap/jazz/character shoes, and to this day if I need to wear a heel I will wear my capezios with the 1 ½ inch heel.

    It is a small thing I know, but it is part of the gendered coding and gender roles of what is/ isn’t acceptable for women in business and for special occasions. I know a woman who wore a beautiful pants suit to her daughter’s wedding. You would think she committed high treason from the comments I heard throughout the room. Meanwhile to me, she looked gloriously happy and beautiful celebrating the marriage of her daughter.

    So yeah… examining the systemic systems of oppression used against marginalized groups of people and the role of unexamined privilege propping up such inequality as it intrudes, influences and rules our lives, is really important to understand. It’s not easy and it’s not comfortable. I think a part of fat-hatred that is not addressed often is how we, as a culture, don’t really learn to sit with being uncomfortable. Being called out on one’s thin-privilege and that person’s actions that contribute to fat-hatred can make a person feel guilty and therefore uncomfortable. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think to advance fat-acceptable people learning to sit with and examine what makes them uncomfortable about fat people is an important step towards the big goal of equality.

  14. It is interesting to examine why we find something acceptable or ideal. I’m short and fat, not even close to the ideal. But I found that I’d be shaving me legs and thinking the curve of my thighs was sexy. Or I’d look in the mirror and think I like my generous hips, and that even though my tummy falls funny due to 3 c-sections, I still look hot. But then outside messages, pictures, commentary, commercials, etc all would come crashing in with the message “you are not allowed to think those things are sexy” I’d go from feeling great about myself to feeling like I’m an idiot to think my chunky thighs are even close to sexy or that big hips are a good thing and that I’m a moron for not considering a tummy tuck. Thankfully, blogs such as this one and body positive forums have helped me to ignore those outside messages and see my own feelings about myself as valid.🙂

    As for fashion–I LOVE crazy outfits, accessories and getting all fixed up to go out–even if it is just for groceries. But I have to be in a really good place mentally. I’m always so worried that people are thinking “She should NOT be wearing that” Or “Who does she think she is?” So, despite having a closet full of awesome clothes, I end up slapping on jeans and a tee shirt because I know that is acceptable. I’m working on it.

  15. “Should” is becoming one of my least favorite words in the English language. It has nearly supernatural powers to suck the fun out of nearly anything, transforming little pleasures into chores and obligations.
    I’m one of those women who likes to play with cosmetics, and I have ever since I was little. I never wanted to be Barbie, I just like to color. To me, cosmetics are a way to inject a little cosplay into everyday life, and it would be awesome if people of every size, color, gender, and age felt free to experiment with using makeup or clothing as a form of self-expression. That is, IF they feel the inclination. No one “should” have to dress, make up their face, wear their hair, or shape/color their bodies in a certain way.
    My husband and I have an “adopted” daughter who’s absolutely wonderful, and beautiful to boot. She’s about 5 feet tall, with thick dark blond hair, huge eyes, and an infectious smile. She has very little interest in makeup or hairstyles, which is totally fine. However, at least once a month she gets depressed because she ‘should’ be wearing makeup, defrizz her hair, lose some weight, and dress differently. (For the record, she’s about a size 8.) Inevitably, it’s because her traditional mom has lectured her about how she should be “paying more attention to the way she looks, because how will she ever get a boyfriend if she doesn’t act more feminine, blahblahblahdidiblahblah.” It breaks my heart every time.

  16. It’s an interesting question in terms of why we choose to do and not do things. Reminds of a discussion I saw recently on a feminist group on FB about whether it was wrong to shave one’s legs because the culture expects it. There seemed to be a pervasive viewpoint that you couldn’t like being relatively hairless just because you like it — if you do, it’s because you’ve fallen victim to patriarchal cultural expectations.

    Now, I’m all about giving thought to why we do things, but I don’t see making decisions about my body based on either going along with cultural expectations OR based on thumbing my nose at them. Shouldn’t everyone be able choose to do or not do something based on nothing more than personal preference and whether we think something is worth the effort?

    • FWIW, I shave my legs every now and then (because I will admit that thanks to this culture, I feel self-conscious otherwise) but a friend made a good point in asking, “If shaving one’s legs never became a trend, would you still be doing it?” She wasn’t being accusatory; she was simply making a point which I’d have to agree with. Cultural influence is what it is and we each do what we feel comfortable with.

      • That’s just exactly the thing — I think everyone should be comfortable, no matter what. Pressure from either direction isn’t good. I shave moreso because I don’t like how it feels if I don’t and I’m wearing pants or my legs are under a blanket — but I also know I’m lucky my coloring makes it less obvious when I choose to put it off.

        But the truth is, I honestly don’t know that shaving would occur to me if it hadn’t become a thing. Still, though, I don’t like people telling me I shouldn’t do it any more than I like people telling me I should.

        • I don’t know that I would have started doing it, but having done it I like the way my freshly shaven legs slide against the silky skirts I like to wear. Soooo, I’d keep doing it.

          • I second this. Additionally, my skin is so sensitive that my own body hair (and even head hair) irritates it. I fortunately don’t have very much, but eventually, I have to shave. I suspect that if I ever go so far as to get a Brazilian, I’ll discover I’m more comfortable that way, too!

            And, yes, my eyelashes irritate my eyes, too. Between the oil I use to keep everything in place, and my glasses, my life is full of interesting moments. Thank Elvis for mascara I can tolerate.

      • I can remember in the 70’s with the feminist revolution, we stopped shaving our legs. I never had a lot of body hair, so, it was not a big issue for me. But, I did occasionally shave my legs. I decided that when I did not shave, I was acceptable in the feminist world, and when I did not, well, I was acceptable elsewhere. Either way I win. As I have gotten older, I have little leg hair, but lots of dermatitis. So, I suppose, at this point, I am just being old.

      • If shaving legs was not a trend, I would most certainly still be doing it, because at one point, before my PCOS was under control, my leg hair was so much darker and coarser than other women’s. I was always thankful that shaving legs was the norm for women. Otherwise, healthy, fertile, “normal” women would be walking around with fine, sparse leg hair, while my legs would be shaved smooth, and it would be obvious I was trying to hide hirsutism. For this reason, my secret opinion has always been that
        leg shaving levels the playing field
        among women. And I reject the idea that hirsutism is a normal part of the hairiness spectrum, or that I should learn to accept the symptoms that go along with PCOS. Instead, I view those symptoms as destroying part of my feminity (the physical part), and I feel like I am experiencing a small taste of what it must be like to be a trans woman. Luckily, for both women with PCOS and trans women, androgen blockers exist, and for me, at least, they work quite well (and Metformin, exercise, etc help too, though I wouldn’t expect those things to do much for a trans woman).

    • I’m loving reading all the comments. The feminist lawyer I mentioned above — Elizabeth Hungerford — specifically addressed shaving one legs as something that did no permanent harm to the body. I found her reasoning meaningful: Does what we do to ourselves in the name of society’s expectations (or even our own enjoyment) cause permanent damage to our bodies? The point is not to tell people what they can and cannot do, but for us to think about what we’re doing.

  17. I LOVE your blog. It has made me feel so much better about my body lately. I still have some issues but you make me happy. I love you.❤

  18. I love how well you respond to criticism, even when it’s clear that the criticizers didn’t actually get your point. Or rather, when they make you out to be telling them what to do, when you’re clearly not. Your blog is really inspiring and refreshing. Thank you!

  19. Real flattering clothes for fat bodies used to be found in the pages of Mode and BBW Magazine. I remember a white skirt suit that had a demure neckline–and a little gold chain accent right above the booty. A rack o’doom clubbing shirt that incorporated the girls as the top curves of a heart. Dresses made of deliciously drapey fabric that could be adjusted to outline or flow depending on how you chose to sit. Did anybody see the sheer hose that took advantage of the larger field afforded by larger calves in order to feature actual art? ISTR cats chasing mice up toward the hem of the model’s skirt. And there were lots and lots of lovely sweaters in all styles, meant to show off one feature or another or just to be cozy and snuggly.

    • Mode Magazine! Thank you for that! Just the other day I was trying to think what the magazine Grace was before it changed it’s name. I just could not remember it and it was frustrating me all day. And here it is.. Mode. Thanks! : )

      • I had no idea the two were even related. Grace looks . . . well, they don’t seem to be leading with a diet article, at least. What do you think of it?

  20. I googled Grace & there are a couple of magazines currently in existence with the name Grace, but they are not plus size fashion magazines. One seems to cover women of all sizes & ages & talks about different lifestyle issues, the other I found seems to be some kind of religious magazine. To the best of my knowledge, Mode which became Grace has not existed for quite a few years &, when those magazines DID exist, they seemed primarily focused on women who wore size 12-16 or so.

  21. That is a beautiful post! I loved it! I love everything you say and I completely agree. And you made me laugh, I love what you say about being the boss of your underpants and your regular pants.


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