In general, I find when I assume strangers are intending to be loving and kind it makes my experience of living in an oppressive world a lot easier for me.
Pronoia helps me keep my brain decluttered from other people’s judgments. I could spend a lot of time micro analyzing how strangers look at me or if I hear an audible sigh from someone seated next to me on a plane. Most of the time I assume their looks and sounds don’t have anything to do with me or my size. Maybe that’s not true, but probably it is true the majority of the time.
This is a letter I wrote to Oprah Magazine in response to a call for reader input in the August 2015 issue. It is in response to the totally banal and fatphobic response to a reader question in O Magazine that folks should wear crop tops “If (and only if) they have flat stomachs.” I generally skim or skip the style and beauty content in O Magazine every month because it’s written towards folks who are seeking a more neutral style than I am looking for. But given the deep internet controversy I thought this was a great time to offer Oprah some unsolicited advice about how she could be doing better.
Since posts are better with photos of lots of folks with different bodies, I have asked my friends to be part of a crop top army, their photos and links are throughout this post.
What better way to set goals and mark time than with a calendar that acknowledges queer bodies and lots of different bodies! I think it is incredibly powerful self-love to surround yourself with images of hot queer and fat folks who have diverse bodies. Sensitizing yourself to queer and fat bodies that look like yours and the people you love is an important part of loving yourself and/or being a good fat/queer ally.
I knew instinctively that I was wrong for hiding my arms. It was uncomfortable and annoying and I wanted to feel the freedom of my skinny counterparts. I had a couple of tank tops as layering pieces and I started to open myself up to the idea of wearing them, and set a goal to be wearing them outside by the next year. I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I was going to do it.
If you want to do things differently, you need only set your mind to it. If you’ve been spending your summers all bottled up under hoodies or wearing pants even though you would be way more comfortable in shorts, you can move past your fear and shame and start being more confident.
A lot of folks do the long look to try to decide what’s going on with someone when they look unusual. And that’s way more noticeable when you’re not used to it. It feels weird. And when Dara started to notice it, she felt uncomfortable and insecure about it.
I surprised myself by rattling off a bunch of strategies she could use to get more comfortable with being conspicuous. So here, dear readers, is a cheat sheet for how to stop caring about what strangers think about you.
Click here to read the whole article.
Plus Size Pageant Documentary–There She Is and some questions for my readership about being fat and expressing gender
I’m wondering from readers what they feel like about wearing make-up, whether they find it compulsory, if they feel comfortable in public spaces or specifically queer spaces without it (if they are a make-up identified person)?
In what ways do you feel “in your gender,” and how does that present? How does that differ from day to day, moment to moment?
How do you respond to weight loss in your life? Are there ways that you make it value-neutral?
Normally, I’d do what I do best. Sitting in unflattering positions, eating passionately and aggressively and deflecting everyone’s poor self image are my strong suits. (Right next to fucking, tying a pretty bow and swearing.) I like to incite and I love to be seen in my fat bawdy. It reminds me I’m alive… surviving and thriving.
But like I said before, Mercury’s in Retrograde, I haven’t gotten intentional time with my Lover and I’m on my motherfucking period.
Today was not the goddamn day.