How To Be a Fat Bitch: Week Three

Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl is hosting a year-long eCourse called How to Be a Fat Bitch. She posts a short vlog, an assignment, and some discussion questions. I’ll be posting here on Wednesdays about the assignment and questions. Come join in the fun!

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Week Three Assignment:

Challenge yourself to wear something that you might have felt weary about in the past. Break up your routine with something different and you might open yourself up to some radical new styles! 

My fashion strategy, for many years, has been to wear whatever clothes fit and are comfortable. I have some strange claustrophobia issues, so I can’t stand to wear anything that feels confining. Or, at least, I’m not used to wearing them so they feel weird and feeling weird is distracting to me. I wear jeans and t-shirts or sweaters almost everyday.

Confession: on days when I don’t leave the house, sometimes I just stay in my pajamas. I work from home, so sometimes that happens for two or three days in a row.

That doesn’t sound so bad on the surface. It kind of is, though, because bottom line, the way I dress (sometimes) is reflective of some residual self-loathing. I don’t want to look at myself in the mirror, or think about how I look long enough to pick out a cute outfit. Or I don’t want to spend money on nice clothes, because some part of me doesn’t believe that I deserve them. Sometimes I actually feel weird if I’m dressed up, like I’m making a spectacle of myself. Like, wearing a dress to the grocery store sometimes feels equivalent to wearing a Halloween costume out in public. In February.

Working on self-acceptance over the last couple of years has really made a difference in the way I feel about myself. As a result, the gap between how I feel inside and how I present myself to the world has changed. I have a goal for 2013 to build a wardrobe I love, and I’ve already made strides toward that. One part of that goal is to wear dresses more often. I love dresses. I’m not acclimated to them, but I’m working on it. Part of working on it means buying a few.

eShakti had a sale this week where you got a $20 gift certificate, and then another one when you used the first, and so on, plus $5 shipping. I spent about $100 and bought four things from their overstock (already 40 percent off) that really made me happy, and are definitely pieces that I would have hesitated about (or not even thought about in the first place), not too long ago. on wires tie-front topV.jpg fifties colorblock skirtV.jpg

Week Three Discussion:

Do you have some fatshion tips to share? Please do!

1. Clean out your closet. First of all, you might have things you forgot about in there, and it will be like Christmas. Second, and most important, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit. Don’t hold on to it for that magical day when you lose weight. Your closet should be filled with only clothes that fit you and that you love.

2. Hit the thrift stores, and hit them often if you’re trying to build your wardrobe. Learn when your local stores have sales. Also, know how much you’re willing to spend on things. For instance, I can’t remember the last time I spent more than $10 on jeans, but dresses are harder to find so I’ll spend up to about $40 on one new (on sale) if I’m really in love with it. That’s my budget.

3. Break the rules. It’s okay to wear bright colors or small patterns or horizontal stripes. I promise.

4. Buy clothes that fit really well. Sometimes that means buying a bigger or smaller size than you think you wear. For instance, eShakti’s clothes are designed so that they’re smaller in the waist than most other brands that I wear a size up. I almost always take a size down in cardigans, because I like them fitted.

5. Remember that you aren’t hear to be anyone’s eye candy. Conversely, you also don’t have an inherent obligation to protect the rest of the world from seeing your big ass or wide hips or thick waist in stripes or bright colors. Dress to please yourself. Period.


How To Be a Fat Bitch: Week Two

Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl is hosting a year-long eCourse called How to Be a Fat Bitch. She posts a short vlog, an assignment, and some discussion questions. I’ll be posting here on Wednesdays about the assignment and questions. Come join in the fun!

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Week Two Assignment:

Reclaim the word fat and do something amazing with it. Make art, take photos of yourself with fat written on you, bake a cake with fat written in frosting, etc.

fat Collage

Week Two Discussion:

What do you love most about the word fat? How has the word fat evolved for you?

What do I love most about the word fat? I love that I can take the negative power from the word, and make it my own personal power. That makes me feel like a superhero. I love that it’s a cute, chubby little word. I love how on Food Network, the chefs are always talking about how fat makes everything taste better. I love that the word ‘fat’ is a gauge for how far along I’ve come toward radical self-acceptance.

Fat doesn’t make me panic any more.

Fat is a neutral descriptor (most of the time.)

Fat makes me look like my mom. My mom was beautiful.

Fat is a war wound from a failed thirty-year struggle to be not fat.

Fat is phat.


How To Be a Fat Bitch: Week One

Rachele at The Nearsighted Owl is hosting a year-long eCourse called How to Be a Fat Bitch. She posts a short vlog, an assignment, and some discussion questions. I’ll be posting here on Wednesdays about the assignment and questions. Come join in the fun!

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Week One Assignment:

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. Like “go out dancing and actually dance”, “throw away my scale”, “make something yummy and bring it to work to share”, “join a yoga class” and “wear that tight leopard skirt”.

1. Wear cute, colorful clothes that fit (instead of being big enough for another person to fit in with me.) With stripes! Horizontal stripes.

2. Buy a non-black, non-old-lady bathing suit to wear this summer. And wear it!

3. Put on my good old athletic swimsuit and get into the pool at the gym again. Sometimes, just go for the hot tub.

4. Travel to New York to support my book at BEA, meet my editor, and not be afraid of all the people looking at me.

5. Learn to sew, from a pattern and to alter clothes.

Week one discussion:

How do you deal with people that make assumptions about you based on being fat? Is the best revenge to live well and be happy? How do you feel about the concept of there being a “good fatty” and a “bad fatty” perceived in society?

Most of the assumptions I deal with are super convoluted. They are my assumptions of what I assume other people are assuming about me, base on my being fat. I worry that if I go to the grocery store without putting on a bra, people will think that I’m one of those sloppy, yucky fats. And if I order a big meal at a restaurant that people will think I’m one of those fats who . . . I don’t know, gets hungry?

This has come up for me a lot lately, because pretty soon here I’ll have to deal with people in connection with my book. And I want that. I do. I’m proud of my book and I want to do whatever I can to support it. But, I worry that people will judge me based on my weight.

I’ve spent my whole life wanting to be a good girl. Good grades. Self-sacrificing. Trustworthy. Never putting anyone out. That’s how I survived growing up. And as an adult it’s translated into wanting, sometimes almost desperately, to be a “good fat.” One that smells good all the time and has pretty hair and doesn’t wear loud colors, that dutifully hates herself for her failure to provide the world with a thin girl to look at, denies herself any pleasure in food, and who never eats anything in public that anyone else might think she shouldn’t.

Giving up the desire to be a good fat, and being okay with just being me, hasn’t been easy. I’m still not there all the way. But, I’m working on it. I’m not sure if being happy and living well is the best revenge. I’m not even sure I feel like I need revenge. But, I do know that it feels really good and I’m all about feeling really good.